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Is Long Beach Safe? | Travel Tips & Safety Concerns

Is Long Beach Safe? | Travel Tips & Safety Concerns

Long Beach is a beautiful city in California’s Los Angeles County. People drawn from all over the world come to explore and vacation in Long Beach.

Most of these people are so mesmerized by the place that they can’t help but decide to call it their forever home. It’s no wonder Long Beach is dubbed the most demographically diverse city in America, a somewhat melting pot of different cultures.

Many of these people visit long Beach to attend world-renowned events like the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride event, Music Tastes Good Festival, or the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Others are more interested in viewing attractions like the Queen Mary floating Museum and Hotel, Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Adobe, Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach Museum of Art, and Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden.

There’s little doubt that Long Beach has plenty for any curious visitor to experience. But how safe will you be on your quest to discover the city? Is Long Beach Safe? Here’s a comprehensive answer to your question.

Is Long Beach Safe to Visit?

Belmont Pier in Long Island for a piece on is the city safe to visit

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Long Beach is a relatively safe place to visit. However, the city is not devoid of crime. Long Beach grapples with crimes like assault and robbery.

Gang-related violent crime cases are also a cause for concern, but not so much for travelers who remain alert. There are areas in Long Beach that are flagged as dangerous for both locals and visitors.

If you avoid these areas, you should go about your business without anyone trying to attack or steal from you.

Most of the attractions visitors are interested in seeing happen to be in some of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Long Beach’s crime rate may be high, so it’s advisable to practice vigilance whenever you venture outdoors alone or with loved ones.

Crime in Long Beach

Tourist-friendly areas in Long Beach are pretty much safe during the day. At night, you should be safe if you avoid pesky-looking individuals, dark alleys, and parking in isolated spaces.

Should you notice anything suspicious, trust your gut and rush to safety immediately. Here, safety means calling the police, stopping a car and asking for help, or literally calling out loud for help.

Downtown Long Beach may have a significantly higher crime rate than other neighborhoods. This is despite the area ranking top in the list of areas that receives the highest number of tourists.

In Downtown neighborhoods, standard crime reports include car break-ins, petty theft, and bike and auto theft. Avoid leaving your valuables unattended or in plain sight. Doing so puts you or your belongings at risk.

Warnings & Dangers in Long Beach

At first glance, you wouldn’t believe anything terrible exists in Long Beach. The city has this irresistible allure that most people cannot help but indulge. But as in any other major city, Long Beach isn’t without challenges.

Crime reports have skyrocketed, especially during the pandemic.

While the authorities continue to do a commendable job towards making the city crime-free, the incidence rate is yet to reach zero. Here’s a closer look at various risks in Long Beach and their prevalence rates.

Overall Risk: Medium

Generally, Long Beach is a safe place to be for visitors. It would be prudent for you to avoid venturing into dangerous neighborhoods because this is where you are likely to become a victim of crime.

Transport and Taxis Risk: Medium

Public transport is surprisingly safe to use to arrive at different destinations in the city. Crowded buses are an excellent cover for pickpockets, whereas end stations have been flagged as unsafe, especially for people who stand out and look out of place.

To be safe, consider using a taxi to arrive safely at your destinations. Taxis are exceptionally safe to use late at night.

Pickpockets Risk: Low

Pickpocketing reports are few and far between. Keep track of your belongings and watch your pockets whenever you’re in a crowded place. Should a stranger offer you help or try to ask you for help, they might be a pickpocket trying to distract you. Politely decline and watch your surroundings.

Mugging Risk: High

Muggings often happen in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods of the city. These areas are raided by drug addicts, homeless people, and unscrupulous locals trying to make a quick steal off of misplaced tourists.

Avoid walking alone in dangerous neighborhoods at night. More importantly, avoid getting onto fights with people you don’t know.

Scams Risk: Medium

Only withdraw money in trusted ATMs from recognized financial institutions. Avoid using an ATM that has been tampered with. Avoid giving out confidential information to people via SMS, e-mail, or phone, especially when you’re suspicious that they are not who they say they are.

