HistoryBeginning in the mid-1860s, the eastern area of what is now Old Town Seal Beach became known as Anaheim Landing. A warehouse and wharf had been built on a small bay where Anaheim Creek emptied into the Pacific Ocean. It was established by farmers and merchants in the newly settled town of who wanted a closer, more convenient port to ship the wine they were growing and also to receive items they needed to help build homes and buildings in their new town. For a few years Anaheim Landing came close to rivaling San Pedro for its volume of shipping, but the arrival of the railroad in Anaheim in 1875 made it easier to ship product via the rails than by hauling a wagon overland across 12 miles of soft soil to the Landing. However, the beaches and surrounding rolling Anaheim Landing had by this time also become popular as a getaway from hot summer days. Los Angeles newspapers talk of a permanent summer population of as many as 400 and even more on special days. Throughout the year, the landing was also home to a number of fishing boats that plied the local fishing areas. This activity was written about by Nobel-prize winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz in a short essay, "The Cranes." The site of Anaheim Landing is now registered as a . In 1903 Los Angeles realtor Philip A. Stanton, very familiar with the area from his time selling land in Anaheim, and Huntington Beach and also from representing the local real estate interests of banker (and Pacific Electric Railroad co-owner) Isaias W. Hellman, put together a syndicate to lay out the town of Bayside on the land between Anaheim Landing and Anaheim Bay and the eastern edge of . The new town would be along the still not-announced leg of the Pacific Electric which would run from Long Beach to Newport Beach. As there was already a town called Bayside in Northern California (by Eureka) Stanton's group instead called their new town Bay City. Due to many factors—including competition from other beach resort areas (Long Beach, Redondo Beach and Venice/Ocean Park/Santa Monica), some national financial crises, and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake which sent most investment dollars to the more lucrative rebuilding of San Francisco—Bay City failed miserably as a real estate investment. In 1913, Stanton optioned the land to real estate promoter Guy M. Rush who invested in building a renovated pier with pavilions on either side. Rush also re-branded the town as Seal Beach and marketed it via postcards and advertisements around the country. This too failed and by early 1915 Rush had let his options lapse. In 1915 Stanton tried again, arranging to obtain some amusements from the closing San Francisco Panama-Pacific International Exposition and rebuild them as part of new amusement area which would be called The Joy Zone. As part of this plan, the Bayside Land Company led a campaign to incorporate the town (October 27, 1915) and then had the new city council approve legal drinking in the town. This made it different from at Long Beach which was a "dry city." The Joy Zone, a beach-side amusement park built in 1916, was the first in Orange County. It achieved some brief popularity, but the US entry into World War I and the resulting restrictions on rubber and metal dramatically impacted the amusement area. After the war, Prohibition impacted the town's value as an amusement resort. After 1920, the town's location on two Bays with many inlets to offload bootleg liquor, its small police department, and its location on the county line, allowed it to become a popular place for rumrunners and then gamblers. From 1928 to 1939, the town had as many as six gambling establishments on Main Street. In addition most of Southern California's famous gambling ships (''Johanna Smith, Rose Isle, Johanna Smith II, SS Caliente, SS Tango, Showboat, Mt. Baker'') operated off the Seal Beach just over the line from Long Beach. With gambling being a misdemeanor, the trials were held in the town's municipal court and a Seal Beach jury never returned a guilty verdict, to the dismay of Orange County and Long Beach officials. But around 1941, with significant pressure being put on the gamblers by State Attorney General Earl Warren, most of the Seal Beach and gambling ship ended Their absence was soon filled by a former Los Angeles police detective named William L. Robertson. In early 1944. during , the Navy purchased most of the land around Anaheim Landing to construct the 's for loading, unloading, and storing of ammunition for the Pacific Fleet, and especially those US Navy warships home-ported in and . With closure of the in Northern California, it has become the primary source of munitions for a majority of the . The arrival of the Navy catalyzed a growth in population which eventually succeeded in shutting down Robertson's gambling operations. Surfing has always had a presence in Seal Beach. Newspaper advertisements showing surfers were part of Guy M. Rush's "Seal Beach" campaign of 1913. The town hosted the mainland's first surfing competition—it was at a private gathering of the annual Minnesota Picnic. But its popularity really took off after the war with the arrival of legendary surfer Blackie August, who taught many of the local kids how to surf. August's son, Robert, was one of the pair of surfers featured in the classic surf film, ''Endless Summer''. Local legends Jack Haley and Mike Haley were the winners of the first two national surfing championships.
