Get outside and get acquainted with Long Beach.
That's the idea behind Tour LBC, a virtual tour guide that take users on a self-guided tour to see the city's many murals through different neighborhoods.
The app — available for Apple iOS and Android phones — was created in partnership with the Arts Council for Long Beach and the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) in 2017 to feature tours of Pow Wow Long Beach murals. Each mural is accompanied with information about the artist, as well as about the event or neighborhood.
Paired with the organized tours are interactive maps that users can use to pinpoint each individual location and follow their own path. All tours take about an hour, but can be stretched if users stop to shop at nearby stores or grab a bite to eat.
"It's a fun way to get reacquainted with nearby neighborhoods and discover things in the area that you didn't know was there before," Amy Stock, app creator, said. "Especially right now, it's a good way to get outside with kids or family."
Stock said that she's in the process of editing and adding new content to the app. To do that, she takes tours on her own, snapping photos of new murals and coordinating with the Arts Council for the artist's information. The rest involves updating the interactive maps so that users are up to date with any changes.
Now, in addition to mural tours, she's in the process of adding historical neighborhood tours. The first neighborhood to be featured is Bluff Park.
"That tour is going to start at the Long Beach Museum of Art and do a loop around that neighborhood through First Street and comes back on Ocean," she said. "I'm working with the (Bluff Park) Neighborhood Association to get together with homeowners and see if they are interested in their home being a part of the tour. We're finalizing it right now."
New tours are expected to be updated within the next few weeks, with new home tours scheduled every month.
And while the app encourages folks to get outside and get to know the city, Stock said that it's important to wear a mask and keep a safe social distance between other people at all times.
"We can still find things to do that are stimulating and healthy and support the community while working through this pandemic," she said.
Tour LBC is available in the iOS App Store and Google Play. For more information, go to tourlbc.com.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org