Top 12 Beaches in Long Beach

Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Blessed with over seven miles of prime shoreline and near-perfect weather through much of the year, Long Beach tempts visitors outside to enjoy fun in the sand and surf. The city’s beaches appeal to everyone offering activities from surfing and sandcastle building to seaside cycling and beach volleyball.

Beach NameDescription
Junipero BeachPopular for its lively atmosphere and rainbow lifeguard tower. Offers beach volleyball and tennis, and close to cafes and shops.
Alamitos BeachKnown for soft sand, palm trees, and sunsets. Offers swimming, volleyball, and sandcastle building.
Shoreline BeachOffers scenic views along Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. Popular for running, walking, and cycling.
Rosie’s Dog BeachAllows leashed dogs with over an acre of off-leash area. Offers oceanfront views and a dog washing station.
Cherry BeachOffers a quiet atmosphere with clean sands and volleyball courts. Views of Long Beach marina and Naples Island.
Granada Launch Ramp BeachIdeal for kayaking and paddleboarding with views of Alamitos Bay and the San Gabriel mountains.
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier BeachFeatures fishing off the pier and ocean views. Close to Ruby’s Diner at the pier’s end.
Peninsula BeachA hidden gem for avoiding crowds, with calm coastal waters and sunsets.
Rainbow Harbor Esplanade BeachPerfect for seawatching and dining al fresco with views of yachts and sailboats.
Belmont Pool and BeachHosts the largest oceanfront pool in the US next to a bayfront beach.
Bluff Park BeachLocated at Bluff Park with family-friendly recreation, a bike path, and picnic benches.
ConclusionLong Beach offers a variety of beaches for different preferences, from lively scenes to serene spots.

Whether families, couples, surfers or fitness seekers, Long Beach beaches have it all. Here are the top beaches you must visit to best experience Long Beach’s seaside culture and coastal charm.

Junipero Beach

Name and Location: Junipero Beach resides along Ocean Boulevard near Belmont Shore spanning over a mile of coastline distinguished by volleyball nets marking wide sandy expanses popular for recreation and relaxing against picturesque backdrops.

History and Significance: Bearing the name of Spanish missionary Junípero Serra whose influence endures across California, early 20th century bathhouses first serviced visitors enjoying mild surf suitable for swimming and sport making it an enduring gathering point memorialized after 1940s dredging lengthened the picturesque shore notable for welcoming diverse crowds finding community upon golden sands.

What to Expect: Beachgoers claim spots on the sand taking to the regular waves under lifeguard watch or playing casual games amidst summertime beach umbrella forests. Iconic beachfront homes flank a walkable paved shoreline trail perfect for jogging or sunsets over the open ocean accompanied by the bustling tempo of nearby attractions beckoning along dynamic stretches of coast.

Visitor Information: Year-round daily access with on street parking or paid lots available. Restrooms and showers situated along bike path routes stretching for miles. Standard safety regulations apply to swimming areas with seasonal towers staffed. Beach wheelchair rentals available during summer months based on reservations.

Situated right along the hopping East Village Arts District, Junipero Beach enjoys immense popularity thanks to its lively atmosphere and photogenic rainbow lifeguard tower flanked by palm trees. Cool off body surfing the waves before stretching out on the sand to work on your tan against picture-perfect oceanback drops. Junipero also features courts for friendly games of beach volleyball and beach tennis amidst cool ocean breezes. The location offers prime people watching and easy access to gourmet cafes, hip bars and creative boutiques just steps from shore.

Alamitos Beach

Name and Location: Alamitos Beach is centrally situated oceanfront in downtown Long Beach starting at the entrance to Rainbow Harbor past golden sand beaches fronting a mix of high rise hotels and historic homes leading to popular volleyball courts bookended by the Convention Center and Broadway retail corridor.

History and Significance: Appearing on maps as Willmore City when early 20th century oil wildcatting afforded local development converting wetlands into defined coastlines edged by spacious public sands prior to bathhouses lining the prominent Walk of 1000 Lights, Alamitos Beach gained notability hosting athletic games and Queen Pageants decades before a revitalized shoreline distal lifestyle centered downtown’s identity upon the crescent coast.

What to Expect: A wide sandy span speckled with umbrellas welcomes beachgoers seeking space for blanket tanning sessions, active fun tossing footballs or frisbees and seasonal/holiday festivals with sites to relax watching steady waves roll in as people pass on Oceanside paths connecting active tourists to adjoining shopping/dining destinations throughout this central stretch of the city’s celebrated balmy shores.

