A series of beaches extend for several miles along the coast of Long Beach, from the eastern edge of the harbor to the tip of the Alamitos Peninsula. There is no clear boundary between the beaches (City Beach, Belmont Shore Beach, Junipero Beach), and locals use the names interchangeably. The waters here aren't the cleanest—Long Beach Harbor is one of the busiest ports on the Pacific Rim, and there are many oil rigs offshore—but it is calm due to miles of offshore breakwaters, making these some of the safest beaches in Los Angeles County and thus highly favored by families with small children.
Running alongside the beaches is the three-mile Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path, which extends from Alamitos Avenue on the west end to 54th Place on the east. The concrete trail is wide (two six-foot lanes for bikes and a five-foot lane for pedestrians) and very busy with people walking, biking, and rolling. At the foot of 39th Place is Belmont Pier (also known as Veterans Memorial Pier), a 1,620-foot-long, T-shaped, smooth concrete pier that’s a great place to watch anglers and gaze out toward Catalina Island. You can also catch the Aqualink here, an accessible catamaran that will take you to other sites along the Long Beach waterfront. It operates from May to September.
There is much to take in on this beach path when you combine it with a stroll around Shoreline Village to the west, including shops, restaurants, and views of the Queen Mary across the bay. You can also take a catamaran ride to other stops around the bay.
We picked up the beach path from Marina Green, just past Shoreline Village. After a few yards, a concrete path with a pad extends onto the beach (there are several others along this stretch), although with sand on both sides of the main trail, you often feel as if you’re on the beach anyway. Looking out across the water, it takes some time to realize that what look like buildings are actually oil rigs. Part of the trail is edged by bluffs, and there’s also an accessible blufftop trail that runs for at least a mile. Most of the cross-streets along Ocean Boulevard are reached by stairs; look for wheelchair-accessible entrances at the Alamitos parking lot off Shoreline Drive and at First Place, Junipero Avenue, 39th Place (Belmont Pier), and 54th Place.
After about 2 miles you reach Belmont Pier, then Rosie’s Dog Beach, where you’ll likely see well- behaved dogs enjoying an off-leash romp. From there it’s another mile to 54th Place, where the path ends. To continue to the tip of the Alamitos Peninsula, another 1.2 miles, turn right on Ocean Boulevard and follow the sidewalk to 55th Place. From here you can either turn right to follow East Seaside Walk or left along East Bayshore Walk. Both travel alongside homes and meet up at tiny Alamitos Park at the peninsula's tip, where there is an accessible picnic table and restroom. I recommend the Seaside Walk because Bayshore Walk requires you to detour around stairs at 65th Place: turn right and go back to Ocean Boulevard, then turn left and continue along the sidewalk to Alamitos Park at 72nd Place.
The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.
At Belmont Pier and Shoreline Village. There are numerous trailside restrooms. All are numbered, and only number 7 is fully accessible—all others have no stall doors, grab bars on both sides but not the back wall, 15-inch toilet heights, no roll-under sinks, and space at the toilet for only a front-approach transfer.
Next to the Long Beach Yacht Club in Alamitos Park and at the bike rental/cafe at the trail's northernmost end
Other Things of Interest
Adjacent Alamitos Bay offers boating, beaches, Marine Park, a paved bike trail, quaint neighborhoods, shops, and restaurants. The Mothers Beach parking lot provides close-up views of the bay. Cross the bridge at Marine Stadium to reach Naples Island, a neighborhood built to resemble Venice, Italy.
Bustling Second Street in Belmont Shore, just inland from Long Beach, is lined with boutique shops and restaurants. Finding an accessible route from the beach to Second Street is a challenge, however; it's easiest to drive.
Northern end of Shoreline Pedestrian Bike Path (Peggy Rowan)
Belmont Pier: One hour before sunrise to midnight. Beach: One hour before sunrise to 10 pm.
In restricted areas Dogs not allowed on beach except at Rosie’s Dog Beach, an off-leash area between Roycroft and Argonne Aves (open 6 am-8 pm;www.longbeach.gov/park/parks_and_open_spaces/parks/dog_parks.asp
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