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Long Beach is a large city located in southern Californiamarker, USAmarker, on the Pacificmarker coast. It is situated in Los Angeles County, about south of downtown Los Angelesmarker. Long Beach borders Orange Countymarker on its southeast edge.

Long Beach is the 36th-largest city in the nationmarker and the sixth-largest in Californiamarker. As of 2008, its estimated population was 492,682. In addition, Long Beach is the 2nd largest city within the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

The Port of Long Beachmarker is one of the world's largest shipping ports. The city also has a large oil industry; oil is found both underground and offshore. Manufacturers include aircraft, automobile parts, electronic and audiovisual equipment, and home furnishings. It is also home to headquarters for corporations such as Epson America, Molina Healthcare, and SCAN Health Plan. Long Beach has grown with the development of high-technology and aerospace industries in the area.


Indigenous people have lived in coastal southern California for at least ten thousand years. Over the centuries, several successive cultures inhabited the present-day area of Long Beach. By the time Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century, the dominant group were the Tongva people. They had at least three major settlements within the present day city boundaries. Tevaaxa'anga was an inland settlement near the Los Angeles River, while Ahwaanga and Povuu'nga were coastal villages. Along with other Tongva villages, they were forced to relocate in the mid 1800s due to missionization, political change, and a drastic drop in population from exposure to European diseases.

The Rancho Los Cerritosmarker and Rancho Los Alamitosmarker were divided from the larger Rancho Los Nietosmarker, which had been granted by the Spanish Empire's, King Carlos III in 1784 to a Spanish soldier, Manuel Nieto. The boundary between the two ranchos ran through the center of Signal Hill on a southwest to northeast diagonal. A portion of western Long Beach was originally part of the Rancho San Pedromarker, and was in dispute for years, due to flooding changing the Los Angeles River boundary, between Juan Jose Dominguez and Manuel Nieto's ranchos.

Rancho Los Cerritos was bought in 1843 by Jonathan Temple, a Yankee who had come to California in 1827 . Soon after he built what is now known as the "Los Cerritos Ranch Housemarker", an adobe which still stands and is a National Historic Landmark. Temple created a thriving cattle ranch and prospered, becoming the wealthiest man in Los Angeles County. Both Temple and his ranch house played important local roles in the Mexican-American War.

Long Beach pier, 1905

Meanwhile, on an island in the San Pedro Bay, Mormon pioneers made an abortive attempt to establish a colony (as part of Brigham Young's plan to establish a continuous chain of settlements from the Pacific to Salt Lakemarker).

In 1866 Temple sold Rancho Los Cerritos to the Northern California sheep-raising firm of Flint, Bixby & Co, which consisted of brothers Thomas and Benjamin Flint and their cousin Lewellyn Bixby, for $20,000. Two years previous Flint, Bixby & Co had also purchased along with Northern California associate James Irvine, three ranchos which would later become the city that bears Irvine's name. To manage Rancho Los Cerritos, the company selected Lewellyn's brother Jotham Bixby, the "Father of Long Beach", to manage their southern ranch, and three years later Jotham bought into the property and would later form the Bixby Land Company. In the 1870s as many as 30,000 sheep were kept at the ranch and sheared twice yearly to provide wool for trade. In 1880, Bixby sold 4,000 acres (16 km²) of the Rancho Los Cerritos to William E. Willmore, who subdivided it in hopes of creating a farm community, Willmore City. He failed and was bought out by a Los Angeles syndicate which called itself the "Long Beach Land and Water Company." They changed the name of the community to "Long Beach", which was incorporated as a city in 1888.

Long Beach boardwalk, 1907

Overlooked, but probably even more influential in the development of the city was another Bixby cousin, John W. Bixby. After first working for his cousins at Los Cerritos, J.W. Bixby then leased land at Rancho Los Alamitosmarker, and then put together a group consisting of himself, mega-banker I.W. Hellman and Lewellyn and Jotham Bixby to purchase the rancho. In addition to bringing innovative farming methods to the Alamitos (which under Abel Stearns in the late 1850s and early 1860s was once the largest cattle ranch in America), J.W. Bixby began the development of the Alamitos' oceanfront property near the city's picturesque bluffs. Under the name Alamitos Land Company, J.W. Bixby named the streets and laid out the parks of his new city. This area would include Belmont Heights, Belmont Shore and Naples and would soon become a very thriving community of its own. Unfortunately, J.W. Bixby died in 1888 of apparent appendicitis, and the Rancho Los Alamitos property was split up with Hellman roughly getting the southern third, Jotham and Lewellyn the northern third and J.W. Bixby's wife and heirs keeping the central third. The Alamitos townsite was kept as a separate entity but it was basically run by Lewellyn and Jotham's Bixby Land Company.

When Jotham Bixby died in 1916 the remaining 3,500 acres (14 km²) of Rancho Los Cerritos was subdivided into the neighborhoods of Bixby Knolls, California Heights, North Long Beach and part of the city of Signal Hillmarker.

Oil field in Long Beach, 1920

The town grew as a seaside resort (The Pike was one of the most famous beachside amusement parks on the West coast from 1902 until the 1960s) and then as an oil, Navy, and port town. The town was once referred to as "Iowa by the sea," due to a large influx of people from that state and other states in the Midwest. Huge picnics for each state were a popular annual event in Long Beach until the 1960s.

The Long Beach earthquake of 1933marker was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that caused significant damage to the city and surrounding areas. Most of the damage occurred in unreinforced masonry buildings, especially schools. One hundred twenty people died in this earthquake.

The new Ford assembly plant in Long Beach, 1930

Long Beach once had a sizable Japanese-American population mostly working in the fish canneries on Terminal Islandmarker and small truck farms in the area, but the Japanese and Japanese Americans were removed for internment in 1942, and most did not return after their release from the camps. Due to this, and other factors, they now make up less than 1% of the population of Long Beach. There is still a Japanese Community Center and a Japanese Buddhist Church in Long Beach. The Japanese-American Cultural Center is just over the Gerald Desmond Bridge and the Vincent Thomas Bridgemarker in San Pedro.

