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Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pacific Palisades
Pacific Palisades and Will Rogers State Beach, California
Flag of Pacific Palisades
The Palisades, Pali, Palisades
"Where the mountains meet the sea."[1][2]
Pacific Palisades is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Pacific Palisades
Pacific Palisades
Location within Los Angeles County
Coordinates: 34°02′53″N 118°31′32″W / 34.04806°N 118.52556°W / 34.04806; -118.52556
CountryUnited States
CountyLos Angeles
CityLos Angeles
First settlement by Chumash people8,000 BCE
Mexican settlement1838
 • TypeNeighborhood of Los Angeles
 • Honorary MayorEugene Levy[4]
 • Total24.31[5] sq mi (62.97[5] km2)
 • Land22.84[5] sq mi (59.15 km2)
 • Water1.47[5] sq mi (3.8[5] km2)
Elevation328 ft (98.5 m)
Highest elevation2,126 ft (648 m)
Lowest elevation0 ft (0 m)
 • Total23,159[3]
 • Density1,185/sq mi (457.5/km2)
Demonym(s)Palisadian, Palisadians
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
Zip code
Area code(s)310/424
WebsiteCommunity Council

Chamber of Commerce

Pacific Palisades is a neighborhood in the Westside region of Los Angeles, California, situated about 20 miles (32 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles.[8]

Pacific Palisades was formally founded in 1921 by a Methodist organization, and in the years that followed became a refuge for Jewish artists and intellectuals fleeing the Holocaust. The Palisades would later be sought after by celebrities and other high-profile individuals seeking privacy.[9] It is known for its seclusion, being a close-knit community with a small-town feel, Mediterranean climate, hilly topography, natural environment, abundance of parkland and hiking trails, a 3-mile (4.8 km) strip of coastline, and for being home to several architecturally significant homes.[10][11] As of 2021, the community's population was 23,156.

Pacific Palisades is a largely residential community and does not attract many tourists other than day visitors to Gladstones Malibu, the local beaches, the Getty Villa or the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine.

Nicknamed "the Palisades" and "Pali" by surfers and locals, the Palisades coast spans from after Sorrento Beach in Santa Monica to the south, and ends at Sunset Point Beach and Malibu to the north. Beaches along the Pacific Palisades coast include: Will Rogers State Beach, Sunset Point Beach, and one of the few unofficially gay beaches in Los Angeles, Ginger Rogers Beach. The many parks within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area lie along the ridges above the community, along with local parks that include Will Rogers State Historic Park.

The Palisades is bounded by Brentwood to the east, Malibu to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest, Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains to the north.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Pacific Palisades Real Estate



The name "Pacific Palisades" comes from the term "palisades," a geological formation consisting of a series of cliff-like bluffs situated by a body of water, in this case the Pacific Ocean, and also for the area's purported resemblance to The Palisades on the west side of the lower Hudson River.[12]


Native American period

Archeological evidence shows Native American Indians living in the Santa Monica Mountains and the surrounding area including Pacific Palisades for over 10,000 years.[13] Prior to European contact, the western sections of the Santa Monica mountains were inhabited by the Tongva people.[13] The closest Tongva settlement to Pacific Palisades with a written record is the village of Topa'nga.[14] The village of Topa'nga sits on the western-most edge of Tongva territory, neighboring the territory of the Chumash people to the north.[14] Due to this close proximity to the Chumash, the culture in western Tongva territory contained elements of Chumash influence.[14]

Mexican period

The land that became Pacific Palisades was originally within the boundaries of Rancho Boca de Santa Monica, granted by the governor of California during the Mexican period to Francisco Marquez and Ysidro Reyes in 1839.[14] The Ysidro Reyes Adobe was the first adobe home ever built in Santa Monica Canyon, erected in the year 1838 on land now known as Pampas Ricas Blvd in Pacific Palisades.[15] Sketches of adobe dwelling exist in the collection of the UCLA Library.[16][17] A memorial plaque sits in a boulder on Pampas Ricas Blvd commemorating the adobe house, dedicated in the 1950s.[18] Ysidro Reyes died in 1863. Reyes left his portion of Rancho Boca de Santa Monica to his widow, Maria Antonia Villa, who sold it to developer and railroad magnate Robert Symington Baker in 1875.[19]


