Long Beach is everything - Long Beach is one of the farthest South cities in LA County and enjoys a South facing coastal area. To the East there is Belmont Shore as well as Naples. Both of these areas are upscale and surround a quaint harbor for smaller vessels. Shore houses are quite desirable within walking distance to 2nd Street shops and restaurants. Naples, named for the Italian city, is a small, exclusive island with beautiful, upscale homes.
East Long Beach includes the areas of the Circle Area, College Park and College Park Estates (where Cal State Long Beach is located), Los Altos, The Plaza, Rancho, Stratford Square, Artcraft Manor and South of Conant. Also on the East side is Eldorado Park Estates, Old Lakewood City and Lakewood Village, all in the city of Long Beach (not Lakewood). All of these areas are considered idyllic, suburban 50's era neighborhoods. Eldorado Park, South of the 605 freeway, is a community of larger, more upscale homes. Rancho is famous for it's authentic Cliff May mid-century modern homes that enjoy a cult like following. Although Stratford Square and Artcraft Manor are mostly known for being in the flight path of the Long Beach Airport, there are still some very nice homes in these areas.
Coastal Long Beach going West includes Belmont Heights, Rose Park, Rose Park South, Carroll Park, Alamitos Beach, Bluff Park, Bluff Heights, The Arts District and Downtown. Most of these areas are actually designated Historic Districts and contain a wealth of Craftsman style Bungalow homes as well as Spanish style homes to die for. With Belmont Heights being the crown jewel, Rose Park and Bluff Heights have some beautiful examples. Bluff Park is the central coastal area where rich shipping barons built their enormous craftsman houses with a view of the ocean. Carroll Park is a smaller, very quaint collection of historic homes built on purposefully small, winding streets long ago. Alamitos Beach is a fantastic investment area with affordable condos and multi-unit properties within walking distance to the shore and the 4th Street shopping district, a hipster town square with trendy shops and restaurants.
Downtown Long Beach, including the Arts District, is moving towards being a micro version of what Downtown Los Angeles is with their revitalization and mixed-use developments, only without the traffic congestion. An abundance of loft spaces, condos, multi-units and old turn of the century homes, downtown is a eclectic and fascinating place. A true melting pot, diversity and culture fill its spaces. Bike lanes, vegan restaurants, urban parks and dog friendly coffee houses make this a lovely place to live.
Moving North you'll find Poly High Area, Wrigley, Signal Hill, California Heights, Bixby Knolls, Los Cerritos, Virginia Country Club and North Long Beach, to name the main areas. Signal Hill is actually its own city with an interesting mix of newer, upscale view homes and oil wells. Oil being the reason for this island city in the middle of Long Beach. California Heights is a very nice, historically significant area with Craftsman and Spanish homes. The streets have quaint old fashioned street lights to let you know you are there. Bixby Knolls is also a lovely, historic area. North Long Beach is the very large Northernmost area of Long Beach with great affordable homes and income property.