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacificmarker, located in Downtown Long Beach, opened to the public in 1998 and has since become a major attraction visited by more than 13 million people since its opening. The Aquarium was rated #2 Los Angeles area Family Destination in the most recent Zagat U.S. Family Travel Guide, second only to Disneyland. The Aquarium’s architecture is inspired by the towering, breaking waves of the Pacific and mirrors the fluid and dynamic temper of the ocean. Kajima International, developers of the world’s most critically acclaimed and technologically advanced aquariums, was the developer of the Aquarium of the Pacific and architects included the Los Angeles office of Hellmuth, Obata & Kassanbaum and Esherick Homsey Dodge and Davis of San Francisco. Construction was a joint venture of Turner Construction Company and Kajima International. The Aquarium of the Pacific recently made history as the first in the museum, zoo, or aquarium industry to become a Climate Action Leader for voluntarily measuring, certifying, and reporting its green house gas emissions to the Climate Action Registry and the public.


Long Beach is located at 33°47' North, 118°10' West, about 20 miles (30 km) south of downtown Los Angelesmarker. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 170.6 km² (65.9 mi²). 130.6 km² (50.4 mi²) of it is land and 40.0 km² (15.4 mi²) of it (23.42%) is water.


Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, temperatures in Long Beach are moderate throughout the year. Temperatures recorded at the weather station at the Long Beach Airportmarker, inland from the ocean, range more greatly than those along the immediate coast. During the summer months, low clouds and fog occur frequently, developing overnight and blanketing the area on many mornings. This fog usually clears by the afternoon, and a westerly sea breeze often develops, keeping temperatures mild. Heat and humidity rarely coincide, making heat waves more tolerable than they would be otherwise.

Long Beach's geographic location directly east of the Palos Verdesmarker Peninsula, paired with its mostly south facing coastline results in the community having significantly different weather patterns than coastal communities to the north and south. The 1200' Palos Verdes hills block east to west airflow and, with it, a significant amount of the coastal moisture that marks other Los Angeles County coastal cities such as Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica.

As in most locations in southern California, rainfall occurs largely during the winter months. Storms can bring heavy rainfall, but Long Beach receives less precipitation than locations adjacent to the San Gabrielmarker or San Bernardinomarker mountains further inland, whose rainfall is enhanced by orographic lift.


The area that is now Long Beach historically included several ecological communities, with coastal scrub dominating. A handful of the native plants of the region can still be found in the city. These include California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), California sagebrush (Artemisia californica), and California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)). Some stands of coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia) still remain in the El Dorado Nature Center. California fan palm (Washingtonia filifera), a plant native further inland, was introduced to the city as a garden ornamental and is now naturalized. Some indigenous species of birds, mammals, and other wildlife have adapted to development.

Since the arrival of Europeans, many alien species have become naturalized in the area. Introduced plants include yellow mustard, eucalyptus, wild radish, and tumbleweed. Unfortunately, these plants now far outnumber the indigenous plants and spread rapidly in the city's vacant lots and oil fields.

However, the city and its residents have initiatives underway to preserve and reclaim a small part of its ecological heritage. The RiverLink project has begun to revegetate the Long Beach stretch of the Los Angeles River with indigenous plants. Part of the remaining Pacific Electric Right of Way was cleared of nonnatives, planted with indigenous plants, and made accessible with foot and bike paths. This community open space is now known as The Long Beach Greenbelt and is the focus of continuing efforts in restoration and community education. The El Dorado Nature Center has changed its original "hands-off" approach and begun to actively introduce indigenous species. The Los Cerritos Wetlands Study Group, state government agencies, and grassroots groups are collaborating on a plan to preserve Long Beach's last remaining wetlands. Long Beach is the first city in California to join the 'EcoZone' Program, intended to measurably improve environmental conditions through public-private partnerships. Such projects seek to reduce pollution, restore native habitat, provide green areas for the city's residents to enjoy.

Other places in Long Beach to see natural areas include Bluff Park (coastal bluffs), the Golden Shores Marine Reserve, the Jack Dunster Marine Reserve, Shoreline Park, and DeForest Park.


Long Beach is composed by 52 neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods are named after thoroughfares, others are centered around parks or schools. They include (alphabetically): 4th Street Corridor, Alamitos Beach, Alamitos Heights, Arlington, Artcraft Manor, Belmont Heights, Belmont Park, Belmont Shore, Bixby Knolls, Bixby Village, Bluff Heights, Bluff Park, Broadway Corridor, California Heights, Carroll Park, Central Area, Craftsman Village, Downtown Long Beach, Drake Park, East Village, Eastside, El Dorado Park, El Dorado Park Estates, El Dorado South, Hellman, Imperial Estates, Lakewood Village, Cambodia Town , Long Beach Marina, Los Altos, Los Cerritos - Virginia Country Club, Memorial Height, Naples, North Long Beach, Park Estates, Peninsula, Ranchos, Rose Park, Shoreline Village, South of Conant, Stearns Park, Saint Mary's, Sunrise, Terminal Islandmarker, Traffic Circle, University Park Estates, Washington School, West Long Beach, Willmore City, Wrigley North and South, Wrigley Heights, Zaferia


As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 42.7% of Long Beach's population; of which 30.5% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 13.2% of Long Beach's population; of which 12.9% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indian made up 0.5% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 13.4% of the city's population; of which 13.2% were non-Hispanic. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.7% of the city's population; of which 0.6% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from some other race made up 25.8% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 3.8% of the city's population; of which 2.2% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 39.9% of Long Beach's population.

