Located along the shoreline to the south of Los Angeles
proper, Long Beach is the 2nd largest city in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Its port is one of the largest shipping centers in the United States, sending goods, mechanical parts, and equipment all over the world on gargantuan barges. Long Beach is also a center for the healthcare and aircraft manufacturing industries.
Culturally, it has a vibrant night life and a strong nightclub scene. It hosts a great deal of festivals, from those put on by the Aquarium of the Pacific—dance, music, art, etc.—to the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride Parade & Festival—the third largest such parade in the nation—to name a few. There is even an annual Grand Prix, which includes a variety of car races. Residents enjoy access to beaches and marinas where sailing, water skiing, and simple relaxation are all common.
It is difficult to draw sweeping conclusions about Long Beach as it is very large and there is a great deal of diversity from neighborhood to neighborhood; most areas of the city fall somewhere on a spectrum between beach culture and urban culture. Primary arteries: the 405, 605, 710, and 91 freeways; the Pacific Coast Highway.