My time in California

TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,091
819
St. Paul, Minnesota
Hey MR,

I usually don't like searching Google for this type of stuff because the highest rated and most popular are usually the most packed.

I'm in Long Beach area for an internship and just want to see if there are any low-key, mellow beaches I can relax, read, and get a tan at... I also don't want to pay a ginormous amount for parking.

I might be willing to drive up to 45 minutes or so if it's worth it.

You guys never let me down!

Thanks!
 
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TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,091
819
St. Paul, Minnesota
Observations of California, being from the midwest (spent my whole life in either Minnesota or Iowa, save for two months in Rome and a week in Japan):

-In N Out Burger: Heard about this place everywhere, from friends, from the internet, etc. Overrated as hell. Got the double double animal style like everyone has told me to. Fries are honestly the worst fries I've ever had. The burger isn't bad, but still nothing compared to Culver's when it comes to fast food hamburger.

-Drivers are freakin' crazy! They drive fast. They don't use blinkers. They cut you off. There is no such thing as a "passing" lane. Wow. I thought I was an aggressive driver until I came here.

-Weather is beautiful. People are nice. Fashion is much different. I hope this doesn't come off as racist, because it's not a problem, just a mere observation, in the fact that it feels different being around more people who aren't white.

-Everything is much more fast-paced. Service at stores and restaurants in general is worse than in the midwest. Charging for grocery bags is weird.
 

smithrh

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2009
2,491
984
I hope by now you did some easy exploring and already found a whole herd of beaches.

You said you were in Long Beach - the beaches on the east side of town may be what you're looking for. Get to Beach blvd and head east - it may feel like "south" to you but it's east.

There's a nice enough spot where Livingston peels away from Beach. Also, just a few blocks inland is 2nd Avenue, restaurants, bars, etc.

No beachy enough? Drive down Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1), also known as PCH.

There you'll run into: Sunset beach, Huntington Beach (both the city and the actual beach), Newport Beach (ditto), going a bit farther gets you into OC with Laguna Beach (very cool, but small), Doheny State beach and more.

Or, you could head west, but that's a more painful drive, but that gets you Redondo beach, Hermosa beach, Manhattan beach, Venice beach (not my thing), Santa Monica...

Bottom line, absolutely no shortage of beaches where you are, either direction. I personally prefer going in the San Diego direction (and there are more beaches down there as well), but to each their own.

WRT your observations:
  • Yes, In-and-Out is overrated. It's got a cult-like following, so just ignore them. However, the casual food in Cali is top-notch. Sushi, Mexican, burgers, all great stuff. When I say casual I don't mean "Chili's" or "Chipotle" but the regional mini-chains can be excellent.
  • Yes, drivers are more aggressive there, and brake-checking is a thing. It's basically a major metro area and not the Cities. No Minnesota Nice!
  • Being from Chicago, I wouldn't call LA/OC "fast-paced."
Hope this helps. No, don't live there, but I've been out there for extended periods of time many times.

Try the drive on PCH down to San Diego - highly recommended.
 

Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
4,525
10,398
Stinson & Dillon Beach are nice but just a touch on the north side of Long Beach.
 

TSE

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
3,091
819
St. Paul, Minnesota
Took my roommate's dog out to Rosie's Dog Beach today!

He's a one year old, unneutered golden lab/griffon mix and he had so much fun! A dog beach is a great idea! I really wish I could train him to be a bit more obedient so I can let him off the leash, but even on the leash he loves to swim and run with me. The beaches around that area were nice and clean for how busy they were (the beaches in Italy were either pristine and beautiful because they were always empty, or just packed and filthy). Met a lot of great people who all would hear me talk, say I have a funny accent, and ask me where I'm from. Funny, because even some Iowans say the same thing to me!

People around this area are super nice. The girls in the area are supppppeerrrrrr cute (don't tell my girlfriend!). Haven't had a chance to explore restaurants much since I'm on limited funds. The weather has been wonderful, but I'm sure it's going to heat up even more and get too hot for me pretty soon here.

Might go see an MLB game here pretty soon, just to check out their stadiums!
 

Eldiablojoe

macrumors 6502a
Dec 4, 2009
943
68
West Koast
Stinson & Dillon Beach are nice but just a touch on the north side of Long Beach.
Lived here my entire life. Lived IN Long Beach for years, and around it for 40. NEVER heard of Stinson or Dillon beaches...

Just a touch north, as you say, is Long Beach harbor and the cesspool (water-wise) of wharfs and docks known as San Pedro. No beaches there until Cabrillo. Not sure where you're talking about...
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,630
9,285
My Aunt used to manage a hotel right on Santa Monica Beach. I visited often, I once stayed the whole summer. It's pretty relaxed in that area. The pier would attract plenty of people, but it never seemed too crowded. Off the pier and down on the beach further away from the pier was pretty low key most of the time.
 

Gutwrench

Contributor
Jan 2, 2011
4,525
10,398
Just a touch being about 400 miles! I've been to Stinson on my way to Muir Woods. B
Dillon is less than a touch north of Stinson nestled in Bodega Bay and Tomales Bay. Neither will compete with Longbeach for water play but prevail on ascetics and peacefulness.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,554
2,518
Sunny, Southern California
Observations of California, being from the midwest (spent my whole life in either Minnesota or Iowa, save for two months in Rome and a week in Japan):

-In N Out Burger: Heard about this place everywhere, from friends, from the internet, etc. Overrated as hell. Got the double double animal style like everyone has told me to. Fries are honestly the worst fries I've ever had. The burger isn't bad, but still nothing compared to Culver's when it comes to fast food hamburger.

-Drivers are freakin' crazy! They drive fast. They don't use blinkers. They cut you off. There is no such thing as a "passing" lane. Wow. I thought I was an aggressive driver until I came here.

-Weather is beautiful. People are nice. Fashion is much different. I hope this doesn't come off as racist, because it's not a problem, just a mere observation, in the fact that it feels different being around more people who aren't white.

-Everything is much more fast-paced. Service at stores and restaurants in general is worse than in the midwest. Charging for grocery bags is weird.

What your friends forgot to tell you, is you always ask for the fries extra crispy! They are bad in my opinion also if you don't ask for them crispy. You can also ask them extra crispy animal style. Which is pretty darn good.

What part of Long Beach are you in? I am very very familiar with pretty much all aspects of Long Beach since, I live there (well for the better part of 20 years, now I live on the boarder, literally the next town north, but go to the LB ever weekend). Love the different areas and the different areas to eat, drink, and have fun!

The Beaches in Long Beach are just OK. They are nice, but no waves. They are pretty wide i.e. from the bluff to the water, so you can actually grab a spot and not have anybody around you! Again this will depend on where you are actually located at. The shore, Shoreline, 2nd street, the Pool, the Queen Mary side etc.

Long Beach passed the grocery bag (plastic ban) a few years ago and they will charge you for the paper. Hence the reason you will see a ton of bags for sale at the stores.

Let me know what kind of food, drinks, nightlife, or stuff you like to do and I can give you some suggestions.
 
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JamesMike

macrumors demi-god
Nov 3, 2014
5,837
4,897
Oregon
Hey MR,

I usually don't like searching Google for this type of stuff because the highest rated and most popular are usually the most packed.

I'm in Long Beach area for an internship and just want to see if there are any low-key, mellow beaches I can relax, read, and get a tan at... I also don't want to pay a ginormous amount for parking.

I might be willing to drive up to 45 minutes or so if it's worth it.

You guys never let me down!

Thanks!
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