Long Beach & Orange County
Take the freeway south from downtown LA for the coastal community of Long Beach. With their own distinct gay scenes of mostly small neighborhood bars, restaurants and shops, Long Beach and Orange County towns to the southeast offer visitors a more laid-back Southern Californian experience from that of trendy West Hollywood and Downtown LA.
Long Beach Pride takes place each year in mid-May, with a Sunday parade along Ocean Blvd, concerts in Bixby Park, an amateur drag show, a tea dance and a Pink Party festival at Promenade Sq. Park. See their website for 2010 photos and videos, and for updates on 2011.
From both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the John Wayne Airport (SNA), you can grab a shuttle. Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus numbers 76 and 212 serve the John Wayne from the lower arrival level outside Terminal B.
Because the everything is so spread out, getting around in Southern California almost requires a car. Within Long Beach LBT buses service Long Beach, Lakewood and Signal Hill with 38 routes. They also have connections with Metro light rail service to Los Angeles, and to other regional bus companies connecting to cities in Orange County.
Media & Resources
The OC Weekly is a good source for coverage of social issues, politics, arts, culture, lifestyle and entertainment listings in Long Beach and Orange County towns; gay as well as general.
For map locations and website links to the businesses below, and more, see our gay Long Beach and Orange County listings pages.
Long Beach Accomodations
Beachrunners' Inn (231 Kennebec Ave; 866-221-0001) is the premier bed and breakfast in Bluff Heights at the heart of the Broadway Corridor of boutiques, galleries and fine restaurants. Just three blocks from the shore they have comfortable amenities from a living room fireplace and computer access, to a garden hot tub.
Varden Hotel (335 Pacific Ave; 877-382-7336) stylish and affordable downtown 35 room boutique hotel. Close to beaches, Aquarium and Convention Center and other attractions; just a block from Pine Avenue restaurants.
Long Beach Bars
The Brit (1744 E Broadway), a neighborhood bar and grill with patio, attracts bears among their general mix.
Broadway Cocktail Lounge (1100 E Broadway), lively, casual, gay neighborhood bar with karaoke, cheap drinks, games.
Club Ripples (5101 E Ocean Blvd) called "the bar with the motion that rocks the ocean," two levels, dance floor, outdoor patio, monthly events for bears, Wednesday Karaoke College Nights, Friday women's events, Sunday beer busts.
The Crest (5935 Cherry Ave) men's bar, open daily, has pool games, bingo, Undies Sundays with Barbecue, and buzz cuts or backrubs, Fridays, alternate weeks.
Falcon (1435 E Broadway) is a small but busy neighborhood bar, typically on weekends, with a patio bar to escape the crush.
Flux (17817 Lakewood Blvd) is a neigborhood gay dance club just off 91 Freeway in Bellflower just north of Long Beach, easy parking, good drinks prices, no cover charge.
Hamburger Mary's (330 Pine Ave), full-service restaurant, dance and show club. Drag divas, and dancing, go-go boys and open Talent Night drag shows, Hip-Hop nights, Saturday Drag Queen Brunch. Club Papi 18+ party every Thursday night with Latin go-go boys, porn stars, recording artists.
Mineshaft (1720 E Broadway), "The Shaft" longtime men's cruise bar, noon-2am daily with DJ, pool tables, games and patio.
Paradise Bar & Restaurant (1800 E Broadway), karaoke, drag, live entertainment/ piano bar, women/men mix; lunch, nightly special menus, Manic Mondays 2 for 1 drinks, Baja Taco Tuesdays Mexican; wide selection of weekend 10am to 2pm brunch choices.
Pistons (2020 E Artesia Blvd), leather/bear men's cruise/ "wild-life refuge," with full events calendar for "hot daddies and willing boys." Sunday beers busts + BBQs, leather/ rubber/ uniform/ underwear dance nights, bears and otter events, cinema nights, cigar and pipe smokers' socials, pool games, bootblacks.
John Schinnerer's Silver Fox (411 Redondo Ave), easygoing video bar of many years, sociable locals of all ages. Popular Wednesday and Sunday karaoke (Wednesday singers get half-price drinks); Friday videos; outdoor paio, smokers' area, buffets, shows, holiday theme parties and special events.
The Suite (3428 E Pacific Coast Hwy), popular upscale show bar and dance club, pool tables, karaoke; mostly women except Thurday mixed Latin Nights, and Friday Boys Nites, when it's full of guys, many from surrounding Orange County, plus go-go boys. Was called Executive Suite.
Sweetwater Saloon (1201 East Broadway), open early neighborhood drinking establishment for local gay men, more mixed than most; patio, jukebox and sports on TV.
The 1350 Club (510 W Anaheim St, Wilmington/ Long Beach), open 24/7, the only men's steam and sauna in South Bay. Garden patio and sun deck, multi-channel videos, maze, excercise machines, private rooms, TV lounge, free WiFi, Safe Sex Party live performers, blackout nights, 24-hour secure parking, free HIV/STD testing and counseling.
Long Beach Restaurants
Asian Umbrella Cafe (1538 E Broadway), Chinese and Thai family restaurant, eat-in or take-out with local delivery; meat or veg/vegan options. Former Two Umbrellas location.
Hamburger Mary's (740 E Broadway), full-service restaurant/dance bar, burgers, salads, sandwiches, deserts, every day lunch and brunch specials. All-you-can-eat Sunday buffet brunch features drag entertainment from the Brunchettes. Club Papi Thursdays with go-go dancers.
Open Sesame (5215 E 2nd St), Middle-East Lebanese/ Mediterranean grill to wake up the taste buds, with good beer selection, lunch, dinner and take-out.
Restauration (2708 E 4th St), lunch/dinner with seasonal menus, weekend brunch; craft draft and bottle beers of the world, wines, 50-seat fire-lit garden patio. Old 212 Degrees Bistro location.
Utopia (445 E First St), good restaurant in East Village arts district, California eclectic cuisine, wines, art shows. Reserve online for special evening four course wine tasting dinners.
Long Beach Shopping
ConRev Store (3316 E Broadway), Condom Revolution, wide variety of condoms, lubrication and sex toys. Also in Westminster at 15086 Goldenwest St, and 8 more area locations.
The sex retail store Crypt, (1712 E Broadway), adult DVD sales and rentals, club and casual wear, fetish and leather gear, toys and accessories, plus cards, books, magazines and books.
Moss & Rock (2752 E Broadway), modern apparel and accessories for men and women, local and international designers.
Club Bravo (1490 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim), gay Latin Saturday night with hot go-go dancers and Mexican buffet at Bravo Grill.
Frat House (8112 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove), nightly LGBT neighborhood bar in the County; Wednesday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday go-go dancers, Sunday drag shows, free WiFi, TouchTunes Jukebox, pool table, video games.
The Tin Lizzie (752 St. Clair, Costa Mesa), swanky Victorian lounge, gay bar dating back to the '50s; lively atmosphere, satellite jukebox, pool games, classic cocktails and fine wine selection.
Velvet Lounge (416 W 4th St, Santa Ana), Saturday/Sunday brunch, Sunday beer bust and Club Lucky Boybar 18+ gay dance; also Flex Friday 21+ men's night, Thursday Latin nights, Wednesday women's night, karaoke, drag, Taco Tuesdays.