2011 shootingThe deadliest mass killing in Orange County history occurred in Seal Beach. On October 12, 2011, a took place at the local Salon Meritage hair . Eight people inside the salon and one person in the parking lot were shot, and only one victim survived. The suspect in the shooting, 41-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai, was arrested without incidentGunman kills 8 at Seal Beach salon
GeographySeal Beach is located at (33.759283, -118.082396). According to the , the city has a total area of . of it is land and of it (13.45%) is water. Seal Beach is bounded by the CDP of Rossmoor and the city of Los Alamitos to the north, the West Garden Grove neighborhood and city of to the east, to the east and south, and the to the west.
ClimateSeal Beach has a ( ''BSh'') with characteristics.
2010The reported that Seal Beach had a population of 24,168. The was 1,853.3 people per square mile (715.6/km2). The racial makeup of Seal Beach was 20,154 (83.4%) (76.9% Non-Hispanic White), 279 (1.2%) , 65 (0.3%) , 2,309 (9.6%) , 58 (0.2%) , 453 (1.9%) from , and 850 (3.5%) from two or more races. or of any race were 2,331 persons (9.6%). The Census reported that 23,943 people (99.1% of the population) lived in households, 22 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 203 (0.8%) were institutionalized. There were 13,017 households, out of which 1,866 (14.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 4,891 (37.6%) were living together, 788 (6.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 283 (2.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 383 (2.9%) , and 66 (0.5%) . Of the households, 6,312 (48.5%) were made up of individuals, and 4,340 (33.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.84. There were 5,962 (45.8% of all households); the average family size was 2.65. The population was spread out, with 3,151 people (13.0%) under the age of 18, 1,176 people (4.9%) aged 18 to 24, 4,076 people (16.9%) aged 25 to 44, 6,513 people (26.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 9,252 people (38.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 57.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 78.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.3 males. There were 14,558 housing units at an average density of 1,116.4 per square mile (431.0/km2), of which 9,713 (74.6%) were owner-occupied, and 3,304 (25.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.4%. 17,689 people (73.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 6,254 people (25.9%) lived in rental housing units. During 2009–2013, Seal Beach had a median household income of $51,242, with 9.9% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
2000As of the of 2000, there were 24,157 people, 13,048 households, and 5,884 families residing in the city. The was 2,099.5 inhabitants per square mile (810.3/km2). There were 14,267 housing units at an average density of 1,240.0 per square mile (478.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.91% , 1.44% , 0.30% , 5.74% , 0.18% , 1.28% from , and 2.16% from two or more races. or of any race were 6.43% of the population. There were 13,048 households, out of which 13.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.2% were living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 54.9% were non-families. Of all households, 48.8% were made up of individuals, and 34.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.83 and the average family size was 2.65. In the city, the population was spread out, with 13.3% under the age of 18, 4.0% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 37.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 54 years. For every 100 females, there were 78.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.4 males. The median income for a household in the city was $42,079, and the median income for a family was $72,071. Males had a median income of $61,654 versus $41,615 for females. The for the city was $34,589. About 3.2% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the , including 6.2% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.
EconomyThe major employer in Seal Beach is , employing roughly 1,000 people. Its facility was originally built to manufacture the of the Saturn V">engines_and_ inuteman III_rocket A_multistage_rocket,_or_step_rocket,_is_a_launch_vehicle_that_uses_two_or_more_rocket_''stages'',_each_of_which_contains_it ...
Top employersAccording to the city's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,City of Seal Beach CAFR
Arts and culture
Annual cultural eventsThe Pancake Breakfast in April and its Fish Fry (started in 1943) in July are two of the biggest events in Seal Beach. There has been a Rough Water Swim the same weekend as the Fish Fry since the 1960s. The Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce sponsors many events, including: a Classic Car Show in April, a Summer Concert series once every week in July and August, the in December along with Santa and the Reindeer. Also in the fall is the Festival in September. The Taste for Los Al, which since 2001 has been benefitting activities at Los Alamitos High School (home high school for Seal Beach students), takes place every October and has one of the largest silent auctions in the nation, often having over 100 tables.
MusicThe record label Mash Down Babylon Records is based in Seal Beach, operated out of a garage known as The Elizabethan. The label was founded by Matt Embree, lead vocalist and guitarist in the Seal Beach-based progressive rock/post-hardcore band RX Bandits.