As of the census of 2000, there were 461,522 people, 163,088 households, and 99,646 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,532.8/km² (9,149.8/mi²). There were 171,632 housing units at an average density of 1,313.8/km² (3,402.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.16% White, 14.87% African American, 0.84% Native American, 12.05% Asian, 1.21% Pacific Islander, 20.61% from other races, and 5.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 35.77% of the population.

Non-Hispanic White Americans made up 33.1% of the city's population. This has been a significant decrease since the 1950s, when the city was predominantly Caucasian and nicknamed "Iowa by the Sea" or "Iowa under Palm Trees." The city was a major port of entry for European, Asian and Latin American immigrants headed to Los Angeles in the 20th century. The Harbor section of downtown Long Beach was once home to people of Dutch, Greek, Italian, Maltese, Portuguese and Spanish ancestry, most of them employed in manufacturing and fish canneries until the 1960s.

According to a report by USA Today in 2000, Long Beach is the most ethnically diverse large city in the United States. Its Asian community includes a large Cambodian community, the second-largest Cambodian community outside of Asia (after Parismarker); and a neighborhood along Anaheim Street is called "Little Phnom Penh". There are also sizable populations of immigrants and descendants from Vietnammarker and the Philippinesmarker.

It has a relatively high proportion of Pacific Islanders (over 1% as of the 2000 Census), from Samoamarker and Tongamarker. Most American Indians, about 0.8% of the city's population, arrived during the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs urban relocation programs in the 1950s.

Long Beach once had a sizable Japanese American population who mostly worked in the fish canneries on Terminal Islandmarker and small truck farms in the area. They were victims of racial prejudice and transported to internment camps in 1942, supposedly for national security reasons. Most did not return to Long Beach after their release from the camps. Due to their transportation, and other factors, Japanese Americans make up less than 1% of the population of Long Beach. There is still a Japanese Community Center and a Japanese Buddhist Church in Long Beach. The Japanese-American Cultural Center is just over the Vincent Thomas Bridgemarker in San Pedro.

There were 163,088 households out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.55.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 18.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,270, and the median income for a family was $40,002. Males had a median income of $36,807 versus $31,975 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,040. About 19.3% of families and 22.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.7% of those under age 18 and 11.0% of those age 65 or over. In 2008, the Census Bureau showed the amount of people living below the poverty line had dropped to 18.2%.


The top commercial businesses in Long Beach, based upon the number of employees, are: Boeing, Verizon, Gulfstream Aerospace, and The Bragg Companies (crane and heavy transport sales). Several local hospitals are major employers, including: Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Mary Medical Center, and Pacific Hospital of Long Beach. Major government and educational employers include: Long Beach Unified School District, City of Long Beach, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach City College, United State Postal Service, and Long Beach Transit.

Shipping and transportation

North-West facing view of the harbor and Port at Dusk
As of 2005, the Port of Long Beachmarker was the second busiest seaport in the United States.The port serves shipping between the United States and the Pacific Rim. The combined operations of the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angelesmarker are the busiest in the USA.

Rail shipping is provided by Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway, which carry about half of the trans-shipments from the port. Long Beach has contributed to the Alameda Corridor project to increase the capacity of the rail lines, roads, and highways connecting the port to the Los Angeles rail hub. The project, completed in 2002, created a trench long and deep in order to eliminate 200 grade crossings and cost about US$2.4 billion.

Public transit

Long Beach is the southern terminus for the Los Angeles Metro Blue Line light rail corridor. Blue Line trains run from Long Beach City Hall to Downtown Los Angelesmarker. The Metro Rail Blue Line Maintenance Shops are also located in Long Beach just south of the Del Amo Blue Line station.

There is an Amtrak Thruway bus shuttle starting in San Pedro, with stops at the Queen Marymarker and downtown Long Beach, that then goes to Union Stationmarker in downtown Los Angeles, and ends in Bakersfieldmarker. The Blue Line MetroRail connects downtown Long Beach to the Staples Center and downtown Los Angeles where it connects with Hollywood and Pasadena.

Greyhound Lines operates the Long Beach Station in downtown Long Beach.

Public transportation in Long Beach is provided by Long Beach Transit. Besides the normal bus service, which charges a fare, Long Beach has free routes, the Passport routes, which use mini-buses to shuttle passengers within the downtown area. The Passport "C" route between the downtown, The Aquarium, The Pine Ave. Circle, Shorline Village, and the Queen Mary, and Passport "A" and "D" buses go East-West along Ocean Boulevard, linking the Catalina Landing in the west with Alamitos Bay or Los Altos via Belmont Shore in the east. A $1.10 fare is required when traveling east of Alamitos Avenue. Another free route, Passport "B" in the East Village, visits museums and other points of interest. Long Beach Transit Web Site

Long Beach Transit also operates the 49-passenger AquaBus water taxi, which stops at the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Queen Mary, and four other locations; and the 75-passenger AquaLink water taxi, which travels between the Aquarium, the Queen Mary, and Alamitos Bay Landing next to the Long Beach Marina.

There is also limited bus service to Orange Countymarker through Orange County Transportation Authority buses. Route 1, from Long Beach to San Clementemarker is the longest bus route in the OCTA system. Traveling along Pacific Coast Highway for most of the route, it takes 2-2.5 hrs to complete.

Torrance Transit buses go from downtown Long Beach to the South Bay. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has bus service from downtown to San Pedro, and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) has two regional bus lines that serve downtown Long Beach.


Long Beach Airportmarker serves the Long Beach, South Bay and northern Orange Countymarker areas, but is relatively small, considering the area's population. It is the West Coast hub for JetBlue Airways. It is also the site of a major Boeing (formerly Douglas, then McDonnell Douglas) aircraft production facility, which is the city's largest employer.

