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Belmont Shore - a region of Long Beach, California

 

 

Pull up a beach chair on late  Wednesday afternoons to watch the Long Beach Yacht Club’s sailboat races along Belmont Shore. This wall painting on 2nd Street is one example of the mural and shadow art which is best seen on foot. Long Beach Yacht Club:  (562) 598-9401

 

belmont shore muralEnjoy ice cream: Sit and watch people walk by the Rite Aid store in left photo or  wander down 2nd  Street to see the red brick firehouse. Located at 5365 East Second Street, Fire Station No. 8 is an historic structure which represents the expansion of city services to the neighborhood of Belmont in a combined fire and police facility.

 

Opened as the Belmont Fire and Police substation on August 1, 1929, it housed two fire platoons. The police substation, the first in the city, opened the following month. The Italian Renaissance Revival style evidenced here occurs throughout the twenties as one of several popular "period revival" styles. Its use as late as the late twenties indicates a conservative choice for a public building, and one that blends in well with its surrounding neighborhood. The red tile roof is an explicit Mediterranean characteristic.

 

This landmark is part of a collection of small-scale period revival commercial buildings on Second Street, and relates to homes in the surrounding neighborhood characterized by Mediterranean-styled homes. It is an established and familiar visual landmark of Belmont Shore due to its architectural character and to its corner location at the east end of the Second Street commercial strip.

 



Classic architecture: the building (below- left) houses a tailor shop. You'll have no difficulty finding the sports club. Just look for the art on the building pictured below- right. Both are visible just a few steps from bustling 2nd Street.

 

The seaside character of  Belmont Heights along with the popularity of the newly built Craftsman Bungalows and glorious Spanish homes caused investors to sit up and take notice. Two developers named McGrath and Selover were impressed with the popularity of  Naples and the Heights and were certain they could not lose when they created Belmont Shore. Originally named Belmont Shore Place, it began in 1920 and continued to feed the desires of hungry home buyers who sought the popular Spanish and Period Revival bungalows. Though lots were slightly smaller, the homes were located on the shore of Long Beach’s "Wonder Beach".

 

The largest one-day car show on the West Coast, the Belmont Car Show normally runs in September and  that features approximately 1,000 cars on display, including antiques, classics, customs, convertibles, etc. For more  information, contact: 562/434-3066. 

 

Who cares if the relaxing little beach town of Belmont Shore is really a part of the City of Long Beachh? Residents once tried to make it a separate city and only relinquished their claim after Long Beach promised them a pier.

 

They got their pier and life is pretty good in Belmont Shore, for the most part, anyway..  Just like the good ol' days, Belmont Shore closes its beachfront street, Bayshore, in the summer so that beach-goers are safe from the traffic that pours into their area. Overlooking Naples and the Long Beach peninsula, this small bay area is popular for sunbathing, swimming and learning how to sail the Sabot boats invented here decades ago.

 

Also a hit is popular 2nd Street, an approximate four-block long shopping region of cute stores, eateries, banks, photo labs and even two Starbucks.

 

Beyond the bend of the 2nd Street/Livingston/Ocean stoplight, Belmont Shore loses ground to downtown. The close-knit communal feeling fades as buildings loom larger and tower over Ocean Boulevard downtown. That's where Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, Shoreline Village and the new Pike redevelopment area beckon travelers to explore a whole new phase of Long Beach.

 

Give yourself an hour or two for enjoyment and exploration of Belmont Shore. But watch your parking meter carefully if you park in front of one. Traffic tickets come like clockwork, and arrive usually the minute your meter expires.  Our last ticket paid was $31 but the price probably has gone up since then.