It’s arguable that no California city with a beach to call its own, presents as many iterations of that beach as Long Beach. Yes, though its name would suggest one, continual, uninterrupted shoreline, the fact is that Long Beach beaches are a diverse collection of environments and vibes, attracting people looking for very distinct experiences, i.e. the reason you go to Mother’s Beach is something different than why you head to Bayshore or Rosie’s. Here’s a quick rundown of where to go and what to expect once you get there.
Mother’s Beach (5839 Appian Way) isn’t so much a place, as a right of passage since so many locals were either brought here as children and/or brought their kids to the charming stretch of beach well-suited for little ones. Located inside Alamitos Bay, below Marine Stadium, it’s protected from the open ocean, so children can play in the shallow swim areas without fear of rip tides or waves. Water and sand are bordered by a large grassy area featuring plenty of shade trees and places to picnic as well as a playground with plenty of play and climbing equipment.
Located in Belmont Shore around Granada Avenue–hence the name–this beach is arguably the busiest in terms of people actually doing stuff, day or night. It’s the site of several popular annual beach events, including a summer beach movie series. The city’s paved pedestrian and bike path meanders through its sand which also contains numerous volleyball courts popular with beach players. Granada Beach (4120 Ocean Blvd.) is also a sought after destination for wind and kite surfers, who flock to its consistently breezy shore line.
Rosie’s Dog Beach
Located just north of Granada, between Roycroft and Argonne avenues, Rosie’s Beach (5000 E. Ocean Blvd.) is a 2.9 acre area that allows dogs to romp off-the-leash during scheduled hours, usually from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The area is not fenced in but, rather, is usually defined by some orange, plastic cones. It’s a popular spot for dog parents or those who just love watching dogs having a fun day at the beach. While dogs are allowed to go leash-less on the beach, they are required to be on one when they leave Rosie’s. Also, while some bags are provided in dispensers, users are highly encouraged to bring their own bags.
Alamitos is what you see driving up Shoreline Drive to Ocean Boulevard, it’s what you see from a downtown highrise and is usually the beach featured by TV outfits since its wide expanse of white sand as well as ever-present sailboats and funky T.H.U.M.S man-made islands make it visually intriguing. Lay out on the sand, ride bikes, skate or walk the paved path. If you're hungry, Alamitos Beach (5000 E. Ocean Blvd.) recently became home to Saltwater Deck (2630 E Ocean Blvd.), the first on-sand eatery opened in the city in years, featuring a wide array of dishes ranging from Pastrami Breakfast Sandwich to a Tofu Banh Mi.