Freeways and highways

Several freeways run through Long Beach, connecting it with the greater Los Angeles and Orange Countymarker areas. The San Diego Freeway bisects the northern and southern portions of the city and takes commuters northwest or southeast to the Golden State/Santa Ana Freeways . The San Diego Freeway also provides regional access to Long Beach Airport, which is located on the north side of the freeway near Signal Hillmarker. The Long Beach Freeway runs north-south on the city's western border, with its southern terminus adjacent to the Port of Long Beachmarker on Terminal Islandmarker at the intersection of the Terminal Island Freeway and State Route 47. The Long Beach Freeway is the major spur route serving Long Beach from Downtown Los Angeles, with its northern terminus near Downtown Los Angeles in Alhambramarker. Along with the Harbor Freeway to the west, the Long Beach Freeway is one of the major routes for trucks transporting goods from the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to railyards and distribution centers in Downtown Los Angeles and the Inland Empiremarker. The southern end of the Long Beach Freeway joins Long Beach with Terminal Island via the Gerald Desmond Bridgemarker.

Southeast Long Beach is served by the San Gabriel River Freeway , which joins the San Diego Freeway at the Long Beach/Los Alamitosmarker border. The Artesia Freeway runs east-west near the northern border of Long Beach. The western portion of the Garden Grove Freeway provides a spur off of the San Diego and 605 Freeways to 7th Street in southeast Long Beach for access to the VA Hospital, California State University, Long Beachmarker, and Alamitos Bay.

Pacific Coast Highway takes an east to southwest route through the southern portion of Long Beach. Its intersection with Lakewood Bouelvard and Los Coyotes Diagonal is the Los Alamitos Traffic Circle.

Surface streets

The city is effectively on a "grid" system, in which Ocean Boulevard serves as the dividing line between north and south, and Pine Avenue dividing the city on the east and west. Almost all of the city is north of Ocean Boulevard, thus only addresses which are on the south side of the city need to be identified as being "south", while addresses in the north section of the city are never identified as "north". While more than 2/3 of the city is east of Pine Avenue, addresses on the west side are not given a geographical designation, addresses on the east side are designated as "east". Also, with limited exceptions, streets running north-south are called "Avenue" and streets running east-west are called "Street". The most common exception is that short streets or avenues are typically called "Court", "Place", or "Way". Additionally, wide "avenues" will typically be named "boulevard", and the Traffic Circle has one exit for "Los Coyotes Diagonal", a road which runs from southwest to northeast as a diagonal road.

Bike paths

Long Beach has some bike paths along city streets, plus the Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath along the ocean from Shoreline Village to Belmont Shore. The southern terminus of the L.A. River bicycle path is located in southwest Long Beach between Downtown and the Port. The southern terminus of the San Gabriel River bicycle path is located just east of Long Beach in Seal Beachmarker, and the trail runs north through the El Dorado Park neighborhood in east Long Beach and adjacent to El Dorado Regional Park.

Film and television

Balboa Amusement Producing Company, also known as Balboa Studios, was located at Sixth Street and Alamitos Avenue; they used on Signal Hillmarker for outdoor locations. Silent movie stars who lived in Long Beach included Fatty Arbuckle and Theda Bara. The 1917 film Cleopatra, starring Theda Bara, was filmed at the Dominguez Slough just west of Long Beach, and Moses parted the Red Sea for Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 version of The Ten Commandments on the flat seashore of Seal Beachmarker, southeast of Long Beach.

Because of its proximity to LA-area studios and its variety of locations, today Long Beach is regularly used for movies, television shows, and advertisements. The city has filled in for locations across the nation and around the globe. One advantage for Long Beach is that the film industry uses a zone that extends from Beverly Blvd. and La Cienega Blvd. in the West Hollywood area. It is cheaper to film within that zone, so Long Beach and other South Bay cities often stand in for areas of Orange County (such as for The O.C. TV show) because almost all of Orange County is outside of the zone.

One of the most famous Long Beach movie locations is the home of Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Though the film was set in the North Shore suburbs of Chicagomarker the actual house is located at 4160 Country Club Dr.

Long Beach's high schools are especially popular with the film industry. Long Beach Polytechnic High Schoolmarker has played host to numerous films, providing the outdoor high school grounds of Coach Carter and the indoor high school rooms and hallways of Robert A. Millikan High School American Pie, among others. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo High Schoolmarker has been a very popular place to film movies as well, with 2-4 movies filmed per year. Recently, a film was shot in Jordan High Schoolmarker. St. Anthony High Schoolmarker's gymnasium has also been featured in many movies and television shows, including Coach Carter and Joan of Arcadia.

Other locations in Long Beach have been used quite frequently as well. Many car chase and crash scenes have been filmed on stretches of road near the Long Beach harbor and along the city's Shoreline Drive. Among these are the 1963 movie It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and numerous episodes of the 1970s TV drama CHiPs. Long Beach's downtown neighborhood has stood in for various urban areas in a variety of films. Multiple scenes from the movie Gone in Sixty Seconds and Speed were filmed in Long Beach.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was also filmed in Long Beach and so was Big Momma's House 2 and Freedom Writers CSI: Miami and Dexter (also set in Miami, FL.) are some of the many television shows that regularly film in Long Beach.



The city of Long Beach is a full-service Charter City and is governed by nine City Council members, who are elected by district, and the Mayor, who has been elected at-large since a citywide initiative passed in 1988. The City Attorney, City Auditor, and City Prosecutor are also elected positions. The municipality is supported by a budget of $2.3 billion with more than 5,500 employees. Long Beach was first incorporated in 1888 with 59 buildings and a new school. Nine years later, dissatisfaction with prohibition and high taxes led to an abortive and short-lived disincorporation. Before the year 1897 was out, the citizens voted to reincorporate, and the 1897 incorporation is shown on the city seal.

State and federal

In the state legislature Long Beach is located in the 25th, 27th, and 28th Senate Districts, represented by Democrats Rod Wright, Alan Lowenthal, and Jenny Oropeza respectively, and in the 52nd, 54th, and 55th Assembly Districts, represented by Democrats Isadore Hall, Bonnie Lowenthal, and Warren T. Furutani respectively. Federally, Long Beach is located in California's 37th, 39th, and 46th congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of D +27, D +13 and R +6 respectively and are represented by Democrats Laura Richardson and Linda Sánchez and Republican Dana Rohrabacher respectively.

