Recalling the landscape of the Mediterranean with rugged cliffs and terracotta-tiled roof residences, Palos Verdes (also referred to as “P.V.” or “The Hill” by locals) is a Southern California day gem. Located approximately 27 miles from Los Angeles International Airport, the peninsula (comprised of Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, and Rolling Hills Estates) has starred in films such as Life As A House and Pirates of The Caribbean, and boasts everything from whale watching and tide pooling, to nature preserves, a lighthouse, and a famous chapel perched in the side of a steep hilltop. Terranea Resort also sits upon 102 acres of this pristine landscape, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
It’s also home to some of the finest examples of midcentury architecture by greats including Pierre Koenig and Richard Neutra who designed Palos Verdes High School along with Robert Evans Alexander in 1961. Founded in 1931, the recently revamped Palos Verdes Art Center offers children’s classes, guided tours, and adult art classes from painting to photography and jewelry making. Current exhibitions include Now Trending featuring 27 emerging artists.
For an up-close look at wildlife (a prime spot for whale-watching during migration season) and to learn about the history including the Tongva Indians that once inhabited the area, head to the Palos Verdes Interpretive Center.
Pack a picnic and sit at one of the outdoor tables, or take a hike along the path with views of adjacent Point Vicente Lighthouse. Located further down the road, the Wayfarers Chapel is a city institution with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Framed entirely by Redwood trees, this glass chapel was designed in 1951 by architect Lloyd Wright (Frank Lloyd Wright’s son), and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.