A trip to Long Beach, located in the southernmost part of Los Angeles county, should be on every beach lover’s bucket list.
The popular city is home to an abundance of different sandy beaches, each with its own unique vibes and attractions.
A variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and museums are conveniently located along the 11-mile strip.
Put on some sunscreen, grab a towel and head out to one (or a few) of these beautiful beaches.
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1. Belmont Shore Beach
There is plenty to do for the whole family at Belmont Shore Beach.
The Long beach breakers minimize waves making this a great place to go for a swim without getting tossed around.
If you still don’t feel comfortable swimming in the ocean there is also the Belmont pool which is open to the public.
Built in 1966, the Belmont Veteran’s Memorial pier is made of concrete and is 1,620 feet long. The flat surface makes for a relaxing stroll with breathtaking views of the Long Beach area.
Fishing is also allowed on the pier and no license is needed to partake in the activity.
Sand volleyball courts are set up and there is a bike trail that runs along the beach for those interested in some more physical activities.
The Belmont area actually has its own shopping district so enjoy a large variety of shops, restaurants, and bars after a day on the beach.
Second Street is the place to be for some lively nightlife. Bar hop to your heart’s content with a large variety of bars and clubs to choose from.
Visit during the summer to partake in “Stroll and Savor”, an event where you can walk down Second Street and try a bit of food from all the restaurants in the area.
2. Long Beach City Beach
Before the breakers were built in the early 1940s, this beach was known for its surfing opportunities, especially longboarding.
Now the beach’s quiet waters make it a popular spot for swimming. Just keep your eyes out for stingrays in the shallower waters.
This is the main beach of Long Beach so it gets pretty crowded. Arrive early for a good spot (on the beach and for the on-street parking).
There is a small parking lot but there is also meter parking along the street so come prepared just in case the lot is full.
There are two snack bars to grab a quick bite. One is located on Junipero ave and then another on the pier.
Bike rentals are available for those who want to hit the bike trail along the beach.
Sit on the beach and watch the sunset for stunning views of the city before heading downtown for dinner at one of the many restaurants.
3. Marine Stadium Beach
Known as the beach that has hosted the Olympic rowing competition on more than one occasion, it is a popular location for water-based sports.
Built in 1932, it is the first location to have created a rowing course in the United States.
Many different events occur here like professional powerboat racing. These events bring in quite the crowd and make for a lively experience.
Looking for a venue? The beach can also be reserved for private events.
Although the beach is very busy during these events, if you visit during an off time it is one of the least populated beaches on the strip.
Relax on the beach and enjoy the entertainment as you watch some water skiing in action.
Because of the many activities that occur here, it is not a good spot if you are looking for a place to swim. The busy waters can be a bit dangerous and the constant movement can make some pretty large waves.
Parking is a breeze with a few different free parking lots to choose from.
Stretch your legs and take the 5 mile loop trail around the stadium to take in the views of the area.
4. Junipero Beach
Junipero Beach is nicknamed “Cherry Beach” or vice versa depending on who you ask. Just know that the two are interchangeable.
The vast area of sandy beach makes this a fan favorite for sunbathing and there are lifeguards on duty for those who want to go for a swim.
There are also 2 parks just a few steps away from the beach.
Bluff Park is a nice place to take a stroll and enjoy the beach from a distance.
Bixby Park is more traditional with a playground, a fitness center, and restrooms. The park also offers free yoga classes on a regular basis, so bring your yoga mat just in case!
Long Beach Museum of Modern Art is located right off the beach if you want a change of scenery. Many local artists promote their work here.
Claire’s, located within the museum, offers an epic brunch menu with breathtaking views of Catalina Island and the Queen Mary. Pick between a slew of beers, mimosas, and cocktails as you enjoy a delicious meal.
5. Mothers Beach
In 1955, Mothers Beach was created on Naples Island in the center of Alamitos Bay.
The beach gets its name from the fact that it is one of the family friendlier beaches in the area.
This is a great place to come with kids but if you’re looking for peace and quiet, look elsewhere.
There is a massive playground that was recently renovated that kids can play at safely all day long without a care in the world.
The calm, shallow water and consistent lifeguards on duty relieve some of the stress parents may have about their children swimming in a large body of water.
The beach is located on the bay so it’s not exposed to unforeseen changes in the tide like you would see on the ocean.
