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May 24

Guest Slips in the Long Beach Marinas

By Drew | Activities , Long Beach Marinas

All three public marinas in Long Beach offer guest slips. Guest slips can be booked up to 30 days in advance, and for a maximum of 15 days per calendar month. The current fee for (most) slips is $1.15/foot of your vessel/night; however, the fees go up every October, and there are exceptions for certain special events and also at Rainbow Harbor and the Shoreline Marina. To book the slips, all the marinas require current registration or documentation, current insurance with at least $100,000 in liability coverage (property damage or protection and indemnity), a current driver’s license, and there is a short form that will need to be signed. All paperwork needs to be provided ahead of time, but once it is on file reservations can be made over the phone with a Visa or Mastercard. Check in and check out time is 12 noon, and there is an extra fee if you leave past the check out time (although the marina offices can be flexible if you call ahead and ask for a late check out). All slips come with power and water included, and a maximum of 2 vehicle parking passes per slip.

Guest slips cannot be guaranteed at the marinas and often times the slips will be fully booked, especially during the summer months and on holidays. Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Alamitos Bay Guest Slips

Alamitos Bay books their guests on available end-ties, or less frequently in open slips. The end-ties are side ties, and in certain parts of the marina there can be a wake from passing vessels.  As of May 2016, the marina is currently under renovations, so guest slips are in extremely short supply, and reservations made 30 days ahead of time are recommended. Some docks have yet to be rebuilt, so there are new, concrete end-ties and old, wooden ones as well. Restroom keys are a $50 deposit, and there are currently no gates on the docks. If you plan on returning, you can keep the key instead of returning it for the deposit; this cuts makes it easier if you are going to be arriving after hours and cannot make it to the office. Reservations can be made by calling (562) 570-3215 between 8am-5pm 7 days per week. To try and book a slip walking in during business hours, you can type up to the harbormaster dock outside of the office and walk with your paperwork. If you arrive outside of normal business hours, tie up on the harbormaster dock and provide your paperwork and payment when the office opens in the morning.

Shoreline Marina Guest Slips

Guest slips at the Shoreline Marina in Downtown Long Beach are on GG dock, which is the dock closest to the beach, near the fuel dock. They are single slips, but are in  a limited size range. Guest slips here are easier to midweek and during the Fall/Winter, but fill up during holidays and weekends in the Spring and Summer. The docks here are gated, so a $50 deposit on a key is required. Keys here are on a computerized “FOB” system and are turned off after your last scheduled day, so it makes more sense to return the key rather than keep it for another stay. During the Long Beach Grand Prix and Long Beach Jazz Festival, guest slips are $3.00/foot/night with a three nigh minimum. Parking passes will also be limited to one per slip. Guest slips during these times book up very quickly so reservations must be made as close to 30 days ahead of time as possible. Reservations can be made by calling (562) 570-4950 between 8am-5pm 7 days per week.

Rainbow Harbor Guest Slips

The Tallship Lady Washington on the Pine Ave Pier

The Tallship Lady Washington on the Pine Ave Pier

Rainbow Harbor has many different options for transient boaters looking for guest slips. In Rainbow Marina (the Fishbowl), any slip not rented out permanently is used as a guest slip. The slips can accommodate any vessel up to 50′ in length and up to 16′ wide. Rainbow Harbor has the Pine Ave Pier, which is a 180′ long pier and can accommodate any vessel up to that size. Rainbow Harbor also has 150′ long commercial docks that can be rented out. The Pine Ave Pier and commercial docks are side ties with 50a-125v/250v  and 100a 3 phase power available. These docks are very popular with visiting yacht clubs,who have the option to raft up to each other with the harbormaster’s approval. Guest slips on the weekends, holidays, and during the summer almost always fill up, so advanced reservations are always needed.

The guest slips fees at Rainbow Harbor and Marina are different as well. Visiting vessels over 90′ are charged a flat $315/night, and the fees during the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Jazz Festival go up to $6.00/foot/night with a three night minimum.

Reservations can be made my calling (562) 570-8636 between 8am-4pm 7 days per week. If you arrive after office hours, tie up on one of the public docks and call the after hours line at (562) 570-3101 and inform the on-call person. Failure to do this could result in your boat being impounded!

Anchoring in Long Beach

Per Long Beach Municipal Code 15.08.510, no vessel may anchor in the nearshore are in Long Beach. However, the Marina Manager has designated the leeside of Island White as an anchoring area Friday-Sunday. This area is patrolled by the Long Beach Lifeguards, and any vessel anchoring outside of those days will be cited or towed. For more information on anchoring you can call the Long Beach Lifeguards at (562) 570-1360.

May 24

Alamitos Bay Marina

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , Long Beach Marinas

The Alamitos Bay Marina was the first Long Beach marina. It was opened in the 1950s in east Long Beach, and has close to 2000 slips, making it the largest of the three city owned marinas in Long Beach. It is so big, in fact, that there is a smaller, privately owned marina (Crissman’s Marina) inside of it! It is also the home to a fuel dock, shipyard, several yacht clubs, and a Sunday farmer’s market.

The Alamitos Bay Marina is the oldest and largest marina in Long Beach. The marina office, located at 205 Marina Dr., serves as the main office for all three city owned marinas, and is where you can find both the marina manager’s office and the headquarters for the Long Beach Police Department’s Marine Patrol division. The marina office is also the site of the impounded boat auctions, usually held twice per year. There is a harbormaster’s dock out front with a free pumpout and water, and is available for boaters who need to do business in the office, or as a guest slip for boaters who arrive after hours. Behind the office is the impound dock, where impounded vessels are held until they are released to their owners or they go to auction. The phone  number for the office is (562) 570-3215, or (562) 570-3101 after hours.

Alamitos Bay Marina office

Location of the Alamitos Bay Marina office. Click to expand.

The office can be hard to find, and Google maps has the office erroneously located near the Crab Pot restaurant. To find on Google, search for “Long Beach Marina Headquarters”. The office is located at the very end of Marina Dr. on the tip of the peninsula where the road dead-ends. If you are driving on Marina Dr. and keep the boats on your right-hand side, you will eventually run into the office.

Alamitos Bay Marina Slips

The Alamitos Bay Marina has both public and privately controlled slips. The slips directly under the authority of the city are located 8 different areas in the marina, while the slips in Naples Island and Treasure Island are privately owned. There is usually a waiting list for the city slips, so for up to date information please call the Alamitos Bay office at (562) 570-3215.

The city controlled slips at the Alamitos Bay Marina are divided into 8 different basins. All slips come with a dock box, dedicated power pedestal, and water. The marina has liveaboard slips for vessels 25′ and up, but the liveaboard status is only granted after a non-liveaboard slip is issued. Since only 10% of the slips can be liveaboard, there is a separate waiting list for these, and the length varies between docks.


Basin 1 Alamitos Bay

Aerial view of Basin 1

Basin 1, located directly behind the marina office, has the largest slips in the marina, ranging from 40′-120′. These include the concrete berths formerly used for commercial purposes.





Aerial view of Basin 2

Aerial view of Basin 2

Basin 2, located between Heritage Yacht Sales and Joe’s Crab Shack, has slips from 25′-40′, including two public slips (for a maximum of two hours) in front of Schooner or Later. Stan Miller Yacht Sales also has several slips and end-ties for their inventory.




