Long Beach, California, a city in Los Angeles County. It is on San Pedro Bay, adjoining the southernmost part of Los Angeles. Long Beach has an excellent harbor and is a leading seaport. Also, a large naval shipyard is here. Oil fields are located offshore and at Signal Hill, a community surrounded by Long Beach. The city's economy is based primarily on manufacturing, especially of aircraft and aerospace equipment, chemicals, and processed foods. Tourism, oil refining, and the city's port are also important to the economy. Long Beach is served by two Interstate highways, an airport, and several railways, including a commuter line linking Long Beach to Los Angeles. California State University, Long Beach, is here.
Long Beach has many recreational attractions. Foremost is the sand beach—5 1/2 miles (9 km) in length—for which the city was named. The Queen Mary, a former luxury liner now permanently docked at Long Beach Harbor, houses a convention center, a hotel, and a shopping arcade. The city also has a major convention center, which houses a sports arena and two theaters, and a large marina. Situated along the Pacific Ocean is Shoreline Village, a shopping and entertainment area that re-creates a seaside town of the early 1900's. El Dorado Park and Nature Center covers 450 acres (180 hectares) and includes hiking trails, several lakes, and a museum containing wildlife displays. Each spring, Long Beach is the site of an international Grand Prix auto race.
The Long Beach Art Museum, located in an oceanside mansion, has a notable collection of 20th-century American art. Two 19th-century ranch homes, Rancho Los Cerritos and Rancho Los Alamitos, are museums that have period furnishings and elaborate gardens. The city has a ballet company, a symphony orchestra, and an opera company. Nearby Santa Catalina Island is a popular tourist attraction.
Long Beach was founded in 1881 as Willmore City. In 1888 its name was changed to Long Beach and it was incorporated. The city grew rapidly after oil was discovered in 1920. An earthquake demolished much of Long Beach in 1933, but the city was quickly rebuilt. During the 1980's, the city underwent extensive redevelopment that included the construction of new shopping areas, housing, hotels, and office buildings.
Long Beach has the council-manager form of government.