The Long Beach Main Post Office of the U.S. Postal Service serves as the main postal facility for Long Beach.


Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Long Beach Unified School District serves most of the city of Long Beach.

Other school districts that serve sections of Long Beach include:

Private schools

Colleges and universities

California State University, Long Beachmarker is the largest campus in the California State University system, and the second largest university in the state in terms of enrollment.

Long Beach City Collegemarker is a community college established in 1927. It is composed of two separate campuses. The Liberal Arts Campus is located on the residential area of Lakewood Village, while the Pacific Coast Campus is in Central Long Beach.

DeVry University, Long Beachmarker is located in the Kilroy Airport Center. DeVry Long Beach serves students who live or work in the area with undergraduate and graduate degree programs in various career fields.

Sites of interest

The RMS Queen Marymarker is a 1936 art deco ocean liner permanently docked at Long Beach. Roughly longer than the Titanicmarker, the former Cunard Liner is famous for being the fastest in the world from 1936 to 1952, for its distinctive art deco design and for its use during World War II as a troop transport. It was purchased by the city of Long Beach in 1967 for conversion to a hotel and maritime museum.

The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacificmarker is located on a site on Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, Calif.—across the water from the Long Beach Convention Centermarker, Shoreline Village, and the Queen Mary Hotel and Attraction. The Aquarium features a collection of over 12,500 animals representing over 550 different species. The facility focuses on the Pacific Ocean in three major permanent galleries, sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific. Favorite exhibits at the Aquarium also include the Aquarium's interactive Shark Lagoon (guests can pet sharks and sting rays) and Lorikeet Forest (guests can feed nectar to colorful lorikeet birds). Exhibits at the Aquarium introduce the inhabitants and seascapes of the Pacific, while also focusing on specific conservation messages associated with each region. Exhibits range in size and capacity from about 5,000 to 350,000 gallons. The Aquarium of the Pacific has been visited by more than 13 million people since its opening. The Aquarium was rated #2 Los Angeles area Family Destination in the most recent Zagat U.S. Family Travel Guide, second only to Disneyland. The Aquarium of the Pacific is also the only major nonprofit aquarium in the nation to have attendance increases for the past six years in a row. Morey & Associates’ research ranked the Aquarium of the Pacific as number one in visitor diversity among all of the nation’s leading aquariums.

The Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine received a Gold Medal award from the National Parks and Recreation Society in 2002, 2003, and 2004, recognizing the Department's "outstanding management practices and programs." The Department manages 92 parks covering over 3,100 acres (13 km²) throughout the city, including the 815 acre (3.3 km²) El Dorado Regional Park, which features fishing lakes, an archery range, youth campground, bike trails, and picnic areas. The Department also operates four public swimming pools, and four launch ramps for boaters to access the Pacific Oceanmarker.

The El Dorado Nature Center is part of the larger El Dorado Regional Park. The center features lakes, a stream, and trails, with meadows and forested areas.

The Municipal Fly Casting Pool at Recreation Park in East Long Beach is a 260-by-135-foot clear water, fishless pond built and operated since 1925 by the Long Beach Casting Club as only one of two Southern California city operated casting ponds (the other being in Pasadenamarker). Described recently as a serene pond "surrounded by a seemingly endless stretch of green grass against a backdrop of mountains and palm trees," several movie stars from the 1940s were taught to fly cast at the pond, including Robert Taylor, Clark Gable, Jimmy Durante, and Barbara Stanwyck. In 1932, the fly fishing clubhouse adjacent to the fly fishing pond was used for the Summer Olympic Games and housed military personnel during World War II.

The Long Beach Greenbelt is a section of the old Pacific Electric right-of-way, restored by community activists as native habitat. It currently supports approximately 40 species of California native plants as well as a plethora of urban wildlife. Its pleasant, relaxing atmosphere provides for community open space while educating citizens about what the land was like prior to industrialization and urbanization.

Rancho Los Alamitosmarker is a historical site owned by the City of Long Beach and is near the Long Beach campus of the California State University system. The site includes five agricultural buildings, including a working blacksmith’s shop, of gardens, and an adobe ranch house dating from around 1800. The Rancho is within a gated community, so you must pass through security gates to get to it.

Rancho Los Cerritosmarker is a historical site owned by Long Beach in the Bixby Knolls area near the Virginia Country Club. The adobe buildings date from the 1880s. The site also includes a California history research library.

Long Beach is home to the nation's skinniest housemarker.

The Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardenmarker is located on the campus of California State University, Long Beachmarker.

Long Beach offers singing gondolier trips through the romantic canals of Naples. Along with gondola rides on Lake Merrittmarker, on the Napa River, in Huntington Beachmarker, in Newport Beachmarker, in Redondo Beachmarker, and at The Venetian marker, Long Beach is only one of seven places in the Western United States where tourists may ride in a gondola.

The front beach area of the city was once home to a now-defunct amusement park. Its first rollercoaster opened for business in June 1907. It was named the Figure 8 after the shape of the tracks, and was built on pilings that reached out over the water. In 1914 the Pike Amusement Zone undertook several upgrades and a new roller coaster named the Jack Rabbit Racer was opened in May 1915 becoming the second largest racing coaster in the country. It was part of the Silver Spray Pier which included several new rides and concessions. In the mid twenties, several expansions were made to the area and the Jack Rabbit Racer was remodeled raising the ride's dips to a greater height and steepness but it was soon removed to make way for the Cyclone Racer roller coaster which opened May 1930. The new coaster was also built on pilings over the ocean, but as the breakwater was built and the harbor expanded, the sandy beach extended. Eventually the entire pier stood over the beach. When demolished in September 1968, the Cyclone Racer was the only two track roller coaster in the United States.