In 1911, film director Thomas Ince constructed his film studio, "Inceville", which was on a 460-acre (1.9 km2) tract of land he leased called Bison Ranch at Sunset Blvd. and Pacific Coast Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains. Today this is where the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine is located.[citation needed] By the following year, Ince had earned enough money to purchase the ranch and was able to lease an additional 18,000 acres (73 km2) lot in what is now in the Palisades Highlands neighborhood. stretching 7.5 miles (12.1 km) up Santa Ynez Canyon. This was the first major development built in the Palisades since the Mexican rancho era.[20]

"Inceville", Santa Ynez Canyon, California, c. 1919

This was the first studio in the area which featured silent stages, production offices, printing labs, a commissary large enough to serve lunch to hundreds of workers, dressing rooms, props houses, elaborate sets, all in one central location.

When Inceville was completed, the streets were lined with many types of structures, from humble cottages to mansions, mimicking the style and architecture of different countries.[21] Extensive outdoor western sets were built and used on the site for several years. According to Katherine La Hue in her book, Pacific Palisades: Where the Mountains Meet the Sea:

Ince invested $35,000 in building, stages and sets ... a bit of Switzerland, a Puritan settlement, a Japanese village ... beyond the breakers, an ancient brigantine weighed anchor, cutlassed men swarming over the sides of the ship, while on the shore performing cowboys galloped about, twirling their lassos in pursuit of errant cattle ... The main herds were kept in the hills, where Ince also raised feed and garden produce. Supplies of every sort were needed to house and feed a veritable army of actors, directors and subordinates.

While the cowboys, Native Americans and assorted workers lived at "Inceville," the main actors came from Los Angeles and other communities as needed, often taking the red trolley cars to the Long Wharf in what is now the Temescal Canyon neighborhood, where buckboards conveyed them to the set.

Ince lived in a house overlooking the vast studio in what is now the Marquez Knolls neighborhood.[22] Indeed, "Inceville" became a prototype for Hollywood film studios of the future, with a studio head (Ince), producers, directors, production managers, production staff, and writers all working together under one organization and under the supervision of a General Manager, Fred J. Balshofer.[23] On January 16, 1916, a fire broke out at Inceville, the first of many that eventually destroyed all of the buildings. Ince later gave up on the studio and sold it to William S. Hart,[24] who renamed it "Hartville." Three years later, Hart sold the lot to Robertson-Cole Pictures Corporation, which continued filming there until 1922. La Hue writes that "the place was virtually a ghost town when the last remnants of "Inceville" were burned on July 4, 1922, leaving only a "weatherworn old church, which stood sentinel over the charred ruins."


Santa Monica Canyon, 1921

A decade later, the Rev. Charles H. Scott and the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church bought the land; in 1922, Scott founded Pacific Palisades, envisioning an elaborate religious-intellectual commune.[25] Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named in alphabetical order for Methodist missionaries (the "Alphabet Streets"). The tents eventually were replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multimillion-dollar homes. The climate of the area was a big selling point. Temperatures are much cooler than inland Los Angeles during summer, but usually sunnier and less foggy than areas south along the coast (e.g. Santa Monica).

Pacific Palisades enjoyed steady growth throughout the Roaring 20s, but it was still a small, isolated community out on the edge of Los Angeles. It began to become less isolated with the paving of Sunset Boulevard± in 1925, which brought an increased flow of traffic through the community and offered more convenient accessibility to nearby Westwood and Beverly Hills.[26]

1929 would prove to be a pivotal year in the history of the Palisades,[26] and by that time the town consisted of only about 365 homes and about 1,000 residents who mostly resided in the so-called "Alphabet Streets" neighborhood, although residential construction was now expanding into what would later become the Castellammare, Huntington and Paseo Miramar neighborhoods.[27] On August 18 of that year, the cornerstone was laid for the foundation of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Via de la Paz, which at that time was the community's only church. Directly across the street, planning was underway for the town's first permanent school building which would later become known as "Palisades Elementary", which was dedicated on June 12, 1931.[26]

In 1928, the Los Angeles Police Department began renting temporary office space in the now-historic Business Block building for the price of $10 a month. The following year, a motorcycle officer was assigned to make nightly patrols in the area. The Palisades finally acquired its own fire station in 1929, located on Sunset, adjacent to where the local Chase Bank branch now stands in the Village neighborhood.[26]

By the end of the decade, nearly all remaining open areas of Pacific Palisades were being developed, reflecting the areas booming growth and the Palisades' coastal allure. Golfers were enjoying the already acclaimed Riviera Country Club, opened in 1927. Later in the decade construction started on the Bel-Air Bay Club, opened in March 1930.[26]


Photo of the devastation from the 1938 flood in what is now The Village.

