Are you wondering, “Is Long Beach California safe?”
We’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to. In this article, you’ll find how safety in Long Beach compares to safety in Los Angeles and other tips for visiting this beautiful coastal city that runs along the Pacific Ocean in Southern California.
For this post we’ve turned to our friend and California native Jessica, from CA Girl Travels. Even as a nearby resident, Jessica is a frequent tourist to Long Beach. She has a lot to say about whether this hidden gem of SoCal is safe to visit.
Is Long Beach, California Safe To Visit?
Despite the headlines about earthquakes in Southern California and rising crime rates in urban areas, don’t be too quick to dismiss Long Beach as being unsafe.
It’s true that like any other large city, Long Beach has safety issues like theft and violent crime. In fact, some of the most common property crimes in Long Beach are petty theft and grand theft auto.
But if you exercise caution and stick to the safer parts of the city, you can have a safe experience while discovering all of Long Beach’s attractions.
I’ve spent significant time in Long Beach, visiting the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and several museums and theaters. I’ve never felt unsafe, even though it was often just me and my toddler.
Is Long Beach safer than LA?
Long Beach and Los Angeles are both urban areas with unique safety challenges, and it can be difficult to compare them directly.
According to recent data, Long Beach crime rates tend to be lower than in some parts of Los Angeles.
The overall crime rate in Long Beach is lower than the national average and lower than in many other cities in the Los Angeles area. While Long Beach’s property crime rate is lower than the national average, its violent crime rate is slightly higher.
On the other hand, Los Angeles has a higher overall crime rate than Long Beach, with both property and violent crimes being more common.
It’s also important to note that overall crime rates are trending downwards.
Is Southern California Safe To Live In?
Southern California is generally a safe place to live, with many vibrant communities and neighborhoods.
I’ve lived in Southern California for 15 years and have always felt safe here, except for the occasional run-in with a bear or bobcat while hiking in the many surrounding hills and parks.
However, I’ve lived in cities my entire adult life, so I know which situations to avoid. For women, walking alone at night in unpopulated areas is the biggest. There is safety in numbers when walking in a large city at night.
Some areas of Southern California may have higher crime rates than others, particularly in larger cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.
However, it’s good to remember that cities have many safe neighborhoods, and crime rates have decreased over the past several years.
It’s important to research any new area or destination you’re interested in and take basic safety precautions, such as locking doors and windows and being aware of your surroundings, to help ensure a safe traveling experience in any large city in SoCal.
Southern California is also prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and wildfires, which can pose safety risks.
But because of our long-standing relationship with natural disasters, the region has well-established emergency response systems to help mitigate these disasters’ effects and keep residents safe.
Is Long Beach a good area to live?
Long Beach is a port city that runs along the coast of Southern California. As a result, it has a temperate climate and constant ocean breeze. Many would agree that it’s a great place to live.
Home to 450,000 people, Long Beach is a large city compared to other coastal towns, like Pismo Beach, which only has a little over 8,000 people but the same cool ocean breeze.
Locals consider people who live near the beach in California to be the really lucky ones! I have several friends who live in Long Beach, and they love living there.
The city of Long Beach, which has won numerous awards for its innovation, offers all the top-notch amenities of a bustling metropolis while preserving the distinct character of its diverse neighborhoods along the California coast.
The city features a prestigious university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of gorgeous beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
Long Beach is also home to many renowned attractions, including The Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, numerous museums, theaters and cultural events, the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, Long Beach Airport, and the Port of Long Beach.
A special mention for the Long Beach Airport: When I go to buy an airline ticket, I first check if I’m able to fly out of the Long Beach airport because, my goodness, it is the nicest airport!
It’s small, well organized, and has a unique outdoor bar and restaurant where you can relax in the cool Long Beach sea air with a drink in hand as palm trees sway overhead. You actively hope your plane gets delayed so that you can spend more time in this airport.
Oh, and one of the best burgers I’ve ever had is served at the Long Beach Airport.
Safest Areas In Long Beach
According to crime reports, the safest Long Beach neighborhoods for visitors are Naples, Belmont Shore, and Alamitos Beach.
Naples is a highly desirable neighborhood in the southeast of Long Beach, California. It’s known for its picturesque canals and waterfront homes, which are highly sought after by residents.
Naples is considered a relatively safe neighborhood, with a low crime rate compared to other areas of Long Beach. While no neighborhood can be completely free of crime, Naples has a reputation for being a peaceful community.
