16 Pros and Cons of Living in Long Beach, CA

Updated On November 7, 2023

Long Beach is a vibrant coastal city offering easy access to Pacific Coast beaches and local attractions.

This bustling SoCal city is within driving distance of Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and Anaheim.

People considering relocating to the city will be happy to learn about its abundance of jobs, attractions, and local amenities.

On the flip side, long-time residents say, the city has a few downsides that may not mesh well with every newcomer’s ideal lifestyle.

In this guide, we discuss some pros and cons of living in Long Beach based on resident reports and local research to help prospective residents and visitors make a more informed decision. 

Long Beach, CA
Long Beach, CA

Pros of Living in Long Beach, CA

Living in Long Beach has many benefits that make it an ideal place to call home for many SoCal residents.

This vibrant coastal city offers residents and visitors easy access to an all-year-round beach lifestyle, including diverse communities and a thriving arts and culture scene. 

Below, we take a closer look at a few more of the pros of living in Long Beach and talk about why so many of its residents say the city is an excellent place for families to live and thrive. 

Long Beach Is a Seaside Lover’s Delight

The city of Long Beach boasts over five miles of pristine coastline with year-round access to some of California‘s most beautiful and iconic beaches.

People visit Long Beach City Beach to relax and unwind while surfing, sunbathing, playing beach volleyball, and hunting for seashells along the shore.

Even canine residents of Long Beach get in on the fun when they visit Rosie’s Dog Beach, a special beach designated for pet parents with off-leash dogs. 

Diverse Culture 

Long Beach boasts a vibrant mosaic of cultures where residents and tourists savor the flavors of exotic global cuisines from around the world.

Residents have abundant opportunities to broaden their horizons by learning about the customs and foods of other cultures. 

The city hosts a wide variety of local cultural events and street festivals.

It is home to a bustling and widely diverse community, including Cambodian, Latino, and African-American residents.

Year-round access to Outdoor Activities

Long Beach’s climate remains pleasant and moderate throughout the year.

Residents can enjoy the local beaches and their favorite outdoor activities at any time of the year.

The city experiences consistent sunshine peppered with only a few gloomy days with small amounts of rain and overcast skies. 

Abundant Job Opportunities

The city has a strong economy and a business-friendly environment, making it easy for local employers to attract and retain top talent in its many industries.

Newcomers seeking employment in Long Beach should be able to land a job when they exercise their research and networking skills effectively. 

Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene

This city is a virtual treasure trove of culture with a vibrant arts and culture scene. 

The Long Beach Museum of Art houses over 10,000 curated works of art, paintings, sculptures, and photographs.

Residents can learn more about the culture of Latin Americans at The Museum of Latin American Art or get a dose of musical culture at The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. 

Educational Hub Where Students, Families, and Teachers Thrive

Long Beach has long been seen as an educational hub with a list of some of the most prestigious schools in the US on its roster. 

The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD), has a graduation rate of over 80 percent.

Students in LBUSD consistently score well above the national average on standardized tests, and teachers rank the district at number fifty-three out of over six hundred schools as one of the best places to teach in California. 

Family-Friendly Environment

Along with being home to some of the best schools in California, safe, clean neighborhoods with a low crime rate for violent and property crime makes Long Beach one of the most family-friendly cities in southern California.

The city has many parks, family-friendly activities, and outdoor green spaces, making it an ideal location for many residents to start and grow burgeoning families. 

Sense of Connection Among Residents

The sense of community in this coastal city is strong as residents from a variety of diverse backgrounds blend into its melting-pot-like environment, creating strong bonds and a sense of community spirit between neighborhoods.

Residents of Long Beach are known for being friendly, welcoming, and always willing to help out other community members through volunteer work, attending community events, and joining one of the area’s many special interest clubs and organizations. 

Cons of Living in Long Beach, CA

While many long-time residents of Long Beach say this seaside neighborhood is idyllic – others say it has a few downsides.

One of the biggest complaints of locals is the extremely high cost of living, which makes it challenging for some residents to keep up with the costs.

The city is also home to the notorious 405 freeway that has been deemed “the” most congested freeway in America with its bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic. 

The Cost of Living Is Skyrocketing 

The high cost of living in Long Beach may have some prospective residents reconsidering their California dreams, as housing prices and property taxes are well above the average.

Long Beach is located in one of the most expensive areas in the country, as it sits just outside of other high-cost-of-living locations like Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Santa Monica.

Traffic Woes Are A Reality

If sitting in wall-to-wall traffic isn’t your idea of Southern California fun, consider another city.

Traffic congestion is a major problem, and it can be beyond frustrating for commuters and carpoolers trying to make their way around the city.

The congestion is incredibly high on the notorious 405 freeway, which has gained national recognition for its stop-and-go traffic and has earned it the title of having some of the worst traffic in the United States

Natural Disasters: Earthquakes and Wildfires

People considering relocating to Long Beach should know that the area is prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and wildfires, and sections of the city have been declared as an “Earthquake Hazard Area.” 

