Located just south of Los Angeles on the boundary with Orange County, Long Beach is a popular tourist destination on America’s Pacific Coast. It is often regarded as one of the country’s most diverse cities, giving a very multicultural feel and providing some unique attractions!
As the city is quite densely populated with many different areas in such a small space, finding the right area to stay in can be difficult. That’s where we come in!
We’ve created this guide to help you figure out where to stay whilst in Long Beach, with the best attractions and accommodation options in each neighbourhood.
So let’s get started!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Long Beach
- Waterfront – Best neighborhood in Long Beach for your first time
- Downtown – Where to stay in Long Beach close to everything
- East Village – Where to stay in Long Beach for nightlife
- Bixby Knolls – Best neighborhood in Long Beach for families
- Eastside – Where to stay in Long Beach on a budget
- Belmont Shore and Naples – Best neighborhood in Long Beach for couples
- Catalina Island – Where to stay to get away from the city
Where to Stay in Long Beach
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Long Beach.
Best Hotel for Backpackers in Long Beach
The Queen Mary is a tourist attraction in its own right, and staying here will give you a unique experience whilst in Long Beach. Visitors are given access to the tours of the ship, and the surrounding facilities give you plenty of options to socialise with other guests and locals!
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Long Beach
Straddling Downtown and East Village, this hotel is well located for experiencing the most popular attractions in Long Beach! The complimentary breakfast, on-site pool and great restaurants give this hotel a resort feel for a great price. They also offer shuttle services across the area – perfect if you don’t have a car.
Best Splurge Hotel in Long Beach
Though located outside of the city on Catalina Island, this hotel is popular with both visitors and Long Beach locals for a short getaway from the city! The great facilities make it the most luxurious option on the island, and they offer exclusive access to nearby attractions and the local spa.
Long Beach 7 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods in Long Beach. Each caters to different interests, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s right for you.
(Best neighbourhood in Long Beach for your first time!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Waterfront – try out some of the many water sports on offer including stand-up paddleboarding and jet skiing
- BEST place to visit in Waterfront – check out the varied marine life at Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach Waterfront is the main area for tourist activity in the city and has plenty of great attractions to offer. This is where guests and locals both flock to take part in water sports and enjoy the Pacific Coast! It also has some great restaurants showcasing the multicultural nature of the city.
Just south of Downtown, it is also very well connected to the rest of the city, allowing you to explore the area (and even further into Los Angeles) with ease! If you are simply looking to sample the local atmosphere and culture during a first visit to the city, this is by far the best option.
- Head to Pike Outlets to pick up bargain prices on international and American brands
- Catch a comedy show and enjoy some local food and drink at the Laugh Factory
- Enjoy a ride to the top of Pike Ferris Wheel where you can enjoy spectacular views across the city and take some great photos
- Visit Shoreline Aquatic Park – the main hub for waterfront activities in the city including sports, fairs and the Lions Lighthouse viewpoint
- Dine on the finest seafood Long Beach has to offer and admire the waterfront views from Gladstone’s Long Beach Restaurant
Best Budget Hotel in Waterfront
This hotel is an attraction in itself and gives you a truly unique experience whilst in Long Beach! It is based entirely on a boat where you can transport yourself back to the transatlantic travel industry of the 30s and enjoy your own private cabin. They offer breakfast every morning, as well as historic tours of the ship.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Waterfront
This hotel is sandwiched between the Waterfront area and Downtown, giving you convenient access to both areas! It has all the high-quality facilities you can expect from a Hilton hotel – including coffee makers, workspaces and luxury toiletries. They offer a buffet breakfast every morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Waterfront
This hotel is the ultimate luxury right on the waterfront! This hotel has an outdoor pool on-site, as well as a high-quality restaurant and a dedicated bar area. WiFi is available throughout the property, and a buffet breakfast is provided every morning. This hotel is particularly well rated by business travelers and couples.
Heading to San Diego too? Save some money with our budget guide to San Diego’s best hotels!
(Where to stay in Long Beach close to everything!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Downtown – take a brewery tour and discover the SoCal craft beer scene at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
- BEST place to visit in Downtown – shop until you drop at the City Place Shopping Centre with international luxury and high street brands
As with most American cities, the Downtown area is the main hub for business in Long Beach. All of the largest buildings, which provide great views for visitors, are based in the area! It is also where the city’s cultures come together to provide top-notch dining and drinking options to appeal to a variety of guests.