Belmont Shore Beach spans the waterfront of the Belmont Shore neighborhood. Considered one of the best places to live in California, Belmont Shore offers residents an urban-suburban mix feel.
On Belmont Shore, there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in Belmont Shore, and the public schools are highly rated.
Most people who live in Belmont Shore rent because the cost of living there is so high. It is a very safe neighborhood in Long Beach.
Alamitos is another safe neighborhood in Long Beach that runs along the city’s shoreline. It’s generally considered safe for visitors.
Alamitos Beach is a popular beach destination for tourists and locals alike. Overall, it has low crime rates.
For each of these safest neighborhoods in Long Beach, petty theft is the most likely crime to experience.
Crime is higher in areas near the Long Beach Airport, on the Signal Hill border and in Downtown Long Beach.
Downtown Long Beach is the most heavily touristed area in the city, but be aware and prepared when visiting that crime rates are higher here, making downtown Long Beach a bit more dangerous than the other neighborhoods.
As someone who has been to both Signal Hill and Downtown Long Beach many times, I’ve never felt unsafe. I’ve walked and shopped around the Long Beach Airport many times. However, at night, you should take extra precautions.
Is Long Beach Dangerous?
Crime and natural disasters are the most common safety concerns for those visiting Long Beach. Let’s take a look at each of these two factors to assess your actual risk of being in danger when visiting Long Beach.
California is a state that is particularly vulnerable to a wide range of natural disasters due to its location and geography, like:
Landslides, mudslides, wildfires, earthquakes, floods, and drought.
Living in California for over 25 years, I’ve never experienced any of these natural disasters except for feeling a few tremors during an earthquake or two. I usually sleep right through them.
Since California has a long history of natural disasters, the state has well-established emergency response systems to help mitigate the effects of these disasters and keep people safe.
Crime Rate & Gun Violence
Long Beach’s violent crime rate has been declining since 1990.
According to the latest available statistics from the Long Beach Police Department, the overall crime rate in Long Beach has decreased in recent years.
In 2020, there were 9,844 reported incidents of violent and property crime, which is a decrease of about 11% compared to 2019.
In early 2021 Long Beach saw an uptick in gun violence. Gun arrests are up 36%, while overall arrests are down 18.9%.
To combat violent crime and increased shootings, the Police Department facilitated a Community Safety and Gun Violence Roundtable in June 2021 that introduced the Coordinated Response Team (CRT) efforts to reduce gun violence.
The City Council allocated $5 million in June 2021 for a Safety Recovery Plan to tackle the significant rise in gun violence witnessed early in the year.
The plan consisted of several initiatives, including $4.575 million for the Coordinated Response Team, Neighbor Walks program, maintaining current service call levels, extra police presence in business districts, and more bike units, among other temporary improvements.
It also featured $425,000 for various violence prevention programs across several departments.
Safety Tips When Traveling To Southern California
Traveling in unfamiliar places means taking some safety measures, especially in large cities. Most non-violent crimes can be avoided by taking basic precautions and being prepared for potential dangers that will keep you safe.
✅ Stay aware of your surroundings so you aren’t an easy target.
✅ Avoid poorly lit areas at night
✅ Don’t leave valuables inside your car where people can see them. I’ve experienced a car break-in because I left belongings in plain sight, making my car an easy target for theft. Put your things in the trunk and keep the car inside empty.
✅ Act like you belong where you are. Having confidence when you travel keeps you safer. Research where you’re going so you don’t look the part of vulnerable tourist.
✅ Avoid walking alone at night. There is safety in numbers. Be aware of any suspicious individuals or activity.
✅ It is always a good idea to follow any posted rules and regulations in the area and respect the local community and environment.
✅ When hiking, obey “trail is closed” signs. These signs are posted for a reason. Mudslides are common on trails in SoCal, and people often don’t realize how dangerous it is to hike on unfamiliar trails, especially after heavy rains.
✅ When in California, it’s always good to have water and a hat. You’ll feel more comfortable and more prepared.
The Wrap-Up: Is Long Beach Safe?
Long Beach, like any city, has its own set of risks and safety concerns, but overall many neighborhoods in Long Beach are safe and family-friendly.
If you’re planning to visit Long Beach, I hope this information on safety has been helpful.
Long Beach is a beautiful coastal city that offers plenty of sunshine and opportunities for adventure. With this knowledge, you should feel confident and prepared to explore all this city offers.
Heading north to San Francisco? Check out our recommended 3-day itinerary for visiting San Francisco.