Moving to Long Beach

Welcome to your all-encompassing guide to relocating to Long Beach, California. A jewel in the Golden State, Long Beach pulsates with an irresistible mix of urban sophistication and coastal beach town charm. With dazzling sea views, a fascinating arts scene, diverse neighborhoods, and year-round perfect weather, it's no wonder you're considering making this city your next destination. This comprehensive guide unfurls all you need to know about sashaying into the vibrant, sun-kissed life of Long Beach. Let's plunge into the beguiling surf of your Long Beach journey!

Moving to Long Beach, CA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Long Beach

1. You'll Never Run Out of Things to Do!

From miles of sandy beaches to the exhilarating downtown area, Long Beach, CA, is overflowing with fun things to do and see. You can feel the rush of the Pacific Ocean waves, explore the renowned Aquarium of the Pacific, or immerse yourself in Long Beach's vibrant arts scene. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you'll love exploring the city's numerous parks and green spaces! Plus, with Los Angeles and Orange County nearby, the opportunities for outings are endless.

2. Diversity Is Key

Long Beach takes pride in its cultural, racial and lifestyle diversity. This melting pot of different cultures brings an amazing mix of food, festivals, and tradition to the city. Neighborhoods like Cambodia Town is home to the largest population of Cambodians outside of their home country. This makes Long Beach a vibrant hub of unique experiences and wonderful people against the backdrop of SoCal beach life.

3. It's More Than a Beach

Don't be fooled by the name! Long Beach is more than a sun-soaked stretch of sand. The city is home to a deep-sea port which is one of the busiest in the world. You might not know it, but Long Beach has a rich maritime history and a thriving shipping industry. You can even tour the retired Queen Mary ocean liner, permanently docked in Long Beach, and discover a glimpse of luxurious transatlantic travel from history.

4. The Weather Really is That Great

When people think of California, they often think of sunshine and perfect temperatures, and Long Beach is no exception. With an average of 345 days of sunshine per year and temperatures that rarely drop below 50 or rise above 90, the stereotype is true: the weather is virtually perfect!

5. Fun Fact: Birds Lover's Paradise

Here's something you may not know. Long Beach is home to El Dorado Nature Center, which is located right smack dab in the middle of the city. This urban oasis is the perfect spot for bird enthusiasts. Not only will you find many native bird species, but an adjacent sanctuary is a stopover for thousands of birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway. So, don't forget to pack your binoculars!

6. Don't Miss the Retro Row

An-other lesser-known gem of Long Beach is the 'Retro Row'. A stretch of four blocks along Fourth Street is known for its collection of vintage and retro shops. You can find anything from vinyl records, antique furniture, vintage clothes to classic haircut saloons. Plus, independent theaters and art galleries add to its artistic charm - a great place to spend your weekends!

So there you have it - Long Beach, CA, is far more than just a beach town with great weather. From cultural diversity to a thriving arts scene, it offers a rich tapestry of experiences that make it a unique and vibrant place to call home. And with its little-known birding hotspot and delectable Retro Row, it's clear that some of Long Beach's biggest charms are also its best-kept secrets. Could Long Beach be your next chapter?

What to know before moving to Long Beach, CA image
See the 10 Best Movers Nearest You
(Unbiased) Ranking of the top movers in every city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Long Beach

Pros of Living in Long Beach

Excellent Weather

Long Beach boasts a mild Mediterranean climate, with lots of sunshine throughout the year and moderate rainfall during the winter months. It's a perfect place if you love the outdoors and want to avoid extreme weather conditions common to other parts of the country.

Beach City Culture

Living in Long Beach allows you to enjoy the laid-back, beach city culture. The community boasts quiet, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, numerous beaches and marinas, and a variety of water sports activities including sailing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.

Eclectic Food Scene

Long Beach has an eclectic food scene featuring diverse global cuisine. Whether it's Vietnamese food on Anaheim Street, classic American diners along the beachfront, or upscale dining in the Downtown area, the city caters to a myriad of tastes.

Arts and Entertainment

The city is rich in arts and culture with numerous venues for music, theatre, and art events, including the Long Beach Symphony, the Long Beach Museum of Art and the annual Grand Prix of Long Beach. Residents have easy access to a diverse range of entertainment options.

Good Education Opportunities

Long Beach has a strong education system. The city is home to a number of good public, private schools and colleges including California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach City College.