Visitor Information: Year-round beach access daily 6AM-10PM when tower staff rotates. Enjoy nearby bike/pedestrian routes spanning miles with convenient public parking along Ocean Blvd past downtown heading east. Beach wheelchairs for visitors with disabilities require reservations based on limited availability during peak season months when highest crowds populate the sands.

Alamitos Beach brings soft sand, swaying palms and stellar sunsets together for the quintessential California beach experience long adored. Long Beach locals flock here to swim in the sheltered shore break, play spike ball games, and build epic sand creations. Join a pick-up game of beach volleyball or just chill on a beach blanket with snacks while live bands rock the stage at the beach entrance during summertime Beach Streets events. When hunger calls, Belmont Shore’s popular eateries are a quick walk away.

Shoreline Beach

Name and Location: Shoreline Beach resides in the southeastern curve of downtown Long Beach past Alamitos Beach situated between winding pathways holding historic homes on Ocean Blvd near Belmont Pier and the former Pool out to winding jetties separating coasts named for a Colorado developer who bought local lands.

History and Significance: Bearing founder Robert Shoreline’s name despite never traveling west, early developments dotting his acquired real estate first serviced oilmen and families enjoying temperate climates along gently sloping shores in the early 20th century decades before towers watched children play in modest waves after dredging sustained renowned sandy stretches welcoming generations to lounge beside the oceanfront walk lining Alamitos Bay’s inlet through modern times.

What to Expect: Protected from prevailing swells sloshing other nearby beaches, visitors enjoy calmer chest-high waves drawing beginner surfers and stand up paddleboarders drifting over sandy bottoms visible through translucent brine swarming summer crowds flocking near reservable fire pits and volleyball posts with bikeway access paralleling picturesque homes neighboring scenic vistas where friends congregate beside eternal Pacific expanses.

Visitor Information: Daily seasonal lifeguard staffing between Tower 9 & 10 with restrooms. Ample street and paid lot parking off Ocean Blvd past Junipero. Belmont Pier shops/restaurants walkably nearby. Generally largest crowds coinciding with hot weekends though space allows comfortable personal stretches along this straight, 1/3 mile-long ribbon of scenic shoreline open year-round.

Stretch your legs beachside while getting front row views of the glittering blue Pacific at Long Beach’s scenic Shoreline Beach situated right along Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor. Here runners, walkers and cyclists cruise down the paved beach trail with the ocean as their motivational backdrop. Others sit in the sand by towering art sculptures along the path like The Pike and Kiss of the Rain. Shoreline Beach also grants a prized vista point for photographing the graceful Aquarium of the Pacific building and adjacent waterfront attractions.

Rosie’s Dog Beach

Name and Location: Located just east of Belmont Pier, Rosie’s Dog Beach allows leashed dogs along the shoreline providing pet owners perfect views watching bright orange sunrises and pink sunsets over the ocean from the sand.

History and Significance: Named after the English bulldog mascot of a 1940s lifeguard, the only legal off-leash area was sanctioned in 2001 after activists showed generations of responsible coastal canine recreation. With separate zones for large and small four-legged friends to roam chasing waves alongside owners valueing quality time outdoors, Rosie’s membership grows welcoming diversities celebrated through solstice gatherings.

What to Expect: Beach walkers with pets in tow stake out spots along the surf observing pelicans diving for fish as joyful dogs socialize chasing tennis balls across wet sands between cooling dips under young owner’s watch before sunset hues stretch over gentle swells broken by playing dolphins saying farewell to fading amber waves as the onshore breeze hints night’s approach.

Visitor Information: Always open for public use with onsite parking along Ocean Blvd near the entrance path. Respect 10PM curfew and required leashing policies with harness recommended. Bring waste bags and water for dogs while their humans pack picnic blankets, jackets and cameras to capture dusk magic.

Long Beach earns props for being one of the few beaches in Southern California to permit leashed dogs, to the delight of pet owners. Rosie’s Dog Beach offers over an acre of off leash frolic in the sand and sea for beloved pooches alongside green lawn spaces for picnicking before trying out the dog washing station. Humans counterparts enjoy stellar views of oceanfront homes across the bay and prime sunset watching come early evening. It remains one of Long Beach’s most popular beaches year-round given its peak amenities catering to dogs and owners alike.

Cherry Beach

Name and Location: Found beside the quaint Belmont Shore neighborhood of Long Beach, slender Cherry Beach offers visitors a short-length shoreline and grassy parks spanning no more than a few blocks just east of Rosie’s Dog Beach playing home to neighborhood get-togethers thanks to public amenities.

