Rancho Palos Verdes Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by rudysmom626
  • Upclose views of the Bluff Top Trail
    Upclose views of the Bluff Top Trail
    by rudysmom626
  • Tide Pool area where kids can explore the habitat
    Tide Pool area where kids can explore...
    by rudysmom626

Most Recent Things to Do in Rancho Palos Verdes

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    The Spa at Terranea

    by rudysmom626 Written Aug 4, 2013

    On Sunday, I spent the day at The Spa at Terranea - it was outstanding! My mother is a spa fiend, so I've had the pleasure of trying out some really amazing spas - but the Spa at Terranea was right up there on my list! I booked a 60 minute Sports Massage at 3:30 pm, so I had plenty of time to explore the Spa Grounds and get comfy. The Spa includes a gorgeous co-ed pool, beautiful seating areas (both co-ed and same sex) a great sauna, steam room, whirlpool, and cold plunge pool. I worked out in the Fitness Center first, then enjoyed the Spa amenities before my massage.

    I had Lisa for my Sports Massage and she was absolutely amazing! Worth every penny!

    Quick tip: The Spa facilities can be accessed by Resort Guests without a treatment for a $40 dollar fee - however, they also said that especially on weekends, this can't be guaranteed. If you pay that fee or you have any booked treatment, you have full access to the Spa from 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM. This includes a locker, spa robe, sandals and access to the Spa Pool, steam, sauna, whirlpools as well as the indoor and outdoor relaxation lounges and fire pits.

    For non-resort guests, you have to purchase a 60-minute treatment in the Salon or Spa to be able to access all of the amenities. However, even pedicures count - so while they are expensive pedicures, I was totally floored to know that I could buzz down here for the day for a pedicure and get to use the amazing facilities. In the future, rather than pay for a whole night at the resort, I think I'll just book an hour treatment and spend the day using the Spa Pool and Spa facilities. You can see the offerings here: http://www.terranea.com/california-spa-treatments.php

    Other great points:
    Often, even in great resorts, the spas have been crammed into a small area, so there is little room to move about or lounge. I've been to some amazing spas that have almost no lounge chairs - so you kind of can't spend a full day relaxing there, because there is no where to sit when you aren't having a treatment. The Spa at Terranea was brilliantly thought out - and they obviously had tons of space to spare - because there are tons of great lounge areas. There is a private lounge area adjoined to the locker room, and many women were laying out in the sun there - and multiple lounge rooms for before and after treatments. My massuse, Lisa, took me to a great room with a balcony overlooking the cliffs and the water where I could "decompress" for a few minutes after my massage - I spent 30 minutes there zoned out before returning downstairs! Overall, I found the facilities to be awesome, the treatment to be fantastic, and I will definitely be back!

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    • Women's Travel
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    Spa Pool

    by rudysmom626 Written Aug 4, 2013
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    The Spa Pool at Terranea is really quite beautiful - exceptionally planted and dead quiet. Since I booked a spa treatment for my second day, I had access to the spa pool and the spa faciliities all day long - it was lovely. Unlike the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, the Spa Pool at Terranea is open to spa patrons only - so you must have a spa reservation for at least a 60 minute treatment that day OR pay a $40 dollar day fee to use the Spa. I’m not sure exactly how militant they are about that - since there were quite a few people lounging there on Saturday when there was a DJ at the Adult Pool - but they also may have all charged the $40 dollars without thinking twice about it (I know my parents would have - they are not into techno). I asked them later on, and they said that since "some guests don't want the Adult Pool experience, they make every effort to accommodate them at the Spa Pool."

    However, I walked right into the Spa Pool early in the morning, and it is adjacent to the Fitness Center, which is open to all hotel guests - so I’m not quite sure if they’d really charge you as long as you are a paying hotel guest. There do seem to be quite a few people who just come to the resort for the day and use the pool/have lunch... which seems fine at the Adult Pool party scene, but the Spa Pool seemed to be much more patrons or hotel guests.

    On Sunday, I had a spa appointment, but preferred to use the gym beforehand rather than layout (I was already so sunburned!) - but it would be a great treat to go down for the day and use the Spa Facilities, including the Spa pool. They also have an adjacent Spa Cafe with smoothies, snacks, and wines by the glass.

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    • Luxury Travel
    • Spa and Resort

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    Cielo Point Pool

    by rudysmom626 Written Aug 4, 2013
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    While I was a hotel guest for the weekend, my friends decided to come play with me at the resort for the day and our chosen hangout was at the Cielo Point Pool. The pool is 18 years and up, so no kiddies or crying, and lots of adults getting their sun on with a yummy bar. My only complaint is that when I arrived at 12:30 pm, all the chairs were gone, so we had to splurge for a daybed, which costs us about $50 dollars per person ($250 total) to have a place to sit down - it came with a bottle of Moet champagne, unlimited bubble water, sunscreen, unlimited fresh fruit, and tons of mixers if we ordered alcohol, so it wasn’t a total bust, but I had wished there were more chairs available. However, by 2pm, there were quite a few people who had called it a day - so if we had hung in there longer, it would have been fine.

