Seal Beach: even its name sounds like a great place to either live or visit.
This is the type of city that has everything one could possibly want from sandy beaches to friendly people and a quaint downtown area.
According to the the city’s website, Seal Beach was incorporated on Oct. 27, 1915, and the current City Charter was adopted in 1964. J.C. Ord, a Civil War veteran known as “the father of Seal Beach,” was the first resident in 1901. The population in 1915 was 250 persons, including children. Bay City was renamed Seal Beach in 1916. California Sea Lions, commonly called Seals, were a regular part of the scene along the coast and a perfect name for the new town — hence, Seal Beach was born.
It looks like a lot of people agree that Seal Beach offers much more than a place for some people to call home. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was 24,168, which is up from 24,157 as reported in the 2000 U.S. Census.
Location, Location, Location
So where is it? Seal Beach borders Los Angeles County along with Long Beach and the adjacent San Pedro Bay. To the southeast are Huntington Harbour, a neighborhood of Huntington Beach and Sunset Beach, which is also part of Huntington Beach. A good portion of the city’s acreage is devoted to the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach military base.
Years ago, what is now Seal Beach, was once known as “Anaheim Landing,” because of the boat landing and seaside recreational areas of nearby Anaheim. The site of Anaheim Landing is now registered as a California Historical Landmark.
By the 20th century, Seal Beach was known as Bay City, but there was already a Bay City located in Northern California. When the time came to incorporate the area in 1915, the town was renamed Seal Beach. The town quickly became a popular recreation destination and featured a beach-side amusement park, long before Walt Disney built Disneyland and put the area on the map.
Additionally, The United States Navy’s Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach was originally constructed during World War II for the loading, unloading and storing of ammunition for the Pacific Fleet, specifically for US Navy warships home-ported in Long Beach and San Diego. With closure of the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Northern California, it is now the primary source of munitions for a majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and it is one of the most popular attractions in Seal Beach which is visited by residents as well as tourists year-round.
Arts and Culture
There is always something to do in Seal Beach, where people come from everywhere in Southern California to enjoy its many events. Among the most popular are The Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, which is held each April, and its popular Fish Fry (started in 1943) in July. If you love fish, this is one event you certainly can’t miss. The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce sponsors many events, including a Classic Car Show in April, a Summer Concert series in July and August, and the Christmas Parade in December along with Santa and his reindeer. In September, the colorful Kite Festival brings out people of all ages to look up into the skies above Seal Beach.
Another interesting bit of history to check out is on Electric Avenue where the railroad tracks used to run. There is the Red Car Museum which features a restored Pacific Electric Railway Red Car. The Red Car trolley tracks once passed through Seal Beach going south to the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Going north into Long Beach, you could then take the Red Cars through much of Los Angeles County. Even though they have disappeared and been replaced with hundreds of thousands of cars, you can get up close and personal with a similar car at the museum. You might also see some of the tracks while walking around town.
Loads of Recreation
In addition to all kinds of events the city hosts, there are a number of recreational activities to partake or just people-watch. The second longest wooden pier in California (the longest is in Oceanside) is located in Seal Beach and is used for fishing and sightseeing. The pier has suffered severe damage due to storms and other mishaps, requiring extensive reconstruction more than once. A plaque at the pier’s entrance memorializes Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, 1938, Project No. Calif. 1723-F, a rebuilding necessitated by storms in 1935. Another plaque honors the individuals, businesses and groups that helped rebuild the pier after a storm on March 2, 1983 tore away several sections.
And what is Southern California without surfing? Seal Beach has some of the premier surfing around. Surfing locations in Seal Beach include the Seal Beach pier and the “Stingray Bay” river (or Ray Bay—the surfer’s nickname for the mouth of the San Gabriel River—the stingrays are attracted by the heated water from several upstream power plants). Classic longboard builders in the area include Harbour Surfboards, which was established in 1959 at Seal Beach.
As you can see, Seal Beach provides much to do for its residents, as well as those who just want to visit this inviting city by the sea. It is a special place where family, friends and others can meet to enjoy the Southern California lifestyle any time of year.
City of Seal Beach website
Red Car Museum
City of Seal Beach