Long Beach is a significantly sized city in Southern California. It often gets overlooked for the larger cities in the state, of which there are six, but at over 460,000 people, Long Beach is a city of meaningful size. Despite its smaller size, it is one of the most important port cities in the world, and the second most active in the country. Long Beach is a thriving community with active sports, arts and culture and education options within the city. The largest university in town, and one of the biggest in the whole state, is California State University, Long Beach. With an enrolment of more than 35,000 students, it is a truly massive school.
When to Search
Looking for an apartment in Long Beach shouldn't take more than a full two months. If you start looking maybe 10 weeks before your projected move in date, you will also be first in line as new apartments start coming on the market. This is a good strategy for finding a place in your preferred neighborhood.
Staying in the Know
Long Beach landlords aren't ignorant to the fact that their apartments are more expensive than those in most of the country. As a result, they're going to need to know where the money is coming from to pay for these suites. A good strategy is to find a larger place and several roommates to lower each individual's monthly rent commitment.
Life in Long Beach
With 38 bus routes within the city, Long Beach has a very practical transit system. For a speedy alternative in the summers, there is a water taxi that can ferry you up and down the coastline. Even getting into the heart of L.A. is no problem, as there are rail lines that connect Long Beach to the greater L.A. transit system.
Where to play
Long Beach is a hub for culture in California. The Long Beach Museum of Art in particular is worth a visit by everyone who is culturally inclined. Gondola rides through the canals provides a date-night experience that is unlike anything in most of the country. Racing fans will love Long Beach, as the Long Beach Grand Prix has been a community institution for 40 years.
Life under the sea is celebrated at the Aquarium of the Pacific. This exhibit has more than 11,000 creatures for you to observe, and is a favourite amongst adults and children. Another local attraction is Naples Island, which is one of the highest-end parts of town. Many people just like to wander the streets and enjoy the atmosphere. Many of the attractions in the city that people enjoy the most are along the waterfront. This includes the spectacular beaches, but also the many impressive ships and vessels docked along the water. Taking a cruise out on the water is one of the best ways to enjoy Long Beach.
Sometimes it’s nice to keep things simple. If you're just looking for a classic steakhouse that serves great food, with the bonus of a very comprehensive wine list, then the 555 East American Steakhouse should be where you spend your next night out. For something a little more exotic, try Open Sesame, a restaurant that specializes in Lebanese and Middle Eastern food. If you want to take advantage of being so close to the ocean, then a visit to the Pier 76 Fish Grill is a great way to enjoy some fresh seafood. If you want to eschew the west coast vibe and instead find some true soul food, then you need to go to LBJ’s Fine Foods.
Sitting right on the Oceanside and making handcrafted beer, the Belmont Brewing Company is definitely one of the best beer bars in town. If you want some fantastic barbecued food to accompany some handcrafted beer, then you should probably head to the Beachwood BBQ and Brewing establishment. you're going to run into a lot of the college crowd here, but Shannon’s Bayshore Saloon is a long time staple of the Long Beach party scene. If you're looking for a totally different experience try the 36 36 club. This is a classic dive bar with a tonne of character, right on Broadway, and within walking distance of several other great bars.
The Carpenter Performing Arts Center is located on California State University, Long Beach campus, and is the perfect place to catch a concert, dance performance, play or other presentation. The Long Beach Museum of Art is a very well known local cultural institution. In addition to a large permanent collection, the Museum runs a large education program, and brings numerous other exhibits from around the world through it's doors. Long Beach is also home to the Museum of Latin American Art, and is the only facility on the west side of the country to specialize solely in presenting the art from Latin American artists.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is certainly one of the biggest events that draws people from outside the city to town each year. This event is a great place to watch celebrities even if you don't enjoy racing, but it doesn't get much more thrilling than an Indycar race through the downtown core of a city. If you're looking for something a little more laid back, you may want to take in one of the many events associated with the Festival of the Sea that runs throughout the summer. Music fans typically come out in droves on Labour Day weekend for the Long Beach Blues Festival, and outdoor gathering of the very best names in blues music.
The largest shopping district in Long Beach is certainly the Belmont Shore. There are well over 250 stores within the small, walkable neighbourhood. Naples Island is also a great place to shop. Even if you don't want to actually buy anything, the scenic boutiques and beautiful landscaping make it a great way to spend a day. You can also have a great shopping experience in the downtown core. Long Beach CityPlace is a newer retail development that sits right downtown. 3rd, 6th, Pine Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard mark the borders of the new development. It has been well designed to allow people to shop on foot while also having ample opportunities to stop for food and drink while running their errands.
If you ask anyone in Long Beach which professional sports teams they support, you'll get answers that almost universally lean towards the L.A. teams in all the major leagues. However, if you ask about NCAA sports, you're going to get a completely different answer. In this instance, they support the Long Beach State 49ers almost without question. Long Beach State has a number of heated rivalries in a variety of sports, mostly with it's California neighbours. Call State Fullerton and Long Beach State have a long-standing Basketball rivalry, for instance, and UC Irvine is another team that Long Beach fans have no love for.
In Long Beach, being outdoors means being on the beach, or being on the water. Surfing in particular is a very popular activity with many people. In fact, there are people who move to this part of the country specifically to help satisfy their love of surfing. However, due to the sheltered nature of the water around Long Beach, you do have to travel slightly further afield in order to catch any waves. In addition, getting out and sailing on the water or heading out on ocean fishing expeditions can be a great way to make the best of the wonderful location of Long Beach. If you like your outdoors recreation a little more relaxing, you can always stretch out on the beach itself. There are several beaches along and nearby the community, with the closest to downtown being Alamitos beach.