Palos Verdes is the dramatic, cliff-filled peninsula that you have all seen in a movie or television show! Located only 25 minutes south of Los Angeles Airport (LAX), this hidden gem is the place to take a day-trip retreat to get away from the congestion of Los Angeles.
Our most favorite spot is Wayfarer’s Chapel, a small, intimate church building built into the trees above Abalone Cove. The church and grounds are tranquil and gorgeous; spending time at the chapel and grounds quickly reminds one of the gifts of nature, kindness and all things peaceful. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son and maintained by a non-denominational church out of Sweden, this is a favorite setting for weddings, both real and on television (one of the more famous wedding scenes filmed here was for the show 90210). Everything both within and surrounding the building is a piece of art, including the dramatic stone stairs leading to the alter, which are engraved with words from the Lord’s prayer.
After visiting Wayfarer’s Chapel, drive just another block or so south and you will reach a small parking area for Abalone Cove. Get your walking shoes on, check the tide chart and plan to hike down to Abalone Cove at low tide to see all of the fabulous sea creatures hiding amongst the rocks waiting for the tide to come back in and take them back out to sea. Children will love this activity as will people of all ages. One never grows too old to take in the beauty of a true tidal cove.
At this point in the day trip, everyone is going to get hungry. The impressive Terranea Resort is now one of the premier destinations outside of LA for the rich and famous. Fortunately, the resort was required to construct and maintain a public walking trail along the cliffs and a public beach area. There are a number of restaurants and a beautiful bar available to any visitor, whether or not you are a guest of the resort.
If you choose to just walk about Terenea and want to eat elsewhere, our favorite restaurant on the peninsula is a fantastic Thai restaurant, Swan Thai, with both fantastic food and amazing views. This is where the locals on the peninsula eat, so you know it is good!
So next time you are in Southern California, I highly suggest going off of the beaten path and venturing out to the Palos Verdes peninsula. Your heart and soul will thank you for the relaxing break!