Long Beach Summer Bucket List

As September 22, the official last day of summer approaches, there are still a few weeks left to check off all the activities on your Best Summer Ever Bucket List. Here’s a few ways to get to the fun things you’ve been meaning to do before summer calls it a day.


If this was going to be the summer you not only opened a book, but did it with your toes in the sand, no worries, there’s still plenty of time, plenty of sand–Long Beach has more than five miles of beaches–and plenty of books from terrific, local bookstores.

Gatsby Books (5535 E. Spring St.) has a wide selection of titles both new and gently-used for you to browse. Be sure and say hi to Ruby, the store cat. Once Read Books (5422 E Village Rd.) has lots of used paperback fiction, sci-fi, mystery and romance, as well as a shop cat of its own: Fred. Fourth Street’s Retro Row boasts two great book stores. Bel Canto Books (2122 E. Fourth St.), located inside the hip boutique, The Hangout, offers a curated selection of new fiction, non-fiction and children’s titles, with an emphasis on works by women and people of color. A few blocks down the street is Page Against the Machine (2714 E. Fourth St.) and its hyper-curated selection of classic and modern fiction, as well as books dealing social and political movements, socially-conscious living and sustainability.

Once you’ve chosen something to read, you’ll have lots of choices where to read it. Local beaches offer a diverse range of environments and vibes. If you’re looking for quiet space, you might think of the Peninsula, located between Belmont Shore and Naples. Looking for someplace you can look up from the page to people-watch? Definitely Bayshore. Shade? Try Colorado Lagoon …



With an entire ocean just waiting to play, the only difficulty when it comes to water activities at beaches in the LBC, is choosing which to do first.

Need for speed? London Boat Rentals (186 N. Marina Dr.) rents Wave Runners you can ride from Seal Beach to the Queen Mary and even document your journeys with GoPro digital cameras available at London. Wave Runners hold up to two people and are relatively simple to handle especially after London’s staff give you a quick tutorial.

Long Beach is regularly listed as one of the best kitesurfing spots in the nation and Granada Beach, where conditions are optimal, has come to be known locally as Kite Beach. SoCal Kitesurfing (79 Claremont Pl.) not only rents equipment but offers a full menu of lessons, from a 90-minute introduction to a five-day “master kiting” course.

The calm waters of Alamitos Bay make an ideal environment for kayaking and Kayaks on the Water (5411 E Ocean Blvd.) makes it easy to get out from its location at Bayshore Beach on Alamitos Bay, directly across from the Naples canals.

Paddle boarding has quickly become one of the most popular ocean activities going. Paddle Board Rentals Long Beach (6272 E Pacific Coast Hwy) is located conveniently in the Marina Pacifica retail center, at that part of the bay which is very calm so you can push out toward Bayshore or the Naples canals.



With an average of 345 days of sunshine each year, it’s not surprising that Long Beach offers a lot of options for outdoor dining. Some restaurants step their game up, like to a second story. The city boasts a slew of eateries and drinkeries that exist high above it all, with jaw-dropping views and cool vibes. If you promised yourself that you were going to take advantage of the weather and these spots, head to any of a number of rooftop dining and entertaining spots.

Places like BO-beau Kitchen, (144 Pine Ave.) which has an upstairs deck downtown that is equal parts vibey taproom and ultra-cool urban hangout; a place that will draw your attention up to the surrounding skyline as well as to the energy of the street scene below. Award-winning Italian restaurant, Michael’s on Naples renovated its rooftop dining room and lounge with canopies and a dedicated bar. Ballast Point’s enormous deck overlooks Alamitos Bay so you can enjoy one of the original microbrews while getting gorgeous views of Long Beach, Seal Beach and the Pacific Ocean.

About the Author
Steve Lowery