Palos Verdes is often used to refer to a group of coastal cities on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the Los Angeles/South Bay area of California. This affluent bedroom community is known for its dramatic views, good schools, extensive horse trails and high home prices.
The name "Palos Verdes" is Spanish for "green sticks". Legend has it this name was taken from the indigenous 'Palo Verde' trees of the area, which early Spanish explorers named for their many green, stem-like leaves, which resemble poles. But the most logical origin of the name is that in Spanish "palos verdes" refers to a green forested area, which describes Palos Verdes. When the Spanish arrived, P.V. was one of the few naturally green areas in dry southern California. In many ways this name is an accurate description of its geographical characteristics as the peninsula protrudes out into the ocean like a "green stick".
The drive on Palos Verdes Boulevard is one of the most beautiful in the city of Los Angeles. On the right you have steep cliffs leading to the expansive Pacific Ocean and on the right you have multi-million dollar homes. There are no cheap homes in PV. The area has some of the best schools in the city, as well as the highest prices of any neighborhood in the country. PV is also one of the oldest planned communities in Los Angeles. The original Spanish ranchers sold the land to Japanese farmers who grew crops along the interior of the peninsula. This eventually led to large ranch type homes that are still around today.
In order to get to PV you must first exit from the 405 freeway on Hawthorne Boulevard. This will lead you through the beautiful city of Torrance (where a great dealership named Gulliver is located). PV is very isolated from the rest of the city so you will have to drive about 5 miles from the freeway to get to the north entrance of PV off of Palos Verdes Boulevard near Pacific Coast Highway. Once on this road you will immediately notice the surroundings change dramatically. You will quickly realize why this is the land of “green sticks”. Palos Verdes is unique in its geography because of its many lush trees and hilly landscape. PV is largely residential with all the commercial areas situated in one location. That leaves miles and miles of uninterrupted driving. Once out in the open you will see to your right an amazing view of downtown LA and sweeping west the popular beach communities of Malibu, Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, and the rest.
Palos Verdes Boulevard is situated extremely close to the cliffs and if you want a great picture, simply pull over and snap away. The drives on previous postings had lots of stuff to do and things to see. This drive is primarily for beautiful sites and a truly great drive. Once on the south side there is an old lighthouse in a park that offers amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island in the distance. You often see oil tankers from Long Beach and yachts from Marina Del Rey criss-crossing lazily. One thing you must watch out for is the infamous “Portuguese Bend” right past the lighthouse park. This is one of the most geographically active locations in the world and the road is constantly being repaired due to fluctuations in the ground. It has a very sudden drop and hard curves…so be careful! Once past this point you will head into the city of San Pedro where you can eat at one of the many great restaurants in the city. This is truly a port city where you can enjoy some of the best fresh seafood in town.
Palos Verdes offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. It’s like and island of solitude which consist of beautiful views and peace and quiet unlike any other part of LA. So if you want to take a trip off the beaten path and see a part of LA often unseen by tourist or residents alike, then Palos Verdes is the right drive for you. (HENRY)