Introduction to Long Beach, California
Long Beach, located on San Pedro Bay, just south of Los Angeles, is the fifth-largest city in California, with a diverse population of nearly 500,000. Initially developed as a beachside resort in the 1880's, the city was incorporated in 1888. Today, Long Beach is the second-busiest port in the country and a center of commerce and industry, with companies like Boeing, Raytheon and Gulfstream based in the city. The oil industry and tourism (the Queen Mary is now based there) are also important to the city's economy.
Long Beach Culture
The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center has the Long Beach Arena and the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, which hosts the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, the International City Theater, and a wide variety of musical acts. The city is home to the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Museum of Latin American Art and one of the country's largest aquariums. Each summer Long Beach is home to a 3-day Bayou Festival, featuring Louisiana music and food, plus the 2-day Long Beach Blues Festival, with some of the biggest names in the genre's past and present.
Long Beach Sports and Leisure
For spectator sports, Long Beach Ice Dogs play minor league hockey at Long Beach Arena. In April, the 3-day Grand Prix of Long Beach is one of the world's largest grand prix events, featuring America's premier street race, celebrity races, and musical entertainment. Major league team sports are accessible in neighboring cities Los Angleles and Anaheim. LA has major league baseball's Dodgers, the NBA's Lakers and Clippers and the NHL's Kings. Anaheim has major league baseball's Angels and the NHL's Mighty Ducks.
Long Beach Outdoors
With 81 miles of beaches, Long Beach's top recreational attraction is obvious, with swimming, boating, jet skiing and kayaking all available. Land lubbers can use the 5-1/2 mile paved trail along the beach for walking, jogging or rollerblading. Long Beach has a nationally recognized park system, with 92 city-owned parks. El Dorado Regional Park has 815 acres offering fishing lakes, an archery range, bike trails and camp grounds. Surfing is extremely popular in the area, from Santa Monica to the north down to Huntington and Newport Beaches to the south.
Long Beach at Night
Long Beach has an active nightlife scene, loaded with fine restaurants, cigar bars, sports bars, jazz clubs and Latin-themed dance clubs. Pine Avenue is the most concentrated area for hotspots to spend an evening.