The Palisades was a refuge for many German-Jewish and Austrian-Jewish intellectuals and artists fleeing from pre-war Germany and, later, from the Holocaust, many of whom associated with the Exilliteratur settled in Pacific Palisades, including Thomas Mann, Lion Feuchtwanger, Theodor W. Adorno, Vicki Baum, Herbert Zipper, and Emil Ludwig. Some of these Jewish refugees had previously sought refuge in the south of France (and had to flee due to the fall of France to the Vichy regime), and were surprised by the similarities with the Mediterranean climate and topography.[28][29] Villa Aurora on Paseo Miramar, the Spanish colonial home of Feuchtwanger and his wife, Marta, became the focal point of the expatriate community, which was nicknamed "Weimar by the Sea".[30] Some non-Jewish exiles who were married to people with Jewish ancestry chose to settle in the Palisades as well, such as Thomas Mann and his wife Katia Mann who resided at 1550 San Remo Drive in the Riviera neighborhood.[31]

For many decades there was a virtual ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages in the district, and a Chinese restaurant, House of Lee, held the only liquor license. The Methodist Church created a Chautauqua Conference Grounds in Temescal Canyon.[32] The Presbyterian Synod purchased the property in 1943 and used it as a private retreat center until the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy purchased the property in 1994 to become Temescal Gateway Park.

Though the Palisades had a notable Jewish population since at least the 1930s, it was still largely Methodist until the 1970s. This is when the Palisades began to see an explosion of affluent Jewish migration, accompanied by the opening of a local landmark Mort's Deli, in 1972. The beloved landmark closed in 2007.[33]


Pacific Palisades is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) west of the UCLA campus.[34] The Santa Monica Mountain range runs through the northern and eastern sections of Pacific Palisades, accessible through a series of trailheads.[34]

The Pacific Palisades covers a total area of 24.31 square miles (63 km2), comprising 22.84 square miles (59.2 km2) of land and 1.47 square miles (3.8 km2) of water.[5] The Palisades coast is about three miles (4.8 km) in length.


Pacific Palisades
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: [35]
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

Pacific Palisades has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csb), and receives just enough annual precipitation to avoid semi-arid climate (BSh),.[36] Daytime temperatures are generally temperate all year round. In winter, they average around 68 °F (20 °C) giving it a tropical feel although it is a few degrees too cool to be a true tropical climate on average due to cool night temperatures.[37][38] Pacific Palisades has plenty of sunshine throughout the year, with an average of only 35 days with measurable precipitation annually.[39]

Temperatures in the Palisades exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on a dozen or so days in the year, from one day a month in April, May, June and November to three days a month in July, August, October and to five days in September.[39][40] The average annual temperature of the sea is 63 °F (17 °C), from 58 °F (14 °C) in January to 68 °F (20 °C) in August.[41] Hours of sunshine total more than 3,000 per year, from an average of 7 hours of sunshine per day in December to an average of 12 in July.[42] Pacific Palisades, like much of the rest of the southern California coast, is subject to a late spring/early summer weather phenomenon called "June Gloom". This involves overcast or foggy skies in the morning that yield to sun by early afternoon.[43]

Pacific Palisades averages 14.93 in (379 mm) of precipitation annually, mainly occurring between November and March,[40] generally in the form of moderate rain showers, but sometimes as heavy rainfall during winter storms. Rainfall is usually higher in the neighborhoods located in the hills and coastal slopes of the Santa Monica Mountains, such as the Highlands and Castellammare; due to orographic uplift. Summer days are typically rainless. Rarely, an incursion of moist air from the south or east can bring brief thunderstorms in late summer, especially to the mountains. The coast gets slightly less rainfall, while the inland and mountain areas get considerably more. Years of average rainfall are rare. The usual pattern is year to year variability, with a short string of dry years of 5–10 in (130–250 mm) rainfall, followed by one or two wet years with more than 20 in (510 mm).[40] Wet years are usually associated with warm water El Niño conditions in the Pacific, dry years with cooler water La Niña episodes. A series of rainy days can bring floods to the lowlands and mudslides to the hills, especially after wildfires have denuded the slopes.

