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 Travel Article Travel Article Archive  
March 2010 Email this to a friend

Long Beach
and Orange County

By Staff reports

NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Long Beach article click DailyXtraTravel

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 events will take place this year May 13-16, 2010 with a Sunday parade along Ocean Blvd. leaving Landero Ave. at 10:30am. Concerts in Bixby Park, an amateur drag show, a tea dance and a Pink Party at Promenade Sq. Park, are just some of what's planned.

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.

Turret House (556 Chestnut Ave; 888-488-7738), gay owned and operated, pet friendly restored Victorian with five themed en suite rooms, fireplaces, DirecTV, DSL access and home-like comforts. A brief walk to Convention Center, and Pine Avenue restaurants, expanded continental breakfast buffet, plus free passes to nearby Gold's gym.

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.

Club Broadway (3348 E Broadway) is a long-time women's bar with busy pool tables.

Club Lucky ended Sunday nights at Red Club, Newport Beach, but now do Wild Wednesdays and Friday BoyBar 18+ events at Hamburger Mary's with their sexy crew of go-go boys both nights. See their website for more upcoming Orange County special events such as the recent event at House of Blues (1530 S Disneyland Dr, Anaheim).

Club Ripples (5101 E Ocean Blvd) called "the bar with the motion that rocks the ocean," is on two levels with dance floor and outdoor patio.

The Crest (5935 Cherry Ave) men's bar, open daily, has pool games, Undies Sundays with Barbecue, and leather Friday nights, with buzz cuts on alternate weeks (1st, 3rd & 5th Fridays).

Executive Suite (3428 E Pacific Coast Hwy) popular upscale dance bar. It's mostly women except on Thurdays, and (especially) on Fridays when it's full of guys, many from surrounding Orange County.

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, with easy parking, good drinks prices, and no cover charge.

Hamburger Mary's (740 E Broadway) is a full-service restaurant and dance and show club, 18+ most nights (except Tuesdays, most Saturdays, and Sundays 21+). Daily happy hours are 4-8pm; Mondays have drag as well as dancing; Wednesdays see go-go boys and open Talent Night drag shows; Thursdays are for women; and Friday BoyBar is for the young guys. Saturday nights alternate between women (1st, 3rd), and bears (2nd, 4th). Saturdays 2-6pm come for the country music line dancing, with lessons the early half; and Sunday nights from 9pm they play hip hop and urban beats.

Mineshaft (1720 E Broadway) is a longtime men's cruise bar with pool, games and patio.

Paradise Bar & Restaurant (1800 E Broadway) has women, men, karaoke, and drag, with special menus nightly including 2 for 1 Mondays budget night out , Baja Tuesdays for Mexican, plus a wide selection of weekend brunch choices, served 10am to 2pm.

Pistons (2020 E Artesia Blvd) leather/bear/cruise men's "wild-life refuge," with a full events calendar including third Friday Bad Boy nights for "hot daddies and willing boys."

John Schinnerer's Silver Fox (411 Redondo Ave) is an easygoing video bar of many years, thronged with sociable locals of all ages. They have popular Wednesday karaoke (singers get half-price drinks); Friday hors d'oeuvres and piano entertainment; outdoor smokers' patio, plus special theme parties, shows, and holidays events. A steadfast supporter of the local community for many years.

Sweetwater Saloon (1201 East Broadway), this early opening neighborhood gay men's drinking establishment has more of a mix than most, plus patio, jukebox and sports on TV.

Long Beach Restaurants

212 Degrees Bistro (2708 E 4th St) outdoor patio, latin menu with Puerto Rican flair, friendly gay staff.

Frenchy's Bistro (4137 E Anaheim St) superb French bistro cuisine with local influences, good wine selection, worth braving an unfashionable location.

Hamburger Mary's (740 E Broadway) full-service restaurant and dance bar, burgers, salads, sandwiches, deserts, every day lunch and brunch specials. The all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet brunch features drag entertainment from the Brunchettes.

Open Sesame (5215 E 2nd St) Middle-East-Mediterranean grill to wake up the taste buds, with good beer selection, lunch, dinner and take-out.

Two Umbrellas Cafe (1538 E Broadway) Tom and Manny's gay-friendly place with hearty breakfasts. Friday and Saturday dinners include their notable BBQ ribs.

Utopia (445 E First St) good restaurant in the interesting East Village arts district, California eclectic cuisine. Reserve online for special evening four course wine tasting dinners.

Long Beach Shopping

Condom Revolution Store (3316 E Broadway) sells a wide variety of condoms, lubrication and sex toys.

The sex retail store Crypt , (1712 E Broadway) has adult DVD sales and rentals, club and casual wear, fetish and leather gear, toys and accessories, plus cards, books, magazines and books.

Hilo Clothing (2752 E Broadway) specializes in modern gay apparel and accessories, including it's own Hilo brand, plus other local and international designers.

Orange County

Club Bravo (1490 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim) has a gay Latin Saturday night with hot dancers and Mexican buffet.

Frat House (8112 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove) for 25 years a GLTB neighborhood bar in the County.

The Metro Q (19092 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach) gay bar and grill with sports on TV, pool games, women's Wednesday nights, 10am Sunday Champagne Brunches.

The Proof Bar (215 N Broadway, Santa Ana) young, hip and casual mixed crowd, popular daily cocktail hours 4-8pm, Sunday live bands and local DJs.

The Tin Lizzie (752 St. Clair, Costa Mesa) gay bar dating back to the '50s, with a lively atmosphere, pool games and a fine wine selection.

At Velvet Lounge (416 W 4th St, Santa Ana), the Club Lucky Star Bar gay dance club is defunct for now as the host venue closes for renovations. Check their websites for re-openings.

Info & Resources

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.

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