Aerial view of Basin 3

Aerial view of Basin 3

Basin 3 is the largest basin in the marina, and has slips from 20′-45′. It runs between Joe’s Crab Shack and the Marina Shipyard. The parking lot in Basin 3 is also the location of the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market.





Basins 4 and 5 are unique in that both are controlled by different yacht clubs.

Aerial view of Basin 4

Aerial view of Basin 4, including the Long Beach Yacht Club

Basin 4 is the home of the Long Beach Yacht Club, and the club has “first right of refusal” for most of the slips. This means that if a slip is available, it is offered to the yacht club first, and if it is turned down, then it would be offered to someone off of the waiting list. The Long Beach Area Boy Scouts also has a few slips for their sailing program. As you could imagine, most boats in this basin belong to one of the two organizations.


Aerial view of Basin 5

Aerial view of Basin 5, including the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club

Basin 5 is located at the very end of E. Ocean Blvd, directly across the water from the marina office. All of the boats there are members of the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club , the oldest yacht club in Long Beach. It is gated, and only members and their guests are allowed inside.






Basin 6 is divided into two different areas:

Aerial view of Basin 6 South

Aerial view of Basin 6 South

Basin 6 South is on Marina Dr, near Davis Launch Ramp and the Marina Pacifica Condos. It has slips from 30′-45′ and a separate parking lot.





Aerial view of Basin 6 North

Aerial view of Basin 6 North

Basin 6 North is located in the Marina Pacific shopping center near the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, and has 30′ slips. This basin also has its own separate parking lot.





Aerial view of Basin 7

Aerial view of Basin 7

Basin 7 is also on E. Ocean Blvd, and shares its docks with the U.S. Sailing Center. It is the smallest basin in the marina and has only a handful of slips.







Aerial view of Basin 8

Aerial view of Basin 8

Basin 8 is the newest basin in the marina, and has 45-50′ slips. It is located on Costa Del Sol Way near the Pacific Coast Highway bridge, just outside of Jack Nichol Park in Spinnaker Bay. It is the only basin that has gated parking, and laundry machines.



The private slips are located on Bayshore Ave, Naples Island and Treasure Island, right in the middle of the bay. These slips are rented out by the individual property owners, not by the city. The marina office does not keep a list of open slips on the island, so if you are looking at keeping your boat there, you simply need to take a walk along the canals and see who has “For Rent” signs posted on their docks. Since these docks are privately owned, however, the property owner can charge as much as they wish (as long as it is above a minimum amount set by the city), and it is often times much more than the city owned slips.

Alamitos Bay Guest Slips

Boaters wishing to visit Alamitos Bay can reserve a guest end-tie up to 30 days in advance, assuming there is availability. They can accommodate vessels up to 100′, and will need the vessel registration or documentation, the declaration page of your vessel insurance (make sure the limits of liability are at least $100,000), a copy of your ID, and you will need to sign some paperwork (much like at a hotel). The slips can be reserved by calling the office at (562) 570-3215.

Dry Storage

The Alamitos Bay Marina also has several different types of dry storage. There are two different storage yards for trailerable boats at the north end of Marine Stadium, on the corner of Eliot St and Boathouse Lane. The yards are gated, with 24 hour access for renters. The assigned spots can accommodate up to 25′, including the trailer.

The marina also has a small, gated storage yard for kayaks and sabots on E. Ocean Blvd, next to the Leeway Sailing Center. The yard opens up directly to the beach, and is just a short dragging distance away from the water. There are also shore moorings available along the seawall on the bay side of Ocean Blvd, but the waiting list for those can be five years or more. The shore moorings are rings attached to the seawall that can accommodate up to 5 kayaks or sabots.

Services and Amenities

Besides the Marina Shipyard, the Alamitos Bay Marina has several other services available.

Marina Shipyard Long beach

Marina Shipyard

There is a fuel dock, Alamitos Bay Marine  located in Basin 1 on Oil Dock Rd., along with a vessel towing service and a lifeguard station. To contact the fuel dock and towing service, you can call (562) 594-0888. The Lifeguards can be reached at (562) 570-1360. There is also an AquaLink stop at Alamitos Landing.

For out of town travelers, the Seaport Marina Hotel is located on the corner of Marina Dr. and 2nd St, just across the street from Basin 3.


Things to do in Alamitos Bay

Hydrobikes at Alamitos Landing

Hydrobikes at Alamitos Landing

There is no shortage of fun, family friendly things in Alamitos Bay. If you are driving down, parking is free in the marina lots until 10 pm or, you can bring you boat down and book a guest slip through the marina office. Want to boat around the bay, but don’t have one? Check out London Boat Rental at Alamitos Landing, or bike on the water with Long Beach Hydrobikes, also at Alamitos Landing. Kayak and stand up paddle board (SUP) rentals are available at Alfredo’s Beach Club, located on the corner of E. Ocean Blvd and Bayshore Ave. For a more romantic evening, Gondola Getaway offers gondola rides around the bay and through the canals of Naples Island.

There are also several bars and restaurants around the marina. For the best breakfast in the area, visit Schooner or Later in Basin 2, and make sure to order “The Mess”, which was featured on Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives! The Five O’Clock Wine Bar at Alamitos Landing is perfect for a mellow, relaxing evening enjoying California wines, craft beer, and small plates. If you are looking for seafood, The Crab Pot and Joe’s Crab Shack are both popular options. Boathouse On The Bay adds a trendy, upscale vibe to Alamitos Bay, while Malarkey’s is the perfect place to stop in for a have a beer and play some bar trivia.

Across the street from Basin 3 is the Marina Shores shopping center. Here you will find a Whole Foods Market, a Five Guys burgers, Petco, Paradise dry cleaners, and Phenix hair salon.

Just outside of the Alamitos Bay Marina on the northwest corner of 2nd St. and Pacific Coast Highway is the Marina Pacifica Mall. It boast a 12 screen movie theater, a Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, several restaurants, a two grocery stores, and even a yoga studio! Parking at the Marina Pacifica Mall is free and available until 2am.

Down the street from that is the Marketplace at Long Beach. Here you will find smaller and more local and eclectic shops. You will find everything from the Creative Cakery bakery and Nekter Juice Bar, to Ruby’s Diner and the Tilted Kilt. There is also a spayoga studioTrader Joe’s, and UA Theater.

Mother's Beach

Mother’s Beach

Mother’s Beach is a child friendly area just across the Davie’s Launch Ramp, on Appian Way. It is a small beach deep inside the bay, with no waves except for the small wakes from the passing boats. There are buoys roping off the water so boats don’t get too close and a lifeguard present during the summer season, so it is perfect for little ones to go wading in. There is also a large playground and a small take out place serving hamburgers, fries, and sodas. There is a fee to park in the parking lot, but there is ample free street parking around the beach.

Lastly, Marine Stadium is host to a weekly Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, and, during the summer, free concerts by the Long Beach Municipal Band. During these concerts the speed limit is reduced to 5 mph, and boaters are encouraged to bring their boats to the stadium; it is not uncommon to see boats anchored or tied together side-by-side, with people sitting on deck enjoying the music.


