Moved to Long Beach in 1979 as a teenager, watched the city go through a down hill decline rapidly, influx of refugees poured into the city by the droves, unless you live in the Naples, Belmont Shore, California Heights, or parts of Bixby Knolls, you will live in a neighborhood surrounded by poverty, gang members, and drugs. People go to the aquarium of the Pacific and Shoreline Village popular tourist sites but these areas have also experienced decline. Parking is horrible and you will get a ticket. I think this city has more apartments than any city in the U.S. The movie Freedom Writers was pretty accurate with its depiction of the disparity between wealth and poverty in Long Beach. Glad I left many years ago. Went there 5/1/2017 to see a family member, felt like I was in a third world country. I wish my family member would move, but for some unknown reason they actually like the city. I made my 2.5 hour drive home to the beautiful wine country, won't be returning to the LBC any time soon.
I've lived in Long Beach, near downtown, for over one year now. It's strange; most people that live in Long Beach absolutely love it and it befuddles me. I can't find one redeeming quality about the city. I have tried to give it time to grow on me and it's only gotten worse with each passing day. First, as anyone who lives here can attest to, parking is atrocious. It is literally the most unhappy part of living in Long Beach. It is a chronic source of daily stress that alone makes it not worth living here unless you find an apartment with assigned parking. I could write a book about the parking situation alone, but you'll have to trust me when I tell you that it is horrific. Second, it is dirty as hell. Litter covers the sidewalks and streets. People put their furniture out on the sidewalk when they no longer want a couch or a mattress and it sits there for weeks. No one picks up after their dogs and there is poop everywhere. I have never encountered so much litter in my entire life. I get the impression that no one gives a hoot about the community and just dumps their proverbial and literal crap wherever they feel like it. Third, and related to the parking, it is crowded. People, often homeless or seedy, sketched out people are everywhere and there is no escaping it. Fourth, it is noisy. Yes, it is a true city and some noise is to be expected. I have learned that I'm not a city person since living in Long Beach, but I want to believe that other "big cities" aren't as miserable as Long Beach. If you like having to drive around for over an hour to find a parking spot ON A DAILY BASIS, stepping over and around litter and dog crap to get around town, etc., then hey, more power to you and perhaps Long Beach is for you.
I lived in long beach for 2.5 years, it was more towards the border of Lakewood. There's never a dull moment, let me tell you. for starters, there's people everywhere. but the cities surrounding are really nice. i liked my area a ton, there's always something to do. grocery stores were close by, i actually was able to walk to work. I was close to Lakewood mall, so shopping was never a problem. if you go down the coast, there's a billion things to do in DTLB. the aquarium, all the shops and restaurants or even cruising pch. its a different lifestyle up there. the nightlife is crazy, downtown has tons of bars, and great places to hang out. the weather is always nice up there, if a storm does trail up that way, it never lasts. where i lived i never saw many homeless people, or broken down homes. it wasn't "ghetto". but don't get me wrong, some places are. But that's easily solved by a quick drive around to see what you like and don't. LB is home to millions of hole in the wall places that are SO delicious. and people/neighbors are friendly as well. its also in the middle of everything, if you wanted to head to Santa Monica for the day or down to orange county, its doable. the 405 sucks, but you can always take the scenic pch. i would live here again if the chance came up. Oh! and they also have dog beaches and parks for your mutt. people love their dogs in long beach.
the things i don't like vary. with any city it comes complete with a**hole kids who like to tag walls/buildings and blow up fireworks at god-awful hours. or drag racing down the street at 3 am.
traffic sucks on most busy streets, but that's common in a lot of cities.
I have traveled to Long Beach, CA and it is breathtaking. Long Beach is one of the most beautiful places in Southern California. My family and I traveled to Long Beach for a Carnival Cruise and decided to stay a couple of days after the cruise. When we first arrived we were amazed at all of the cruise ships at the terminal. Long Beach is one of the popular places to cruise from in California. When we arrived from the cruise, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. I love sea animals and this was a place I had to see. I was glad that we went because it is one of the biggest aquariums with so many animals. My daughter loved it and the 3D movies they had. Some of my family wanted to see a bit of history so we went to the Queen Mary. We had the opportunity to eat on the ship and even stay in one of the rooms. Spending the night can be a bit costly if traveling with a large group so we chose not to do that.
My family and I traveled from the east coast and did not realize how much of price difference things were going to be. We definitely had to re-establish our budget because food was more expensive than we anticipated. There are so many wonderful restaurants offering the best seafood you could ever taste. We dined at Bubba Gump Shrimp and the shrimp was extra delicious. It was like we were eating it right from out of the water. We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott on 1st Street because I am a rewards member. It was very comfortable and we were so close to everything. We will definitely return soon.
As long-term residents of Los Angeles, that big suburb of Long Beach (!), I have come to enjoy visits to the city of Long Beach for the many wonderful places to have Tea. I know that Tea Houses are not the first thing people think about when they think of the city on the bay, next to the busiest sea port on the West Coast (San Pedro), but Long Beach features some of the most charming tea houses in Southern California.
The three most special Tea Houses couldn't be more different - but each have their own special charm. Call Jane at "The Chocolate Box", just East of the Long Beach Airport, and have a small, virtually private tea with a special friend. Or, call Elise's in the Bixby Knolls neighborhood of Long Beach for good food and a welcoming atmosphere. Finally, it is hard to compare The Vintage Tea Leaf because it is in a class all it's own. Call Beverly, the "Tea Mistress" for one of the most enjoyable tea experiences of your life.
Long Beach, however, also has a wonderful waterfront shopping district with restaurants and a classy hat shoppe (Shoreline Village). Near the shore is also the Convention Center, smaller than Los Angeles, but featuring very interesting events for anyone, within a walk of the Long Beach Aquarium, a world-class destination. To enjoy Long Beach restaurants and shopping, try to find a parking spot and walk up and down Belmont Shores. Finally, for a great evening, consider getting very reasonably priced tickets to watch the "Ice Dogs" minor-league Hockey Team. To be perfectly honest, my husband and I have given serious thought to abandoning Los Angeles for the pleasant attractions of Long Beach. You will know why after only a day or two.