When I visited Pelican Cove, in the Palos Verdes Peninsula, my husband told me,
“Next time, we have to take that trail going to the South.”
I nodded but wasn’t very excited with the idea since it doesn’t look like there is much to see on that trail.
Recently, we made plans to do another hike in the peninsula but were “forced” to stop in the parking lot that gives access to Pelican Cove since we spotted dozens of sailboats making their way South. It was a sight too beautiful to miss. Calmed, deep blue ocean, clear skies, cotton-like clouds and tons of tiny boats playfully moving in the distance. Before we knew it, we were chasing the sailboats using that “unknown trail going to the South” my husband once pointed out.
When the fleet of boats looked diminutive against the horizon, we continued walking. Interpretative signs started to pop up.
We were in one of the area’s bluff top trail (others call it Discovery Trail). I thought the area was off limits since this big chunk of the peninsula is occupied by the ultra luxurious Terranea Resort and Spa. The trail continued, we had to pass thru some of the property’s road but nobody said anything. In fact, the staff was courteous and talkative.
I later discovered the resort has several trails open to the public. They even have a free of charge parking area so it is easier to access the trail. Most of the designated path goes around the property, high on the cliffs or next to the ocean.
“Oh, mamma mia,” the views that this trail offers left me speechless. I am not sure I am going to find better ones in the peninsula.
A friend told me, “Parts of the Palos Verdes Peninsula should be declared National Park.” Now, I understand why he said that.
It sounds exaggerated, I know. But I am going to risk to take the exaggeration to a hyperbole. The place took me to the Italian Riviera, the Amalfi Coast or other equally famous rugged coastlines. Cliffs higher than 1,000 feet, composed of colorful layers are caressed by the sapphire Pacific Ocean. In some areas, the water has a turquoise-emerald hue resembling the beaches of the Caribbean or the Greek Islands.
Caves, spouts, tide pools, rocky promontories and tinted boulders abound along the coast. Pelicans fly in formation, cormorants rest over rocks and swallows zoom from bluff to bluff. The greatest thing is that this exists for miles cove after cove after cove.
This experience reaffirms something I preach a lot in this blog: you don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of money to have a great adventure. I am kind of obsessed with finding cool places to visit close to my house. However, Yelp or Travel Advisor didn’t bring me here. I discovered it by “error” but could have not turn better.
Here are some photos:
Cove to the south of Pelican Cove
Coastal access from the bluff top trail
Last cove before the end of the trail
Located North of Abalone Cove.
Isn’t this place amazing? If you are in the Los Angeles area, feel free to visit one of our most amazing natural areas.
Tips: I recommend doing the entire trail to maximize the number of vistas. The walking is super easy and with the number of stops required to take pictures, you are not going to feel even one tired toe.
There are two public parking areas. The first one is located on Palos Verdes Drive South after the Point Vicente Interpretative area entrance (follow the Pelican Cove signs). The other parking area is on Terranea Way inside the Terranea Resort and Spa. I recommend you start your walk from the parking lot above Pelican Cove.
Take a look at my other posts about the Palos Verdes Peninsula to get more hiking ideas.
Did you enjoy the photos?