Apr 30

Long Beach Public Docks

By Drew | Alamitos Bay Marina , Long Beach Marinas , Public Docks , Rainbow Harbor

The Long Beach public docks are popular destinations for Southern California’s boating community.

There are a few different options for boaters and day sailors looking for public docks in Long Beach. The Long Beach public docks are located in Rainbow Harbor and in the Alamitos Bay Marina at Alamitos Landing. They are both free for a short period of time, and a great way to spend an afternoon in Long Beach.

Rainbow Harbor/Marina

Long Beach Public Docks

Dock 8 public dock at Rainbow Harbor

There are two docks at Rainbow Harbor/Marina. Dock 8 is located inside the marina (in the “Fishbowl”), on the north-east wall near the Yardhouse and the other, Dock 10 (also known as “Parker’s Dock”), is located just outside of the mouth of the harbor, in front of Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant. Combined, they offer over 700′ of dock space, and are free for a maximum of 3 hours. They are on a first come/first served basis and cannot be reserved, although they may be rented out and closed off to the public for certain special events, such as the Grand Prix and S.C.O.P.E. Both are cement docks, and have water and electrical hookups on the dock, although they are usually locked. The docks are regularly patrolled by the Long Beach Lifeguards, and the dock rules are clearly posted on the seawall and pilings. If you have any question about the docks or their availability, call the Rainbow Harbor office at (562) 570-8636 or the Long Beach Lifeguards at (562) 570-1360.

The public docks in Rainbow Harbor are very popular, and will often times fill up in the late morning/early afternoon on the weekends, and stay packed until 11pm-12am, especially during the summer. Dock 8, which has about 200′ of space, almost always fills up first (since it is inside the marina, closest to the restaurants), which means that boaters will often hang out in front, waiting for a spot to open up. DON’T DO THIS. Not only is it a violation of California’s Harbors and Navigation Code section 131(a), there are boat rental and charter companies with inexperienced operators who may not be able to maneuver out of the way of your boat! There are one or two collisions every summer because of this. If you notice Dock 8 is full, exit the marina and head to Dock 10 (Parker’s Dock). If that is full as well, call the marina office. If you are nice to them, they might have a slip they could let you use for a few hours. It is also important to note that rafting (side tying to another vessel) is also prohibited on the public docks, even if all the available space is already taken. You’ll just have to wait your turn.

Long Beach Public Docks

Parker’s Dock at Dock 10

Dock 10 (Parker’s Dock) was opened in February of 2015 and is the newest of the Long Beach public docks. It was installed with a bull rail instead of cleats, and also has an ADA accessible portion near the ramp. On the south end of the dock are three pump outs and one water hookup available for public use. This section of the dock is limited to a maximum of 15 minutes in order to give everybody a chance to pump out or replenish their water. This dock is over 500′ long, and almost always fills up after Dock 8 does, so chances are if there are more than a few vessels on tied up there, Dock 8 is already full. One thing that people may underestimate is the amount and strength of the wakes the dock is exposed to. Whale watching boats, commercial fishing boats, and water taxis all operate out of the marina, and can throw sizable wakes, even at 5mph. A vessel that is not secured properly or that does not have the proper fenders down can sustain some damage on this dock, so make sure you have everything tightened and secured before leaving your vessel.

Alamitos Bay Marina

Long Beach Public Docks North Dock ABM

North public dock bullrail at Alamitos Bay Marina

The Alamitos Bay Marina also has two public docks. They are both located at Alamitos Landing, and instead of dock numbers are denoted as the “North Dock” or “South Dock”. These are the oldest of the Long Beach public docks, and are simple wood docks with no water hookups or pump outs, and minimal electrical hookups. Both docks share space with commercial operations, so the public areas are painted with either a green or  yellow stripe on the bull rail. These docks are also patrolled by the Long Beach Lifeguards, and are free for two hours (instead of three hours like Rainbow Harbor), and are also on a first come/first served basis. These public docks are also subject to wakes thrown by passing vessels, so caution is needed when tying up a vessel here as well. The public dock space at Alamitos Bay is much smaller than in Rainbow Harbor, but because the vessel traffic is much lower finding room to tie up is isn’t very hard, even in the summer.

Bull Rails

Wondering what a bull rail is? A bull rail is simply a long rail attached to the edge of a dock that is anchored to the dock every 20′ or so. This makes it easier to accommodate a large range of boat sizes, and prevents dinghies and inflatables from using up cleat space. Tying up to a bull rail can be a little tricky though, so here’s a helpful video on how to do it.

Apr 10

Shoreline Village and Alamitos Landing

By Drew | Activities , Alamitos Bay Marina , Rainbow Harbor

Shoreline Village and Alamitos Landing 


Shoreline Village Long Beach

Shoreline Village at Rainbow Harbor


Shoreline Village and Alamitos Landing are two popular spots in Long Beach to spend an afternoon. Both offer many shopping and dining options not just for a boaters and sailors, but for anybody visiting Long Beach.

Shoreline Village is located at 401 Shoreline Dr. at Rainbow Harbor/Marina. It spans the east edge of the marina, and has much more than just shops and restaurants. While at first glance it looks like a large outdoor mall (or tourist trap), it has plenty of the character and charm that makes Long Beach unique. Shoreline Village is home to the first Yardhouse restaurant, opened in 1996 at the north end of the village. The Yardhouse was at the forefront of the craft beer movement, and now has over 60 locations across the United States.  At the opposite end of the village is Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant, 2015 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Upstairs from Parker’s Lighthouse is the Queensview Steakhouse, which, as the name suggests, offers amazing view of the Queen Mary and Queensway Bay. The Yardhouse and Parker’s Lighthouse are both just steps away from the public docks in Rainbow Marina, and are very popular with visiting boaters. Also located in Shoreline Village is Shenanigan’s Irish Pub, an OC Weekly 2013 award winner for best bar in Orange County and Cafe Dia, which serves up some of the best Mediterranean food in Downtown Long Beach.

There is more to Shoreline Village than shops and restaurants, though. Pelican Pier Pavilion is a large arcade that also houses a carousel, and is very popular with kids. Wheel Fun Rentals offers not just bicycle/quadcycle rentals, but also Segway tours of the harbor and Pike. If walking around the harbor has you itching to buy a boat, Shoreline Yacht Sales is located upstairs from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory, and can get you into a yacht in no time. On the weekends, Smile For the Birdie brings their trained exotic birds to Shoreline Village for some great photo opportunities. Shoreline Village also has special events several times a year. Visits from Santa and the Easter Bunny are the most popular, as well as their Mardi Gras celebration and Civil War reinactment. If you are looking for more fun on the water, Marina Sailing, located next to Wheel Fun Rentals, is one of the largest sailing clubs in the state, and has several yachts available for charter, with or without a captain. They also offer sailing lessons, ASA certifications, and yacht sales.

Alamitos Landing

Alamitos Landing

Alamitos Landing, located on the east side of Long Beach in the Alamitos Bay marina, is a lesser known and more intimate village popular with locals. Even though it does not have the same number of attractions as Shoreline Village has, it makes up for it with the quiet, peaceful ambiance that the other can sometimes lack.