    The snack bar area is open from 11 am - 5pm, and it seems the pool remains open slightly before and after that... there was a fun DJ playing dance music and a huge fire pit with comfy chairs at one end of the pool. All in all, great day, great drinks, fun crowd of friendly outgoing people (we were there celebrating my 30th bday, the cabana next to us was celebrating another woman’s bday, and one other group was a bachelorette party) and we had a great time! As with any resort experience, it can cost a pretty penny, but we also weren’t being thrifty (sneaking in our own drinks, not ordering food to avoid the overcharging) - there seemed to be many other people who were just enjoying a free day at the pool. The pool also has fantastic views and is far enough away from the kiddie pool (deceptively so) that the squealing and screeching that had given me a serious drawback upon arrival was completely non-existant after one cocktail :)

    Word to the wise: There is VERY little shade at this pool - most umbrellas are shared between 2 - 3 chairs and were down for most of the afternoon. We had an umbrella with our daybed, but since we had gotten a late start, we kept it down all day - BIG MISTAKE. Since there is a lot of marine layer on the peninsula, it was sunny but also slightly overcast - and despite our 45 SPF, we ALL got burned. No regrets, but just keep in mind that there isn't anywhere around the pool to get out of the sun for a minute or assess how pink you've gotten, other than the men's and women's bathrooms.

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    • Singles
    • Spa and Resort

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    Bluff Top Trail

    by rudysmom626 Written Aug 4, 2013
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    While the resort has a lot of paths that traverse the property, many of the views that Terranea and Rancho Palos Verdes are famous for can be seen from the Bluff Top Trail. Starting at a parking lot on the far western side of the property, the Bluff Top Trail follows the coastline, with multiple “interpretative areas” where photographers, parents with kids, and walkers stop to read about the areas. The views are fantastic, even in the morning, when there was quite a bit of marine layer - as it broke off throughout the day, the sights were even more exquisite. The trail and the coastline views were undoubtedly one of my favorite things at Terranea - the shocking part is that they are free to the public!!!

    Over the course of the weekend, I spent a bunch of time walking the trails, seeing a lot of couples and dog owners strolling along. I spoke to a few of the dog owners, as I wanted feedback about how dog-friendly Terranea really was (so maybe Rudypup could make an appearance next time I come back) and the majority of them responded that they weren’t hotel guests, just locals who used the paths on the weekends as a treat to their dogs. This seemed remarkable to me - I couldn’t believe these paths were open to the public and they could just stroll through the resort - it makes staying at the resort seem sort of overpriced when you can get these views for free!!

    One cool aspect of the Bluff Top Trail are the little “Interpretative Areas” where various features of the cliffs are highlighted - the nearby Lighthouse Point, the rocks and how they have different layers, the Tide pools, etc. Some of them even had telescopes, which I would have loved if I was a kid. I photographed the area that is open so children (with their parents) can explore the tide pools. The entire resort is very geared toward “full family activities” but I liked that they had little tidbits for kids along the walk without making it overwhelmingly Disney-esque or a turn-off to non-parents like myself.

    Related to:
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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    The Beaches of Palos Verdes

    by flynboxes Written Nov 17, 2012
    S. end of Abalone Cove beach
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    With the exception of Abalone Cove...most of these beaches are sans life guards so if you are not a competent swimmer- use caution. I grew up here and am used to the occasional rip tides and submerged rocks. Keep in mind that parking is not permitted in along the Drive. there is free parking on S. end of the Clubhouse at Trump National or Abalone Cove has pay parking from 8am to 4pm on most days. Other than that you can park along Paseo Del Mar in PVE or in other residential neighborhoods except where posted otherwise.

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    • Hiking and Walking
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    Hike the California Coastal Trail

    by flynboxes Written Nov 17, 2012
    finishing up a section
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    Just finished a small section of the California Coastal trail south of Abalone Cove. This is easy coastal hiking and when the trail is completed shortly the Palos Verdes sections should be some of the top sections in the state. This is easy hiking that can be done in Tevas or a cheap pair of Keds if that is all you packed. My wife has actually done part of it in heels

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Hike along the shore

    by flynboxes Written Dec 24, 2011
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    Abalone Cove/Portuguese Bend is in the landslide area and often over looked. While the ground is moving it is safe to hike and there have been no injuries as a result. It is part of the Palos Verdes Land Conservancy's managed properties on the hill. It is a great place to walk a dog (dogs are not allowed on Abalone Cove beach), hike or just walk to and relax. Some trails are a bit on the steep side and marked with caution signs so depending on your abilities you can decide if you want to heed them or not. There is an archery range here but you must be a member to take advantage of it (if you are just passing thru then there are no issues). Since this is an active conservation area please remember to stay on the trails..myself as well as others on the volunteer trail crew put a bit of effort into them for your enjoyment.

