An oceanside city located just south of Los Angeles, Long Beach is famous for its vibrant maritime atmosphere accented by harbors, marinas, and beachfront hotels. This bustling city is the permanent home of the Queen Mary and a gateway to the beautiful Catalina Island. Entertainment on the water ranges from fishing charters and whale-watching cruises to a diverse range of water sports. Moreover, wide beaches welcome visitors looking to soak up the sun. You can also explore world-class museums, sprawling shopping centers, and the Aquarium of the Pacific, a family favorite. Whether you’re seeking an upscale beach house or a hotel with a balcony overlooking the ocean, these nine neighborhoods are some of the best places to find your perfect Long Beach vacation rental.
1. Downtown Long Beach
When you walk through downtown Long Beach, it’s easy to see why the neighborhood is a tourist favorite. Diverse dining options, live music, and art galleries await alongside comedy clubs and the famous Pike outlets. Staying here puts you just steps away from the Waterfront, where you can gaze at sea life at the Aquarium of the Pacific, enjoy a picnic at one of the parks, or stroll through the charming boardwalk shops at Shoreline Village. This neighborhood is also a hub of Long Beach’s public transportation system, so you can easily walk outside your vacation rental and explore the city car-free.
Made up of three islands on Alamitos Bay, this Marina neighborhood is the perfect place to stay if you love to be out on the water. Take a cruiser, sailboat or charming canopy boat for a relaxing cruise along the canals to see the beautiful waterfront homes, or rent some kayaks for a morning ride. You can even ride a gondola along the Italian-inspired canals. For some afternoon fun, play a game of volleyball or play in the water at secluded Mothers Beach.
3. Bixby Knolls
Just north of downtown Long Beach on the other side of the San Diego Freeway, this charming neighborhood hosts beautiful suburban homes and a quiet atmosphere. While you are just a short bus ride away from the Waterfront, the beaches, and Catalina Express, a vacation rental here lets you escape from the bustling city for a quiet afternoon in the yard or porch of your home away from home. Bixby Knolls also boasts walking trails along the Dominguez Gap Wetlands, the Rancho Los Cerritos museum for a taste of 19th-century ranch life, and easy access to the Lakewood Golf Course.
4. Belmont Shore
Just west of Naples, Belmont Shore offers ocean-view condos and quiet residential streets lined with beautiful Mediterranean-style homes. Take a walk along 2nd Street to sample diverse culinary offerings and browse boutiques, or take the beach boardwalk to find the perfect place on the sand to set up your recliners and beach umbrella. Belmont Shore also features a popular dog beach for families traveling with their pooches. Looking for some more adventure? Enjoy some kite boarding, kite surfing, and other watersports along the open beaches.
5. Alamitos Beach
Book a rental in the next shorefront neighborhood east of downtown to enjoy easy access to top Long Beach entertainment. Alamitos Beach also boasts a popular stretch of beach where you can sunbathe or enjoy a game of volleyball. Be sure to check out Broadway for cafes, boutiques, Mexican diners and Italian restaurants. Whether you’re looking for an oceanfront condo or a tranquil apartment along the residential streets, you’re sure to find the perfect vacation home for your Long Beach adventure.
6. Bluff Park
Travel just east of Alamitos Beach to reach Bluff Park, a laid-back residential neighborhood where waterfront beauty takes center stage. Enjoy an afternoon stroll along the namesake Bluff Park nestled on a bluff over the ocean. Here you can ride a beach cruiser or walk along the paved pathway, or you can swim and sunbathe on the sandy beach below. For an eclectic shopping and dining experience, take a walk down Broadway. Be sure to take some time to visit the Long Beach Museum of Art.
7. East Village
Just east of the busy downtown Long Beach, East Village extends even more metropolitan entertainment amidst high-rise beach condos and chic apartments. Boasting a rich collection of upscale boutiques, sidewalk cafes and art galleries within walking distance of your rental, it’s no wonder East Village is sometimes called the Arts District. Visit the Saturday farmer’s market for preparing some healthy meals at your rental, and visit the Museum of Latin American Art for a unique cultural experience.
8. California Heights
This inland neighborhood just south of Bixby Knolls boasts a residential feel, featuring historic suburban homes built in the Spanish architectural style. The tree-lined streets are the perfect place to kick back after a whale-watching cruise or a tour of the Queen Mary, and easy access to the Long Beach Airport makes California Heights a convenient place to book a rental if you’re flying in.
9. Marina Pacifica
Marina Pacifica rests just east of Alamitos Bay near Naples and Belmont Shore, but its docks and streets of upscale vacation homes boast a charm all their own. Step right out of your boathouse to take your craft out on the water or head to the outdoor Marina Pacifica Mall to explore shops or catch a movie on a rainy day. You can also eat out at one of the seaside restaurants or enjoy a huge selection of family-friendly water sports.
10. West Side
Just across the Los Angeles River from downtown, this residential neighborhood puts you close to the action while hosting a wide selection of authentic Mexican restaurants to enjoy after a day of sightseeing. Staying here also provides easy access to the Queen Mary, a luxury liner turned museum.