Although California's surfing scene is said to have gotten its start in Long Beach when in 1911 two surfers returned from Hawaii and the city hosted the first National Surfing and Paddleboard Championships in 1938, surfing is now uncommon in Long Beach due to a long breakwater built in 1949 to protect the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The breakwater reduces "mighty waves to mere lake-like lapping along the city's beaches." Some Long Beach residents also cite the breakwater as a reason for the dirtiness of the water in Long Beach, as the water is not able to circulate. The fleet left in the 1990s, and now some residents are calling for it to be lowered or eliminated and the city has commissioned a $100,000 study for this purpose.

The Long Beach Dog Beach Zone is the only legal off-leash area on the beach for dogs in all of Los Angeles County. This area is situated in Belmont Shore between Roycroft and Argonne avenues.
Off-leash Dog Beach Zone, Belmont Shore


The local daily newspaper is the Long Beach Press-Telegram, which is distributed throughout most of the Gateway Cities and South Bay areas of southwest Los Angeles County. The Press-Telegram is part of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which has several newspapers in the Southern California area that share some resources and reporters.

As of 2007, Long Beach is served by The District Weekly, an alternative weekly that covers news, the arts, restaurants, and the local music scene. The OC Weekly and LA Weekly are also distributed widely in Long Beach.

There are a number of weekly and biweekly newspapers, which highlight the city's educational, political and business goings-on.The Beachcomber, Grunion Gazette, Long Beach Times, Downtown Gazette, and Signal Tribune are community-centric papers with substantial distribution. Business news is covered by South Coast Publishing, Inc. in their biweekly publication Long Beach Business Journal, which also produces a monthly magazine for tourists and conventioneers called " Destinations Magazine," that is available in most of the city's hotels, motels and attractions. California State University, Long Beach also has a student newspaper published four times a week during the fall and spring semesters, the Daily Forty-Niner.

There are several local online news sources. is a social networking site serving Long Beach and providing member based information on local businesses, social events, and news. (est 1999) engages in 'hard' journalism and investigative reporting of local stories, issues and officials. The (est 2007) features news and opinion from a pool of columnists. is the dominant clearinghouse and calendar for arts & cultural events. Established in 2009, is the newest addition to online news in Long Beach. The site covers a broad range of news, events and features spotlights on local businesses and neighborhood groups.

Long Beach also gets distribution of the daily Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and La Opinión newspapers, plus the weekly Los Angeles Sentinel.

Long Beach is part of the Los Angeles DMA radio and television markets. Although a few radio stations have had studios in Long Beach over the years, including the 80's alternative music and later hard rock station KNAC, the only remaining radio stations in Long Beach are the jazz and blues station KKJZmarker on the Cal State Long Beachmarker campus, and the Christian radio broadcaster KFRN.



The Long Beach Museum of Artmarker, sited in the historic Elizabeth Milbank Anderson residence, is owned by the City of Long Beach, and operated by the Long Beach Museum of Art Foundation. Long Beach also features the Museum of Latin American Artmarker, founded in 1996 by Dr. Robert Gumbiner. It is the only museum in the western United States that exclusively features Latin American art.

The University Art Museum on the Long Beach State campus (founded in 1973) has a national reputation for its high-quality and innovative programs. Long Beach State is also home to the largest publicly funded art school west of the Mississippi.

In 1965, Long Beach State hosted the first International Sculpture Symposium to be held in the United Statesmarker and the first at a college or university. Six sculptors from around the world and two from the United States created many of the monumental sculptures seen on the campus. There are now over 20 sculptures on the campus.

Long Beach is known for its street art. Some of the murals were created in conjunction with the city's Mural and Cultural Arts Program, but many others were not.

On the exterior of the Long Beach Sports Arenamarker is one of the artist Wyland's Whaling Walls. At 116,000 square feet (11,000 m²), it is the world's largest mural (according to the Guinness Book of Records).

Shops and galleries in the East Village Arts District, in downtown Long Beach hold their monthly art openings and artists exhibit in street galleries on the second Saturday of the monthduring the Artwalk.

Long Beach has a percent for art program administered through the Arts Council of Long Beach and the Redevelopment Agency which ensures that new private developments contribute to the arts fund or commission artworks for their new projects.


The CSULB in 2008 changed its music department to Bob Cole Conservatory of Music which is a leading music conservatory in California, the Conservatory has many performances every year.

The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra plays numerous classical and pop music concerts throughout the year. The symphony plays at the Terrace Theater in the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Centermarker.

Long Beach Opera, founded in 1979, is the oldest professional opera company serving the Los Angeles and Orange County regions. It presents performances of standard and non-standard opera repertoire at various locations, including the Terrace Theatermarker and Center Theater of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Centermarker and the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at CSULB.

Long Beach Community Concert Association is a 49 year old, volunteer organization that provides quality musical entertainment appealing to seniors and others, four Sunday afternoons a year at the Carpenter Performing Arts Centermarker at CSULB. LBCCA also has an outreach program taking musical entertainment to senior care and senior housing facilities around the greater Long Beach area.

KJAZZmarker 88.1 FM (KKJZ) broadcasts from California State University, Long Beachmarker. The station features jazz and blues music exclusively and can also be listened to over the Internet. Kbeach is the student owned and operated web-only radio at CSULB.

Long Beach is the host to a number of long-running music festivals. They include the Bob Marley Reggae Festival (February), the Cajun & Zydeco Festival (May), the El Dia De San Juan Puerto Rican Festival (Salsa music, June) the Aloha Concert Jam (Hawaiian music, June), the Long Beach Jazz Festival (August), the Long Beach Blues Festival (September, since 1980), and the Brazilian Street Carnaval (Brazilian music, September).

The Long Beach Municipal Band, founded in 1909 is the longest running, municipally supported band in the country. In 2005, the band played 24 concerts in various parks around Long Beach.

