Long Beach Shopping Districts
One of the best things about shopping in Long Beach is not only the wide selection of unique stores, but the wide selection of unique shopping districts where they’re located. From the vintage vibe of Retro Row to the contemporary cool of rapidly rising Uptown, these Long Beach shopping districts share a commitment to local merchants/artisans while offering a distinctive vibe and lots of non-shopping options whether food, drink or dessert. Here’s stores to explore.
DOWNTOWN LONG BEACH
Perhaps no shopping district has so many distinct parts to it as Downtown Long Beach. On one end is The Pike Outlets, offering discounted items from major retailers like Gap, H&M and Nike. Just north of that on Pine Avenue is a collection of interesting boutiques, clothing stores and specialty shops as well as an array of top local restaurants, bars, lounges and dance clubs. Just east of Pine is the East Village Arts District, an uber-cool district that, as you’d expect, has plenty of galleries and other art shops along with one-of-a-kind boutiques featuring everything from slow fashion and sustainable beauty goods to iconic music stores and whiskey bars. For more information and directory of businesses, click here.
One of the hottest, up and coming districts is Uptown, located in North Long Beach. Over the past five years this region has steadily grown in popularity by offering a widening selection of shopping and dining options, as well as great community gathering points and terrific outdoor and public spaces. Uptown offers some of the best coffee in the city as well as some of its most popular barbecue. Food options are wide and varied, from noodles to seafood, Filipino to Mexican – even an outdoor food hall. The energy extends to the activity at the local skatepark and DeForest Park. For more information and a directory of businesses, click here.
For many visitors, Belmont Shore is what they think of when they think of Long Beach. Possibly the city’s best known shopping and dining district, the majority of its shops, bars and restaurants are located on Second Street. A very strollable district with lots of options ranging from national chains to local businesses selling Long Beach-themed items to jewelry to hardware to fashionable home decor, including Tiki-themed items. The district is equally well-known for its many restaurants, bars and sports bars, many offering the option to eat and drink al fresco. If you’re looking to get your steps in, walk across the bridge at Alamitos Bay and stroll into Naples, where you’ll find more shops, restaurants and bars as well as the iconic canals spectacularly lit up for the holidays. For more information and directory of businesses, click here.
This area has quickly grown into one of Long Beach’s most exciting and hippest neighborhoods. Located along East Anaheim Street, Zaferia is a place you can browse for cool, repurposed home decor as well as beauty items, clothing and florists, all of it locally owned and uniquely put together. Zaferia is just as well-known for its wide variety of food options including some of the absolute best Cambodian and Khmer restaurants in the country. There are also lots of other fun places to eat and drink, some of those venues featuring live music. Given the constantly evolving nature of the area, it’s not at all unusual to find art pop-ups popping up, as the vibe of the district is very much given toward community, beauty and wellness. For more information and directory of businesses, click here.
This stretch of Fourth Street – between Walnut and Temple avenues – offers the most focused, well-defined collection of shops. As the name suggests, many are vintage-inspired boutiques and specialty shops, the majority of which are locally owned and have been around long enough to see Retro Row grow from funky oddity to one of the most popular destinations in the city for unique retail as well as some of its best eating and drinking options. Mid-century modern furnishings, vintage clothes, most of these uber-cool shops offer a highly curated, very unique inventory. The Row also contains the Art Theatre, a crown jewel in presenting great independent and international film. The Row continues to grow as many people now venture beyond the unofficial borders to shop at independent bookstores and vegan ice cream shops. For more information and directory of businesses, click here.
Though this shopping district is primarily located on one of Long Beach’s busiest thoroughfares – Atlantic Avenue – it has an undeniable cozy, cohesive and neighborly feel to it. It has lots of locally owned shops and boutiques selling everything from home furnishings to clothes to toys to wine. All these shops strike a balance between offering the latest in retail to being fashionably retro, and many are compact enough that you’re able to check out a good deal of their inventory as you stroll by and window shop. And, as with other districts, there are myriad dining options, though Bixby also offers the widest/best collection of craft brew pubs, a fact that has led it to being dubbed Brewery Knolls. For more information and a directory of businesses, click here.