Long Beach, known for its climate and culture, has a complicated history. Home to indigenous people for over 10,000 years it was then held by Spain, Mexico, aristocrats, and even private ranchers up until just over a century ago. Then, due to immigration, it had a large Japanese population, but the fears of many during WWII caused the Japanese population to be sent to internment camps and now make up just 1% of the population. However, now it is the second largest city in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area with an otherwise diverse grouping.
With a Mediterranean climate and strong semi-arid conditions, the days in Long Beach are mostly sunny. Now considered the Aquatic Capital of America, Long Beach has produced a list of Olympians, world champions, and world record holders in aquatics ranging from diving, swimming and water polo indoors, to rowing and sailing outdoors. The city also boasts of being home to Misty May-Treanor, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in volleyball. As you can tell, water sports are quite popular in Long Beach.
The city is also known for the arts. It is home to a variety of museums unlike any others such as the Museum of Latin American Art, the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum as well as the Long Beach Museum of Art, which is located in the historic Elizabeth Milbank Anderson residence. Street art is quite popular as well with some of the murals supported by the city's Mural and Cultural Arts Program, and there are many more that were merely created by artists who remain secretive. In fact, on the exterior of the Long Beach Sports Arena is the largest mural in the world, known as one of Wyland's Whaling Walls.
There are also many interesting galleries and shops located in the East Village Arts District, which is located downtown. Many street exhibitions can be found there as well. Finally, back in 1965, Long Beach State hosted an international sculpture symposium. There are over 20 sculptures that can be viewed on the campus.
Between Long Beach's complicated history and current emphasis on sports and the arts, there is much to do. Often visitors will look for excursions such as sightseeing buses that afford the flexibility of hopping on, or off, at a variety of locations. Whether you are a sports fanatic, an art enthusiast, or simply want to take a stroll to see the sights, there is much to do in Long Beach, California.
Fun Fact: The Aquarium of the Pacifics, located in the city, has a record of more than one million visitors each year.