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My wife and I are considering moving to the LA/Orange County for some time due to my job. I have been there a few times and just love the area in general, all the way from Santa Monica to West Hollywood to as far as Newport Beach. I understand in LA-terms, these are far from each others and comprise of diffrent worlds. Hence this thread. I have been looking at a few factors, and need your guys help in understanding deterimining the best area(s) for us. Here are factors going into our decision:
* I will work in La Palma/Buena Park area. I know it's a 25 mile trip from Redondo Beach, 18 from Long Beach on the coast, and about 12 from Huntington Beach.
* As you can probably gather :-) we MUST live walking distance from the beach. If we are moving all the way from land-locked Dallas to California, we will not settle for not living by the beach. I know we can get a decent 1 bedroom in Huntington Beach for about $1,400-$1,600 which we are willing to pay for beach-style living. Redondo Beach about $1,600, and Long Beach same but may be closer to some bad neighborhoods.
* I want to be within 45 mins drive to LA/Hollywood as such the look into Redondo or Long Beach as opposed to Huntington Beach.
* We want "quietness" but not to be too secluded, close to good nightlife and restaurants, but not to be woken up by partying drunks all throughout the night.
* We are newlyweds with no kids, looking to live and have fun while working for the next 1-2 years.
I spent 40 years living and working in these areas.
South Redondo would be my first choice. There is so much to do down there and it doesn't get as crouded as Huntington Beach = funnel for all inland OC beach goers. Huntington Beach is also party town USA. So it can get pretty loud. I would skip Huntington Beach since there is such an abundance of what you said you would like to avoid. Now for the frat kids sharing a beach house and wanting to surf and party the night away its great.
Long Beach is much larger with some nicer parts such as Belmont Shores and more *really* bad sections with shootings, prostitution, and drug dealers a plenty. Also most locals don't think of Long Beach as real beach in that there are no waves. Now if you don't care about going in the water and bodysurfing, bodyboarding, surfing, etc... then it may not be as important. However it does seem dirtier to me because the water is so stagnant and it closest to the large tankers constantly coming in and out of the LA Harbor.
If you really want to enjoy the beach then water pollution levels or rather lack there of should be a definate consideration. Check out 'Heal the Bay' and other organizations which monitor local ocean pollution levels. Even if you don't go 'in' the water the pollution will effect the beaches. If the water is really dirty there will be more trash, dead birds, tar, etc... along the shore. Then there is the excess 'human' element which can really trash out the beach. For example the beaches with the most ppl tend to be the trashiest. Even with city cleanup, ppl who do not respect the environment can leave the place a mess - soda cans, lunch leftovers, cigarettes, etc...
This is another reason I prefer South Redondo. It just seems cleaner overall. Lastly South Redondo is the most scenic IMO.
Even though we are living in Monterey now, I look back on this area with particular fondness.
However many of the other SoCal beaches I wouldn't even want to visit anymore. The pollution has gotten really bad and the crouds gets really old especially when the weather is good. Don't get me wrong the other beaches aren't bad necessarily. They have just changed too much from what they used to be for me as a local native of the area.
Last edited by MtnSurfer; 06-28-2009 at 04:42 PM..
the belmont shore area of Long Beach is great. If you want to surf as another said you'll need to go to seal (a short bike ride away). If you don't need to surf alamitos bay is adjacent to belmont shore and many people swim, kayak, sail, ets. you might also look at my area (Naples Island). it's between belmont and seal and is pretty fun/nice. It is close enough to belmont where the night life is (within walking distance) but a lot quieter. Nice place with homes on the bay and canals but you could rent an offwater place. check it out.
FYI, in terms of water quality Long Beach gets high rankings east of belmont pier and in alamitos bay. west of the pier as another said is rather stagnant due to the breakwater (which by the way I hope will be reconfigure in the next few years)
of the three, i like belmont the best then redondo then HB.
Last edited by NaplesRes; 06-28-2009 at 05:31 PM..
Select Los Angeles. Then zoom in to the individual beaches and reports. Next check out the Historical Data. The reason this is important is that while a beach may have an ok water report 'today' it may have had several closures or poor grades in the not too distant past. Usually grades get much worse after a rain since much of the pollution spills over into the ocean from city 'runoff.' The overall trend throughout the year is what is most important.
funny i really am a fan of hb...it gets a bad rep from time to time a lot of the times im not really sure why, none the less... i really love it...the beach area and downtown is great...lots of great restraunts and action...im not a drinker or a partier, but there are certainly plenty of places to have fun...the great thing about hb is it borders newp. and sunset/seal, and then long beach, and plus you will be working 12 miles away, so that is another plus...I am from maryland but have spent a lot of time in hb, and for that matter all over socal, and hb is pretty much my favorite place to be. Lots of things to do and it also borders other great areas...
Also, i just saw where you wanted quiteness...sunset/seal beach area borders h.b and happen to be pretty quiet areas...i would really look between h.b and seal beach...pm me if i can help you any other way.
marina del rey is too far from buena park and is not really affordable per se. deals can be found, but in general, it is a rather expensive area.
i would go with belmont shore if i were you, as long you as you aren't a surfer. otherwise seal beach is real nice and smack between long beach and huntington beach.
Agree about MDR distance. Redondo is the furthest you will want to drive.
Seal Beach is a really nice alternative and not as crouded as Huntington Beach. It is more of a family type layed back beach town. Of course it is quieter and may be a little slower pace than what the poster is looking for. But I would rather live in a quieter area like that and drive a short distance to 'the action' than live right in the middle of it. Nothing beats a good night sleep close to the sea. Hearing the ocean and its associated sounds vs. rowdy ppl is always preferred.
funny i really am a fan of hb...it gets a bad rep from time to time a lot of the times im not really sure why...
HB or 'Surf City' has a colorful history and an earned reputation which has always leaned toward the wild side.
Here is one example for those who were around to remember the riot that occured way back when: Huntington Beach Riot. Of course that was a long time ago. But the area's rep did come from its history and the hords of ppl it attracks for various reasons.
Redondo is a hell of a drive, and since the 91 doesn't extend to the 405, it's an extra hassle.
If you're limiting yourself to Long Beach or Huntington Beach, I would choose one of them. coastal Huntington is crowded and loud, but the western side of the city is quiet suburbia. Coastal Long Beach is busy, but not rowdy.
Also, like others mentioned, I would look at Sunset Beach, Surfside, and Seal Beach. Seal Beach may be the only place in the price range you mentioned, and is quiet while still having youthful appeal.
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