Palos Verdes

The Palos Verdes Peninsula rises above the South Bay of Los Angeles County. It's an oasis of greenery in a Los Angeles region dominated by concrete and asphalt; it features horse trails, ocean cliffs, tidepools, Eucalyptus trees,and nature walks.

23 things to do

All Places United States California

The Neighborhood Church

Make sure while you are in the Malaga Cove area that you stop by and see the stunning Neighborhood Church. It has a fascinating history and the grounds are stunning. It was built by J. J. Haggarty, a wealthy merchant businessman, in 1927 to be his summer home. Built on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the house was built by one of the finest Italian architects. The cost to built his summer home was $750,000. The completed home had the finest marbles, frescos, fireplaces, and gardens. Eventually J. J. Haggarty's business started to fall apart and the house exchanged hands multiple times. In 1949, it went on the real estate market initially for $250,000. The current church congregation placed a bid for the grounds for $60,000. The bid was accepted and the Neighborhood Church was born. Many of the frescos are still viewable and the actual church sanctuary is stunning with open beamed ceilings still showing the initials of JJH. It's a lovely place to get married with many picturesque backdrops and is right around the corner from the center of this quaint village.

SEE   —  Map

Point Vicente Lighthouse

Historic lighthouse perched on spectacular cliffs that face Catalina Island. The grounds and lighthouse are normally closed to the public, however, the tower and a small museum are open the second Saturday of month. There are well-kept trails near the lighthouse that offer great views. These trails are accessed by going south from the intersection of Palos Verdes Drive West and Hawthorne. You will drive through a large tract of recently built $3-$6 million dollar homes. Drive down to the cliffs and park. This area has good public access and parking, which the city provided as part of the plan to develop this area. The trails are wide and easy to walk, offering great views of the lighthouse. You can hike a steep trail down to tidepools from an unmarked spot near the parking lot. The visitor center next to the light house has information about grey whales which migrate off shore on their annual reproductive voyage from the Arctic Circle to Baja California.

Wayfarer's Chapel

Is the jewel of Palos Verdes-- a stunningly beautiful little chapel - unique in all of the world. The chapel is virtually all glass, surrounded by beautiful trees, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The gardens are also impeccable. A lot of people are married here. Located on a knoll overlooking Portuguese Bend, the "glass church" was designed by Lloyd Wright, architect and son of Frank Lloyd Wright. Built as a memorial to philosopher and religious reformer Emanuel Swedenborg, it was designed to serve as a chapel for meditation and prayer for wayfarers. Like his father, Lloyd Wright practiced an organic architecture and he said the inspiration for the church came from his spiritual feelings visiting a Redwood Forest, surrounded by the majesty of the giant trees. The chapel is constructed of redwood, glass and local stone. Note the use of the triangle throughout the chapel. Words or photos can not do the chapel justice.

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Terranea Resort

pened in June 2009 on the former site of Marineland of the Pacific. The 400-room hotel has an oceanfront spa, challenging 9-hole, par 3 golf and 7 restaurants and lounges. The trails around and through the resort are open to the public and there are even doggie resting stations near several of the restaurants. The site has been used for filming many movies and television shows, including Sea Hunt which launched Lloyd Bridges' career and popularized diving and environmentalism. One of Terranea's restaurants is named Nelson's for the Mike Nelson character Bridges played on Sea Hunt.

The Spa at Terranea Resort

25,000 square foot spa with ocean view treatment rooms and an extensive menu of treatments. Booking a treatment includes access to the private spa pool, fitness center, and full use of spa amenities (steam room, hot tub, sauna). There is a spa fee of $60 ($40 for guests) for those who wish to use the spa facilities without booking a treatment. Treatments start at $165 and there is an automatic gratuity of 20%.

Abalone Cove

Is a lovely, remote, uncrowded beach. Trails lead from the beach to Portuguese Bend to the left and Inspiration Point, which is further to the left (south). Parking is $5. Portuguese Bend is named after shore whalers whose station was in this cove in from 1874 to 1877. Abalone cove is named after the Abalone shells, once found along the beach, that were a mainstay of the whalers' diet.

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Trump National Golf Club

Full restaurant and bar (walk-ins welcome). Sunday brunch (10AM and 1PM, 2 seatings). Restaurant is adjacent to a nice public park with beach access from dawn to dusk. The Sunday brunch is becoming a favorite among the locals, especially the ones who want to impress visiting friends and relatives.

Lobby Bar & Lounge at Terranea Resort

Swanky and cozy at the same time, this is the place for locals and guests alike to unwind and enjoy excellent service and an inviting atmosphere. Live music Thurs-Sat is a highlight and the jazz trio is not to be missed.

DRINK   —  +1 310 265-2164 —  100 Terranea Way

Nelson's Bar at Terranea Resort

Casual sports bar with an incomparable ocean view. Grab a seat by the outdoor firepit and enjoy delicious salads, burgers, and the chef's signature fish and chips.

DRINK   —  +1 310 265-2702 —  100 Terranea Way

Mar'Sel at Terranea Resort

Terranea Resort's signature restaurant. Pricey but well worth it for a special night out. Local residents get a 10% discount. Reservations strongly recommended.

The Links at Terranea Resort

9-hole par 3 course with beautiful ocean views. Perfect for a short business outing before lunch at one of the resort's 8 restaurants.

Original Red Onion

Restaurant features a small but quaint Mexican-style bar. Located near Peninsula Center.

Admiral Risty

A long-time watering hole for PV locals, located in the Golden Cove shopping center.

Rafaello's Pizza

More commonly referred to as Borrelli's by a majority of locals.

Trump National Golf Course

18-hole par 71 golf course directly on the water.

Lunada Bayhouse

Good seafood, steaks, and pasta.


Absolutely excellent lamb.

La Rive Gauche

French cuisine.

EAT   —  +1 310 378-0267 —  320 Tejon Pl

About Palos Verdes

The Palos Verdes Peninsula was originally part of enormous ranchos owned by Dominguez and Sepulveda. "Palos Verdes" is a Spanish phrase that roughly means "green stalks" or "green wood". A New York investment syndicate led by banker Frank Vanderlip bought the entire Peninsula sight unseen from George Bixby reportedly for $1.5 to $2 million. For Vanderlip, a man with vision and money, such an enormous piece of undeveloped land along the Pacific, so close to Los Angeles, must have been a "no-brainer". Development began in the Malaga Cove area in the 1920s. Vanderlip hired the famous Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm (sons of Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Manhattan's Central Park), to help design and plan the communities. To this day all of the Palos Verdes towns have very strong architecture and development committees that tightly regulate building. The cities' collective efforts have been exceptionally effective in preserving open space and avoiding overdevelopment.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is made up of four municipalities. Rolling Hills is a private, gated community restricted to residents and guests that, because of its location at the top the hills of the Peninsula, enjoys spectacular ocean and city views. Surrounding it is Rolling Hills Estates, a city of 8,000 residents known for preserving its unique rural environment and laced with more than 25 miles of equestrian trails. Along the coast is Rancho Palos Verdes, known for spectacular ocean views of the South Bay and Catalina Island, and Palos Verdes Estates, which has the ambiance of a Mediterranean town, with clay tile roofed villas enjoying spectacular ocean and city views. The city streets are sometimes blocked by flocks of beautiful wild peacocks that inhabit the hillsides.

Source: wikivoyage