Both freezing temperatures and snowfall are extremely rare in the hills and canyon ridges and along the coast, with the last occurrence of a 32 °F (0 °C) reading being on. While the most recent snowfall occurred in January 2021, it has also occurred several other times in recorded history, the second-most recent being in February 2019,[44][45] with snow falling in some areas of the Palisades as recently as January 2021.[46] At the official downtown station, the highest recorded temperature is 113 °F (45 °C) on September 27, 2010,[40][47] while the lowest is 28 °F (−2 °C),[40] on January 4, 1949.[40] During autumn and winter, Santa Ana winds sometimes bring much warmer and drier conditions to Pacific Palisades, and raise wildfire risk.

Climate data for Pacific Palisades, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 66
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 48
Record low °F (°C) 27
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.41
Source 1: [48]
Source 2: [49]
Hottest and coldest, wettest and driest averages for a month (°F/inch and °C/mm), 1895–2019[50]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Hottest 63.9 °F (17.7 °C) 64.2 °F (17.9 °C) 67.5 °F (19.7 °C) 68.2 °F (20.1 °C) 71.5 °F (21.9 °C) 75.9 °F (24.4 °C) 79.8 °F (26.6 °C) 79.0 °F (26.1 °C) 80.3 °F (26.8 °C) 75.4 °F (24.1 °C) 66.9 °F (19.4 °C) 62.2 °F (16.8 °C)
Coldest 46.7 °F (8.2 °C) 51.1 °F (10.6 °C) 52.0 °F (11.1 °C) 55.2 °F (12.9 °C) 57.2 °F (14.0 °C) 62.9 °F (17.2 °C) 66.2 °F (19.0 °C) 66.3 °F (19.1 °C) 63.1 °F (17.3 °C) 57.8 °F (14.3 °C) 55.2 °F (12.9 °C) 49.4 °F (9.7 °C)
Wettest 14.43 inches (367 mm) 15.23 inches (387 mm) 10.44 inches (265 mm) 7.31 inches (186 mm) 3.83 inches (97 mm) 0.98 inches (25 mm) 0.43 inches (11 mm) 2.54 inches (65 mm) 5.13 inches (130 mm) 5.13 inches (130 mm) 9.96 inches (253 mm) 11.46 inches (291 mm)
Driest 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm) 0 inches (0 mm)


The Village

The Village is the Pacific Palisades' walkable, vibrant downtown area and small central business district with its center at Sunset Boulevard and Via de la Paz. Pacific Palisades has been known for having an abundance of Italian restaurants. The Village's anchor is the Palisades Village, a shopping center which was opened in 2018 and replaced a number of buildings in the downtown area. This business district is centered around the historic Business Block building located between Antioch and Sunset. The Village consists of a weekly farmers' market, restaurants, cafés, and coffee shops in addition to boutiques, shops, banks, offices, and local events.

The Alphabet Streets

The Alphabet Streets, also known as "The North Village," is the neighborhood that borders the 'village' proper to the north of Sunset Boulevard. This was the first neighborhood to be built in Pacific Palisades, beginning in 1921 by members of the Methodist movement. This neighborhood has the smallest lot sizes of all the neighborhoods in the Palisades, with lots ranging from 5,200 to 7,500 sq ft in size. The Alphabet Streets are within walking distance to The Village, and this area is characterized by its high density of smaller single family homes on lively narrow streets. The streets, named after Methodist bishops of the late 19th and early 20th century, are consecutively named beginning with A, B, C, D, etc. – hence the name Alphabet Streets. This neighborhood is a destination for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.[51]

The El Medio Mesa

The El Medio Mesa is located south of Sunset Boulevard beginning about a quarter mile west of The Village, across Temescal Canyon – just past Palisades Charter High School. The El Medio Mesa extends for a long distance from Temescal Canyon all the way to where Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway.