Alamitos Landing is located at the Alamitos Bay Marina at the intersection of Marina Dr. and North Marina Drive. There is a small parking lot, with additional parking available until 10pm across the street in the marina lot. Alamitos Landing has six popular hangouts: Malarkey’s Irish pub, Five O’Clock wine bar, Boathouse on the Bay restaurant, London boat rentals, Long Beach Hydrobikes, and Long Beach Sportfishing.  There is also roughly 200′ of public dock space available, split between a north dock in front of Malarkey’s, and a south dock in front of a currently vacant restaurant. The public docks are marked with green paint on the bullrail, and are available for free for a maximum of two hours.

For on the water fun, Long Beach Hydrobikes is one of the more unique attractions in Long Beach. Hydrobikes are almost exactly what you would expect them to be; they are modified bike frames attached to two pontoons with paddles underneath, and a rudder for steering. Visitors can peddle around Alamitos Bay and through the canals on Naples Island, and it is a great way to see Long Beach from the water while getting plenty of exercise. They are located on the south dock in front of the old Khoury’s restaurant. Directly across from them is one of the public docks. On the north dock, London Boat Rentals, formerly Pelican Joe’s, has 18′-21′ electric Duffy boats available for rentals, and is the perfect way to have a relaxing day on the water or experience an Alamitos Bay sunset. London Boat Rentals also shares its dock with the AquaLink water taxi, which takes riders from Alamitos Bay to Rainbow Harbor. Also on the north dock is Long Beach Sportfishing, which offers 1/2 day, 3/4 day, full day and multiday fishing charters.

Alamitos Landing has three (soon to be four) dining options. Malarkey’s is an Irish (kinda) Bar and Grill that has gotten a sizable local following since opening in 2013. Now only does it have some great waterfront views, it also has a public dock right out front, making it perfect for boaters looking for a beer and a burger after a long day on the water.

Next to Malarkey’s is the Five O’Clock Wine Bar and Boathouse on the Bay. The Five O’Clock Wine Bar is a cozy a cozy hangout with a great selection of California wines and craft beers. It serves a small tapas-like menu, and has a heated out door patio with seating and live music on the weekends. Boathouse on the Bay, occupies the former McKenna’s location on the west end of Alamitos Landing. It is a fine dining destination on the water, with lots of patio seating and great views of the bay.

Sandwiched in-between the Five O’Clock Wine Bar and Boathouse on the Bay is the Captain’s Locker, a small shop for basic boat repair parts. It is also within walking distance to the public docks, so it is just a quick walk away when you need to replace a water pump or starter. The guys there are also very knowledgeable, and can help walk you through basic troubleshooting or maintenance.

These aren’t the only places to hang out around the marinas. Places like Pine Ave, Second St, and Main Street in Seal Beach have plenty to offer and are just a short Uber ride away, so go exploring!

Mar 19

Beach Parking and Marina Parking

By Drew | Parking

Beach parking and marina parking in Long Beach can be relatively tricky. Most of the marina parking at the Alamitos Bay Marina, Shoreline Marina, and Rainbow Harbor/Marina is restricted to current boatowners and their guests only, and Long Beach beach parking can fill up during the summer with tourists and residents. Here is some information, tips, and rules you should know when parking in Long Beach.

Marina Parking

Marina parking in the Long Beach Marinas is very limited and tightly controlled. At all three marinas, there are special parking spots that are for current boatowners and their guests only, and require a marina parking pass to park. The parking passes are either a blue or green pass that hangs from the rear-view mirror of a vehicle, a parking sticker, or a yellow, paper temporary pass. All of these need to be visible on the vehicle in order to park, and vehicles who do not have these will be cited. Boatowner parking is clearly marked by signs and red curbs. There are also times where the marina parking lots are impacted by special events, such as the Grand Prix and t.v. or movie shoots, so it is always best to call ahead to make sure a lack or parking (or a citation, or worse) doesn’t ruin your day.

In the Rainbow Harbor/Marina and Shoreline Marina, boatowner parking is on the street around “P” dock, down the Mole Road, or in the controlled access lot between “Q” dock and “GG” dock. This lot is controlled by a gate arm at the end of Linden Ave, and requires a key fob to get in. The Mole Road also has a gate arm, but is only down between the hours of 10pm and 5am. A key fob is also required to use the gate arm between these times. Key fobs are only available to boatowners and guests, and can be picked up at either the Rainbow Harbor/Marina office or the Shoreline Marina office, depending on where your slip is located.

marina parking and beach parking in Long Beach

Aquarium parking structure and dolphin fountain

There is also a small parking lot behind the Rainbow Harbor office at 200 B Aquarium Way that is used for Rainbow Harbor guests and commercial boats, Pierpoint Landing guests and employees, and other visitors. This is a paid parking lot, and as of March 2016 the fee is $3.00/hour with a 90 minute maximum. The lot is open from 8am-midnight for visitors. Guests slips and transients vessels can get a special blue parking pass from the Rainbow Harbor office that allows them to park for free and without time restrictions, and anglers using Pierpoint Landing’s boats can purchase a parking pass from the Pierpoint Landing office. Please note that this parking lot is not recommended for Aquarium of the Pacific guests; the Aquarium has their own parking structure located in front of the Aquarium, near the dolphin fountain.

Parking at the Alamitos Bay Marina is much the same as at the other two marinas, in that it is restricted to vehicles with parking passes. However, since the Alamitos Bay Marina also has a much larger parking lot that is shares with several restaurants, the restricted areas as different. Only the first row, or the row closest to the docks, is designated as boatowner parking. The rest of the lot is open to the public between 5am and 10pm. Parking between these hours is restricted to vehicles with passes only. However, during the slow season (fall and winter), parking passes may be available for purchase in the marina office for non-boatowner’s and guests. The Alamitos Bay Marina office is located at 205 Marina Dr, Long Beach Ca 90803, and their phone number is (562) 570-3215. The are open 7 days a week 7:30-5:30. Parking is also available for CSULB students there, with a shuttle that goes to the college and back. For more information on that, you can call (562) 985-4146.

Beach Parking in Long Beach

Long Beach has 12 separate parking lots for its beaches. All the beach parking lots are pay to park, and are open from 5am-10pm, 7 days per week, unless it has been impacted by a special event. Special events and filming are common in Long Beach, and along the beaches especially, so it is not unheard of for a parking lot, or parts of a parking lot, to be closed to visitors for a day or two. To make sure the lots will be open, it is always best to call the Special Events office at (562) 570-5333 or Public Works at (562) 570-2726.

The 12 beach parking lots are, starting from the west:

Pierpoint Lot– 200 Aquarium Way. As mentioned above, it is located behind the Aquarium of the Pacific in Rainbow Harbor. It is $3.00/hour with a 90 minute maximum. There are three parking machines; one located directly behind the Pierpoint Landing building, one directly behind the Aquarium, and one near the entrance. All three take Visa, Mastercard, or cash. If you have any problems with the machines, you can call Central Parking at (562) 570-8055.

Shorline Marina parking

Public parking on Mole Road in Shoreline Marina

Mole Road-The Mole Road located in the Shoreline Marina just past Shoreline Village. It is the peninsula that leads to Gangways A-P, and the main office for the Shoreline Marina. While most of the parking is restricted to boatowners and their guests, there are a few metered spots for visitors, along with special piers for fishermen. The lot is open 5am-10pm, with a gate arm restricting access between 10pm and 5am. This lot is closed to visitors during special events.

