Long Beach Beaches: Water-front entertainment all year round

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Anyone that’s been to a Long Beach beach knows that this stretch of California coast is unique. Protected from the ocean currents by the Long Beach Breakwater, the sea is gentle with very few waves lapping at the sand.

It wasn’t always this way. Back in the day the Long Beach beach was a popular surf and sun destination, and even referred to as the “Waikiki of Southern California.” For better or worse, the breakwater has altered life along this shore.

Nevertheless, water-front recreation is still a large part of life in this seaside town. There are many beaches for sailing, kayaking, volleyball in the sand, biking and just about any other outdoor sport. And, blessed with temperate weather, residents can enjoy a day at the beach almost any day of the year.

Long Beach beaches

Mother’s Beach: (Appian Way and 2nd Street) Part of Marine Park, Mother’s Beach is located in a marina that has a section of shallow water with calm waters and lifeguard towers. Although the water has a bad reputation, the areas is popular with parents and children because of the playground that features a large whale that shoots real water from its spout. The 4-acre park also has volleyball courts and picnic sites.

Belmont Pier: With a history that includes spurring Belmont Heights residents to break off from  city of Long Beach, it’s nice to know that the Belmont Pier has settled into a more conciliatory role. The pier plays host to community events throughout the year including the Tiki Festival and Pirate Daze which draw crowds from all over. On any given weekend, walkers on the pier will find fishermen and couples passing the time.

Shoreline Village: This outdoor attraction is surrounded by water, even though there’s not a “beach” in site. Filled with shops, restaurants and entertainment, it’s easy to find something to do here. Kids of all ages can experience the magic of Shoreline Village’s carousel or practice their hoop skills in the arcade. The more adventurous-at-heart might rent a bicycle and head off down Long Beach’s coastline bike path. Shoreline Village also offers sailing lessons, watercraft rentals and harbor cruises. It’s just a short walk from Shoreline Village to the Aquarium of the Pacific, too.

Alamitos Beach (Alamitos Ave to 15th Pl) and Junipero Beach (15th Pl to 39th Pl at the Belmont pier): This section of the shore is probably what most people think of when they think of the Long Beach beach. There bike path.

Alamitos Bay Beach: If there is a locals-only beach in Long Beach, Alamitos Bay might be it. Flanked by quiet residential streets between Belmont Shore and Naples, this stretch of sand leads up the peninsula towards Marina Park. It’s a popular destination for kayakers and water sports. In the winter, residents turn out to watch the Naples Boat Parade float by.

Belmont Shore Beach (39th Pl to 54th Pl) and Peninsula Beach (54th Pl to 72nd Pl) East of the Belmont Pier, this area is home to the dog beach, volleyball courts, and has the charming plank boardwalk at the end of the peninsula. Many beach events take place in this section of the Long Beach beach, including the monthly beach clean up and many of the Sea Festival attractions in the summer.

Bayshore Beach – Along this interior stretch of the peninsula beach-goers will find a great view of Alamitos Bay and the islands of Naples.

Long Beach Dog Beach Zone: The Long Beach off-leash Dog Zone is a 3-acre, non-fenced site in Belmont Shore that is open daily from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The dog beach is at the water, between Roycroft and Argonne avenues, a few blocks east of the Belmont Pier and Olympic pool. This is the only legal, off-leash dog beach in Los Angeles County.

Which local beach is your favorite? Leave a comment and tell us why…

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