History and Significance: Historically known as Mother’s Beach due to a woman petitioning the city 1932 to dedicate parks along this one-block section safe for children playing, it adopted Cherry Avenue’s fitting moniker decades later while retaining quintessential community importance allowing easy beach mingling aside volleyball courts relegated here benefiting residents treasuring this mini oasis perfect for casually enjoying ocean air.

What to Expect: Beachgoers scope out limited sand patches to toss frisbees and footballs separated by rock jetties from gentle shore break popular for novice bodyboarding kids playing in salty waters within close sight of parents barbecuing or reading atop picnic blankets sprawled across the sizable grass park directly adjoining with tree-dotted facilities.

Visitor Information: Open daily with parking along Cherry and Ocean Blvd. Lifeguard staffing rotates seasonally. Restroom building onsite. Street access via two paths leading through charming Belmont Heights streets blending nearby homes with visitors fortunate discovering this hidden recreational jewel blocks from bustling 2nd Street plaza dining.

Cherry Beach offers a more relaxed beachgoing vibe on the quaint peninsula tucked south of Alamitos Beach perfect for escaping crowds without sacrificing scenic shoreline. Beach goers delight in the shallow waters, clean sands, beach volleyball courts and sublime views across to Long Beach marina and Naples Island. Come during the week or early on weekends to best enjoy serenity along its peaceful sandy shores. This lesser-discovered gem stays pleasantly uncrowded compared to beaches farther north.

Granada Launch Ramp Beach

Name and Location: Off Ocean Boulevard situated along Alamitos Bay, Granada Beach by the public launch ramp offers visitors a unique seaside spot for enjoying refreshing ocean air while watching boats and watercraft launch across Marines Memorial Park near the historical bathhouse turned education center.

History and Significance: Appearing on maps first 1928 when city leaders approved local “motor boat county park,” funds later sculpted lands into a recreational boating hub with improvements like the 1940 bathhouse now on the National Register of Historic Places serving beachgoers and complementing adjoining veteran memorials facing a scenic channel accessing the Pacific sailing generations navigate as a hallmark site.

What to Expect: Spectators congregate on ADA-accessiblestrips of sand witnessing vessels and personal watercraft lower into glassy estuary bays via the two-lane cement ramp angling into waters many learn first lessons before claiming ocean swells while families picnic nearby play structures overlooking postcard Alamitos Bay panoramas from this windswept cove parents monitor toddlers roaming near calm shoreline shallows.

Visitor Information: Year-round beach walking access with Marine Bureau officers stationed at times. Restrooms and pathways make navigating Granada’s sights wheelchair friendly. Parking fills up during summer weekends in public lots between Ocean Blvd and Marina Drive when crowds populate the beach and grass patches ideal for hosting gatherings small or large right up to the sand.

Surrounded by Alamitos Bay’s tranquil waters with the San Gabriel mountains as the backdrop, Granada Launch Ramp Beach proves a complete charmer. Besides gorgeous scenery in every direction, the beach also provides a launch point for kayaks and stand up paddleboards to explore the bay’s sailing culture and waterside homes. Landlubbers find appeal in beach breezy afternoons spent flying kites, beachcombing, or spying herons and other wildlife native to the bay habitat along its sandy shores and grass park spaces.

Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier Beach

Name and Location: Below Belmont Pier at 15 39th Place rests a wide short-length beach named after the landmark structure spanning concrete supports into the Pacific visited by sightseers and anglers alike seeking out recreational enjoyment along an eclectic neighboring shoreline.

History and Significance: Appearing first in 1915 preceding various amusement iterations dotting the coast, Belmont Pier’s wooden pilings 15 feet above waves have long inspired beach layouts still welcoming contemporary lounging and play where families admire Ferris Wheels looming behind lifeguard towers monitoring designated swimming areas many learn to ride ripples running back to sea as a staple Americana backdrop beckoning adventures.

What to Expect: Beachgoers position umbrellas near towering barnacle-crusted pillars angling 1⁄4 mile over oceans some brave diving from between unitary amenities like remodeled restrooms/showers accessible after a short walk down stair ramps to quality sand grooming terrain for casual volleyballs and bocce players coated by glowing sunsets drawing appreciative spectators against the prominent pier many wet rods cast lines hoping dinner bites back.

Visitor Information: Year-round beach access with amenities like picnic tables, restrooms and staffed lifeguard towers in season from Tower 11 & 12. Limited beach parking by all-daystructure lots otherwise paid avenues lining nearby Belmont Shore neighborhoods ending in prime sunset viewing atop the historic pier.

Name and Location: Below Belmont Pier at 15 39th Place rests a wide short-length beach named after the landmark structure spanning concrete supports into the Pacific visited by sightseers and anglers alike seeking out recreational enjoyment along an eclectic neighboring shoreline.

