Long Beach is, in fact, very long with around 7.2 miles of coastline and a handful of inlets and marinas. With an utter lack of waves due to the breakwater, however, Long Beach gets its fair share of criticism from haughty Californians hailing from other beach locales.
We’re here to smash that surf-centric hostility by sharing some great beach spots in Long Beach that will make you reconsider that drive to Huntington next weekend.
Photos by Ashley Cordes
West Bayshore Beach aka Horny Corner
There is some truth to the cheeky namesake of this beach with hormone driven 20-somethings frolicking on the beach holding (in)conspicuous red solo cups. However, there really is something for every age group and interest here. Belmont Beach is separated by social groups in a stereotypical high-school-lunchroom sort of way. Children can be seen building sandcastles close to the water on the right and left edges, older patrons aiming to veg out lay with their chairs backed against the outer concrete wall and active Long Beachers and tourists are in full force with various water activities. There is a real community feel to this beach with free yoga being offered by Free Yoga on the Beach daily. Yogis often stay after and hold parties on the weekend adding yet another table to this beach-as-lunchroom scenario.
Bottom line: This beach feels like a party for all ages and is a great spot to launch out kayaks or paddleboard.
Around Bayshore and 54th Pl.
Alamitos Beach near the Marina
All of the quintessential elements of Long Beach are assessable here, in one killer panoramic view. With a turn of the head, beachgoers can see the historic Queen Mary, the Downtown Long Beach skyline, the convention center and the harbor. Volleyball courts and bike rental stands are located near Alamitos Ave. to the left of the marina. Runners, bikers and skaters make good use of an over three-mile long pedestrian path running from Shoreline Village to 54th Pl. Potential eyesores, the Thums oil islands, have been aesthetically modified to feature modern-colored lighting and waterfalls. Locals tend to trash talk this beach because of just that, the amount of garbage washed on the shores. But local volunteer groups including Litter Free Long Beach and Heal the Bay work to clean the beaches making this is a great spot to enjoy the sun while taking in many of the city’s great visuals. This was one of the most frequented spots on the 4th of July with a great view of fireworks shooting off from Queen Mary.
Bottom-line: This beach will give you a good sense of Long Beach’s tourist attractions. Take advantage of the boardwalk and clean up stray Capri Sun packages and plastic bags to help with preservation efforts.
Between Alamitos and Junipero
Rosie’s Dog Beach
Rosie’s, lovingly named after the bulldog that inspired its creation, is the only off-leash dog beach in L.A. County. Cones separate off a sizeable chunk of Belmont Shore coastline within which all the flavors of the doggie rainbow, from Great Danes to tiny Chihuahuas, roam free on sand and in sea. With the slight odor of dog urine, however, it is definitely a place for those accustomed to the habits of four-legged friends. The beach recently celebrated its 13th anniversary of legal leash-free dog play back in June. Dog Zone is in affect from 6AM to 8PM daily.
Bottom line: Come if you want to engage in prolonged conversations with neighbors about the breed of your dog or are a dog lover looking to get around those sometimes pesky “no dogs on the beach” signs.
Ocean Blvd., between Roycroft and Argonne
Marine Park aka Mother’s Beach
This beach truly caters to families, featuring a large jungle gym mere feet from the water. During the summer months, ice cream, cotton candy and balloon venders provide other essentials for childhood happiness. A bridge connects to the island at Appian Way and with multiple access points, the beach is a mixing point for the city. With a location within the harbor, the water is shallow and waves are non-existent, ideal for young children learning how to swim. The beach also features grassy picnics sites, used often by large families enjoying birthdays and other celebrations, which contributes to this spot becoming especially crowded on weekends.
Bottom line: If you can’t stand screaming children or crowds then skip this beach but if you have one of these screaming children it is the perfect ocean wonderland for them.
5839 Appian Way
Pacific side of the Long Beach Peninsula
Securing a beach spot between 60th Pl. and Alamitos Bay on the Pacific side of the Long Beach Peninsula ensures something more private and relaxing. This last nook offers a bit more chic beach experience on the more exclusive section of the peninsula. Often the most action this beach receives is few lone fishermen casting into this water. The vibe is more relaxed and the quieter atmosphere is ideal for reading books or having a sunset picnic with your partner. A wooden walkway provides a sand-free option for an afternoon stroll. With a narrower strip of beach and less parking getting to the sand is more difficult but much more peaceful in the end.
Bottom line: This is the place to relax, watch the sunset and experience zip code envy of the multi-million dollar homes lined up on the beach.
60th Pl and E. Ocean Blvd.
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