Long Beach

Long Beach (Tia Lai / Los Angeles Times / June 25, 2012)

Spend a hot summer day on a cool summer walk around the Naples district of Long Beach. It's flat and breezy and makes a sweet sunset stroll too.

Distance: 2.2 miles

Duration: 1 hour

Difficulty: 2 on a 1-to-5 scale

Details: Dogs on leash welcome. Ample street parking. Long Beach Transit Bus 131, Passport shuttle A, D.

1. The artificial canals and islands of Naples were the early 1900s creation of land speculator Arthur Parson. Like developer Abbot Kinney's Venice to the north, Naples was conceived as a romantic residential district, where "gay gondoliers will propel their crafts like those in the waters of the Adriatic."

2. From Naples Plaza Park you get good views across the water of the Peninsula residential district, which also has a fine pedestrian walkway, and Alamitos Bay, whose channel leads out of the harbor and into the Pacific.

3. Italian street names abound — Lido, Sorrento, Tivoli, Venetia and Ravenna are local addresses — as you crisscross the canal on the district's five bridges.

4. Naples is famous for its Christmas-themed small boat parade. It should be equally famous for the home decor. These Neapolitans pull out all the stops for holiday house decorating.

5. Along the tidy paved Corso walkways you may see kayakers and stand-up paddle-boarders cruising the canals. You can rent kayaks and small boats at the Belmont Shore Pier or book a gondola ride at Gondola Getaways.

6. To your right is Naples' central piazza. To your left, across the bridge, is East 2nd Street, with the best options for food, coffee or cocktails.

charles.fleming@latimes.com