Long Beach is also the point of origin for bands and musicians such Sublime, Snoop Dogg and Crooked I.


Long Beach has several resident professional and semi-professional theater companies, notably:

Musical Theatre West, one of the largest regional theatrical producers in Southern California, who performs at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of CSU Long Beachmarker;

International City Theatre, who produces plays and musicals at the Center Theater (part of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Centermarker);

The Long Beach Playhouse, in continuous operation for over 75 years, has shows running 50 weeks out of the year on two stages.

Additionally, Long Beach is home to a number of smaller and “black-box” theaters, including the Found Theatre, Alive Theatre, the Garage Theatre and California Repertory Company (part of the graduate theater program at CSULB) that currently performs at the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary in Downtown Long Beach . Numerous tours and other stage events come through Long Beach, particularly at the Terrace Theatermarker and the Carpenter Center, and both CSU Long Beach and Long Beach City Collegemarker maintain active theater departments.

Cultural events

The Aquarium of the Pacificmarker believes that bringing people together from diverse backgrounds and interests to understand and respect one another’s differences is a key to solving environmental issues. As a result, the Aquarium also offers cultural festivals with dance, music, art, and special educational activities. The Aquarium began producing cultural festivals in 2002, and now has nearly 10. Through these festivals the Aquarium works with members from the diverse ethnic communities in its region to create events that celebrate their traditions and connections to the ocean. The Aquarium of the Pacific was also the first in the museum, aquarium, or zoo industry to reach out to people with disabilities to create a weekend-long festival to celebrate their creative abilities. In 2004 the Aquarium debuted its annual Festival of Human Abilities featuring wheel-chair hip-hop dancers, mouth painters, inspirational speakers, and a variety of musicians with disabilities. This festival was highlighted at the national conference of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2007. Aside from cultural festivals, the Aquarium also features other events to reach out to special interest groups such as its Divers’ Day and Senior’s Day. The goal of our events is to bring people from all backgrounds together to appreciate their differences and work together in the common goal of helping our World Ocean.

In October, Long Beach State hosts the CSULB Wide Screen Film Festival, at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center. The festival started in 1992 as a showcase for movies filmed in the widescreen format, but has since been transformed into an artist-in-residence event. A major film artist (such as former CSULB student Steven Spielberg) screens and discusses their own work as well as the ten films that most influenced their cinematic vision.

Christmas boat "parades" are a Southern California tradition, with at least one held every weekend night from December 1 till Christmas. The "Naples Island Christmas Parade" has been held since 1946, and passes through the canals of Naples and around Alamitos Bay past Belmont Shore. The "Parade of A Thousand Lights" is in the Shoreline Village area (near Downtown Long Beach and the RMS Queen Marymarker). There is also a Christmas boat parade in the nearby Port of Los Angelesmarker/San Pedro area, and another in the Huntington Harbour community of nearby Huntington Beachmarker.

The Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade & Festival has been held in May or June since 1984 . It is the second largest event in Long Beach, attracting over 125,000 participants over the two day celebration. It is the third largest Gay Pride Parade in the United States.

The Long Beach Sea Festival is held during the summer months (June through August). It features events centered on the ocean and the beach. These events include beach volleyball, movies on the beach, and a tiki festival.


Roller Derby

In August, 2009, the Long Beach Roller Derby League, or LBRD, was founded. This group of women from Long Beach and neighboring cities, gather to skate, while also providing entertainment for the spectators. The two teams take the two top spots in the league- always have, always will. Still actively recruiting.

Long Beach Grand Prix

The Long Beach Grand Prixmarker in April is the single largest event in Long Beach. It started in 1975 as a Formula 5000 race on the streets of downtown, and became a Formula One race, the United States Grand Prix Westmarker, the following year. From 1984 to 2008 it was a Champ Car event, and is now an IndyCar race. During the same weekend as the Grand Prix, there is also an American Le Mans Series race, a Formula D demo and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

The Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame is located on South Pine Avenue in front of the Long Beach Convention Center adjacent to the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit. The Walk of Fame was created in 2006 to honor key contributors to motorsports and annually inducts new members in conjunction with the Long Beach Grand Prix. A bronze medallion is placed in the sidewalk for each new inductee. The medallion includes a rendition of the racer’s car and lists top achievements in motor sports.


The Archery field in El Dorado Regional Park was the site for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics archery competition.

CSU Long Beach has one of the few remaining university varsity archery teams in California.


The Long Beach State 49ers baseball team has been playing since 1954. They play at Blair Fieldmarker, across the street from Wilson High School. They are called the Dirtbags by many fans and is the team's official nickname. The Long Beach Armada, officially named the Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America Including Barrow, Alaska, have played in the Golden Baseball League, also at Blair Field, since 2005.


Long Beach was the home of the American Basketball Association team Long Beach Chiefs during the 1962/1963 season. They played in the newly-opened Long Beach Arenamarker.

The minor league American Basketball Association team, the Long Beach Jam, played in the Walter Pyramidmarker (a pyramid-shaped gym) on the Long Beach State campus) from 2003 to 2005.

The Southern California Summer Pro League is a showcase for current and prospective NBA basketball players, including recent draft picks, current NBA players working on their skills and conditioning, and international professionals hoping to become NBA players. The league plays in the Pyramid on the Long Beach State campus during July.


Since its inception in August 1964, the Congressional Cup has grown into one of the major international sailing events. Now held in April, it is the only grade 1 match race regatta held in the United States. The one-on-one race format is the same as the America's Cup, and many of the winners of the Congressional Cup have gone on to win the America's Cup as well.

The Leeway Sailing and Aquatics Center on Alamitos Bay in Belmont Shore is a youth sailing program founded in 1929 . It is recognized as one of the premier municipal instructional sailing programs in the country.

