The Palos Verdes Peninsula is an area called by multiple names, but most agree they all refer to the same thing: the beautiful and serene setting South of Los Angeles, overlooking the blue Pacific Ocean. The Palos Verdes Peninsula gets its namesake from the Spanish name for the Indian term “Green Trees”. It is also referred to locally as “The Hill”, and is best known for its rolling hills, open space, beautiful estate homes and breathtaking vistas of the ocean and city lights.
The first planners of The Hill decided in the beginning to limit development and keep as much open space protected from over-development, unlike what was going on throughout much of Los Angeles County. Located just less than 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles, it makes for a small commute for homeowners who want to enjoy the serene setting of an open countryside, yet still desire access to a major metropolis. The Peninsula enjoys over 16 miles of pristine natural coastline and spectacular topography rarely found anywhere in the world.
With about 70,000 residents and over 16,000 acres, The Peninsula is actually made up of four separate cities. Palos Verdes Estates , Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills. In addition, there is a small unincorporated area located within the City of Rolling Hills also known as Palos Verdes Peninsula.
The area is a big draw for those with families, as the public school system has some of the best API scores in the entire nation, not to mention an option for esteemed private schools.
The area is also home to several state-of-the-art golf courses; both private and public, including one of the newest additions known as Trump National Golf Course that has been said to rival famed Pebble Beach in Northern California. It is located just down the road from the new luxury resort community known as Terranea which truly equals any ocean-front luxury resort in the entire world.
The Peninsula is home to numerous notable residents including well known athletes such as tennis star Pete Sampras, skating legend, Michelle Kwon, both former and current Los Angeles Lakers basketball players, as well as business tycoons at all levels. Median home prices average currently around $1,200,000 although prices can range from as low as $200,000 and as high as $15 Million.
Palos Verdes Estates (PVE) is the most Westerly and Northerly city of the four. It has its own Homeowners Association that is governed by what is called The Palos Verdes Art Jury, which oversees all development and/or remodeling that takes place within the city. It is designed to maintain a level of conformity and standard that is noticeable as you drive throughout the city: a rarity in most Southern California Cities.
PVE is a semi-rural community with a small town atmosphere, tree-lined streets and spectacular ocean and city vistas. There are two business areas: one at Malaga Cove plaza and the other at Lunada Bay Plaza. Home prices range in the $500,000’s for condominiums and into the millions of dollars for beautiful estate homes.
Found on the Northerly side of The Peninsula is Rolling Hills Estates. At only about 3.59 square miles it is known for numerous personal horse facilities on private home sites, though the entire city is not zoned for horses. Home prices as in most areas had peaked in 2007 at over $1,800,000 and have since declined down to a median of approximately $1,200,000. You can purchase a condominium in the city for under $200,000. Single family homes start just under $700,000 and creep up steadily after that.
In the deep center of “The Hill” is the 24 hour guard-gated city of Rolling Hills; different from Rolling Hills Estates in that all of the homes constructed are white, ranch style homes (nearly all of them zoned for horses) that have very large lots which accommodate a lot of open space. The total area is just over 3 square miles and home to about 2,000 residents. It is also known to have one of the highest median household incomes in the country at over $200,000 annually, although it can cost a lot more to own “behind the gates”. The starting prices are just under $2 Million and you easily spend over $10 Million for a spectacular estate with panoramic ocean or city vistas.
Rancho Palos Verdes (RPV) is by far the largest city on the “The Hill” and encompasses much of the rest of the Peninsula; with over 13.7 square miles and approximately 40,000 residents. You can start out in a condo at about $200,000. There are plenty of homes under $1 million, but of course, if you can push your budget a tad, you can snap up a little estate home for just under $15 Million. RPV has plenty of cosmopolitan shopping within the city, as well as its own public golf course, Los Verdes Golf Course. It is also home to Portuguese Bend Riding Club, the famous Point Vicente Lighthouse and the historic Wayfarers Chapel.
No matter which city you pick to live in or to visit, you’ll enjoy plenty of open space, nature trails, beautiful architecture, terrific weather patterns, incredible vistas and certainly a place to come and decompress from the hustle and bustle of the busy cities outside of its borders.