Women Travelers Risk: Medium

Getting drunk alone, walking in poorly lit alleys, and wandering into dangerous places alone are a few actions that can put women at risk. With a bit of common sense on your part, you should have a peaceful, incident-free stay as a woman traveler in Long Beach.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

Image of a street in Compton for a piece titled Is Long Beach California Safe to Visit

Matt Gush/Shutterstock

There’s a fine split between safe and unsafe neighborhoods in Long Beach. Communities with high crime reports like muggings, pickpocketing, property theft, and violent shootings are highlighted below.

Dangerous Neighborhoods in Long Beach

The areas in this category are pretty dangerous, even during the day. Always exercise caution whenever you find yourself in these areas. However, it is a good idea to avoid being in an unsafe neighborhood, especially if you’re new in the city.

Southwestern Long Beach

The area from Redondo Blvd. and 4th down to the Signal Hill Border marks the Southwestern Long Beach boundaries. This area is marred with reports of petty crimes and is not an area you should be caught dragging or ignorant of your surroundings.

North Long Beach

The parts of Long Beach on the northwestern side of LGB Airport have been known to harbor questionable individuals out to steal from and attack unsuspecting people. It’s also a standard red zone for auto theft and muggings.

Compton City Border

The area in Long Beach bordering Compton city is famous for gang activity. The police frequent these areas because of high crime reports and fire incidences. You are better off avoiding this area to lower your risk of becoming a victim of crime.

Wrigley

Wrigley has the highest reported cases of property theft in Long Beach. Most people whose vehicles or bikes have been stolen report having last seen their cars here. If you can’t avoid going into this area, avoid leaving your vehicle unattended for long periods.

Pacific Coast Highway

The Pacific Coast Highway has a bad reputation for petty theft, prostitution, and muggings owing to high drug use among the people living around this area.

West of Long Beach

West Long beach was once a quiet area with only a few crime incidents here and there. Today, this area has more crime reports than in most other dangerous neighborhoods in the city.

Sites to avoid in West Long beach include places within West 9th street and the city center. West Long Beach experiences plenty of theft and robberies and is inhabited by impoverished people who struggle with mental illness and drug addiction.

Safe Neighborhoods in Long Beach

El Dorado Park in Long Beach

bon9/Shutterstock

These areas enjoy higher safety levels due to community policing and police patrols. These locations are safe for visitors during the day or night, and crime cases here are minimal. Some of the safest neighborhoods in Long Beach include:

California Heights

California Heights is an affluent neighborhood with many parks, shopping areas, and recreational centers. It’s famous for hosting many pride and community events.

El Dorado Park

El Dorado Park will blow your mind if you’re looking for a safe, scenic space to live in or explore in Long Beach. El Dorado East Regional Park is an excellent location for outdoor activities like golfing, archery, fishing, and outdoor fitness.

Los Altos

When you’re traveling with kids and loved ones, you want to be in places where you can enjoy the safety of the outdoors as much as you do the indoor areas. Los Altos has a sparkling reputation.

Whaley Park, Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden, and Carpenter Performing Arts Center are great places in this neighborhood where you can enjoy some inexpensive outdoor fun.

Lakewood Village

If you love shopping, Lakewood Village is a must-visit. The Lakewood Center has popular stores like H&M, Cotton On, Express, etc.

When you have kids in tow, Kidz Town is a safe, exciting place where they can do rock climbing, go down giant slides, and much more. Accommodation facilities, transportation, and the food scene are safe and reliable.

Signal Hill

Signal Hill has some of the most picturesque views of Long Beach. It’s a plush, kempt neighborhood that sits on a real hill. It’s a fortress with exciting places like the Signal Hill Trail, ideal for hiking and running, or the Hangar 18 Indoor Climbing Gym.

It’s a nice place to wind down and hide away from the city center’s hustle and bustle. Other safe neighborhoods in Long Beach include Belmont Shore, Carson Park, Bixby Village, Old Lakewood Village, Rancho Estates, Eastside, and Alamitos Heights.