Marina Green-386 Shoreline Dr. The Marina Green lot is one of the most popular lots in Long Beach. It is located in between Alamitos Beach and Shoreline Village, and gets people visiting both of those. This lot is also very heavily impacted by Special Events, and is closed down for the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Long Beach Marathon. Parking also fills up very quick during Gay Pride weekend, the 4th of July, and Labor Day. There are six parking machines that are run by Central Parking, and the cost is $3.00/hour, with a two hour maximum.

Alamitos Lot

Beach parking at the Alamitos Lot

Alamitos Lot-Located behind the Villa Riviera at 800 E. Ocean Blvd, it is a small lot that is mostly used by residents of the Villa Riviera. It has parking meters, and the charge is $ .25/15 minutes, or $1.00/hour.

Junipero Lot-The Junipero Lot is located down Junipero Ave, on the corner of Junipero Ave and Ocean Blvd. It is very popular, and will fill up most weekends in the spring and summer. When this happens, Public Works will block the entrance until a number of parking spots open up, in order to prevent people from cruising the lot. This lot is also controlled by a gate arm from 10pm-5am. Payment is through meters at each spot.

Belmont Pier-15 39th Pl. The Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier is another very popular spot for visitors. This parking lot not only services people visiting the pier, but also customers using the Aqualink stop, boaters using the moorings, patrons eating at the nearby restaurants, and local residents. There are three machines in the lot for payment, and a gate arm that goes down between 10pm and 5am.

Granada Lot-1 S. Granada Ave. The Granda lot serves both boaters launching their vessels and visitors looking for beach parking. There are two distinct sections of the lot. The spots on the east side of the lot, or those without meters, are strictly for people launching boats, while all the spots with meters are for people going to the beach or Belmont Pool. This lot is busy and can fill up during summer weekends, and is occasionally impacted by filming or other special events.


Many people park in the launch ramp spots (the ones on the east side of the lot, without any parking meters) thinking the parking is free; this is absolutely not the case though. The Long Beach Marine Patrol regularly patrols the lot and willingly hands out citations to these vehicles, and as of 2016 the fine is $47-much more expensive than just feeding the meter.


Bayshore Lot-The Bayshore metered parking lot is located on corner of Bayshore Ave and Ocean Blvd. This is also the perfect lot for people launching kayaks, SUPs, or inflatables. All of the launch ramps parking lots require a vehicle to have a trailer attached to park in the lot, but since kayaks and other man-powered vessels don’t require a trailer, those vehicles would be cited in the ramps. The Bayshore lot is located inside the Alamitos Bay Marina, less than 50′ from the water, so it is the ideal place to park and launch your kayak without worrying about getting a ticket.

Claremont Lot-A dual launch ramp/beach parking lot just like Granada, except instead of parking meters there are two parking machines.

72nd Lot

The beach parking lot at 72nd place near Alamitos Bay Marina

Laverne Lot-A popular beach parking lot located on the corner of Lavern and Ocean. There are three parking machines located in the lot, no parking meters.

54th Place-A small lot located at Ocean Blvd and 54th Place.

72nd Place-Located at the end of Ocean Blvd, it is a quiet, lightly used lot in a great location. It is on the jetty at the entrance

of the Alamitos Bay Marina, and is a great place to watch the boats going in and out of the bay.

Mother’s Beach-Mother’s Beach is a quiet, out of the way beach located in a residential neighborhood on Appian Way, just off of the Davies Bridge. It is located across from Davies Launch Ramp, far inside the Alamitos Bay Marina, and is almost devoid of waves and wakes, which makes it perfect for children. There is also a playground and a small cafe on site.

Annual Beach Parking Pass

The city sells two Annual Beach Parking passes, which can be used for a full calendar year at certain beaches. The daytime pass covers parking between 8am and 6pm. This pass covers the Pierpoint, Marina Green, Shoreline Marina Mole Road (Metered spaces only), Alamitos Beach, Junipero Beach, Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Granada Beach, La Verne, 54th Place, Bayshore, and 72nd Place lots. The overnight pass is good between 6pm and 8am, and covers the Alamitos Beach, Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, 54th Place, Junipero Beach and LaVerne Avenue parking lots. Since the Belmont Pier and Junipero Beach lots have gate arms at the entrance, and key fob will also need to be purchased. These fobs are available to be picked up at the Shoreline Marina office between 8am and 5pm Monday-Friday.

To purchase these passes, you can go to or call (805) 624-6672.

Mar 14

Whale Watching in Long Beach

By Drew | Activities , Rainbow Harbor , Whale Watching

Wondering about whale watching in Long Beach?

whale watching Long Beach

Blue Whale

Whale watching is a popular outing that is fun for the whole family.Whale watching in Long Beach is typically done from October through July, when the whales migrate between Alaska and Mexico. Their migration pattern takes them through Southern California, making Long Beach the perfect spot to go spot whales. When whale watching in Long Beach, you’ll see Pacific Grey Whales, Fin Whales, Humpback Whales, Orcas, and even Blue Whales!  During the late summer months, the whale watching cruises become sea-life cruises, and search out local dolphins, seals, and sea lions.


 There are three whale watching cruises in Long Beach

The most popular whale watching in Long Beach is done by Harbor Breeze Cruises. They have been doing whale watching in Long Beach for close to 20 years. They have 7 boats, including their newest, a state of the art 50′ catamaran named the Triumph. They run several 3 hour tours every day out of Docks 2, 3, and 7 in Rainbow Harbor. Tickets can be purchased ahead of time on their website,, or at their ticket booth at Dock 2. Parking is available for a fee at the Aquarium of the Pacific parking structure at 99 Aquarium Way, Long Beach CA 90802. They are also located a short walk from the AquaBus and AquaLink on Dock 4. Harbor Breeze’s boats are staffed by United States Coast Guard certified captains, and several experienced deckhands, and include a snack bar and a limited bar. Kiosks near their docks sell anything you may have forgotten, including motion sickness pills, beanies, sunglasses, and hats. Whale watching is perfect for families with children, as the seas are generally calm and the vessels are large enough that seasickness is not usually a problem. There are also plenty of child-sized life jackets on each vessel.

While sightings cannot be guaranteed, during different times of the year Gray Whales, Fin Whales, and Humpback whales can be seen along side dolphins, seal lions, and other marine animals in and around Long Beach, the Port of Long Beach, and Catalina Island.  Harbor Breeze also partners with the Aquarium of the Pacific to include one of their educators on some cruises.

Harbor Breeze Cruises also offers shorter 45 minute harbor cruises around the Port of Long Beach and the surrounding areas. These use the same boats as the whale watching cruises, and use the same docks. For information you can call (562) 983-6884.

The Tall Ship American Pride also offers whale watching in Long Beach.  Located on Dock 3, the 130′ three masted schooner is a recreation of a 19th tall ship, and offers whale watching on selected Saturdays, and a whale watching brunch on Sundays. During the week, the ship is available for school sponsored whale watching. Advanced reservations are required, and tickets cannot be purchased at the dock. Reservations can be made by going to their website or by calling (714) 970-8800.