Marquez Knolls

Marquez Knolls is a large area of homes located north of Sunset Boulevard beginning about a quarter mile west of The Village across Temescal Canyon on the mountain upslope known for spectacular ocean views. There is a small shopping center on Marquez Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.

The Via Bluffs and the Huntington Palisades

The Via Bluffs and The Huntington Palisades are the neighborhoods that border the "village" proper to the south of Sunset Boulevard, overlooking the ocean. The Via Mesa is located between Temescal Canyon on the west and Potrero Canyon on the east; the Huntington Palisades is located between Potrero Canyon on the west and Chautauqua Boulevard on the east. Both of these neighborhoods are within walking distance to The Village and sit upon high bluffs that look out over the Pacific Ocean.

The El Medio Bluffs

The El Medio Bluffs, as with The Via Bluffs and The Huntington Palisades, are located on a high ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean and much of the neighborhood is afforded ocean views and ocean air.[citation needed]


Castellammare is located along Pacific Coast Highway on small bluffs much closer to sea-level, north of where Sunset Boulevard meets PCH. This is the home of the Getty Villa and the narrow, winding streets in this neighborhood have Italian names and ocean breezes.[citation needed][52]

Rustic Canyon

Rustic Canyon is the neighborhood east of Chautauqua Boulevard that dips into Santa Monica Canyon and includes the Will Rogers State Historic Park.[53] The neighborhood features post-war homes located on the former polo field of The Uplifters, the original site of The Uplifters clubhouse (now a city park), and "cabins" developed as second homes and weekend retreats. This area is also known as Uplifter's Ranch.

The Riviera

Aerial view of Pacific Palisades, the Riviera neighborhood can be seen to the right.
Finishing hole at Riviera Country Club

The Riviera is a Palisades neighborhood located approximately two miles east of The Palisades Village and features The Riviera Country Club, a high-end country club, and streets named after various locations in the French and Italian Riviera. The neighborhood is divided into north and south sections by Sunset Boulevard. It borders Santa Monica and Brentwood. The Riviera Country Club hosts the Genesis Open on the PGA Tour in February (the tournament has been previously known as the Northern Trust Open and Nissan Open and was originally the "Los Angeles Open"). Riviera has hosted three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1948 and the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995. Ben Hogan won three times in less than 18 months at the course (1947 and 1948 L.A. Open, 1948 U.S. Open), and it became known as "Hogan's Alley." The country club will also host golf during the 2028 Summer Olympics.[54]

Palisades Highlands

The Palisades Highlands is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California's Pacific Palisades northern region, located in the upper Santa Ynez Canyon. The Highlands has access to several Topanga State Park trailheads. The Highlands themself have a number of gated communities, housing developments and distinct neighborhoods including the following:[55]

  • Country Estatesa : gated community of 80 homes on the farthest west part of the Highlands.
  • Palisades Hills: this is the oldest area and the highest part at around 1,600 feet (490 m) above sea level.
  • The Summit: the newest neighborhood in the Highlands that was completed in the early 2000s. This area includes The Summit Club which is a recreation center.
  • Lower Highlands: includes homes and condominiums as well as a shopping center and various commercial properties, development of which began in the early 1970s.[55]

Santa Monica Canyon

Santa Monica Cañon visible on a LAPRR Balloon Route map circa 1903

Santa Monica Canyon, named for the historic Rancho Boca de Santa Monica, is within the city of Los Angeles and is considered part of the Los Angeles community of Pacific Palisades. Canyon Charter School serves the local area. The neighborhood is bordered by Chautauqua Boulevard to the north and Adelaide Drive to the south.


In 2009 the Los Angeles Times's "Mapping L.A." project supplied these Pacific Palisades statistics: a population of 25,507 residents in the 22.84 sq mi (59.2 km2) neighborhood, giving a population density of 1,048/sq mi (405/km2), among the lowest for the city and the county.[56]

Parks and recreation

City parks

The Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks operates several recreational facilities in Pacific Palisades.

