The South Bay is a region of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It includes fifteen cities plus portions of the City of Los Angeles and unincorporated portions of Los Angeles County. True to its name the South Bay stretches along the southern shore of Santa Monica Bay.
It is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the south and west and generally by the City of Los Angeles on the north and east.
The Beach Cities
The beach cities include, from the north, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach as well as Torrance. Torrance is by far the biggest city, it goes a bit more inland, borders Redondo Beach to the west and reaches the Pacific Ocean with its own beach on the south end of the bay. Often the term beach cities is used in connection with only 3 cities – Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, and Redondo Beach because their characters are specifically defined by their beachfront entertainment areas and piers. Some people even call these three cities The South Bay, which really takes away big parts of the cosmopolitan charm of the South Bay. The South Bay is so much more than these beach towns. On the other hand, these beach cities have great character. Dependent on what you are looking for each has her own special virtue.
|El Segundo||Manhattan Beach||Hermosa Beach||Redondo Beach||Torrance|
The Palos Verdes Peninsula
30 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles, the Palos Verdes Peninsula rises 1,458 feet above the northern part of the South Bay of Los Angeles. The peninsula starts at the southern tail end of the Santa Monica Bay and is also known as Palos Verdes, PV or simply The Hill. Torrance borders the peninsula on the north, the Pacific Ocean on the west and south, and the Port of Los Angeles on the east. It’s an oasis of open space, trees, and trails. Horses and bikers are part of the daily scenery, as much as roaming wild peacocks, and the spectacular Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island, and city views. Palos Verdes is also known for its distinguished schools and high-value homes. The population is just short of 70,000.
Palos Verdes doesn’t get the attention of Santa Monica, Venice or Malibu – it is just far enough away from Los Angeles and Hollywood to make it a remote destination and supports the sentiment of the PV communities, who work actively to keep the Peninsula a huge hidden secret. PSSST, don’t tell anybody…
The Peninsula is made up of four cities, all of them mostly upscale and many of them with spectacular views of the Southbay, Cataline Island, the Los Angeles harbour and Los Angeles city lights:
- Palos Verdes Estates, which was settled the earliest of all the cities (in the 1930’s) with many great examples of Spanish architecture alongside other architectural styles. It has a country club on the north-west end of the city;
- Rolling Hills, a gated community that has huge lots and is devoted to California Ranch architecture, were horses, stables and rings belong as much to the scenery as farm animals – mostly rescues and pets. I know a family who’s pig is part of the family and likes to stay inside the house. One of the very few communities left in California that is dark, meaning no streetlight and very limited outdoor lighting;
- Rolling Hills Estates, a more affordable community at the North front of the hill, just below Rolling Hills, which also has a huge equestrian heritage and a country club;
- Rancho Palos Verdes (RPV), which wraps around “the backside (southside)” of the Peninsula with a lot of homes with spectacular views. RPV has the most “tract” type homes on the hill. It is home to 3 golf courses.
The big local sports on the Hill are cycling – serious cyclists go up and down the hill, especially on weekends – and then, of course, on the bottom of the Hill, surfing, especially in places like Bluff Cove and Lunada Bay.
|Rancho Palos Verdes||Palos Verdes Estates||Rolling Hills Estates||Rolling Hills|