In the north of the Downtown Area is City Place Shopping Centre, where locals congregate to shop at the international and American brands present. The Waterfront is just south of Downtown, and East Village also borders the area, giving you great access to some of the city’s other best places!
- Enjoy a relaxing stroll with great views along the coast at Cesar E. Chavez Park and Golden Park
- Learn about local history and the many cultures that have come together in Long Beach at the Historic Ocean Center
- Pick up some high-quality, hand-crafted jewellery at Mark Schneider – one of the most renowned jewellers in the area
- Looking for a great brunch option? Omelette Inn offers some of the finest coffee in the area as well as a wide range of egg-based dishes
- LGBT visitors have to stop by Harvey Milk Promenade Park – a recreational area dedicated to the first openly gay elected politician in California
Best Budget Hotel in Downtown
This budget hotel has a number of additional perks that set it above other budget options in the city! They have partnerships with the gym across the road and various nearby restaurants to give you access and discounts. They also offer complimentary breakfasts and wine tastings on-site for all guests.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Downtown
The Holiday Inn are known worldwide for their mid-range comfort, and this hotel is one of the best in this category in Long Beach! They offer a complimentary shuttle service around Long Beach, and there is an on-site pool. The grill themed restaurant offers complimentary American breakfasts each morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Downtown
This hotel comes with all of the extra touches you would expect from a splurge accommodation option! Aside from luxury toiletries and bathrobes, they also have a full fitness suite and sauna. With large workspaces in each room and a great business centre, this hotel is particularly popular with corporate travellers.
(Where to stay in Long Beach for nightlife!)
- COOLEST thing to do in East Village – check out local art under the California sun, and pick up some pieces to take home, at the monthly Long Beach Art Walk
- BEST place to visit in East Village – visit East Broadway for some great, laid-back nightlife options
East Village is Long Beach’s arts district, with some great creative venues and art galleries available within the area. The streets are lined with bright murals by local artists, and on the second Saturday of every month, the Long Beach Art Walk turns the area into a market for local creative projects!
It is also the best place to experience a more relaxed side to Long Beach nightlife. East Broadway and the surrounding streets are packed with laid-back bars, clubs and dining options. It also neighbours Downtown and the Waterfront, giving you access to the more typical nightlife venues within walking distance!
- Head to Blind Donkey – a local bar with a lounge-like atmosphere that offers darts and pool facilities
- Discover art from across the Pacific Region and its cultural importance to California at Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum
- Head just across the road to MOLAA – a similar art gallery dedicated to work by African American artists from across the country
- Looking for great vegan dining options? Ahimsa Vegan Kitchen offers a great menu and social atmosphere with board games and couches available
- Discover the best food, cocktails and culture the local Latin American community have to offer at PADRE
Best Budget Hotel in East Village
Located right in the centre of East Village, the Rodeway Inn ensures you are staying in the heart of the action! Free coffee and tea facilities are available throughout the day, and a basic breakfast of pastries is provided every morning. They offer both smoking and non-smoking rooms.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in East Village
This is another great option right in the centre of East Village, offering some additional comforts. As cycling is popular in this area of the city, Hotel Royal provides complimentary bike hire! There is a continental breakfast every morning and a small business centre for corporate guests. A kitchenette is provided in some rooms.
Best Splurge Hotel in East Village
This hotel has a boutique feel to it, offering studio and apartment suites for an extra level of luxury! Housed within a historic building, this gorgeous hotel is complemented by modern facilities and sleek design. There is a basic on-site restaurant as well as a bar, and each room comes with kitchen facilities.
Editor’s Note – Have you seen our guide to the most underrated and coolest neighborhoods in Anaheim?
(Best neighbourhood in Long Beach for families!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Bixby Knolls – take an epic helicopter tour of Long Beach from the nearby Long Beach Airport
- BEST place to visit in Bixby Knolls – discover local history and the strong influence of Latin American culture at Rancho Los Cerritos
Bixby Knolls is a leafy neighborhood in the north of Long Beach. It is a little further out from the centre, offering a relaxing atmosphere and more laid-back attractions. This is perfect for families looking for a great base to explore the city from – especially if you have a car!