  • Palisades Park, at 851 Alma Real Drive, has 117 acres (47 hectares) of land and is the Palisades largest park.[57] The Palisades Recreation Center, also at that address, has barbecue pits, four baseball diamonds (two lighted, two unlighted), lighted basketball courts (indoor and outdoor), a children's play area, a football field, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, lighted tennis courts, and lighted volleyball courts. The facility also has a kitchen, a stage, a television area, and various scheduled athletic and non-athletic activities.[58] The Pacific Palisades Tennis Court, also at that address, has eight courts.[59]
  • Rustic Canyon Park is located along Rustic Canyon Road.[60] The Rustic Canyon Pool is located at 601 Latimer Road.[61] The Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, located at the same address, has a multipurpose with a capacity of 150 people that can be used as an auditorium, a gymnasium, or a volleyball court. The center also has barbecue pits, an unlighted baseball diamond, basketball courts (lighted indoor and unlighted outdoor), a children's play area, an indoor gymnasium (no weights are offered), picnic tables, and volleyball courts (lighted and unlighted).[62]
  • Temescal Canyon Park is a non-staffed "pocket park" located along Temescal Canyon Drive from Pacific Coast Highway to Sunset Blvd. The park has barbecue pits, a children's play area, picnic tables, hiking trails, a native garden, and toilets.[63]
  • Santa Ynez Canyon Park is located at Palisades Drive and Avenida de Santa Ynez.[64]
  • Rivas Canyon Park is located at the east terminus of Oracle Place.[65]

Hiking trails

Hiking is common in the Palisades, and the community is home to a number of hiking trails including the following trails:

Backbone Trail

The Backbone Trail is a long distance trail extending 67.79 miles[66] (109.10 km) across the length of the Santa Monica Mountains. The Backbone Trail runs through both Malibu and Pacific Palisades, with its western terminus in Point Mugu State Park in Malibu and its eastern terminus in Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades. The trail is open to hikers throughout its length; dogs, mountain bicyclists and horseback riders are allowed on portions of the trail as posted. The Backbone Trail follows a well-maintained, single-track path with some dirt roads along the route. There is no permit required for hiking the BBT.[67]

Bushwacker's Delight

Bushwacker's Delight is a 0.8 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail with 528 ft in elevation gain, located within Will Rogers State Historic Park. This trail is frequented by more-experienced hikers as Bushwacker's Delight is an uncleared trail with overgrown vegetation.[68]

Eagle Springs Fire Road Loop Trail

Eagle Springs Fire Road Loop Trail is a 5.5 mile-long loop trail with 1,095 ft in elevation gain, located near the Palisades Highlands neighborhood. The trail is paved and well-maintained as it doubles as a fire road, and offers a number of activity options. It is most popular from September until May.[citation needed] This is one of the few trails in Los Angeles County which is open to those on horseback. This trail offers parking in the nearby lot for $10 a day, and is easily accessible from both the Palisades as well as neighboring Topanga. The Eagle Springs Fire Road Loop Trail leads to Eagle Rock, a rock formation which is a common spot for photography as its peak offers sweeping views of the surrounding area and is home to a variety of native lizards.[69]

High Point Trail

High Point Trail is 2.8 mile-long trail with 1,007 ft of elevation gain located in the Santa Monica Mountains overlooked the Palisades. High Point Trail is a paved trail that begins on private property, and hikers hiking this trail frequently trespass knowingly or unknowingly in order to complete the hike. This trail is noted for its wildlife, and although the trail is paved some parts are overgrown with bushes and other vegetation. The trail leads to "Goat Peak" which is of the highest points in the Palisades and offers sweeping views of the surrounding area.[70]

Inspiration Point Trail

Inspiration Point Trail is a 2.1 mile-long hiking trail with 324 ft in elevation gain located within Will Rogers State Historic Park near the Riviera neighborhood. This is one of the oldest hiking trails in Los Angeles and was created by Will Rogers in the early 20th century. Inspiration Point is one of the few hiking trails in the Palisades which is open to dogs. Inspiration Point Trail is one of the main attractions of Will Rogers State Park, and attracts hikers from across the Palisades and around the area as it is an easy hike with unique vistas of the Los Angeles Basin and Santa Monica Bay. On a clear day one can see views of areas such as Catalina Island, Chino Hills, and Saddleback Peak at the summit of this trail. Inspiration Point Trail also connects to the nearby Backbone Trail.[71]

Los Leones Trail

Los Leones Trail, also known as Los Liones, is a moderately-challenging hiking trail located in the Castellammare neighborhood. Los Leones Trail is 7.3 miles in length, with over 1,300 ft in elevation gain. . Often spelled "Los Liones," the area is named after the mountain lions that are common in the area.[72]

