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Drivin' 'Round Palos Verdes

Palos Verdes is a hilly peninsula that's about 25 miles due south of downtown Los Angeles. It's surrounded by Palos Verdes Drive: PV Drive North, PV Drive East, PV Drive South, and PV Drive West. Pretty simple, eh?

Palos Verdes Drive is a fantastic, scenic drive (see the map below!).

Palos Verdes Drive
The Route

Palos Verdes, or The Hill as it's known locally, is quite country-like; it's also horse country. Among its five towns, there are over 60 miles of horse trails and numerous stables all over the peninsula and many properties are zoned for horses.

So you might wonder why I'm writing about PV Drive?

Well, that's where the Shelby and the Daytona get their exercise, sunshine & fresh air, and redline verification at least every weekend! There's beautiful scenery, some twisty sections, some higher speed divided roadway, several photogenic locations, a rough road patch called Portuguese Bend, and a few coffee stops when you "do a lap around the Peninsula". One lap is around 32 miles.

Here's a few highlights and interesting locations around the Palos Verdes Peninsula:

Starting with Rolling Hills Estates City Hall and a horse trail.

RHE City Hall

Where there's three-rail fence, numerous horses, and horse trails, there's bound to be hitchin' posts. This is one of two at RHE City Hall.

Horses & riders need to cross busy Palos Verdes Drive North, too...just like regular pedestrians!

So the dual crosswalk buttons make the button easier to reach while on horseback...

Another city on The Hill, Palos Verdes Estates, welcomes you as you enter "Valmonte"...also known as "The Tree Section". There's numerous 100-year old, very tall eucalyptus trees in the area.

Now you know why they call Valmonte "The Tree Section"...

Valmonte - The Tree Section

From PV Drive North, to PV Drive West...the Neptune Fountain at Malaga Cove (Redondo Beach is the next town to the north)...

Neptune Fountain - Malaga Cove

Rounding the curve on PV Drive West on the way to Malaga Cove...that dot in the distance is the Goodyear Blimp over Redondo Beach

On the way to Lunada Bay via PV Drive West...

In Lunda Bay, the Fountain of the Children

St. Honoré French Bakery, a most favorite coffee stop in Lunada Bay Plaza

Stopped at the St. Honoré Bakery

Across the street from the Bakery is a favorite gas station which would be a dream to own and operate (until they painted the building battleship gray!). Great location, a couple of service bays, in an exceptionally nice setting.

On PV Drive South, now, and entering Rancho Palos Verdes...

At the southernmost tip of Hawthorne Boulevard is Golden Cove Center and a Starbucks (By The Sea!)...another nice place to stop for coffee. This Starbucks has panoramic ocean views.

There's also the Admiral Risty restaurant (upper level) and the Yellow Vase (lower level).

I've been known to stop Yellow Vase, too!

Across the street toward the Pacific Ocean is Point Vincente, the Point Vincente lighthouse, and the Interpretive Center, an especially terrific place for whale watching. Atop the hill in the background is the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall complex (which previously housed a Nike-Hercules missile installation!).

Drivin' on PV Drive South...

A lone sea gull, mindin' his own business...

And a lone ship in the distance...

This is why Palos Verdes is called "The Hill".

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park. Two beachs, tidepools, and adjacent to Portuguese Bend. This image should also give you another view of The Hill.

Portuguese Point.

Wayfarers Chapel. "The Glass Church" sponsored by the Swedenborgian Church designed by Lloyd Wright, son of the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Chapel features geometric designs and incorporates the natural landscape into the design. The Wayfarers Chapel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Here's a link... Wayfarers Chapel link

This is the path through Portuguese Bend...there's constant land movement through here and a rough roadway...

They're not kiddin', either!

Those pipes are above-ground because the land is moving...imagine if they were buried! More of The Hill in the background.

Headed for Portuguese Bend.

Exiting the landslide area.

In the Portuguese Bend landslide area.

Westbound into Portuguese Bend...

This is where PV Drive transitions from East to South (if it's a clockwise lap) or South to East (if a counter-clockwise lap).

You could say that Palos Verdes Drive East is the curvy section of the drive...

And, looking way down the twisties on the PV Drive East hill...

Heading up to the twisties on PV Drive East. Pay no attention to the signs!

Depending on your direction, this is a 'cooldown section' heading back into Rolling Hills Estates and the transition from PV Drive East to PV Drive North.

Lastly, "Drivin' Up Through The Valmonte "Tree Section"...

And I hope you enjoyed my Sunday afternoon, 30-some mile ritual of "A Lap Around Palos Verdes"!

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