This area of SoCal sits atop a seismically active region near the Newport-Inglewood fault line, capable of producing strong earthquakes that measure at five or above on America’s Richter Scale. 

Limited Public Transit Can Lead to Isolation

While Long Beach has public transit options, its system is less extensive and efficient than other large cities.

Lack of public transportation options means increased traffic congestion and more residents are left with no choice but to commute.

The absence of adequate public transit creates a domino effect in the area, which results in higher levels of traffic congestion, pollution, and increased isolation levels for people who don’t have their own cars. 

Parking Challenges Are A Daily Battle

Keeping in line with traffic congestion and lack of public transportation, many Long Beach locals have parking issues.

Finding parking spots in the city can become a stress-inducing task.

Parking challenges are widespread near busy areas and local attractions where tourists use many available parking spaces.  

Gentrification Pressures

Some Long Beach neighborhoods are subjected to gentrification, which causes housing prices to go up and threatens the ability of long-time area residents to keep up with the costs of staying in their homes.

Changes in the neighborhood are not only leading to exorbitant rents and loss of affordable housing options. 

Drought Concerns

People living in Long Beach must abide by the city’s strict water restrictions to conserve water in this drought-prone region.

Along with abiding by local water restrictions, residents who live in the area may have noticeably higher water bills as costs rise to cover expenses related to importing water from other locations. 

Noise and Crowd Pollution

Long Beach homeowners who love living close to some of California’s most popular attractions say that living close to popular attractions like the aquarium and the Disney World Resort also comes with a few downsides.

Noise pollution caused by heavy traffic, ongoing construction, and lingering crowds visiting local attractions can be disruptive and annoying, leading to even more severe health-related effects, including high-stress levels and sleep deprivation.

Long Beach, CA
Long Beach, CA

Pros and Cons of Living in Long Beach, CA – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Long Beach, CACons of Living in Long Beach, CA
1. Long Beach Is a Seaside Lover's Delight1. The Cost of Living Is Skyrocketing 
2. Diverse Culture 2. Traffic Woes Are A Reality
3. Year-round access to Outdoor Activities3. Natural Disasters: Earthquakes and Wildfires
4. Abundant Job Opportunities4. Limited Public Transit Can Lead to Isolation
5. Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene5. Parking Challenges Are A Daily Battle
6. Educational Hub Where Students, Families, and Teachers Thrive6. Gentrification Pressures
7. Family-Friendly Environment7. Drought Concerns
8. Sense of Connection Among Residents8. Noise and Crowd Pollution

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Long Beach a safe place to live?

Whether Long Beach is a safe place to live can depend on several factors.

The city is considered relatively safe when it comes to serious criminal offenses and violent crimes.

However, the city’s property crime rate is much higher than other cities in the region.

Crime reports say Shoreline Village, North Long Beach, and Bixby Knolls are some of the safest neighborhoods in the area.

What are the best neighborhoods in Long Beach for families?

When searching for the best neighborhoods in Long Beach, prospective residents can find family-friendly neighborhoods with good schools, plenty of amenities, and lower crime rates in Bixby Knolls, Belmont Shore, and Los Cerritos.

While some of these areas are highly rated by locals, it is vital to do your own research before moving into a new neighborhood.

What's the best way to get around Long Beach without a car?

Residents say trying to get around Long Beach without a car should be avoided at all costs when possible.

That being the case, the local transit system also offers minimal bus and rail service for public transportation, which means getting around Long Beach (which houses one of the most congested byways in the US) is challenging for locals.

How good is the public education system in Long Beach?

While the Long Beach Unified School District is one of the largest and most reputable in California, locals say there are disparities in the quality of education and performance on standardized tests based on different neighborhoods.

They also say the city of Long Beach offers a range of educational options that can vary in quality between neighborhoods.

Are there good job opportunities in Long Beach?


Long Beach’s proximity to the Pacific coast and status as the home of local businesses in shipping, healthcare, education, and tourism means that jobs are plentiful.

There are also plenty of job opportunities available with local technology companies in the city and other nearby tech hubs that regularly hire computer programmers, software developers, and other tech employees.

2 Comments on 16 Pros and Cons of Living in Long Beach, CA

  1. A
    Adrianna says:

    Life in LB has treated me well, more so than I thought when I moved here from SanFran and I’m so glad I did. The cost of living is through the rough right now and tbh, I don’t think it will slow down anytime soon. If this is no issue, then I strongly suggest you make a few trips and get a feel of the place. If you love the vibe, you’ll end up loving LB. Parking is and it seems will always be an issue here so make sure you’ve snatched a good parking spot otherwise you will get in a lot of unnecessary conflicts.

  2. I moved around LA county more than I wanted to – due to job restrictions – but the last four years I’ve stayed put in Long Beach and I fell in love with the place. So much so, I decided to start looking for a place to call my own. Started with Los Cerritos, got a bit bummed when I saw the median prices and now I’m kinda fixed on Bixby Knolls, another great option if you’re looking for a safe place to start a family.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment