Our 1925 Spanish-style home is in a great neighborhood--cool ocean breezes, palm trees, very private balcony, nice courtyard patio with a fountain and fire pit, and skyline views. The house is very bright, with lots of large windows, quiet, and breezy. We are about a three-minute walk away from a lively local commercial area, Second Street, close enough to be very accessible and maybe so close as to be too tempting (amazing gelato place along with dozens of restaurants of all varieties) but not so near as to be noisy. We stroll there daily to go to the post office, cafes, eateries, shops, and bakeries. Warm croissants and great Mexican food are just a few blocks away. Our travel dates coincide with the school calendar, as we have a school-age child and are educators ourselves. We also love to get exchange offers from Hawaii and Italy. We are open to California exchanges for long weekends and to other destinations for spring break. NOTE: For summer 2022, we plan to do an exchange that we postponed due to the pandemic.
Along Second Street, a few blocks away, you can find Thai, Greek, French, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern, and of course, American food (southern-style barbecue, as well as upscale eateries). Second Street is home to such local traditions as the Christmas parade and a variety of community events, such as vintage automobile shows and "stroll and savor" restaurant sampling evenings. The ocean is just a few blocks away, as is a bay where one can rent kayaks and a tidal lagoon with sea birds and a nice beach. The neighborhood is highly walkable and very bike friendly, with excellent bus service.
Long Beach is a very diverse community, with people from every part of the globe; it used to be known as “Iowa by the Sea” because of all the Midwesterners who left winter to relocate to California in the early 1900s. For a big city that's part of a bigger metropolis, Long Beach has a friendly populace and can have a small town feel, with lots of strollers and bicyclists enjoying the bike path that extends the length of the beach and up along the San Gabriel and Los Angeles rivers. See the New York Times, March 18, 2012, travel feature on 36 hours in Long Beach: http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/travel/36-hours-long-beach-calif.html?scp=1&sq=36%20hours%20Long%20Beach&st=cse
Long Beach also has a thriving LGBT community and an annual Gay Pride festival and parade. http://www.gaytravel.com/gay-guides/long-beach
All of the attractions of Los Angeles are within easy distance (LAX-30 minutes), downtown (30-45), Santa Monica (45-60), Disneyland (30). San Diego is about two hours by car, as is Palm Springs (or a little more, depending on traffic!). There are some very good local museums as well as excellent ones throughout the metropolitan region.
Bicycling, jogging, or walking along the beach path, going to the nearby Aquarium of the Pacific, renting kayaks or roller-blades, or going for strolls at sunset along the ocean are local outdoor activities. We have paddle boards for those who want to try that activity in the bay. Excellent hiking, beautiful day trips to the nature preserves of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, and desert excursions to Joshua Tree National Park and Palm Springs are not far either.
Wonderful neighborhood a few blocks from the beach
Walking to lots of good restaurants and cafes
Perfect weather and palm trees
Beach toys and stand-up paddle boards and life jackets
Two adult bikes, one child's bicycle
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