Capt. Chuck from Island Trader Charters also does whale watching. he has a 38′ power boat located in Rainbow Marina, near Shoreline Village. He specializes in small groups (maximum of 6), by appointment only. He can be reached at (714) 625-6074.

Mar 14

Rainbow Harbor Marina

By Drew | Long Beach Marinas , Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor/Marina

Rainbow Harbor/Marina

The Rainbow Harbor/Marina is one of the best destination harbors in Southern California. Located at the end of the Pike in Downtown Long Beach, there is never a shortage of fun activities. From the Aquarium of the Pacific, to whale watching with Harbor Breeze Cruises, to nights at Shenanigan’s or the Sky Room, there is something for the whole family!

Parts of Rainbow Harbor opened in 1983 with the development of the Downtown Marina (now known as the Shoreline Marina). A small basin for recreational boats was carved out of the harbor, and was a quiet place to keep a small boat until the rest of the area was developed. In 1995, Rainbow Harbor/Marina was opened, and the recreational basin became affectionately called the “Fishbowl”, due to its location surrounded by Shoreline Village. Rainbow Harbor/Marina was split into the recreational side on the east (Rainbow Marina) and a side for larger commercial vessels on the west (Rainbow Harbor). The Rainbow Marina (Fishbowl) today is no longer strictly recreational, as there are several small commercial operations.

The Rainbow Harbor Office

Rainbow Harbor office

Rainbow Harbor office

The main office for Rainbow Harbor is located at 200 B Aquarium Way, next to Pierpoint Landing. It is on the west side of the harbor, by the rear of the Aquarium of the Pacific. There is parking available in the paid parking lot in the back, or you can pull your boat up to Dock 1, right in front of the office. They are open 7 days a week from 8am-4:30pm, and are closed on New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. To book a guest slip, inquire about permanent slips, or report any safety concerns or maintenance issues or problems with any of the launch ramps you can give them a call at (562) 570-8636. The fax number is (562) 570-8640.

Rainbow Harbor Marina slips

Rainbow Marina

Slips in Rainbow Marina

The slips in Rainbow Marina range in size from 30′-45′, with end-ties ranging from 69′-90′. All of the slips and end-ties have dockboxes, water and power available. The 30′ and 35′ slips have 30a/120v service, and the 40′ and 45′ slips have 50a/120v service. There are two gates leading to the marina-one in Shoreline Village by Shenanigan’s Irish Pub, and one on the public dock. A key is needed to open these, and the keys are only available to current boatowners in the marina, their guests, and guest or transient boaters. Boatowner restrooms and showers are located in Shoreline Village and also require a key to get in. Guest (or transient) slips are available for rent as well as permanent slips. To reserve a guest slip call the Rainbow Harbor office at (562) 570-8636 between 8am and 4pm. They will require your documentation/registration, the declarations page of your insurance showing at least $100,000 in liability insurance, a copy of your ID, and a Visa or Mastercard. Guest slips can be reserved up to 30 days in ahead of time, and advanced reservations are highly recommended during the summer and holidays. Renting permanent, or year round slips, in Rainbow Marina is unique because of its location. It is in the middle of Shoreline Village and is a high traffic area and very popular on the nights and weekends. There are also large events several times a year which impacts not only the docks and waterways, but also the roads around the marina.  Many people are turned off by this, and look toward the Shoreline Marina and Alamitos Bay Marina for a quieter place to keep their boats. However, the tenants that are in Rainbow Marina have been there for years and have created a small community on the docks. They are all very welcoming, and are quick to chat and offer helpful tips and tricks or watch each other’s vessels when out of town.

Permanent slips require current registration in the slip owner’s name, insurance with at least $100,000 in liability coverage and also naming the city as “Additional Insured”, first month’s rent, and a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. The vessel will also need to be inspected before the slip is issued. To get a slip, call the Rainbow Harbor office Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm. Please note that slips will not always be immediately available, and there may be a waiting list for the slips at various times throughout the year.

Public Docks

Dock 8

Public dock at Dock 8

There are two public docks in Rainbow Harbor, totaling over 600′ of dock space. Dock 10, or “Parker’s Dock”, is outside of the harbor in front of Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant. It is an “L” shaped dock over 400′ long, with 3 pumpouts  on the south end and 1 water hose. The other public dock is Dock 8, located inside Rainbow Marina near the Yardhouse. This dock is over 200′ long, but does not have any pump outs or water. Both docks have a 3 hour maximum time limit and are open 24 hours per day, but are closed during some special events, such as the Grand Prix.

Rainbow Marina Boat Rentals and  Yacht Charters

Marina Sailing

As mentioned before, there are also commercial operation in Rainbow Marina. The biggest and oldest is Marina Sailing. They have been around since 1962, and with Rainbow Marina since 1999. They are a sailing club that offers sailing instruction and vessels for hourly rentals or multi-day charters. They have 19 vessels in the marina, ranging from 26′ to 46′. Their Long Beach office is located in Shoreline Village at 429 Shoreline Village Dr. Ste M. For more information you can call them at (562) 432-4672. They also have locations in Marina Del, Rey, Channel Islands, Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, and San Diego.

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Long Beach Boat Rentals

Long Beach Boat Rentals is a small boat rental company and one of the most popular things to do in Long Beach. They are located at 401 Shoreline Village Dr., behind the Yardhouse at the top of the public dock. They have several power boats to choose from, including electric Duffy boats, a 21′ pontoon boat and personal watercraft for rent. You don’t need a captain’s license or any prior experience to rent any of these, just a credit card and an ID. Advanced reservations are encouraged, especially during the summer when they are routinely booked solid. They can be reached at (562) 491-7400. The electric Duffy boats are perfect for a relaxing family outing on the water, as they come with ample seating space, power outlets, and a table large enough for a meal with extended family. They are also easy enough to operate that a first time user could feel comfortable taking one out of the marina to do some exploring around the Queen Mary or near shore area. For those who need a little more speed, Long Beach Boat Rentals also rents power boats with 9.9-40hp outboards. These can reach speeds of 30mph, but must be kept under 5mph in the marina. However, once past the harbor area you can open up the throttle and really see how fast they can go.

Jet skis are also available for rent. There are a limited number of these, though, and they go fast. It’s recommended to make a reservation ahead of time or, if you are making last minute plans, to get to their dock as soon as they open to secure one or two for later in the day.

Island Trader Charters

Island Trader Charters is run by Capt. Chuck Brown off of his 36′ Cheoy Lee power boat “Island Trader”. He has several decades of experience in the maritime industry, and offers private charters, sunset cruises, cruises to Catalina Island, burials at sea, whale watching, and overnight accommodations on his boat. He can be reached at (714) 625-6074.

Spirit Cruises

Spirit Cruises is located at Dock 9, near Parker’s Lighthouse restaurant a,nd Louisiana Charlie’s restaurant. They office cruises of the Port of Long Beach and the near shore area, private party cruises, and wedding cruises. Call (310) 584-8080 for more information.

Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor

Rainbow Harbor is the commercial side of Rainbow Harbor/Marina. It includes Docks 1-7 and the Pine Ave Pier. The Pine Ave Pier 180′ long and is used almost exclusively for transient vessels. The rest of the docks are leased by various businesses, including fishing charters, whale watching, and tall ships. To inquire about commercial leases, call the Rainbow Harbor/Marina office at (562) 570-8636 and ask for the commercial RFP packet. There is no waiting list for commercial dock space; instead they will keep all proposals on file and choose the one they think best fits the harbor.

