“What is that moving in the water,” I asked my husband.
I saw dolphins the other day jumping around the Manhattan Beach pier and wondered if they were putting a show around here too.
“Dolphins don’t move like that. That is something else,” replied my husband while trying to get closer to the shore.
After a few minutes, we were able to determine what was in the water, scuba divers! Ok, I didn’t know people were able to scuba dive around the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It makes sense though. A giant kelp forest lies underwater. I imagine the vast array of creatures this ecosystem holds.
As the divers in black suits were coming out of the water one by one, I continued to take a look at my surroundings.
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Bluff Cove Palos Verdes
This time we were exploring Bluff Cove, one of the first sheltered spaces in the Palos Verdes Peninsula (if you are driving north to south). As many times, we arrived at this point by mistake.
I was trying to find a specific trail along Paseo del Mar and end up driving a short slope. I saw cars parked on one side of the road and, well you know, I got curious to find out why people were stopping.
We left the car parked under a tree and started to walk down through a dusty, unpaved trail. Rocky heads, tide pools, and even a small hammer –liked arch started to appear in front of us.
We continue walking between tall, golden cliffs and a sea painted in different blue tones. The houses at the top of the cliffs looked very small so we descend quite a bit.
Then, we found the showstopper spot in here. An emerald colored cove surrounded by a multicolored wall was lying underneath a sky adorned with fluffy clouds. A big, gray spot in the cliff caught my attention. What mineral caused that coloration?
The waves were hitting hard the pebbles lining the beach. The sound of the rounded rocks, moving when the water was retrieving, got to our ears.
Without a doubt, this is a beautiful place. Not only that, I found it interesting too. It is not only because of the diver we observed for a while. We also saw guys spearfishing (we saw guys carrying their spears and even saw a “Missing Spear” sign).
Another time we visited, we saw a photo shoot (or commercial) taking place next to the waves. And let’s not forget about the burnt spots close on some areas near the beach. It looks like some people come here during the pitch dark hours to start a fire.
I guess I need to get lost more often. This is a place I enjoyed to the max!
Bluff Cove Trail
In order to get a good view of this beautiful cove, you need to walk the 1000 feet trail (one-fifth of a mile, one way). You start the walk with a short descend and after that, you are going to reach Flat Rock Point.
After this point, it is a flat walk to the actual cove. This is a trail suitable for all ages. I encourage you to bring the entire family.
Another View of Bluff Cove
If you are driving along Palos Verdes Drive West (towards San Pedro or Long Beach), you are going to bump into the Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Preserve. Be on the lookout for a parking lot on the right after passing the Malaga Cove area.
This small preserve has a half mile (one way), cliffside trail from where you can see the Santa Monica Bay, the Beach Cities and even Downtown Los Angeles.
I am mentioning it in here because, from there, you will be able to see Bluff Cove from the south. Now, the view is not as good as walking to the actual cove but it is another vantage point and an excellent option for those who do not want (or are not able) to walk.
There is a lot to do in the area. It is very easy to spend an entire day hiking, doing watersports or hiking on the beach.
I have a detailed article on the best Palos Verdes Hikes and Trails. I recommend checking out that article to plan out your day. Most of the hikes in the area have a free access.
Close to Bluff Cove, you will find the following:
- RAT (Right at Torrance) Beach
- Malaga Cove and Roessler Point
- Malaga Creek Trails
- Lunada Bay
- Vicente Bluffs Reserve
- Point Vicente Lighthouse and Interpretative Center
Where to Eat
The Palos Verdes Peninsula is a natural heaven. We love it here because it is not heavily commercialized.
That means you are not going to find restaurants, eateries or cafes at every corner. And, you know what? We like it like that! On the other hand, there is still a decent range of options to keep your hunger under control.
Since you are on the side of the peninsula adjacent to the beach cities, I recommend having something to eat at Redondo Beach’s Riviera Village. This area is located 5 miles from Bluff Cove.
As the name implies, “The VIllage” gives you a homey, small-town feeling. But, do not get fooled by the name. The restaurants here are good. I love Flying Fin Sushi, Creme de la Crepe, Casa Playa and Rebel Republic. For vegans and vegetarians, The Green Temple is a local favorite.
In the peninsula, you can also stop by the Lunada Bay Plaza (4 miles), the Malaga Cove Plaza (1 mile) or the Peninsula Shopping Center (12 miles)
Bluff Cove is located 12 miles from the Los Angeles International Airport, 30 miles from Downtown Los Angeles, 25 miles from Santa Monica and 22 miles from Venice Beach.
The reserve is much closer to the beach cities in Los Angeles County (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach). We are talking about 6 to 8 miles.
This is a good option for those who have visited the Los Angeles area more than once or for residents looking for a beautiful day trip.
Bluff Cove is located along Paseo del Mar (that is the actual name of the road) in Palos Verdes. Find directions to Malaga Cove, follow Palos Verdes Drive W and turn right at Pase del Mar. You are going to find the cove to your right (you are going to see the cars parked). When in doubt, use Google Maps to guide your way.
Parking is on the street. Check signs for restrictions before leaving the car.
There are no public services. You will need to go back to the Palos Verdes Drive in order to find a restroom or a place to eat
There are signs of people making fires close to the beach but this practice is not allowed or encouraged. Please protect the area.
Dressing in layers is recommendable. Mornings and evenings can be chilly. Remember to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
Also, keep in mind you will need sturdy shoes if you want to hike/walk around.
More of the South Bay
While checking the wonders of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, it may be a good idea to stop by the nearby towns.
More of Los Angeles
- Find out how to spend one fun-filled day in Los Angeles
- Get inspiration by reading my Los Angeles Ultimate Bucket List
- Venice Beach Murals
Have you been to Bluff Cove or the surrounding areas?
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