History and Significance: Appearing first in 1915 preceding various amusement iterations dotting the coast, Belmont Pier’s wooden pilings 15 feet above waves have long inspired beach layouts still welcoming contemporary lounging and play where families admire Ferris Wheels looming behind lifeguard towers monitoring designated swimming areas many learn to ride ripples running back to sea as a staple Americana backdrop beckoning adventures.

What to Expect: Beachgoers position umbrellas near towering barnacle-crusted pillars angling 1⁄4 mile over oceans some brave diving from between unitary amenities like remodeled restrooms/showers accessible after a short walk down stair ramps to quality sand grooming terrain for casual volleyballs and bocce players coated by glowing sunsets drawing appreciative spectators against the prominent pier many wet rods cast lines hoping dinner bites back.

Visitor Information: Year-round beach access with amenities like picnic tables, restrooms and staffed lifeguard towers in season from Tower 11 & 12. Limited beach parking by all-daystructure lots otherwise paid avenues lining nearby Belmont Shore neighborhoods ending in prime sunset viewing atop the historic pier.

Extending over a third of a mile into the sea makes the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier Beach a prime spot for stellar ocean views back on shore and extreme water play at the pier’s end above surging swells. Anglers flock to catch croaker, mackerel, halibut and more from this iconic wooden pier while visitors stroll out to the Ruby’s Diner at its end. Back on the beach, families splash about in the shore break and breathe in that refreshing ocean air under this famous local landmark.

Peninsula Beach

Name and Location: On the oceanside edge of Long Beach’s affluent Peninsula enclave, a short residential beach span offers selective neighborhood access for members steps from lavish Naples Island and Bay front homes rarely glimpsed by visitors tucked off the mainstream sandy coastline map most tourists never knew existed.

History and Significance: Privately managed by the adjacent Penguin Isle club since first developed for members-only decades ago, documenting human activity predating land deeds proves difficult given exclusivity isolated from adjoining public shorelines yet its existence confirms charming beaches indeed stretch the perimeter fringes continuous as the terrain allows, rewarding select residents the luxury of oceanfront relaxation within a stone’s throw reach.

What to Expect: With membership requirements barring access for outsiders, expect residents only lazily beachgoing around high tide marks when rocky outcroppings discourage lingering through textured sands smoothed occasionally by machinery grooming modest swaths mimicking what public groundskeepers routinely perform nearby to maintain enjoyable lounging perfect for entertaining or reading absent busy crowds common further down coveted coasts.

Visitor Information: Daily suited staff monitor authorized guest access by footpath through the private club where amenities like restrooms and attendants assist those preapproved alongside parties of members responsible for signing in small groups rarely exceeding a few dozen during the warmer seasons when increased security protects elite owners lucky enough enjoying mild waves steps from backyards.

Tucked at the eastern most tip of Shoreline Marina lies hidden gem Peninsula Beach, a peaceful, almost secret slice of sand great for avoiding crowds. Beach goers lay out beach towels on welcoming sands with sights framed by Shoreline Village, swaying boats and the expansive Vincent Thomas Bridge. Picnic and dip your toes in the calm coastal waters by day before catching a technicolor sunset over the sea come dusk. Given its location at the end of a small peninsula, only those “in the know” discover just how charming this mini beach can be.

Rainbow Harbor Esplanade Beach

Name and Location: Adjoining Long Beach’s scenic Rainbow Harbor with panoramas of the Aquarium, historic Queen Mary and high-rise hotels, the Esplanade Beach offers guests lounging beside a paved pedestrian path circling the harbor packing amenities facilitating public recreation.

History and Significance: Constructed 1983 during ambitious waterfront improvements converting industrial shipping lands into downtown tourism landmarks anchored by resorts and attractions, Esplanade Beach’s creation introduced accessible hospitality features like concessions and rentals to previously private shores benefitting millions able enjoying year-round coastal access regardless physical limitations thanks to enhancements easing oceanfront exploration.

What to Expect: Families push strollers past palm trees personalizing the sidewalk’s edge while children build sandcastles near fire pits adults reserve for gatherings with views of rainbow-painted fountains dancing hours after the neighboring entertainment complex lights up behind the walkable breakwall wave barrier contrasting the vast working harbor sharing endless memories made simple overlooking sublime sunsets that inspired such inclusive shoreline spaces built for all to embrace seaside serenity practically at their sandy feet.

Visitor Information: Daily seasonal access 6AM through 10PM when rangers assist visitors around the paved walkway perfuming salty shore air. Beach wheelchairs available onsite through advanced reservations. Nearby garage parking generally $1/hour otherwise valet queue assistance manages traffic flow guest services facilitate.