Los Leones is one of the most-popular[citation needed] hiking trails in the entire Westside, and the trail weaves through a lush canyon with abundant green vegetation located in the southern end of Topanga State Park, just a 1/3 mile away from the Pacific Ocean. The ivy and chaparral-lined trail offers some of the best of Santa Monica Bay. After 1.3 miles and 550 feet of elevation gain, Los Liones Trail arrives at a clearing on a ridge with a bench that looks down on the Palisades, Santa Monica city and bay, and the surrounding area. The top of this hiking trail joins East Topanga Fire Road, which leads to the Paseo Miramar Trail which leads you deeper into the Santa Monica Mountains. Continuing on the trail you will reach "Parker Mesa Overlook", which is known for offering some of the best views of the coast of any hiking trail in Los Angeles. the area consists of a flat plateau area with sweeping views of the coastline.[73][74]

Murphy Ranch Trail

Murphy Ranch Trail

Skull Rock Loop

Skull Rock Loop is a 4-mile-long loop trail with 1,141 ft of elevation gain located near the Temescal Canyon neighborhood. This trail is frequented by both rock climbers and birders, as it is home to both rocky terrain and an abundance of different bird species. Skull Rock Loop branches off from the nearby Temescal Canyon Trail, and features a waterfall as well as its namesake "Skull Rock" which is rock formation names for its resemblance to a skull. The entrance to the trail offers free street parking or a daily rate in the nearby parking lot for $12.[75]

Temescal Canyon Ridge Trail

Trailer Canyon Fire Road

Trailer Canyon Fire Road is a 4.3 mile-long trail with 925 ft in elevation gain located near the Summit development in the Palisades Highlands neighborhood. This trail is wide and paved as it doubles as a fire road, it is also used by mountain bikers and birdwatchers. After 1.5 miles this trail connects with the nearby Temescal Ridge Trail, which takes hikers to the Temescal Gateway Park. Trailer Canyon Fire Road has views of the ocean and Temescal Canyon.[76]

Will Rogers Trail

Will Rogers Trail is a 4.1 mile trail with 449 ft in elevation gain located within Will Rogers State Historic Park. This trail is one of many trails located within the Will Rogers State Park, near the Riviera neighborhood. Will Rogers Trail is known for being very challenging even for experienced hikers, as it is not very well-maintained, and there are signs on portions of the trail which point this out. Those hiking this trail may have to scramble on stones through the underbrush to avoid falling into the nearby creek. During the winter months the creek often overflows its banks, obscuring the trail and making this trail even more treacherous.[77]

State parks and beaches

The California Department of Parks and Recreation also has locations in Pacific Palisades.

Will Rogers State Beach

Will Rogers State Beach extends 1+34 mi (3 km) along the shore. The beach features swimming and skin diving. Facilities include volleyball courts, playground and gymnastic equipment, as well as a bike path and walkway. A number of movies and TV shows have been filmed at this beach. The beach is located off the Pacific Coast Highway, near the intersection with Temescal Canyon Road. The beach is operated by the County of Los Angeles Department of Beaches & Harbors.[78]

Will Rogers State Historic Park

Will Rogers House, one of the park's main attractions.

While Will Rogers made Beverly Hills his home in the late 1920s, in 1922 he bought a large plot of almost 200 acres (80 hectares) of land above Sunset Blvd. to build a weekend cottage. He built a polo field on the property in 1926, and in 1928 he and his family made it their home. In 1944, nine years after Rogers died, the ranch became a state park. In the interest of historical preservation, the home is maintained as it was including the furniture and fixtures. It is open to the public most days with the exception of major holidays, although admission is required. The top of the property's trail includes vistas of the ocean and city.[79]

Temescal Gateway Park

Panoramic view from Temescal Peak.

