Day Trip, Long Beach
Here is the artsy, ecletic part of Long Beach - East Village. Consider this the Greenwich Village, NY of Southern California. Come here if you are attracted to bright colorful architecture, art gallery browsing Bohemian and hippie-ish culture, organic cafes, and unique/avant-garde stuff. The attitude here is definitely open and progressive.
No, I'm not talking about Sofia Loren's city but the part of Long Beach which is arguably the least known- even for locals in the greater Los Angeles region. Naples is a quiet town built on three islands of Alamitos Bay. I have come here a few times for some tranquility while overlooking the water. I swear I could drop a needle here by the bay and actually hear it drop- 'cause it's just that quiet here!
Come to Naples especially during the Christmas holidays to see the boats decorated in lights or get here anytime for a romantic gondola ride (borrowing from Venice, Italy) at the bay. (Check out gondolagetawayinc.com).
Naples... this place has to live up to its namesake! Many of the street names are Italian-inspired (Sorrento Drive, Garibaldi Lane, Savona Walk, etc). As one might think, there are good pizzerias here. Try Michael's or Russo's (On Naples) for gourmet pizza pie or a basic good slice at the casual fast joint, Valuetina's.
One thing is for sure: Naples, like its sister area Belmont Shore, is a proud little L.B. neighborhood. One can presume this just by looking at the Rite Aid stoes in each enclave. What am I talking about, you say? Well, the Rite-Aids (pharamacy/convenience retail store) are not just like the regular Rite-Aids of other cities or areas. These twin L.B. neighborhoods have their own namesake as part of the store written like these :
The Rite Aid of Belmont Shore
The Rite Aid of Naples
How rich is this!
Speaking of rich, yes, you have to have pretty good money to live in Naples, which is a kind of extension from nearby upscale Bixby Knolls. At least visiting is relatively low or almost free! Just consider getting some gas and tour around these parts.
Los Angeles and the downtown area is pretty much a concrete jungle settled in amongst freeways and the Los Angeles river. There are plenty of attractions to see like the LA Childrens Museum, the Civic Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Anaheim is now the tenth largest city in California. Of course the main attraction is Disneyland followed by Knotts Berry Farm. Plenty of attractions to entertain and amuse for several days.