Cons of Living in Long Beach

High Cost of Living

Living in Long Beach is expensive, with the cost of many goods, services and housing being above the national average. This is usual for Southern California, but it can be a challenging aspect for many people considering the move.

Crime Rate

Like many urban areas, Long Beach has certain neighborhoods with higher crime rates. While the city is generally safe, you'll need to be aware of your surroundings and potentially avoid certain areas, especially late at night.

Traffic and Commute Times

Long Beach, like the rest of Los Angeles County, can have heavy traffic. Depending on your commute, you may have to plan for additional travel time especially during peak hours.

Less Nature Activities

While Long Beach offers beaches and marinas for water-related activities, it lacks ample green spaces for other outdoor activities like hiking, camping or mountain biking. You might need to drive out of city limits to access these types of outdoor activities.

Noisy City Life

Living in Long Beach can be quite noisy due to the city's bustling nature. The sound of traffic, constant city events, and airplanes from the nearby airport can be loud and may not be the best fit for those seeking a quieter lifestyle.

Modern day picture of Long Beach, CA highlighting pros and cons of living in Long Beach, CA

Is Long Beach a Good Place to Live?

Long Beach, CA is a great place to live because of its sunny weather, diverse food scene, and fantastic arts and culture. Not to mention, it's blessed with beautiful beaches and parks perfect for outdoor activities. It also boasts of a strong sense of community and is well-located with Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego within easy reach!


What Is Long Beach Famous For?

Queen Mary Ship

The Queen Mary Ship is a historic transatlantic ocean liner that has turned into a hotel and museum. Today, it's one of Long Beach's most iconic landmarks. Not only can you take a voyage back in time with historic exhibits, but you might even encounter a ghost-they're said to haunt the ship!

Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is Southern California's largest public aquarium, with more than 11,000 animals representing over 500 species. Here, you can learn about and interact with inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean, from tiny seahorses to formidable sharks- an exhilarating dive into the blue, without actually getting wet!

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, a star-studded car race, is one of the most popular events in the city. Displays of pure adrenaline, roaring engines, and high-speed action on a seaside street circuit, attracts racing and car enthusiasts from all over the world. Gentlemen, start your engines!

Naples Canals

Who needs to go to Italy, when you have the Naples Canals in Long Beach? This upscale neighborhood, designed to resemble an Italian city with its beautifully constructed waterways and gondola rides, offers a unique and romantic European vibe right in the heart of Southern California. It's amore at first sight!

Capital building of Long Beach, CA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Long Beach, CA is 0.74% of the property's assessed fair market value, slightly lower than the national average of 1.07%. California property tax rates are among the lowest in the US, largely due to Proposition 13, a 1978 law that caps property tax rates.

Sales Tax

Long Beach has a sales tax rate of 10.25% as of 2023, which is higher than the national average sales tax rate of 7.12%. The high sales tax rate is due to combined rates of California state, Los Angeles county and city taxes.

Income Tax

California has a progressive income tax system where the income tax rate ranges from 1% to 13.3%, which is the highest state income tax rate in the US. However, not all residents of Long Beach, CA will pay the same rate, as the state tax rate depends on your income bracket.


Housing Market

In Long Beach, CA, the housing market is notably more expensive than the national average. The median home value sits around $642,000, far above the US median of $277,700. Renters fare slightly better, but still owe a median rent of $2,095 per month -- again significantly over the national median of $1,058. However, Long Beach compensates with increased walkability and diverse housing options, from historic homes to modern condos. Going forward, potential buyers should note the area's appreciating property values, while renters will encounter a highly competitive market.


Cost of Living

Despite offering a relatively relaxed coastal lifestyle, Long Beach, CA, has a higher cost of living compared to other U.S. cities. Key factors contributing to this are housing prices, transportation costs, and general expenses associated with southern California living. Notably, though, while Long Beach is more expensive compared to the national average, it's reasonably affordable when juxtaposed with other cities in California - particularly San Francisco and Los Angeles. Nonetheless, the overall quality of life in Long Beach remains attractive for many.


