The peninsula of Palos Verdes is an underrated destination in Los Angeles County. Its beautiful coastal cities know how to entrance visitors, and the oceanfront views here are some of the most dramatic in the region.
Get to know your new home by exploring everything it has to offer. You can start by checking out the best things to do in Palos Verdes.
- Admire the blooms at the South Coast Botanic Garden
South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA
Located in Palos Verdes Hill is the 87-acre South Coast Botanic Garden, a lush and sprawling patch of land in Palos Verdes. The grounds are covered by a wide variety of plants. In fact, over 2,500 plant species have made their homes here.
What’s so amazing about the South Coast Botanic Garden is its origin. The land it sits on used to be a sanitary landfill in the 1950s until the community banded together to transform the site into a beautiful garden.
In 1961, the first batch of trees and plants (there were over 40,000!) were planted and so the South Coast Botanic Garden was born. This makes this Palos Verdes treasure one of the first botanic gardens of its kind in the world.
With the South Coast Botanic Garden is situated in one of the best areas for growing plants in the world, a lot of species thrive here. When you visit, you’ll even get the chance to see some rare trees and shrubs, hard to find anywhere else. And because of the verdant plant life, birds and other local fauna love to come here as well.
- Explore the winding trails of Del Cerro Park
Del Cerro Park
2 Park Pl, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes is one of the places to go for dramatic landscapes and nature views, and Del Cerro Park in Rancho Palos Verdes provides both. Take any one of the hiking trails and the vistas will unfold in front of your very eyes, from steep canyons to panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
The best time to hike in Del Cerro Park is early in the morning to catch the first rays of the sun or late in the afternoon, to watch the sun set over the horizon. The park is highly accessible− you can drive to the trailhead or the grassy play area. Whether you go alone, take your friends, or bring your dog with you (just keep your furry best friend on a leash), you’re guaranteed to have a good time soaking in the views of Palos Verdes’ awe-inspiring coastline.
- Experience the wonders of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy
Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy
916 Silver Spur Rd, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
If you want the ultimate outdoor experience in the Palos Verdes Peninsula, you simply have to visit the local land conservancy based in Rolling Hills Estates. It’s your gateway to discover approximately 1,600 acres of preserved open space in the region.
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy covers five distinct areas: the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, the White Point Nature Preserve and Education Center, the Linden H. Chandler Nature Reserve, the George F. Canyon Preserve and Nature Center, and the Defense Fuel Support Point and Nursery.
Of the five, the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve is the largest, encompassing some 1,400 acres. It is made up of smaller reserves, including the Abalone Cove Reserve, located off the coast of the peninsula. But all five areas are great for hiking, particularly geology walks and sunset hikes. Some of the places covered in the land conservancy also offer excellent birding opportunities.
- Learn more about aviation at the Western Museum of Flight
Western Museum of Flight
3315 Airport Dr, Torrance, CA
Not far from Rolling Hills Estates is the Western Museum of Flight in Torrance, another must-visit when you’re in the area. Located right at the municipal airport of Zamperini Field, the museum features a number of exhibits dedicated to everything about aviation.
The most notable displays, of course, are the aircrafts, which include the JB-1 “Bat” buzz bomb used in World War II (one of the three aircrafts of this kind left in the world), the model of the ASA Space Shuttle, and the YF-231 Black Widow II advanced tactical fighter. There are also over 300 aircraft models on display, enough for an enthusiast to have a memorable field day.