The Long Beach coastline displays a different kind of beauty (industrial beauty) and continues north through the San Pedro Bay into Los Angeles. If there are rugged cliffs and sandy beaches they are lost among the ships, shipping containers , huge cranes, and oil storage domes. While the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Los Angeles adjoin in the San Pedro Bay, they have not merged. (Talks are underway suggesting that may happen in the future — Los Angeles is in favor of the merger while Long Beach -not so much).
The Port of Long Beach occupies 3,200 acres of land with 25 miles of waterfront in the city of Long Beach. It provides more than 316,000 jobs in Southern California and approximately 1.4 million jobs across the country.
The Port of Los Angeles occupies 7,500 acres of land with 43 miles of waterfront.
THUMS Islands are four artificial islands in San Pedro Bay off the coast of Long Beach that were built in 1965. Their purpose is to tap into the East Wilmington Oil Field. THUMS represents the five oil companies what bid for the island contract. (Texaco, Humble Oil (Exxon), Union Oil, Mobil Oil and Shell Oil.
The islands are beautiful. They camouflage the operation and reduce noise. They are the only esthetically pleasing to the eye oil islands in the United States and they were built at an estimated cost of 22 million dollars in 1965. The landscaping cost an additional 10 million dollars. There are waterfalls, tall structures that conceal the oil rigs and at night the islands are lit with colored lights. The architects did such a good job that the oil rigs and buildings are often mistaken for very exclusive hotels. The Los Angeles Times described the islands as part Disney, part Jetsons and part Swiss Family Robinson.
The Queen Mary also sits in the Long Beach Harbor. She was retired from service in 1967 and the Queen Mary’s last voyage took her from Southhampton to Long Beach, California. Since her arrival she has been a hotel and restaurant. I wish this were my picture, but its Wikipedias. My picture of the Queen Mary was taken on Easter Sunday 1971 when a group of us went there for Easter Dinner. Unfortunately I lost many of my “when I lived in California” pictures to a faulty sump pump in Minnesota. I’m sure the food, atmosphere and service are just as excellent today as they were in 1971.
Yes, there is a pier and a recreational beach. Seems hard to believe that they were able to preserve a bit of the coastline for beach combers, but they did.