    Remember to keep the place clean and take out what you take in. There are trash cans scattered about to dispose of your waste if need be.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Hit the beach in the summer

    by flynboxes Written Oct 8, 2011
    The beach at Trump National
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    PV is not all rocks. If you can believe it, there are a few sandy beaches.
    *Please note only Abalone Cove State Beach has a lifeguard -during the summer.
    If you are confident swimmer go for it. The beach to next to Trump National is a popular beach for dogs as they are not allowed at Abalone Cove.
    Just around the point S. of Abalone cove is another popular beach in the summer for nude sunbathing. The right side is popular with the gay/lesbian crowd while the left side is straight so I have been told. My cloths stay one when I am down here.

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    • Gay and Lesbian
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Explore the shore

    by flynboxes Written Oct 8, 2011
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    All of the coast along Palos Verdes/Palos Verdes Estates is public access. While many large homes dot the cliffs there are ways around all of them. Some are great for surfing (a few are locals only and enforced) and skin diving/spearfishing. For me they are a great place to take the dog down and cruise around on the rocks with a few beers in my pack.

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Watch the sun set

    by flynboxes Written Oct 8, 2011
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    Palos Verdes has not shortage of places to watch a killer sunset. Nelson's (complete with it's over priced drinks) is a favorite from time to time. There are other places as well such as the Interpretive Center to the left of the PV drive/Hawthorne Blvd intersection. Bring some wine/snacks and your gal/guy and you have a great time.

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    Take out what you take in

    by flynboxes Written Oct 8, 2011
    Not mine (bounty from a coastal clean up day)

    The ocean is my friend. Glass may breakdown but plastic does not. If you bring some drinks/snacks down to the water make sure you bring them back with you. There are plenty of trash cans along the cliffs in Palos Verdes to dump them in.

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    • Adventure Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Swimming

    by flynboxes Written Feb 9, 2009
    Nigel taking a cold winter dip
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    There are numerous tidal zones along the coast of Palos Verdes to swim in. Some are sheltered from the surf and can actually get quite warm during the summer months. I tend to prefer a spot near the end of Hawthorne Blvd. Nigel in the pick below will swim just about anywhere even in 55 degree water. During the summer months you can take a mask and hike out to the end of the rocks, dive off a shelf into 20-25' water and spot some bass or other fish swimming around.

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    • Adventure Travel
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    • Water Sports

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    Walk along the cliffs at Trump National

    by flynboxes Written Feb 4, 2009
    The entrance off of PV Dr South.
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    Don't think much of Trump but the course he bought is cool and provides beach access (thanks CA Coastal Commission) In addition to a gravel beach that is dog friendly there are public trails along the bluffs that run the length of the course with picnic benches scattered along the way. This is a great place for photos or to take your significant other for some wine and snacks during sunset. The entire area has been replanted with native plants so this is also a great place to see some local nature and maybe even some gnat catchers if you keep your eyes peeled.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Abalone Cove Tide Pools in PV

    by MarianneRules Written Nov 13, 2008

    The drive to the tide pools is so nice you might be tempted to keep cruising and skip the tide pools completely. You might also be swayed to sniff around the Donald Trump Golf Course instead of visiting the pools. Honestly, if you're a looky loo like me..... you wont regret the skipping the pools to snoop all the huge PV homes. You can catch the tide pools later in San Pedro anyway.

    Ok, now that you know the things that tempted me to skip the pools...here's how it went down..... Very Nice!!! I really enjoyed the hike down to the shore, the stumbling over rocks, scaling the side of cliff, the view of the coast, of Catalina, the ocean...and of course..those creepy crawly things in the tide pools. Its a bit of hike and wearing flip flops was a bad idea. Going to the tide pools was a nice break from the city and its lovely to see an untouched part of our coastline. Great exploring for kids.

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    • Diving and Snorkeling
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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    Hiking

    by flynboxes Written Apr 11, 2008
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    If you are in the South Bay and do not feel like driving to Hollywood or Malibu, Palos Verdes is a great option. There are plenty of places to hike. From easy walks in the many nature preserves or if you are adventerous and a bit sure footed you can head down a cliff face to the tidal areas below. Please remember to pick up your trash. There are cans at the tops of most of the trails and cliffs.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism

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