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Long Beach, CA (Population: 474,014)

Long Beach, Califonia is located on the Pacific Coast in southern Los Angeles County. It is the country's most ethnically diverse city, according to USA Today's Diversity Index. The Port of Long Beach, in combination of the Port of Los Angeles, to which it is contiguous, it is the busiest in the US and is the second busiest in the world. The majority of trade that happens here is between the Pacific Rim and the United States. Long Beach is also home to a large oil industry; both offshore and underground oil can be found here. The development of high-tech and aerospace industries in this area also contributed strongly to Long Beach's growth.

The film industry has long been a part of Long Beach's culture, beginning in the era of silent film. Today, Long Beach is one of the prime locations to shoot movies, television and commercials and often stands in other locations both in California and world-wide. In visual art, Southern California is famous for its murals, many of which can be found in Long Beach. The city's Mural and Cultural Arts Program is a part of maintaining that standard. Long Beach State is the largest funded art school west of the Mississippi River and the University Museum had a national repuation for having high quality and innovative programs. The East Village Arts District holds monthly Artwalks on the second Saturday of every month. The Long Beach Opera is the oldest professional opera company serving the Los Angeles area.

Long Beach is also home to many long-running music festivals. The Bob Marley Reggae Festival is held here, as is the Long Beach Jazz Festival, the Long Beach Blues Festival, the E! Dia De San Juan Puerto Rican Festival and the Aloha Concert Jam. Other notable cultural and ethnic events include a Cinco de Mayo celebration, the Brazillian Street Festival and Tafesilafa'i, a Pacific Islander Festival. The Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade and Festival is the second largest event in Long Beach and has been occuring since 1984.

The largest event in Long Beach is the Grand Prix. Due to it's location, Long Beach also has an active sailing community. The Congressional Cup, a major international sailing event has been held in Long Beach since 1964 and it is the only grade 1 match race regatte held in the United States. Waterskiing and golf are also very popular in the area. Long Beach has also hosted Olympic events when the Olympic Games were held in nearby Los Angeles.