The strong community vibe in Bixby Knolls is very welcoming and will make you feel right at home! The area is a little upmarket, so a bit more expensive than other areas in the city – but totally worth it. From epic helicopter rides to quaint country clubs, this area has something for everyone looking to get away from the bustle of Downtown Long Beach.
- Discover local artists and craftspeople on the first Friday of every month, where local businesses collaborate to showcase the creativity of Long Beach residents
- Head to Uptown Farmers Market to pick up some local produce and mingle with local residents of the area
- Visiting with a dog? Check out Uptown Dog Park whilst in the area and let your canine friend off the leash for a run
- Try your hand at archery at South Bay Archery Lessons – they have facilities for both kids and adults and offer one-off sessions
- Learn how to prepare local seafood and other delicacies with a cooking class at The League of Kitchens
Best Budget Hotel in Bixby Knolls
This hotel is as basic as it gets, but the budget-friendly prices and great reviews make it a fantastic option for those looking to save on accommodation! It is located right next to Los Cerritos, allowing you to explore the neighbourhoods top attractions with ease. The front desk runs 24 hours.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Bixby Knolls
This Marriott hotel is one of the best rated mid-range hotels in Long Beach! They offer convenient transfers from the airport and to other areas of Long Beach, as well as Disneyland in Anaheim for an additional fee. There’s a restaurant, bar and shop located on-site for ultimate convenience, with complimentary breakfasts each morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Bixby Knolls
Located right next to the airport, this is a great option if you are only in Long Beach for a short stay! Hilton’s high customer service standards are apparent throughout this hotel, with a 24-hour reception desk offering tourism advice and assistance. An American style breakfast is provided each morning.
(Where to stay in Long Beach on a budget!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Eastside – enjoy cheap drinks and great shopping venues at along Anaheim Street
- BEST place to visit in Eastside – head to the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden for a relaxing stroll among koi ponds and teahouses
Finding a truly budget friendly neighborhood can be difficult anywhere in Southern California, but the large student crowd of Eastside keeps prices relatively low! This concentration of students ensures the area is packed with great bars and restaurants, as well as quaint cafés and unique boutiques.
It is located just east of the Downtown area, giving you great access to the rest of the city. The high migrant population makes it one of the most multicultural areas in Long Beach, creating a cosmopolitan vibe with great examples of mixed culture!
- Head to neighbouring Cambodia Town – the largest concentration of Cambodians outside of Cambodia with exotic shops and restaurants
- Enjoy a spot of golf or some baseball at Recreation Park Golf Course and the neighbouring Joe Rodgers Field
- Catch some offbeat theatre performances and music gigs at the Long Beach Playhouse
- Sample some great, authentic Mexican cuisine and inventive cocktails at Los Compadres Cantina
- Head to Alex’s Bar – a popular bar with the local population and tourists alike offering great food and drink prices
- Visit Long Beach Firefighters Museum – a unique attraction in the heart of Eastside about the local fire service
Best Budget Hotel in Eastside
As the name suggests, this hotel is one of the most economically friendly in the city – not only having great rates itself but also being located in one of the cheapest areas! They offer barbecue facilities and an on-site hot tub where you can relax and mingle with other guests.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Eastside
Known internationally for their budget friendly comfort, Quality Inn is only slightly more expensive than Econo Lodge however offers some great extras! A full continental breakfast is provided every morning to get you ready for the day, and on-site restaurant chains offer budget-friendly lunches and dinners.
Best Splurge Hotel in Eastside
This splurge hotel is also pretty well priced given the facilities available, thanks to the budget-friendly nature of Eastside! There is an on-site swimming pool, and a shuttle service is provided for all guests across the city. A continental breakfast is provided every morning, and premium facilities are available in each room.
(Best neighbourhood in Long Beach for couples!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Belmont Shore – hire a kayak and go for a paddle in the Pacific Ocean
- BEST place to visit in Belmont Shore – head to Naples Island to discover how wealthy Long Beach residents live
Belmont Shore & Naples are two areas to the east of Downtown that offer two different sides of Long Beach. On Belmont Shore, there are some great nightlife and dining options influenced by the student population in neighbouring Eastside! This is a great place to stay if you want to enjoy a more relaxed and beachy vibe.
Naples Island, by contrast, has a more upmarket atmosphere. The winding canals give the island a European flavour, and the high-quality restaurants are perfect for date night! This picturesque neighbourhood is packed with recreation facilities, making it great for a short getaway.