The flat surface of this beach makes it a great place to start your kayak or paddleboard journey.
Plan for a picnic in the grassy area that borders the beach or stop by Mom’s Beach House Café for a light lunch.
6. Alamitos Beach
This beach is both the northernmost and westernmost beach in Long Beach.
Its prime position, unlike the other beaches in the area, gives you the opportunity to admire the ocean from a different angle.
The wide sandy beach makes this a very popular location for sunbathing and calm waters draw in swimmers.
Sand courts are available for those looking for a bit more excitement. The bike trail is a haven for cyclists with a smooth, concrete path and clear views of the surrounding area.
Arrive early as the parking lot off Shoreline Drive tends to fill up quickly.
Located just a few minutes south of the East Village Arts District, there are a variety of places to explore after some quality beach time.
Head over to Broadway Corridor after a day of relaxing for dinner and drinks.
Don’t forget to check out the retro toy store and find some hidden gems in the local thrift shops.
Nightlife is booming here and many of the establishments are owned by people of the LGBT community making this a very gender diverse place to hang out.
Fun fact: Some of the scenes from the tv show Dexter were filmed at this very location!
7. Rosie’s Dog Beach
Originally established in 2001, the beach was named after a bulldog named Rosie who was lucky enough to have an owner that inspired such a dog-friendly place.
With 4 acres of freedom, this beach is an awesome place to let your furry friend burn off some steam.
Leashes are not required so let your dog run free! However, if you know your dog has some behavioral issues or isn’t very fond of other dogs, a leash is highly recommended to avoid any unwanted situations.
There are bags available on site but the beach does ask for guests to bring their own when possible.
It is important to note there is a one dog per person rule so if you have more than one pup makes sure to bring a human friend.
Although you do not need a dog to visit this beach, this is not a beach to enjoy a relaxing day. Unless you don’t mind some sand getting kicked at you, a wet dog shaking off nearby, and/or seeing a pup use the beach as its bathroom.
Canine lovers can enjoy watching dogs run around and play to their heart’s content. Have you ever seen the look of pure joy a dog has when it’s splashing around in the ocean? Totally worth a trip.
8. Peninsula Beach
This is one of the lesser known beaches so it is a good choice for those looking for a bit of privacy
The main part of this beach is pretty narrow but if you start heading up north, the sandy beach begins to widen.
Because the beach is. on a Peninsula, hence its name, one side is located on the bay and the other side is the ocean.
The bayside is popular amongst paddle boarders and kayakers whereas the ocean side provides views of boats sailing through the channel.
Take a stroll down Seaside Walk, a boardwalk that lines the beach with views of the luxurious, million-dollar neighborhood.
There are no amenities on site, besides restrooms that are located at Alamitos Park, so be sure to pack your own snacks and beverages.
9. The Horny Corner
If you are looking for a party then you should definitely head over to The Horny Corner.
With such an unusual name for a beach, you may be wondering how it came about.
Originally the corner was named after city planner, Thomas Hornay, who could be seen walking the area on a daily basis.
The name eventually evolved from Hornay’s Corner to The Horny Corner as it became a hotspot for drinking and young adult parties.
I think it can go without saying that this is not a family friendly beach and should only be visited if you’re into the party scene.
On party days the beach will be lined with cabanas, music will be blasting, and a red solo cup can be seen in just about every hand.
Catch the beach on an off day and you may just have it all to yourself so it doesn’t hurt to drive by even if you aren’t interested in a party.
10. Descanso Beach
Located on Catalina Island, this beach is not technically part of the Long Beach strip but is absolutely worth the trip.
This one-of-a-kind beach experience starts by taking the ferry from Long Beach to the town of Avalon.
Take in the views of the ocean, Long Beach in the distance, and the nearing Catalina Island.
Once you get to Avalon, you will need to take the short walk over to the Descanso Beach Club where entry costs a small fee.
Like all the beaches on the island, Descanso beach is a bit rocky but a sandy terrace was created to allow guests to lay out comfortably.
Aside from the fact that there is a bar and restaurant right on site, the beach is one of the very few beaches left that allow drinking while relaxing in the sand.
Forgot your towel? There are chaise lounges and cabana rentals available.
For a different experience, rent some snorkeling gear and check out the marine life that calls the island waters home.