Offering a premier venue for seawatching without setting foot in the sand, the Rainbow Harbor Esplanade makes an ideal spot for families and couples to admire Long Beach’s nautical sights. Get eye-level with everything from yachts and sailboats to kayaks and pedal boats gliding through the harbor waters. Then head ashore to snap selfies with the harbor lighthouse, relax on benches beside dancing fountains, or dine al fresco overlooking the marina activity. The views here compete with the best shoreline vistas around.

Belmont Pool and Beach

Name and Location: Fronting a modern public pool facility on Ocean Blvd, Belmont Beach beside the former 1960s Olympic venue welcomes families and athletes to quality sands every year as seasonal camps help adventurers safely enjoy the refreshing Pacific steps from unique neighborhood eateries and seaside attractions.

History and Significance: Though Belmont Plaza Pool garnered attention hosting the Olympics then later gone neglected until demolition 2016 for safety reasons paved way for updated aquatic amenities, adjoining beach access consistently served visitors arriving decades gaining distinction through junior guard camps generations learn fundamentals across sand courts now dedicated for pros teaching lessons atop this renowned stretch.

What to Expect: Parents pulling wagons follow cement paths to gates opening upon a short-span beach where junior lifeguards blow whistles guiding kids through ocean safety basics before competitive games start as teachers review techniques for managing riptides and rescues across designated zones kids clamor signing up for between summer sessions playing out like traditions here where many firsts begin wading waist-deep building courage to dive headfirst into challenging waves soon crested confidently after countdowns commence!

Visitor Information: Seasonal tower staffing between Memorial Day and Labor Day beefed up during Junior Lifeguard day camps weekdays. New amenities like temporary showers/restrooms and renovated facilities available when gates open at sunrise. Parking fills up early on lot between towers so prepare to walk short distances if arriving later.

Boasting the largest oceanfront pool in the US, Belmont Pool sees hardcore swimmers and leisure waders share lane lines against stunning sea views. But a bayfront beach also beckons right next door to this iconic Olympic-sized pool. While competitive aquatic athletes may prefer training laps inside, families often pivot to the beach outside to make the most of a day enjoying the seaside. The prime location places ocean breezes, rolling waves, concession stands and ideal proximity side by side for carefree days frolicking oceanside by the pool.

Bluff Park Beach

Name and Location: Wedged between Ocean Boulevard and Bluff Park overlooking Alamitos Bay, a secluded crescent-shaped sandy beach south of Belmont Pier offers visitors a convenient spot for dog walking or sunset gazing near apartment towers backing the public shoreline by Bixby Park playgrounds frequented mostly by locals.

History and Significance: Virtually unknown on tourist maps, the beach predates adjoining mid-century developments when industry still dominated the area prior to late 60’s high-rises following efforts preserving scenic coastal edges for public recreation allowing access to moderate surf by refineries in the name of leisure near sectors focused increasingly on commercialization and tourism matching local economic goals.

What to Expect: Beach walkers stroll dogs along textured sands widest at mid-tides passing youths cliff jumping into the bay from short bluffs bound between jetties minimizing swells that lap against miles of seawalls built protecting growing inland neighborhoods who gradually encroached upon this little-discovered refuge still serving community gatherings around fire pits claiming oceanfront picnics where barbecues smoke until the falling sun sinks behind the silhouette of Bixby Park’s mature trees after painting the crests amber hues.

Visitor Information: Year-round public access with free curbside parking lining Ocean Blvd. No lifeguard services given smaller waves drawing mostly neighborhood walkers. Portable restrooms available seasonally. Prime sunset viewing from park benches facing west over the vast Pacific expanse with average crowds outside of scheduled events at the adjoining grass field.

Tucked at the end of charming Bluff Park in Belmont Shores, Bluff Park Beach delights thanks to gorgeous vistas, family-friendly recreation, an adjacent bike path connecting to shoreline attractions and plenty of facilities. Construct picnic benches allow mealtime with a view while a large playground entertains kids for hours. Leashed dogs love romping through the shore’s gentle surf as kite flyers watch from the bluff above. Given its peaceful atmosphere yet close proximity to Bluff Park happenings and Belmont Shores’ restaurants and boutiques, this beach see high demand.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly Long Beach spoils beachgoers with options no matter your preferences, from lively social and activity scenes to more locally loved hideaways promising serenity beside the sea. Families flock to several hotspots offering recreation and amenities catering to children yet couples and solo travelers uncover their own less-discovered haunts for idle relaxation beachside as well. The diversity across Long Beach beaches guarantees memorable sun-filled, sand-between-toe days by the Pacific Ocean for all.

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