Weather & Natural Disasters

The climate in Long Beach, CA is classified as a Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Average temperatures range from the mid-60s to high 70s year-round, making it a comfortable living and visiting spot. Though rare, natural disasters can occur; these primarily include earthquakes, owing to its proximate location to several significant fault lines in the Southern California area. Other natural disasters such as wildfires and landslides are less common but can occur in surrounding regions. Undoubtedly, the coastal city's weather is frequently sunny, with an annual average of 345 days of sunshine, a fact which contributes to its reputation as a favored beach destination. Despite its susceptibility to seismic activity, Long Beach's consistently appealing weather and geographic charm make it an attractive locale.

Typical weather in Long Beach, CA

Economy & Job Market

* Healthcare and Social Assistance

* Manufacturing

* Retail Trade

* Educational Services

* Accommodation and Food Services

Long Beach, CA, has an economy full of sparkle and zest! Once a sleepy seaside town known for tourism and oil, in recent years it has transformed into a dynamic urban locale. The Healthcare and Social Assistance sector leads the charge, with big-brands like the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and the Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach. Manufacturing's not far behind, with its roots in the city's historical naval and aerospace industries, and it's now booming with clean tech and biomedical companies. Add to this zippy mix, a vibrant Retail Trade industry, influenced by the city's diverse population and increasing tourism. Not to forget, Educational Services, with California State Long Beach powering the field, and Accommodation and Food Services, riding on the back of the city's growing popularity as a tourist destination. Long Beach's economy, in essence, is the perfect blend of innovation, tradition, and tourism!

If you're planning a move to the vibrant city of Long Beach and are looking forward to joining its job market - oh boy, you're in for some fun! The city has an unemployment rate lower than the nation's average (oh yeah!), and a job market that includes a colorful spectrum of large and small business employers. With the city's major industries continuing to expand, opportunities abound around every corner. The Healthcare sector would be a promising place to start your job search, followed by Manufacturing, especially if you have a thing for clean tech and biomedical companies. Retail could be a great fit if you love the buzz of commerce. If education is your calling, or if serving piping-hot pancakes by the ocean-side sounds delightful, then you might want to explore opportunities in Educational Services and Accommodation & Food Services. One thing's for sure, in Long Beach, there's a job to match every dream, and a dream for every job!


Traffic and Transportation

Long Beach, CA, where the beach vibes meet urban commuter hustle! The average commute time here is 28 minutes, not bad considering you might get an ocean view on your way to work. When it comes to public transportation, Long Beach Transit provides jaunty rides on colorful buses and aquatic-themed water taxis, popularly called AquaLinks. If the smell of sea air isn't your thing, the Metro Blue Line light rail will whisk you to downtown LA in a jiffy. And did we mention air travel? Whether jetting off to far-flung locales or welcoming sandy-toed visitors, Long Beach Airport serves up a delightful mix of accessibility and ease. So buckle up, tap that transit card, or get those boarding passes ready for some smooth sailing (or flying) in Long Beach, the transportation-friendly city!

What is the traffic like in Long Beach, CA?

Best Neighborhoods in Long Beach

1. Belmont Shore

With second street at its heart, teeming with a variety of eateries and boutique stores, Belmont Shore mixes the SoCal laid-back beach vibe with a hint of urban sophistication. Not surprisingly, the beach is the neighborhood's main attraction, offering an idyllic setting for walks, picnics, or volley sand games. Also, don't miss out on the frequent community events like the annual Christmas parade, and the outdoor Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest.

2. Downtown Long Beach

If you're drawn to the vibrancy of an urban lifestyle, Downtown Long Beach has it all. It's a hub of activity with an impressive skyline, featuring lots of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and of course, the Aquarium of the Pacific. Perhaps the best part is you can get around easily without a car using the town's extensive bike path or various public transit options. Plus, be prepared to enjoy some exciting events like the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Long Beach Pride Festival.

3. Bixby Knolls

For a suburban feel in an urban setting, Bixby Knolls is the perfect choice. Known for its historic houses, expansive parks, and a family-friendly atmosphere, it offers a serene getaway from the bustle of the city. The neighborhood prides itself on its assortment of mom-and-pop shops, local breweries, and eateries that cater to all your needs. Be sure to check out First Fridays - a monthly event where residents enjoy live music, art, and food specials along Atlantic Avenue.

4. Naples

Taking inspiration from its Italian namesake, Naples brings European charm to the heart of Long Beach with its beautiful canals and gondola rides. The neighborhood is perfect for those craving tranquility and elegance, featuring luxurious houses and scenic waterfront views. Stroll along the romantic canals, or savor authentic Italian cuisine at one of the fine restaurants in the area. In December, Naples turns into a holiday wonderland with its famed boat parade and luminous Christmas lights.

