Exploring Rancho Palos Verdes means spending time outdoors. There is so much to see and do in this picturesque neighborhood including whale watching, hiking, and more!
Rancho Palos Verdes will celebrate turning 50 years old in 2023, and this relatively young City has got a lot to offer. Known for the beautiful ocean views you’ll see, this coastal city is home to many parks and outdoor spaces, well-ranked schools and community centers, as well as horseback riding trails, golf courses, shopping and dining, as well as beautiful homes and neighborhoods.
Find The Best Family Fun in Rancho Palos Verdes
Palos Verdes Nature Preserve
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
The Palos Verdes Nature Preserve (PVNP) is made up of over 1,400 acres and includes over 30 miles of trails. Elevations range from about sea level to about 1,300 feet above sea level. You’ll find rolling hills, steep canyons, and incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. Several reserves make up the PVNP including Forrestal Nature Reserve, Portuguese Bend Reserve, and Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve.
Forrestal Nature Reserve
32201 Forrestal Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
The Forrestal Nature Reserve is a 155-acre spot that offers hiking trails and is a native wildlife habitat. While exploring, you’ll also find fossils embedded in the rocks, native wildflowers, and of course, stunning views.
Portuguese Bend Reserve
Crenshaw Blvd. and Burrell Lane, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Portuguese Bend Reserve consists of 399 acres and is made of up “rolling hills, five distinct steep canyons and rock outcrops, with coastal sage scrub habitat.” Here, you’ll find “geology in action, cactus wrens, and native wildflowers in season.” The hike will provide you with views you won’t soon forget. There are several trails available so you can find one that best meets the needs and hiking skill levels of your family. Parking is sometimes difficult; check the website for parking suggestions.
Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve
5970 Palos Verdes Dr. S., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
The Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve features “two beaches, tide pools, beautiful bluff-top viewing areas, and dramatic crisscrossing trails.” The Reserve consists of 64-acres and does charge for parking. Check the website before visiting because certain areas may be closed due to unstable cliffs and/or falling rocks.
Ladera Linda Community Center and Park
32201 Forrestal Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Lots of family fun here! Facilities at the Ladera Linda Community Park include a basketball court, children’s playground, a “tot lot,” and trails (for walking, jogging, hiking). Ladera Linda is also the site of the Discovery Room “which features live and static exhibits of local flora, fauna, and historic information.”
Los Verdes Golf Course
7000 W. Los Verdes Dr., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Families can take a golf lesson at Los Verdes Golf Course, utilize the practice facilities (including two large putting greens and a 40-stall driving range), or play a round of golf. Just try not to get too distracted by the ocean views. You’ll also find an on-site coffee shop serving breakfast and lunch.
South Coast Botanic Garden
26300 Crenshaw Blvd., Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274
The South Coast Botanic Garden is open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (closed on Christmas Day). Within the Garden’s 87 acres, you’ll find blooming trees, flowers, and shrubs including California native plants, Moreton Bay Fig trees, a desert garden, a Japanese garden and koi pond, a rose garden, a “Garden for the Senses” (where you can touch and smell the plants), and more. Be sure to stop by and enjoy the Children’s Garden and Children’s Discovery Garden which is “developed around nursery rhymes with plants to match the stories.” The South Coast Botanic Garden hosts special events throughout the year.
Related: Best Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles
Palos Verdes Heritage Castle Museum
5500 Palos Verdes Dr. S., Palos Verdes, CA
The Palos Verdes Heritage Castle Museum is housed in a 1929 historical estate. The site largely remains unchanged allowing visitors to learn about the history of the area, the early settlers, and the original founders. In addition, while you’re wandering the outside grounds, you’ll be treated to the regular sightings of dolphins, sea lions, and whales. Complimentary tours are generally offered on the weekends. Check the website before visiting to confirm tour schedules.
Palos Verdes Art Center
5504 W. Crestridge Rd., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
“The Palos Verdes Art Center is a non-profit community art gallery and school.” The Center hosts art exhibitions, offers art classes for all ages and skills, and more. Classes for children start as young as preschool-age and continue on up. Check the website for details on current exhibitions and classes.
Fred Hesse, Jr. Community Park
29301 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
Frequent visitors to this park speak of its cleanliness, beauty, and many amenities. You’ll find barbecues and benches, a sand volleyball court, baseball fields, a soccer field, walking paths, and a children’s playground. Pack a picnic and plan to stay a while to enjoy the outdoors and the beautiful views.
Related: Best Places to Fly a Kite in Los Angeles
Point Vicente Interpretive Center
31501 Palos Verdes Dr. W., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
The Point Vicente Interpretive Center is located adjacent to the Point Vicente Lighthouse. This pretty, popular spot features picnic areas, trails, and the Interpretive Center which features exhibits on the history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as lots of information about the Pacific gray whale. In fact, this area offers a great spot to view migrating whales (from December through April). But year-round, this location provides families with incredible ocean views and beautiful sunsets.
Robert E. Ryan Community Park
30359 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
You may find yourself coming to this park as much for its facilities as for the view! Families will enjoy picnic areas and barbecues, a baseball diamond, a children’s playground, and a “tot lot.” It’s a great spot for scenic family photos.
Related: Best Parks in the South Bay
Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at her website WendyKennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).
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