Each dock is 150′ comes with water and 50a 125v/250v and 3 phase service, along with a dedicated pump out. In addition to dock boxes, each commercial operation has one to two sheds to store larger items. There are no lockable gates on the docks.

Pierpoint Landing

Pierpoint Landing

Pierpoint Landing

Pierpoint Landing is a family owned fishing charter company that has been around for over 50 years. It was started by Whitey Ashley in the 60s, and is now owned by Don Ashley and Curtis and Veronica Wegener. They have a lease for all of Dock 1 in Rainbow Harbor, and run 1/2 day, 3/4 day, and multi-day fishing charters. They also rent out available dock space to recreational boaters. Their office is located at 200 Aquarium Way, and has snacks, drinks, ice cream shirts, hats, and bait available for purchase alongside tickets. Parking  available in the paid lot behind their office, or offsite in a gated parking lot. Guests using one of their vessels can get a parking pass at the ticket counter. For more information you can give them a call at (562) 983-9300 or visit their office in person.

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Harbor Breeze

Harbor Breeze Cruises

Harbor Breeze Cruises is located on Docks 2 and 3 in Rainbow Harbor and Dock 7 in Rainbow Marina. They are the largest whale watching company in the area, and also offer harbor cruises, private party cruises, and burials at sea. Parking is located at the Aquarium parking structure across the street from their dock. They can be reached at (562) 983-6880.



Tall Ship American Pride

The Tall Ship “American Pride” is also located on Dock 3 in Rainbow Harbor. It is a 130′ tall ship that is a faithful recreation of a 19th century three masted schooner. It is available for educational trips, summer camps, and whale watching. For more information call (562) 970-8800.

Grand Romance Riverboat

Grand Romance

Grand Romance

The Grand Romance is a 100′ long paddle wheel river boat on Dock 4 that boasts three decks, a dance floor, dj booth and full bar set up. They are available for private parties and events, as well as “murder mystery” dinners, New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July cruises. For bookings or more information call (562) 912-5665.





Dockside Boat and Bed

Dockside Boat and Bed

Dockside Boat and Bed

Dockside Boat and Bed is a unique attraction on Dock 5. It has several vessels available for rent as a “floating hotel”. This is a great alternative if you are looking for something a little different than a usual hotel experience. The dock is located in the middle of Rainbow Harbor and is the perfect location for someone checking out not only the Pike and Downtown Long Beach but also the Convention Center or the New Year’s Eve fireworks. They are also a great place to stay during the Long Beach Grand Prix, as they are just steps away from the action. Parking is located in the lot behind Pierpoint Landing or, for an additional fee, at the valet lot on the Pine Ave Circle by PF Chang’s. For more information call (562) 435-3111.

Burials at Sea by Capt. Johnnie Lee

Great Faith

The “Great Faith”

Sharing Dock 5 with Dockside Boat and Bed is Burials at Sea by Capt. Johnnie Lee. Capt. Lee has a 45′ power boat named the “Great Faith”, and is also available for boating lessons.





Hornblower Cruises

Dock 6 is currently rented out by Hornblower Cruises. They provide private party cruises as well as cruises for corporate and school events. They can be reached at (310) 301-6000.

The Pine Ave. Pier

Pine Ave Pier

The Pine Ave Pier

The Pine Ave Pier is a 180′ long pier located in the center of Rainbow Harbor. The west side has a floating dock that is used for transient vessels as well as the occasional special event. There is 30a/120v and 50a 125/250v  service available on the dock, as well as water and a pump-out. At the head of the dock is Gladstone’s Restaurant and Tokyo Wako. There is no lock on the swing gate, but the area is regularly patrolled by the Long Beach Marine Patrol. The east side of the dock is currently empty, and is only used for emergencies. However, the city will be constructing an additional 180′ long dock to be used as another public dock, which will make it easier for visiting boaters to get to the restaurants in Rainbow Harbor. To book dock space on the Pine Ave Pier, call the Rainbow Harbor office between 8am and 4pm at (562) 570-8636.

AquaLink and AquaBus

The AquaLink and AquaBus are two water taxis that have stops in Rainbow Harbor and Rainbow Marina. The AquaLink shares Dock 4 along with the AquaBus and the Grand Romance riverboat. The AquaBus also stops at Dock 7 and Dock 9 in Rainbow Marina.  The AquaBus runs from Rainbow Harbor to the Queen Mary and Hotel Maya, while the AquaLink runs from Rainbow Harbor to the Alamitos Bay Marina, with a stop at the Belmont Pier along the way. Both are run by Long Beach Transit, and can be reached at (562) 591-2301.

Launch Ramps
Mar 06

Long Beach Launch Ramps

By Drew | Launch Ramps

There are five Long Beach Launch Ramps.

The Davies Launch Ramp and South Shore Launch Ramp are perfect for multi day trips to Catalina, while the Claremont and Granada Launch Ramps are great for day sailing and jet skiers. If wake boarding is more your thing, you’ll want to check out Marine Stadium, which is specifically for wake boarders and rowers. All the launch ramps are $12 for launching and parking, and have a machine with a gate arm at the entrance to pay (the Granada and Claremont Launch Ramps do not have the arm). The machines accept $1s, $5s, $10s, $20s, and Visa and Mastercards. All ramps are open year round, with occasional closures for special events or filming. Security on land is handled by the Long Beach Marine Patrol and the Long Beach Police Department, who do regular patrols; on the water security is handled by the Long Beach Lifeguards, and occasionally the Police Department and Coast Guard. The Police Department and Marine Patrol can be reached at (562) 435-6711, or by calling 911 or 9-911 from the emergency phones located at the Davies and South Shore Launch Ramps. The Long Beach Lifeguards can be reached at (562) 570-1360 or (562) 436-8211. More information for all the Long Beach launch ramps can be found by calling the Rainbow Harbor Marina at (562) 570-8636.

The Long Beach Launch Ramps

Davies Launch Ramp

The Davies Launch Ramp and dock

The most popular of the Long Beach launch ramps is the Davies Launch Ramp at 6201 E. Second St. It is located deep within the Alamitos Bay Marina in East Long Beach near the Marina Pacifica condos and Gelson’s. It is also near the Naples Islands canals, and a small vessel without a cabin, such as a Boston Whaler, Glastron, or Water rod, should have no problem navigating the canals and going under the bridges. The launch ramp is open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Parking is limited to cars with trailers, however, so if you are bringing friends who don’t have a boat make sure you carpool; if that is not possible, parking for a car without a trailer is available down the street at the Alamitos Bay Marina in the back rows of the parking lot until 10 pm. There is a temporary dock for loading and unloading vessels, as well as 3 pump outs. A wash down is available onsite, and is free (for now), but you must bring your own hose. Public restrooms are also available at the ramp. Since this is the most popular launch ramp in Long Beach it can fill up, especially in the summer or during holidays; if this happens, the city employees may direct you to launch your vessel, tie it up on the dock, and park offsite.

marine stadium

Marine Stadium

Just down the street from Davies Launch Ramp at 5255 Paoli Way is the Marine Stadium Launch Ramp. It was originally opened in 1922 for the Los Angeles Olympic’s rowing events and is now shared by boaters and rowers alike. It is strictly limited to vessels less than 23′ in length and wakeboarders during the day. The hours are generally 8am-Sunset, except during Winter and Spring when it closes early to be used by local rowing clubs.  During the Summer months, the speed limit is reduced to 5 mph after 5pm in order to let boaters anchor their boats so they can enjoy the concerts put on by the Long Beach Municipal Band, who plays on the grassy area at the north end of Marine Stadium. There are many other events held here, including the yearly Dragonboat festival and Southern California Speedboat Club Sprint Nationals. Marine Stadium can also be rented out for private special events. Just like Davies Launch Ramp, parking is limited to vehicles with trailers. Unfortunately, there is no wash down rack or any pumpouts at this ramp.There are two sets of public restrooms available at the ramp; one insude the ramp itself, and one outside the ramp, before the pay machine. For more information on upcoming events or closures, you can call the automated information line at (562) 570-3203.


