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LONG BEACH : Recreation : FOCUS : Queen Mary, Spruce Goose

Community Profile

November 06, 1986

The Queen Mary and Spruce Goose stand as symbols of the city's efforts to become a major tourist and recreational center. Purchased from England in 1967, the famous luxury liner that once transported kings and movie stars across the Atlantic lost money during its first years as a tourist attraction. Then in 1983 the city landed the Spruce Goose--the largest airplane ever built--which made one flight over Long Beach Harbor in 1947 with Howard Hughes at the controls and languished in a hangar for the next 33 years. Today the twin attractions--combined in one tour with a single admission price--attract as many as 2 million visitors a year and in 1983 were listed as the fifth best amusement in California.

Attractions

1. Alamitos Bay, city beaches; sunbathing, swimming and various water sports; 421-9431

2. El Dorado Regional Park, along the San Gabriel River from Stearns Street to north of Wardlow Road; city's largest park, featuring community center, tennis courts, picnic area, archery range, nature center, small lake with boating and fishing, softball diamonds, soccer area, pony rides and 18-hole golf course; 421-9431

3. Harbor Cruises, departing from near bow of the Queen Mary and Shoreline Marina Village; a one-hour, narrated tour past shipping terminals, oil islands, other harbor and coastal sights; 514-3838

4. Long Beach Main Library, 101 Pacific Ave., special indexes and collections, out-of-town newspapers, 1,200 titles in periodicals, films and videos for rentals, government publications section, recordings section, film programs for adults and children; 437-2949

5. Long Beach Marathon; held yearly in early May; starts and finishes near convention and entertainment center; basically flat course with slight rises and falls in elevation; TAC-certified 26.2 miles; clinics, expo and "carbo" feast; 494-2664

6. Long Beach Sea Festival, throughout Long Beach coastal area; held yearly in August; a series of beach- and water-oriented events including volleyball, jet ski races and swimming; 437-0341

7. Recreation Park, between Park Avenue and Federation Drive; primarily for passive activities such as picnicking; features community center and children's play area; 18-hole golf course is across Federation Drive; 421-9431

8. Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach; a three-day event held yearly in early April through the streets of the city; considered one of the top motor racing events in the world; 437-0341

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