- Go down to East 2nd Street for great food, budget-friendly bars and European style bar terraces and sun lounges
- Try out some watersports along Belmont Shore with SoCal Kitesurfing & Kiteboarding
- Catch a unique and vibrant performance at Bellydancer Of The Universe
- Learn how to sail, or simply enjoy the upscale amenities, with Long Beach Yacht Club on Naples Island
- Bringing your dog with you? Rosie’s Dog Beach is a great spot to let them off the leash to socialise with other canines
- Transport yourself to the canals of Venice and enjoy a unique dining experience with Gondola Getaway on Naples Island
Best Budget Hotel in Belmont Shore & Naples
This is a great budget option for couples visiting Long Beach. It has a fitness centre on-site as well as an indoor swimming pool – perfect if you want to keep up your routine while on holiday! It is within walking distance of Naples Island, giving you easy access to the exclusive area.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Belmont Shore & Naples
Also located close to Naples Island, the Best Western is a better option if you are looking for a more typical resort experience at a good price! They have an outdoor pool with sundeck area, as well as an on-site restaurant that serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning.
Best Splurge Hotel in Belmont Shore & Naples
A little further north in the Seal Beach area, this hotel gives you a more secluded experience whilst still being within walking distance of the action! This hotel also has a fitness centre and outdoor pool, as well as a small business centre with high-speed WiFi – perfect if you need to get some work done.
(Where to stay to get away from the city!)
- COOLEST thing to do in Catalina Island – get the adrenaline pumping with Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour
- BEST place to visit in Catalina Island – check out Casino – not actually a gambling establishment, but with great entertainment facilities and a museum!
Though outside of Long Beach, Catalina Island is accessed via a ferry departing from the Waterfront. This makes it the perfect destination if you want to escape the busy city and enjoy a relaxed vacation with upscale facilities and peaceful settings.
Catalina Island is mostly owned by a conservation organisation due to the vast nature available on the island. This makes it a popular destination for eco-conscious tourists looking to fund local projects. Most of the action is based around the town of Avalon, which is lined with high-quality restaurants and fun attractions.
- Mesmerise yourself with the surrounding aquatic life by taking a SCUBA or snorkelling tour from Casino Point
- Want an even more relaxed experience? Take one of the glass bottom boat rides offered by the conservation society
- Take part in a spot of fishing with Corsario Ocean Adventures who offer chartered boats and great advice on local regulations
- Dine at the Sandtrap for a good mix of American and Mexican cuisine with outdoor patio areas and happy hours
- Take a spectacular helicopter tour of the island and southern coast of Long Beach with Catalina Island Tours
Best Budget Hotel in Catalina Island
This hotel is the cheapest on Catalina Island and is within easy walking distance of the harbour! It is well rated by previous guests thanks to the quality facilities available in the rooms and a great complimentary breakfast. High-speed WiFi is available throughout the property and each room is air conditioned.
Best Mid-Range Hotel in Catalina Island
This hotel is located in the remote village of Two Harbors giving you unspoiled views of the Catalina Island nature and Pacific Ocean! They offer bike hire to all guests, giving you a great way to explore the island. There are some great shared facilities including a kitchen and sun terrace.
Best Splurge Hotel in Catalina Island
This hotel is well-known by California natives as the pinnacle of luxury on Catalina Island! They offer a European style breakfast every morning as well as complimentary wine and cheese tasting sessions in the evenings. Guests are also given priority access to the nearby Island Spa Catalina.
Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Long Beach?
Long Beach is a great destination in the wider Los Angeles area to discover a multicultural atmosphere and great waterfront activities! The city is varied, offering a wide range of dining and nightlife options as well as recreational activities.
For the best area, it has to be East Village! This area not only gives you easy access to Downtown, Waterfront and Eastside but also has a unique artistic flair that creates a truly unique experience for visitors.
We hope this guide has helped you plan your trip to Long Beach and discover the best area for your needs. From upscale entertainment attractions to budget-friendly dive bars, Long Beach has plenty to offer.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments!
Editor’s Note – No matter where you are traveling, you NEED to have great travel insurance. We have personally tested TONS of travel insurance companies, and can say without a doubt that World Nomads is the absolute best (and most affordable!). Fill out the form below to get a quote.
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