Hidden Gems: Uncovering Pacific Palisades' Best Kept Secrets

Hidden Gems: Uncovering Pacific Palisades' Best Kept Secrets

  • Claire O'Connor

The Pacific Palisades is one of the most beautiful places on the west coast to visit. The picturesque landscapes of the mountains spilling into the ocean are accentuated by amazing sunsets. Those who call the Pacific Palisades home rave about the scenery. But this part of the country has so much more to offer than aesthetics. There is an abundance of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Whether it's out enjoying nature or taking in a day of shopping in one of the unique retail districts, you’ll have no shortage of things to keep you busy when you visit the Pacific Palisades.

The Getty Villa is a must-see

The late oil magnate J. Paul Getty had a fascination with the worlds of ancient Greece and Rome. So much, in fact, that he traveled the globe purchasing and collecting art from those eras in history. Eventually, his collection became too big for him to properly house, prompting him to construct a museum on his Malibu property in the 1970s.

Modeled after an ancient Herculaneum villa from 40 B.C., the Getty Villa museum was built to house Getty’s giant assemblage of art and artifacts. If you visit here, you’ll find yourself transported back in time over two centuries, wandering the sprawling villa that is as much of an architectural marvel as it is a museum for the art it holds.

Temescal Canyon offers picturesque hiking for all skill levels

Just off Sunset Boulevard, you’ll find the trailhead for the Temescal Canyon Trail. The series of trails that are cut into the park are suitable for almost any hiker and offer stunning views of the canyon as well as a panoramic view of the Malibu coast.

Hikers will find an abundance of flora and fauna on their journey, too. Bird watchers will enjoy seeing the redtail hawks, woodpeckers, and Valley quail that inhabit the area. Evenings will bring out the bobcats and coyotes, who wander the grounds when there is less foot traffic.

You’ll also find prickly-pear cacti and other plant life on your hike, rounding out the beautiful scenery in this popular park.

The Point at the Bluffs gives you the best sunsets

In Palisades Bluff Park, there’s a hidden spot that locals love to venture to when they’re in the mood to catch an incredible sunset. The Point at the Bluffs is a lookout spot that gives visitors a view of both Santa Monica and Malibu that they’ll not soon forget. Once you’ve seen the sun set over the Pacific Ocean from this gem, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another one as serene.

Consider the Riviera Country Club

If you’re looking to play on a championship-level golf course or tennis court, look no further than the Riviera Country Club. This spot has been highlighted by the PGA, which has had several major tournaments played on the links here over the years.

The club has also been the filming location for several major Hollywood productions, including the Jerry Lewis film, “The Caddy,” and “Follow the Sun,” starring Glenn Ford.

The club’s two dozen tennis courts make up one of the largest (and oldest) tennis clubs in the United States. Here, you’ll find tennis players from beginners to ones competing for an opportunity to play in the pros.

Discover exotic parrots in the wild in the Pacific Palisades

Bird watchers will certainly enjoy the abundance of wild parrots that inhabit the canyons of the Pacific Palisades. In the early 1960s, a good number of parrots were turned loose into the wild by their owners, and they’ve found a way to thrive in this environment. You’ll find more than a dozen different breeds of parrots and parakeets here that, though not native to the area, have now made it their home. The best places to see these birds are in the Sycamore trees that line the canyon roads.

Will Rogers State Beach should be on your to-do list

For folks who want a beach less visited than the ones in nearby Malibu and Santa Monica, Will Rogers State Beach is the spot to set up for the day. The beach stretches over three miles of the Pacific coastline and encompasses more than 100 acres.

There are traditional beach activities happening here that will keep you and your family occupied during your stay. Volleyball nets, picnicking spots, and bike paths help round out the recreational area. Of course, this beach is also the perfect place for a swim and is frequented by surfers, paddleboarders, and snorkelers.

Wine, dine, and shop at the Palisades Village

For a unique shopping experience, consider going where the locals spend time getting retail therapy. The Palisades Village is a small cluster of just over 40 boutiques and restaurants, each one offering shoppers an experience like no other.

The food options here are as wonderfully varied as the shopping. Your options include everything from sushi to Italian to New American, each restaurant as delicious as the next.

The Bay Theater is one of the cornerstones of the Palisades Village, showing a lineup of carefully curated films. Palisades Village also hosts a variety of live entertainment throughout the year, showcasing regional musicians from early February to late October.

Your next moves

After visiting the Pacific Palisades, you may consider making this seaside area your new home. Transitioning to this beautiful coastal location will be easier if you use the skills of a seasoned real estate professional. Claire O’Connor has years of experience helping buyers find their dream homes and guiding clients from the beginning of the search process to the closing date. Consider a consultation with Claire when starting your search for a property here.



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