The closest swimming/surfing beach from the east side of Long Beach would be Seal Beach to the south. The drive is approximately 5 miles and about 10 minutes with traffic lights. Sunset Beach is also known for decent surf which is just a few miles further south from Seal Beach. If you want a list of the very best of surf spots within driving distance of Long Beach, send me an email at MicheleK90815@gmail.com.
Best Regards, Michele K
The actual ocean in Long Beach is not good for much since it is blocked by the breakwall. This adds to the por water qulity. You can swim on the bay side of the peninsula