Water skiing

In July, there is the annual Catalina Ski Race, which starts from Long Beach Harbor and goes to Catalina Islandmarker and back to complete a circuit. This race has been held annually since 1948 and features skiers from around the world.

Rugby union

The Belmont Shore rugby team plays in the US Rugby Super League. They've been in seven league finals, and have been champions three times.

Pep flags

The Pep flag team at Long Beach Poly (known as the "Peppers") has recently won their first ever US Nationals titles in both the One and Two Flag divisions in 2008. It is the first year in Long Beach Poly history that a spirit leader has won a National title. They have placed in the top ten schools for the past five years and are now the USA National Champions for 2008.

College sports

Long Beach Statemarker's team mascot are the 49ers. The school has had national championships in Women's Volleyball (5), Men's Volleyball (1), Track and Field (1), Men's Tennis (1-Division II), Swimming (1-Division II), Women's Badminton (2), and Women's Field Hockey (1). The school also has had regularly NCAA tournament appearances in Men's Baseball, Men's Softball, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Men's Golf, Women's Tennis, Men's Water Polo, and Women's Water Polo. Their Cheer Team has also been national champions in 2003, 2004 and 2006.

The sports teams at Long Beach City Collegemarker have also done well, including national championships in Men's Gymnastics (6), Football (5), Women's Soccer (3), and Men's Doubles and Singles Tennis (1 each). They have also had state championships in numerous sports, including 2006-7 championships in Men's and Women's Water Polo.

Famous Long Beach athletes

Long Beach is the childhood home of tennis legend Billie Jean King, three-time Super Bowl-winning NFL linebacker Willie McGinest, NFL player and 1990 Defensive Rookie of the Year Mark Carrier and eight-time National League batting champion and longtime San Diego Padres outfielder Tony Gwynn. Each attended Long Beach Polytechnic High Schoolmarker. Jeff Severson, the "Singing Safety" and 9 year NFL veteran, went to Wilson High School.

Beach volleyball player Misty May-Treanor, winner of the gold medal in the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics, graduated from California State University, Long Beachmarker (where she won a national championship and several other awards), and currently resides in Long Beach.

US Olympic Water Polo Team Member, Ryan Bailey, was raised in Long Beach where he attended Robert A. Millikan High School. Tony Azevedo also went to school at St. Joseph Elementary, and Wilson High School in Long Beach.

US Olympic three-time softball gold medalist, Lisa Fernandez, resides in Long Beach with her husband and son.

Notable natives and residents

Miscellaneous information

International beauty contests

The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach in 1952. It was won by Armi Kuusela from Finlandmarker, who gave up her title to get married to a Filipino tycoon, Virgilio Hilario, shortly before her year was complete.It was created in Long Beach, California, USA in 1960 after the departure of the Miss Universe pageant to Miami Beach. Hosted in Long Beach until 1967, the pageant moved to Japan from 1968–1970, being hosted each year in the same city as the Expo '70. For 1971 and 1972, it was held in Long Beach again, but since that time it has been held annually in Japan.

Sister cities

Long Beach's sister cities are (as of October 2007):

Registered sex offender restrictions

On March 18, 2008, Long Beach became the first city in California to heavily restrict residency and visitation rights for California registered sex offenders. Triggered by a local protest of a multi-apartment dwelling which tenanted several paroled registered sex offenders, and fueled by local radio hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFImarker's John and Ken show, city council members voted 7-0 to enact 18 ordinances, of which the most restrictive prohibits residency by all registered sex offenders, whether they are on parole or not, within of any child care center, public or private school, or park. Google map measurements indicate that the total exclusion area encompasses over 96% of the area of Long Beach that is currently zoned for residential use. Registered sex offenders currently residing within the exclusion zone will be given until September 2008 to vacate the restricted area. Once this happens, no sex offender will legally be able to live in the vast majority of Long Beach. Incidentally, while several other ordinances restrict the amount of registered sex offenders who may reside in an apartment complex, there are in fact no apartment complexes within city limits that are outside of the exclusion zone. In addition, the ordinances prohibit all registered sex offenders from using any park, beach, or facility that caters to children, such as amusement parks and restaurants with children's playgrounds, or even travel within of such places.

See also


  1. Overhead view of Los Cerritos Wetlands.
  4. " Epson's Global Network." Seiko Epson. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  5. "[1]
  7. " Post Office™ Location - LONG BEACH." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on September 23, 2009.
  8. Grobaty, Tim. (July 22, 2002) Long Beach Press-Telegram What's Up: Forever Fun in the Sun. Section: Local news; Page A3.
  9. Municipal Fly Casting Pool overhead view
  10. Russell, Kelle. (February 5, 1993) Long Beach Press-Telegram Getting Hooked on Fly-Fishing. Section: Local news; Page D3.
  11. Welsh, Jed. (August 23, 2001) Long Beach Press-Telegram Experts to Teach Fly Casting. Section: Sports; Page B7.
  12. Gewirtz, Jason. (July 27, 2000) Long Beach Press-Telegram City Council Eases Off Certain Restrictions on Skateboarding. Section: Local news; Page A3.
  13. Yahoo Travel Guide
  14. LA Times, October 29, 2001
  15. Roraback, K. (October 18, 1986) Los Angeles Times Gondola Getaway Is Romantic, Authentic--and Freeway Close Section: VW-View-LS-Life & Style; Page 1.
  16. Segura, Joe. (January 28, 2006) Long Beach Press-Telegram Gondolas get away to downtown L.B. Section: Beachweek; Page 5.
  17. Fullwood, Janet. (October 24, 2004) The Sacramento Bee California, too, has places to go gallivanting in a gondola. Section: Travel, Page M6.
  18. Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center
  19. KKJZ website
  20. Kbeach website
  21. Long Beach Municipal Band website
  25. Wide Screen Film Festival website
  26. History of the Naples Island Christmas boat parade
  27. Long Beach Gay Pride Parade website
  28. Long Beach Sea Festival web site

External links

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