Rancho Palos Verdes is a small town in Los Angeles County, California, snuggled in the Palos Verdes Hills and perched on the bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It is an affluent suburb of Los Angeles known for spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, great beaches, and famous golf courses. The Point Vicente Interpretive Center is a perfect spot for whale-watching.
Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on the cliffs above the ocean, Wayfarers Chapel – or Glass Church – is a magnificent modern glass structure, a part of the Swedenborgian Church of North America. The church was built as a memorial to its late founder Emanuel Swedenborg. Designed by Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright, in the 1940s and completed in 1951, the church is a departure from the traditional material. Glass walls allow the surrounding nature to “define the sacred space.” A tower and a visitor center were added later, but the center was lost in a landslide in the 1960s. The chapel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular wedding destination.
The Point Vicente Interpretive Center
Point Vicente is a beautiful park that surrounds the Point Vicente Lighthouse. It is a popular recreation spot with great educational opportunities. The park’s 10,000-square-foot Interpretive Center was opened in 1984 in order to present and explain the history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula and its unique features. The center features a range of exhibits on the cultural and natural history of the peninsula and the Pacific gray whale. The park is a premier whale-watching site, especially from December to April during the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale. There are picnic tables throughout the park, but fires and barbecues are not allowed.
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park & Ecological Reserve
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park is located on a beautiful stretch of coast and features two popular beaches – Abalone Cove and Sacred Cove, caves, picnic areas, many tide pools, fantastic views from the top of the bluff, and great hiking trails. The park includes a State Ecological Preserve that protects animals and marine life in the park. A long trail from the parking lot on the bluff provides access to Abalone Cove Beach. To get to Sacred Cove beach, there are two trails along Palos Verdes Drive South, between Inspiration and Portuguese Points. There are lifeguards at Abalone Cove during the summer and on weekends. The views of Catalina Island and the ocean are breathtaking. Fires and barbeques are not allowed.
Trump National Golf Club
Located in the beautiful Rancho Palos Verdes, the course at Trump National Golf Club is considered one of the top public golf courses in Southern California. It is the first and only course with a Pete Dye and Donald J. Trump Signature Design. Trump National offers a driving range, practice putting green, and game practice. It features numerous walking trails that wind through the course and along cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, running all the way to the beach and to a lovely public park on the bluffs in front of the clubhouse. Hiking these trails allows visitors to see the native flora and fauna up close. Many of the species of plants and animals are protected, and the endangered small migratory bird Coastal California gnatcatcher can also be seen here.
Nelson’s is the most casual of all restaurants in the luxury Rancho Palos Verdes Terranea Resort. Perched on a cliff above the ocean coves, Nelson’s enjoys the views that stretch all the way to the horizon. This upscale version of a surf shack is a popular spot with locals and visitors. It offers coastal Southern California cuisine made to perfection by Chef de Cuisine Michael Cruz, including everyone’s favorites such mahi-mahi tacos, burgers, fish and chips, sandwiches, and sweet potato fries. The bar is well stocked with California wines, regional microbrews, and imaginative cocktails. Nelson’s gets even more romantic in the evening, with firepits and spectacular sunsets.
Mar’sel is an elegant, quiet restaurant with a comfortable, club-like vibe in Rancho Palos Verdes' Terranea Resort. Its outdoor patio is a wonderful, romantic spot for dining al fresco with a view of the ocean and the occasional migrating whale. Mar’sel is a popular destination for special occasions that call for a luxurious setting and a superb seasonal gourmet menu. The use of local ingredients and produce from Catalina View Gardens ensures freshness and sustainability. The menu is California cuisine with an imaginative twist and it includes such treats as harissa braised lamb shank with grilled asparagus, English peas, and watercress. The wine list is extensive and includes excellent labels from California and Old World wine regions.
Located in the luxury Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes with wonderful views of the Catalina Island and the Pacific Ocean, Catalina kitchen is an upscale, elegant restaurant with modern decor and a lively atmosphere created by the brisk action in the open kitchen. The large outdoor patio is a delight, surrounded by flowering bushes and overlooking the lush resort grounds and the distant ocean. The restaurant is a popular destination for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner, but the breakfast brings the most delightful surprises with dishes such as short rib Benedict or cast-iron Dutch baby pancake soufflé with applewood bacon. It is California cuisine at its best and Chef de Cuisine Jin Lee does it justice with his focus on local, fresh, sustainable ingredients.
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