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Naples Long Beach: A Local’s Guide to Fun in the Canals

Naples in Long Beach is a truly special place in Southern California and many life long Angelenos still haven’t experienced all that it has to offer. After a few years of living in Naples and a few more living in nearby Belmont Shore, I’m sharing all my recommendations so you can enjoy Naples Island like a local.

Want to start planning your next day in Naples? Skip straight to my picks!

Long Beach is actually an amazing coastal city

This may be a shocker since many people hear “Long Beach” and immediately start dropping verses about the “LBC” from Snoop or Warren G. But trust your girl… the LBC offers a wonderful mix of the diversity that the City of Angels is known for AND the water activities that you’d normally associate with Newport Beach. 

Naples Island is the epitome of this. It’s a true hidden gem…tucked between Long Beach’s Belmont Shore and Seal Beach. Perhaps not hidden for long though because it’s natural beauty, swim-safe canals, and relaxed lifestyle make it prime Instagram bait for sun-soaked photo ops.

When I discovered Naples I was living in Belmont Shore. I rented a kayak and paddled through the canals and immediately knew that it was a special place, but never imagined living here.

Fast forward ten years…

I moved to Santa Monica and got married but within a year decided to move to Naples. Why? Well, I knew I wanted to settle down somewhere near the water, but Santa Monica and West LA just weren’t for me anymore.

One major plus for Naples vs LA’s Westside is the community. It feels like a small town. Everybody’s neighborly and gets together for random little events. Pancake breakfast anyone? Oh yeah…it’s a thing.

We even have a unique spin on holidays. For example, there’s a massive fireworks celebration every 3rd of July…because the 4th is reserved for a neighborhood water gun fight through the canals and around the bay. Amidst flying water balloons and champagne, expect to see water polo matches happening between one side of the canal and another.

Here’s a Map of Long Beach’s Naples Canals

Fun Stuff To Do

  • Summer Concerts
  • Fireworks on the Bay for the 3rd of July
  • Horny Corner – Beware on 4th of July
  • Picnic at Naples Plaza

Water access around Naples

  • Mother’s Beach
  • Public Dock at Mother’s Beach
  • Public Docks at Serrento Dr
  • “Public” ladder into Naples Canal

Rent a boat

  • Anchor’s Away Duffy Boat Rental
  • London Duffy Boat Rental
  • Gondola Getaway

Photo Ops

  • Pirate Guarding the Canal Entrance
  • Captain Morgan Statue
  • Gondoliers singing in the canal

Other stuff

  • Public Restrooms at Mother’s Beach
  • Naples Fountain

Here’s a sneak peek at what you’ll see when you wander the Naples Canals in Long Beach

It’s not just summer fun either. Naples hosts an annual Christmas Boat Parade where locals deck out their water crafts (boats, kayaks and even stand-up paddleboards) and cruise through the canals as people crowd around and cheer in a block party-like atmosphere. Those seeking even more nightlife can walk a few minutes down 2nd Street from Naples to the Belmont Shore, which draws similarities to Los Angeles’ South Bay beach cities further up the coast.

What are my favorite activities in Naples?

Wine walks: I like filling up a glass of wine and going on a stroll along the water. In Naples it is socially acceptable (almost encouraged) so long as you’re respectful and raise your glass to air cheers everyone you pass.

Concerts in the Park: Every month in the Summer, there will be live music at the end of the Colonnade in Naples. It’s free and you can bring food and drinks. It’s a great place to get together and listen to some music as the sun goes down.

Rooftop Brunch at Michael’s on Naples: This is probably the most popular restaurant in Naples but their brunch is still still not very well known. It’s only on Sundays but hot dang it’s good! I recommend the biscuits, duck hash and if you’re feelin’ saucy get a Bloody Mary but swap out the vodka for Mezcal. Most days, the rooftop is sunny and breezy.

Tubin’ and Cruisin’: In the summer, my husband will go on his stand-up paddleboard and tow me around in an inner tube. Usually I’ll have a drink with me too and we can explore the canals together. Don’t try in non Summer months UNLESS you can perch your booty well above the water in that tube. And definitely avoid the 4th of July. Intertubes are prime targets for the water balloon wars (oh yes, it’s a thing).

Picnic at the end of Naples Plaza: Just setup a blanket and bring a couple sandwiches and you’re set. If you want, go all out and bring folding chairs, some music and some games. The water is just a few steps away so you’ll have a great backdrop for your picnic PLUS some cool breezes.

If you want to experience a truly unique take on the Southern California lifestyle come to Naples Island and bring your flippy floppies!