Other points of interestOn Electric Avenue where the railroad tracks used to run, there is the Red Car Museum which features a restored Red Car. The Seal Beach is also home to the Bay Theatre, which was a popular venue for independent film and revival screenings. It was closed in 2012 but was purchased in 2017 by Paul Dunlap who is currently restoring it. The is located on part of the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach. Much of the 's is the remnant of the in the Anaheim Bay (the rest of the marsh became the bayside community of Huntington Harbour, which is part of Huntington Beach). Three endangered species, the Ridgway's light-footed rail, the , and the Belding's , can be found nesting in the refuge. With the loss and degradation of coastal wetlands in California, the remaining habitat, including the in Huntington Beach and Upper Newport Bay in , has become much more important for migrating and wintering shorebirds, waterfowl, and seabirds. Although the refuge is a great place for birdwatching, because it is part of the weapons station, access is limited and usually restricted to once-a-month tours.
RecreationThe second longest wooden in California (the longest is in Oceanside) is located in Seal Beach and is used for
Government and politicsSeal Beach City Hall is location on 211 8th St, Seal Beach, CA 90740. The city is administered under a council-manager form of government, and is governed by a five-member city council serving four-year alternating terms. The mayor and mayor pro tempore are chosen by and from the council. Seal Beach's municipal jail offers a pay for stay program in which offenders who would normally go to county jails could stay at Seal Beach's jail for a price.
State and federal representationIn the , Seal Beach is in , and in . In the , Seal Beach is in .
EducationSeal Beach once had its own elementary school district and sent its older children to Huntington Beach or Marina High School in the . Since the early 1980s it has been part of the Los Alamitos Unified School District. Younger students (K-5) go to McGaugh Elementary School, Hopkinson Elementary School, Rossmoor Elementary, Lee Elementary, Los Alamitos Elementary or Weaver Elementary. Students in grades 6–8 attend either Oak Middle School or McAuliffe Middle School. High school students go to , which is a Gold Ribbon School. Until 2000, the was part of Los Alamitos High School. In 2000, the school district suffered a major blow when the community lost the Orange County High School of the Arts to Santa Ana, where it is now located.
Notable people* , Nazi collaborator convicted of war crimes. * , one of the two surfers in 's classic '' '', grew up in Seal Beach. * , Actor, born in Seal Beach. Portrayed Captain Kirk (during his childhood) in Star Trek. * Sean Collins, founder of . * , actress/singer, starred in broadway productions including the role of Belle from Beauty and the Beast also does voice work most notably Meg from Disney's Hercules, born in Seal Beach. * Matt Embree, vocalist/guitarist of the band RX Bandits and founder of the Mash Down Babylon Records record label, both of which are also based in Seal Beach. * , singer-songwriter and author of "City of New Orleans", "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" and "You Never Even Call Me By My Name" made Seal Beach his home from 1980 until his death in 1984. * Bill Green, former United States record holder in track and field and fifth in the hammer throw in the 1984 Summer Olympics lived in Seal Beach from 1988 to 1999 *Jack Haley, Sr - first US National surfing Champion *Mike Haley - 2nd US National surfing champion *Jack Haley (basketball), Jack Haley, Jr. - former NBA player * Chris Kluwe, punter for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL * Greg Knapp, New York Jets pass game specialist. * Pat McCormick (diver), Pat McCormick, a two-time Olympic Diving platforms, platform and springboard gold medal Diving (sport), diver (1952 Summer Olympics, 1952 & 1956 Summer Olympics, 1956). * In Real Life (band), Chance Perez, singer, part of the boyband In Real Life (band), In Real Life. * Jack Snow (American football), Jack Snow, Notre Dame and Los Angeles Rams football player * Clayton Snyder, actor who played Ethan Craft in the Lizzie McGuire TV show and film. * Michelle Steel, U.S. Congresswoman from California's 48th district since 2021 (resident of Surfside Colony), former Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. * Randy Stonehill, Grammy nominated singer/songwriter resides in Seal Beach with wife Sandi * Chad Wackerman, Rock music, rock and jazz drummer who has worked with Frank Zappa, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor and many others * Bill Ward (musician), Bill Ward, drummer, solo artist, and occasional lead vocalist of hard rock/heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. * Bob Welch (baseball), Bob Welch, professional baseball player
See also*List of beaches in California