Long Beach Launch Ramps

South Shore Launch Ramp and Downtown Long Beach

The South Shore Launch Ramp is located at 590 Queensway Drive, near the Queen Mary and the south end of the 710 freeway on the west side of Long Beach. Like Davies Launch Ramp, it is open 24 hours a day and has free wash down facilities. Unlike Davies, though, it has a section of the lot for vehicles without trailers. These single vehicle stalls are located at the very northwest end of the lot, away from the ramp and the hotel. There is a small park here that has tables and benches, perfect for a small picnic.  The South Shore Launch Ramp is popular with boaters going to Catalina, as it is the closest launch ramp to the island and vessels are launched directly into open water. It is also directly across the L.A River from Rainbow Harbor, which has the Aquarium of the Pacific, Shoreline Village, and parts of the Pike, making it a popular destination for day trips. Handicapped parking spots are also available at this ramp, with the stalls located just to the left of the restrooms.


Long Beach Launch Ramps

Granada Launch Ramp

Lastly, Long Beach has two sand launch ramps, the Granada Launch Ramp and Claremont Launch Ramp. The Granada Launch Ramp is located at 1 South Granada Avenue, across the parking lot from the Belmont Pool., and is open 8am-Sunset. There is a short cement pathway that leads to the sand, where you would need to transfer your vessel to a dolly (vehicles are not allowed on the beach itself). Because it is a sand launch, it is restricted to PWCs (jet skis, wave runners etc), catamarans, and small sailboats. The Granada Launch Ramp is also home to Rosie’s Dog Beach, a popular area where residents bring their dogs for a fun day in the sun and waves. Granada beach many special events during the summer. This launch ramp is unique in that there is no gate arm to control access to the area. Instead, because it shares a lot with the Belmont Pool, it works a bit on the honor system. Vehicles launching vessels are to pay the $12 at the machine at the entrance, or, single vehicles going to the pool or Rosie’s Dog Beach can pay at the metered spots.


Long Beach Launch Ramps

Claremont Launch Ramp

The Claremont Launch Ramp is at 5300 E. Ocean Blvd just down the street from the Granada Launch Ramp. It is also a sand launch, and is open 8am-Sunset. Claremont only allows catamarans and small sailboats (no PWCs), and there is no metered parking. Like Granada, there is also no gate arm at the pay machine. It also features kite surfing, kite boarding and paddle board rentals through Southern California Kite Surfing. Southern California Kite Surfing is currently the only vendor permitted for kite surfing in Long Beach, although the city council has approved two other companies to do business. There are only five dedicated parking spots for boat launching and fills up in the summer, so you’ll need to arrive early, or make back up plans to use Granada if it is full.

Another unique feature of the Granada  launch ramp is that it is the only launch ramp covered under the yearly parking passes that are available for purchase. The Annual Beach Parking Pass program allows visitors to park there from 8am to 6pm, even without launching, feeding the meters, or paying at the machine at the entrance. See our post on parking for more information, or go to

The Pay Machines

Long Beach Launch Ramps machine

Pay machine at Davies Launch Ramp

Fees at all the Long Beach launch ramps are paid at the machine located at the entrance. The Davies Launch Ramp, South Shore Launch Ramp, and Marine Stadium Launch Ramp all have a gate arm at the machine, but the Claremont and Granada Launch Ramps do not. All the machines take cash ($1-$20 bills), Visa, and Mastercard.

To use the machine at Davies and South Shore, simply:

1. Choose the number of days you need (up to 30 days)

2. Insert the cash into the slot to the lower left of the key pad, or slide your card into the reader to the right of the screen (make sure the front of the card is facing to the left).

3. If  you are successful, the machine will drop your receipt into the slot below and the gate arm will go up.

Make sure to put the receipt on your dashboard; the Long Beach Marine Patrol is not shy about handing out citations. Please be aware that since the machines are automatic and there is no attendant on site, there are no “ins and outs” at the South Shore, Marine Stadium, and Davies Launch Ramps; once you leave, you will have to pay to get back in. This includes if you need to leave to buy a battery or have any other mechanical problems with your vessel.

The Marine Stadium, Claremont, and Granada Launch Ramps all close at dusk, so to use those machines simply omit the first step and feed your cash or slide your card into the machine and collect your receipt. Again, make sure to put the receipt on your dashboard.

There is also an option for “Access Pass” on the screen. Currently, this is simply the system for Marine Bureau employees to access the ramp with their employee cards; however, in the future a prepaid card system will be put into place that will be accessed through this option.

If the machines are not working for you, there could be many simple fixes:

The screen isn’t on.

Do you have polarized sunglasses on? Polarized sunglasses can make the screen hard to see.

Is there a glare from the sun? This is a problem mostly at the South Shore Launch Ramp, but sometimes the glare from the sun can make the screen look washed out.

The machine won’t accept cash

Are you paying with any bill larger than a $20 bill? The machines are programmed to only accept $1s, $5s, $10s, and $20s. Anything larger will be rejected.

Are your bills crumpled? The machines can be picky about the bills they accept, you may have to try another.

Is the red light flashing on the bill accepter? This means there is a bill jam, and you will have to call the Rainbow Harbor Marina office at (562) 570-8636 or use a credit card.

The credit card reader isn’t working

Are you using a Visa or Mastercard? Amex and Discover cards are not accepted at any city facility.

Are you sliding it properly? Too fast, too slow, or not deep enough and the machine will not read your card properly.

Is the front of the card facing to the right? Make sure the magnetic stripe is in the upper right hand corner of the reader.

The screen is stuck on “Authorizing”

Most likely there is a problem with your bank’s processing center. You’ll need to press the “cancel” button (the large, silver button under the screen) and use cash.

You did not receive your change, or you received a receipt for a refund.

The machine has run out of change, which sometimes happens on a busy weekend or holidays. You will need to call the Rainbow Harbor office and request a “Refund Request Form”.  They will mail you out the form, and you will need to fill it out and mail it back along with your receipt to obtain your refund.

Other common problems include a failure for the gate arm to raise, or a failure to issue a receipt. If any of these happen to you, or you’ve tried the solutions above and they have not worked, you can call the staff at Rainbow Harbor at (562) 570-8636 between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm, or (562) 570-3101 after those hours.