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Rancho Palos Verdes, CA


While Rancho Palos Verdes lacks industry, the residents feel like they live in the lap of luxury. Set atop hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean, nearly all parts of  Rancho Palos Verdes sport stunning views.

One of the highlights to a visit is the Point Vicente Lighthouse. You can actually tour the light station, which is open to the public once or twice a month, and allows you to climb the stairs to the top to look out.

Rancho Palos Verdes is located in the South Bay Area of Los Angeles County. With scant hotels, in recent years a new housing development and luxury ocean view resort opened, Terranea. Popular for weddings, the hotel and surroundings are quite romantic, and slightly rugged.

Tall grasses in earthen colors contrast with the expansive ocean where you can often watch migrating whales pass by.

Located adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse is Point Vicente Interpretive Center. A beautiful facility that also hosts wedding and special events includes nearly 10, 000 square feet of exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Peninsula, with a special emphasis on the Pacific gray whale. Whale of a Day is the Interpretive Center's major, annual event to educate, entertain and inform the public about whales and sea life.

The patio deck of the building is one of Southern California's best whale watch sites for the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale, from December through April. Many have enjoyed watching blue whales and other types of whales and dolphins, also. From December to May, American Cetacean Society volunteers gather daily at the Center to conduct a census of whales passing through the Catalina Channel.

Open daily, 10 AM to 5 PM, year-round, with extended hours during summer. The facility is closed on January 1, Thanksgiving Day, December 24, and December 25th. The park grounds are open until dusk. Picnic areas are available. Barbecues and fires are prohibited. Dogs must be leashed. Point Vicente Interpretive Center 31501 Palos Verdes Drive West Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 (310) 377-5370. palosverdes.com

Another highlight to this stunning stretch of California Coast is White Point Nature Preserve.  With walking trails, and interpretive center, and docent led hikes, the facility is both educational and offers healthy options in outdoor exercise.

While the Nature Preserve has native plant gardens that include many plants used by earlier inhabitants for medicinal and health purposes, another larger garden with a gift shop, tram tours, and variety of nature gardens used often in filming is South Coast Botanic Garden. Be sure to add this to your list of Rancho Palos Verdes must-see garden excursions.

The Rancho Palos Verdes parks system includes many unique parks offering some of the best views in Southern California. One such park,  Del Cerro Park, is well worth a visit. The view are incredible!




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