La Marina Estates: A Great Place to Thrive

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By Katie Larson

Tucked between the CSULB campus and the flood channel, La Marina Estates is an enclave of mid-century tract bungalows fringed on the south by three blocks of large, custom homes.  When entering the neighborhood you are impressed with the pride of ownership shown in the many homes that have been renovated and those with beautiful landscaping.  What you can’t see right away, what is more a feeling you get when you enter the neighborhood, is the sense of belonging and caring in these 245 homes.

The community of La Marina Estates is filled with every generation and demographic: a few original owners, who have raised their children and grandchildren here, remain.  There is a family in their 20’s, just starting out in a rental home, owned by a neighbor down the street.  There is the retired college president who partakes in one of the neighborhood book clubs, the Buddhist monk who gives Saturday morning mediation classes and the stand-up comedienne; the university art history and math professors, the oft-pictured husband and wife real estate brokers, the fire fighter and the retired actress whose grandsons are famous on the Disney Channel and beyond.  A hairstylist who grew up a few blocks away on Bixby Hill works on 2nd Street and another neighbor commutes on the Blue Line to downtown LA every day.  The retired school librarian gets together with the active city librarian; there is a pet therapist and a VA nurse, sales professionals, marketers, corporate managers, engineers and stay-at-home moms.

Neighbors know not only the names of the many dogs that live here, but their human companions, too.  You can hear them greet each other in the evenings, as they go for their walks.  The empty-nesters bring in the trash cans of their neighbors who are busy working full time and taxiing their children from school to soccer, tennis or water polo.  A neighbor in the hospital or a coyote sighting in the neighborhood has the keyboards of La Marina buzzing to get the word out via email to the book clubs, the Bunco group, the golf groups and the parents.  Women in the neighborhood meet monthly to play Bunco and collect an annual donation for local charities.  There’s the group of women that meet at 6:30 a.m. every morning in front of one of those custom homes to do a 4 mile walk before heading off to their jobs.  Neighbors embrace the “think globally, act locally” mantra by supporting local charities like Campfire, Cameo, Pathways to Independence, Long Beach Basket Brigade, local church missions and various cancer research organizations.

La Marina Estates is a caring enclave that is as pretty inside as it is outside, another wonderful neighborhood that makes Long Beach a great place to thrive.


19 Responses to “La Marina Estates: A Great Place to Thrive”
  1. Marcy Clarke says:

    Katie Larson writes a great article about her neighborhood. Reading it makes me want to live there!

  2. Barbara Byrne says:

    Reading Katie’s article makes me even more proud to say I live in La Marina Estates! It’s one of the best kept secrets of Long Beach (was)!

  3. says:

    What a well written essay! The neighbors seem like amazing people – I’m happy they live in wonderful Long Beach.

  4. Pat Miller says:

    Excellent essay! One can picture it as a long ago “small town America” within in a big city. Almost makes me wish I had not moved away from Long Beach.

  5. Susan Gurnick says:

    Katie’s has written a very accurate description of our La Marina neighborhood. We had looked at almost 80 homes, before my husband got us lost and we found this beautiful neighborhood. I knew that day we had found a place to raise a family!

  6. Penny Dumke says:

    Nice words Katie! It IS the best kept secret in Long Beach and we are all extremely lucky to have picked it as our home. I wouldn’t live anywhere else!

  7. Rosie Hurtado says:

    What a wonderful essay. It almost sounds too good to be true. And I know it is exactly as the words describe it. What a wonderful sense of home La Marina Estates must give to those who live in it. Thank you for opening our eyes to it.

  8. Johnna Bryant says:

    Beautifully said. There’s nothing better than a warm, caring neighborhood! Happy to hear you all areso happy – Long Beach is a great place to live!

  9. Betty Gomez says:

    We have lived in this neighborhood for 17 years and we love it. Our 11 year old daughter says she never wants to move. When my family comes to visit from small town Kansas they can’t get over how this neighborhood feels like small town. Katie, you did us proud! Betty Gomez

  10. Sepi Velasco says:

    This is great and after reading her story it makes me want to move into her neighborhood!

  11. M. J. Arteaga says:

    Wonderful article …. makes me sad I no longer live in La Marina; although, thrilled the Bunco gals still let me crash the game. La Marina is a special place with wonderful families.

  12. Nancy Paradise says:

    Great article about my neighborhood. It is a wonderful place to live!

  13. Donna Robinson says:

    Wow, Katie – my lease at the beach is up in six months. With this article, you’ve made me think I should consider moving to “your neck of the woods.” A sense of community and friendship is everything to me. You are lucky to live there… great job on your article!

  14. Facebook User says:

    I thought I knew LB pretty well, but look forward to my next visit to check out this wonderful neighborhood! Great article Katie.

  15. Ann Collins says:

    What a great neighborhood – it sounds like old fashioned friendliness and caring rules! Makes me want to move!

  16. Kathy Greiner says:

    I used to play in this neighborhood when I was a child. When a house came up for sale we jumped on it! I always wanted to live here, but never thought I would become so close with my neighbors as I have. It’s a great place to live! Well done Katie.

  17. Katie Kimbell Larson says:

    Thanks to all my friends, family and neighbors above. Just the comments show – it’s great to live in La Marina Estates!

  18. Tracey Jacobsen says:

    I have lived in La Marina Estates for 12 years and have loved it. I have made wonderful friends in the neighborhood that are very caring and always willing to help with any project. I am very lucky to be able to raise my three boys here. We are in a great location. CSULB has many things for kids and adults to get involved in. We are located close to the freeways, but not too close. It makes it easy to get other places a lot quicker. Great article Katie.

  19. DianaQ says:

    Fabulous article Katie! I concur wholeheartedly! My husband and I bought a house in La Marina Estates over two years ago! We absolutely love living here! The people are so genuine and truly care about one another. It is a wonderful place to come home to everyday!