Long Beach, California - The Port of Long Beach is the United States' second busiest container port and one of the world's largest shipping ports. The city also maintains a large oil industry with wells located both underground and offshore. Manufacturing sectors include those in aircraft, car parts, electronic and audiovisual equipment, and home furnishings. It is also home to headquarters for corporations including Epson America, Molina Healthcare, and SCAN Health Plan.
For some, a tour of the
Queen Mary, docked here since its retirement in 1967, evokes waves of nostalgia for the days of the huge ocean liner with its opulent rooms, 1930s décor and teak decks. Others, particularly the younger set, are entranced by the spine-tingling haunted ship stories on the night-time ghost tour. But for everyone, a visit to this floating hotel and museum is a must on any trip to Long Beach. Long Beach boasts many waterfront attractions, including a new, state-of-the-art aquarium with a fabulous shark exhibit, two excellent art museums, charming shops, public golf courses, the annual April Grand Prix international motor race and lots of recreational activities along its eight-mile stretch of beach. Take the children to the waterfront entertainment complex with rides and live performances, or to the farming demonstrations at Rancho Los Alamitos. Feeling romantic? Cruise the canals of Naples (that's right, Naples Island in Long Beach) in a genuine Venetian gondola. One thing is for sure: tensions and stresses just dissolve in this laid-back, friendly city.
In 2008, the Long Beach, California, City Council approved a locally originated movement to designate the city as the "Aquatic Capital of America." According to the non-profit Aquatic Capital of America Foundation, Long Beach has a temperate year-round climate, ideal off-shore sailing waters, protected Marine Stadium competition zone, and a diverse population filled with active athletes and beachgoers. Long Beach has produced an incredible list of Olympians, world champions, and world record holders in aquatics ranging from diving, swimming and water polo indoors, to rowing and sailing outdoors and is home of one of the world's greatest female athletes, beach volleyball's
Misty May-Treanor, a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
View of downtown Long Beach and Port of Long Beach from airplane, Wikimedia Commons