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California, U.S.A.
Welcome to Seal Beach, Orange County.
Seal Beach is a city in the westernmost corner of Orange County, home to around 24,000 people. A majority of the city's acreage encompasses the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach military base. The United States Navy's Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach was constructed during the World War II, for loading, unloading and ammunition storage for the Pacific Fleet. Since the Concord Naval Weapons Station in Northern California closed, the Seal Beach station has been the primary source of munitions for a majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Once upon a time, the area that is now Seal Beach was called Anaheim Landing, as the boat landing and seaside recreation area named after the nearby town of Anaheim. Today, the site of Anaheim Landing is registered as a California Historical Landmark. In the early 20th century, Seal Beach was known as Bay City, but there was already a Bay City in Northern California; hence, the city was instead named Seal Beach at its incorporation in 1915. Seal Beach quickly developed into a thriving recreation destination, featuring a beachside amusement park long before Disneyland stole the spotlight. Each year in April, the city hosts the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast and the Fish Fry events; two of the biggest in Seal Beach, alongside the Rough Water Swim. There is also a Classic Car Show in spring, a Summer Concert series in July and August as well as a Christmas Parade in December. There are several attractions in Seal Beach, including the Red Car Museum, which features a restored Pacific Electric Railway Red Car. Those who are looking to explore the natural surroundings can head up to the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, which is situated on part of the Naval Weapons Station. The wildlife refuge is home to three endangered species; the Ridgway's light-footed rail, the California least tern, and the Belding's Savannah Sparrow. The refuge is a terrific place to go bird watching; just be aware that access is restricted to once-a-month tours. One of the most popular spots in Seal Beach is of course the beach itself, as well as its old pier. The pier is actually the longest wooden pier in California, and is used for fishing and sightseeing. This part of the beach is also frequented by surfers and so is the so-called Ray Bay; the surfer's nickname for the mouth of the San Gabriel River.
"pier" by Chris Kuga as licensed under CC BY 2.0
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