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    Aquarium of the PacificAquarium of the Pacific Long Beach, California
    this outstanding aquarium sits on five acres in Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California, housing more than 11,000 marine animals that represent more than 500 various species and welcomes over 1.5 million visitors each year. The aquarium concentrates on the Pacific Ocean that is seen in three permanent galleries that include Baja, Southern California and the cold waters of the northern Pacific, as well as the beautiful reefs of the tropical Pacific. Some of the more popular include the interactive shark lagoon where visitors can actually pet the sting rays and sharks and the Lorikeet Forest where they can feed the marvelous lorikeet birds. The many exciting displays at the aquarium showcase the seascapes and inhabitants of the Pacific, and still focus on the specific conservation goals that have been associated with each of the regions. These tanks range in size and capacity from 5000 to 350,000 gallons of water. It opened a new 4700 square foot earth-friendly garden on their front lawn that showcases the California native and drought-resistant plants along with an excellent and efficient irrigation system so that they can provide a viable solution to the region's continuing water shortage problems. Exhibits include the tropical Pacific gallery, the sea otter habitat, Lorikeet Forest, Molina animal care center, Northern Pacific gallery, shark lagoon, Southern California/Baja gallery, our watersheds and Whales: Voices in the sea.

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    Rancho Los AlamitosRancho Los Alamitos Long Beach, California
    Los Alamitos means little cottonwoods or poplars in Spanish and was so named because of the Fremont cottonwood trees located here on the former Mexican land grant that included southwestern Los Angeles county and northwester Orange county and a big part of modern-day Long Beach and much more. It has been referred to as the Bixby Ranch, after the last private owners, with a marvelous 19th century adobe ranch house that is still there today, with a wonderful museum that showcases the history of the area. This history of the 85,000 acre ranch seems to be a miniature picture of the history of expansion throughout the southern California region, from the native American cultures to the contemporary times. It would be the locale of the first major Tongva-Gabrielino sacred ceremonial and trading village of Povuu'nga that is now an active archaeological site. The gardens that encompass the adobe house were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and Florence Yoch and Lucille Council and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum located in the house and on the grounds offers the history of the ranch period, the region and the country house period.

April 6, 2011