Safety Tips for Travelers in Long Beach

Long Beach Transit Aqua Link II for a guide titled Is Long Beach California Safe to Visit

Long Beach CA Sept 12, 2020 Long Beach Transit Aqua Link II/Eric Glenn/Shutterstock

The same way you’d look out for yourself in your town is what is expected of you in this diverse city. As a visitor to Long Beach, you can adopt a few habits to keep you safe from crimes like burglary, scams, identity theft, muggings, and violent attacks.

They include:

Opt for Taxis or Rideshare Services

If it’s at night or you’re not sure where you’re going, use a taxi to arrive safely at your destination. One block in Long Beach may be safe, but things can quickly change when you move a short distance forward or backward.

Act Aware

Walk and talk confidently. If you look lost or uncertain about where you’re going, you make yourself an easy target for thieves and scammers.

Act alert even when you’re unsure about your circumstances. It helps to plan your day well in advance to avoid getting lost and know what actions to take should problems arise.

Watch Your Valuables

Avoid leaving items like handbags, laptops, or jewelry in your car where they can be seen. This is the number one culprit behind car break-ins and car theft. Similarly, hold your bag securely when walking in crowded streets to avoid getting mugged or pickpocketed.

Avoid Walking Alone at Night

Whether or not you are visiting Long Beach for business or pleasure, consider grouping with others, particularly if you’re planning to go out at night.

Being part of a group means you have someone to watch your back. Plus, most criminals go for easy targets like people who are alone.

Plan Your Trip in Advance

Research and plan your trip early when planning to attend an event or visit famous attractions in Long Beach. Have a clear structure of how to hire a taxi, where to eat, and sites to visit, and know whether or not you’ll be in a safe neighborhood.

Tell Someone About Your Whereabouts

It matters not if you’re traveling alone or as a group; it’s good practice to keep someone updated about where you are and places you plan to visit. If something terrible happens or you get lost, it would be easier to track you down and get you the necessary help quickly.

Things to Consider

Important things to consider when traveling to Long Beach include:

  • Long Beach is pet friendly
  • The beaches are super refreshing
  • The weather is awesome
  • Travel early to avoid getting stuck in traffic
  • Put on sunscreen to avoid getting sunburns during the summer
  • Avoid going to dangerous neighborhoods

Frequently Asked Questions

Long Beach Waterfront featuring a woman rollerblading down the sidewalk

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – November 1, 2019: Long Beach is known for its waterfront attractions, including the Queen Mary/Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

Here are the most common questions travelers ask about Long Beach.

Is Long Beach suitable for families?

Long Beach is an excellent destination for vacationing families. There exist family-friendly attractions like the vibrant Shoreline Village, Aquarium of the Pacific, and numerous tailor-made tours of the city attractions and coast.

Is Long Beach expensive?

Compared to other California cities, the cost of living in Long Beach is significantly higher. However, some Long Beach neighborhoods are more expensive than others. Beachfront properties, restaurants, and hotels are more expensive than areas further away from the city center.

What’s it like to live in Long Beach?

The weather is nice, the streets are paved and pedestrian-friendly, and there are many parks and recreational centers for people to enjoy. Here, you’ll meet and mingle with people from different cultures and choose from a wide array of dining and entertainment options. In a nutshell, Long Beach is one of the most exciting places to live in Southern California.

What is there to do in Long Beach alone?

From golfing, swimming, archery, sports, and exploring nature trails, there’s no shortage of engaging activities in Long Beach. There are plenty of age-appropriate things to do to make your visit memorable and fun.

Where should you avoid Long Beach?

Generally, if you’re new to Long Beach, avoid areas on the northwestern side, Long Beach Airport, and Poly High. The neighborhoods here are crime-ridden and unsafe for visitors.

So, Is Long Beach Safe to Visit?

The crime rate in Long Beach is yet to decline but isn’t as bad as you’d think. The high crime rate here remains a challenge for the authorities owing to increased reports of muggings, drug trafficking, car theft, and pickpocketing.

Is Long Beach safe? As long as you are aware of the potential dangers, remain cautious, and avoid going to bad neighborhoods, you’ll have the best time in Long Beach. Happy travels!