5. East Village Arts District

Art lovers, this one's for you! East Village Arts District is Long Beach's premier arts and culture hub, featuring a variety of unique galleries, street murals, and vintage stores. This neighborhood has a hip and eclectic vibe, with creative energy visible at every corner. Don't miss out on the Art Walk held on the second Saturday of each month, where artists display their work on the streets. Also, the neighborhood is marked by diverse eateries that offer world cuisines, from sushi to tacos.

Wrapping up, Long Beach is a city of impressive diversity, offering a neighborhood for every type of lifestyle. Whether you prefer the quaint charm of Belmont Shore, the urban culture of Downtown, the family atmosphere of Bixby Knolls, the luxury of Naples, or the arty ethos of the East Village Arts District, you'll find a community here to call home. So pack your bags and nestle down in your favorite neighborhood!

Best neighborhoods in Long Beach, CA image

Things to Do

Welcome to Long Beach, California! A vibrant, seaside city teeming with activities and attractions for everyone. Whether you're an art aficionado, a history buff, a beach lover, or a foodie, Long Beach has it all and more. Let's dive into seven of the best things to do around this sun-drenched corner of the paradise.

1. Discover the Queen Mary

Start your Long Beach journey with a visit to the historic Queen Mary. This floating hotel was once a world-class ocean liner that hosted Hollywood celebrities and even royalty. Now, the Queen Mary offers self-guided tours exploring the ship's history, along with various exhibits, dining options, and breathtaking views of the Long Beach skyline.

2. Explore the Aquarium of the Pacific

Next, dive into an underwater adventure at the Aquarium of the Pacific, home to over 11,000 marine creatures from the Pacific Ocean's three regions. Enjoy up-close encounters with your favorite sea creatures, and don't miss the Lorikeet Forest where colorful birds perch on your shoulders and drink nectar right from your hands.

3. Indulge in Local Bites at Retro Row

Indulge your gastronomic cravings along Retro Row, a charming strip known for vintage clothing shops, eclectic boutiques, and a variety of global cuisines. From authentic Mexican food at Lola's Mexican Cuisine to creamy scoops at Long Beach Creamery, you'd want to revisit this place just for the food trip alone.

4. Enjoy Art at the Museum of Latin American Art

Dedicate a day to appreciate Hispanic art at the Museum of Latin American Art. It's the only museum in the United States dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American and Latino art. Monthly exhibits, captivating presentations, and special events keep it fresh and exciting no matter how many times you return.

5. Soak up the Sun at Belmont Shores

Life in Long Beach isn't complete without a beach day. Head over to Belmont Shores, a lovely stretch of sandy beach with a walking and biking path. It's the perfect place for sunbathing, beach volleyball, or simply watching the sun set over the ocean.

6. Uncover Hidden Gems at the Rancho Los Cerritos

This historic site might be relatively unknown, but it offers an incredible journey into California's past. Explore the adobe home built in 1844, wander through the lush gardens, and check out the rare vintage books in the library.

7. Journey to Outer Space at the El Dorado Nature Center

Another hidden gem is the El Dorado Nature Center - a 105-acre natural paradise where locals flee from the city's hustle and bustle. Attend an astronomy night and gaze at the stars from one of their telescopes, then wrap up the evening with a peaceful walk along the nature trails.

In conclusion, Long Beach, with its glorious beaches, vibrant arts scene, and mouth-watering cuisine, provides an endless array of activities to residents and visitors alike. And just when you think you've seen it all, you'll stumble upon undiscovered corners and hidden gems. Each day here roars with excitement, the city's charm revealing itself in layers - just waiting for lucky souls like you to discover.

Things to do in Long Beach, CA?

Find Movers for Your Long Beach Relocation

Having explored the delights and advantages of relocating to Long Beach, it's time to take the next significant step - planning your seamless and stress-free move. Allow Great Guys Moving to make this a cinch with their network of high-quality, affordable movers. Submit just the basics of your moving needs and they'll connect you with licensed and insured companies ready to service your move, saving time and allaying all worries about the safety of your possessions. Simplify your journey to this vibrant city by requesting a free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

See The Best Movers For Moving To California From...

Find out how much your move costs!