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 May, with a Sunday parade along Ocean Blvd, concerts/performances, drag shows, and more. See their website for recent photos and videos, and for updates.
From both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the John Wayne Airport (SNA), you can grab a shuttle. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) bus number 76 will get you to Huntington Beach/ Talbert Beach, then change for the number 29 up Coast Hwy, to connect to bus number 1 at San Clemente for PCH Marketplace E, just south of Long Beach - about 95 minutes ride and walk - fare $6. See LBT for bus routes within Long Beach.
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 34 routes. There is Metro service to Metro Center Los Angeles and, with a change at Willowbrook station, to LAX. The regional bus company OCTA connects Long Beach 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.
Frontiers Magazine, the 35-year-old biweekly L.A.-based gay magazine shut down in September 2016.
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 Bar (1100 E Broadway), lively, casual, gay neighborhood bar with karaoke, cheap drinks, games.
Club Ripples (5101 E Ocean Blvd), "bar with the motion that rocks the ocean," two levels, dance floor, smoker's patio, monthly bears' events, College Nights, Friday Flashbacks, Latin and Punk nights, Sunday beer busts.
The Crest (5935 Cherry Ave) men's bar, open daily, internet jukebox, covered patio; Sunday barbecues, Urban Bear nights, daily drinks specials.
Falcon (1435 E Broadway), small but busy neighborhood gay party bar, especially on weekends; jukebox, patio bar.
Flux (17817 Lakewood Blvd), neigborhood gay bar just off 91 Freeway in Bellflower, north of Long Beach; easy parking, inexpensive drinks, friendly staff, no cover charge.
Hamburger Mary's (330 Pine Ave), full-service restaurant, dance and show club. Divas, karaoke, Friday Soaked go-go boys and drag shows, Saturday and Sunday Drag Queen Brunch. Club Papi 18+ parties every Thursday 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, jukebox and patio.
Paradise On Broadway (1800 E Broadway), bar and restaurant, karaoke, Drag Bingo, live entertainment/ piano bar, women/men mix; lunch, nightly special menus, 10am to 2pm weekend brunch.
Silver Fox (411 Redondo Ave), easygoing video bar of many years, sociable locals of all ages. Sunday and Wednesday karaoke, music and comedy videos, DJs, outdoor patio, smokers' area, buffets, shows, holiday theme parties and special events.
The Suite (3428 E Pacific Coast Hwy), popular video bar and dance club; drag shows, pool tables, karaoke; Saturday women's nights, and Latin events. AKA Executive Suite.
Sweetwater Saloon (1201 East Broadway), open-early neighborhood drinking establishment for local gay men, more mixed than most; patio, pool table, jukebox, sports on TV.
CLOSED: Pistons (2020 E Artesia Blvd), leather/bear men's cruise/ "wild-life refuge for hot daddies and willing boys." Beer busts, BBQs, leather/ rubber/ uniform/ underwear nights.
The 1350 Club (510 W Anaheim St, Wilmington/ Long Beach), open 24/7, 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
Hamburger Mary's (740 E Broadway), full-service restaurant/dance bar, burgers, salads, sandwiches, appetizers, deserts, lunch specials. Saturday and Sunday buffet brunch drag entertainment by the Brunchettes. Club Papi Thursday Latino go-go dancers.
Open Sesame (5215 E 2nd St), Middle-East Lebanese/ Mediterranean grill to wake up the taste buds; wines and good beer selection, pita sandwiches, lunch specials, dinner and take-out.
Restauration (2708 E 4th St), lunch/dinner seasonal menus, Saturday/Sunday brunch; craft draft and bottle beers of the world, wines, 50-seat fire-lit garden patio. Old 212 Degrees Bistro location.
Spicy Sugar (1538 E Broadway), Thai family restaurant, eat-in or take-out with local delivery; meat or veg/vegan options. Former Two Umbrellas location.
Utopia (445 E First St), good food in East Village arts district, California eclectic cuisine, fine wines, art shows. Reserve online for special evening four course wine tasting dinners.
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 selections.
VLVT/ Velvet Lounge (416 W 4th St, Santa Ana), Saturday and Sunday brunch with drag entertainment and Club Lucky Sunday BoyBar/ CRUSH 18+ boys night; also Flex Friday 21+ men's night, Thursday Latin nights, Wednesday women's night, Tuesday karaoke and Taco buffet.
WTF moved their 18+ to party/ 21+ to drink parties with go-go boys to YOST Theater (307 N Spurgeon St, Santa Ana); and other events such as their DTF X-Rated Leather Party to Bar Ellipsis (220 E 3rd St, Santa Ana), the underground club next to Yost Theater.