Temescal Gateway Park, located at 15601 Sunset Blvd., encompasses 141 acres (57 hectares) of oak and sycamore canyons, ridgetop views, and access to miles of trails in Topanga State Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park, and the 20,000-acre (8,000-hectare) "Big Wild."[80]

Topanga State Park

Located in the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains and headquartered in nearby Topanga Canyon, Topanga State Park features 36 mi (58 km) of trails through open grassland, live oaks and views of the Pacific Ocean. The park is bound on the south by Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, on the west by Topanga Canyon, and on the east by Rustic Canyon. Numerous geologic formations can be found in the park, including earthquake faults, marine fossils, volcanic intrusions, and a wide variety of sedimentary formations. Trail heads into the park are located throughout Pacific Palisades, including Las Lions Drive, Palisades Highlands, Temescal Gateway Park and Will Rogers State Historic Park.[81]

Government and infrastructure

The most important civic group within the Palisades is the Pacific Palisades Community Council. The Pacific Palisades Community Council usually meets twice each month to discuss a wide range of issues that affect its residents. The council has rejected city offers to become an official part of the city, preferring its independent, non-aligned status. Among the main reasons that Council members cite is that the council would not have the power to appeal decisions of City officials, commissions, and boards and the council could not appear before Federal, State, and County authorities regarding local issues.[citation needed]

Local government

The community is within District 11 of the Los Angeles City Council, represented by Traci Park.[82]

The Los Angeles Fire Department operates two fire stations serving Pacific Palisades. Station 69 at 15045 West Sunset Boulevard serves Pacific Palisades and the Pacific Coast.[83] Station 23 at 17281 West Sunset Boulevard serves the Palisades Highlands, Castellammare, and the Pacific Coast.[84]

The Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station at 1663 Butler Avenue, serving the neighborhood.[85]

County, state, and federal representation

Pacific Palisades is within Los Angeles County's 3rd Supervisorial District. As of 2014, Sheila Kuehl represents the district.[86]

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Pacific Palisades.[87] The department operates the Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center in Santa Monica, serving Pacific Palisades.[88]

Pacific Palisades is a part of California's 50th State Assembly district. As of 2019, Richard Bloom represents the district.[89] Pacific Palisades is also a part of California's 23rd State Senate district; as of 2019, Ben Allen represents the district.[90] The community is a part of the State Board of Equalization District 4,[91] represented by Mike Schaefer, as of 2019.[92]

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Pacific Palisades is within California's 32nd congressional district, and is currently represented by Brad Sherman. The United States Postal Service operates the Pacific Palisades Post Office, at 15243 La Cruz Drive.[93][94]

Fire service

Los Angeles Fire Department Stations 23 and 69 serve the area. Station 23 is located on Sunset Boulevard at the bottom of Los Liones Drive and Station 69 is located on Sunset Boulevard and Carey Street.

Law enforcement and security

Pacific Palisades is served by the West Los Angeles Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. One police car is generally assigned to the neighborhood.[95] Palisades Patrol, a private security company, is contracted by the city and supplements the police presence and provides security for the Palisades. Many residents also rely on private security companies such as ADT, or ACS security.


Pacific Palisades is a heavily Democratic area, and Democrats tend to win the majority of the vote in each election.


Public schools

Palisades Charter High School

Residents are zoned to Los Angeles Unified School District schools. The area is within Board District 4.[96] As of 2017, Nick Melvoin represents the district.[97][98]

Some residents are assigned to Pacific Palisades Elementary School, some residents are assigned to Canyon Elementary School, and some are assigned to Marquez Elementary School. All residents are zoned to Paul Revere Charter Middle School and Palisades Charter High School.[99][100]

  • Canyon Elementary School opened in 1910.[101]
  • Pacific Palisades Elementary opened in 1922.[102]
Pacific Palisades Charter Elementary School front tower.
  • Marquez Elementary School opened in 1955.[103]
Marquez Elementary School. Pacific Palisades, CA
  • Paul Revere Middle School first opened as Palisades-Brentwood Junior High School on September 12, 1955; it chose its current name during its first year of operation. It became an internal charter in 1994.[104]
  • Palisades Charter High School, commonly known as "Pali High", opened in 1961.[105] It later became a charter school in 1994.[106]

Private schools

Private schools in the area include:

  • Palisades Jewish Early Childhood Center (preschool-kindergarten) – is a Jewish private school associated with the Chabad movement offering private preschool, kindergarten, daycare and Hebrew school education.[107]
  • Calvary Christian (K–8)[108]
  • Village School[109] (pre-K–6)
  • Corpus Christi (K–8)
  • St. Matthew's Parish School (PS–8)
  • Seven Arrows (K–6)[110]
  • Westside Waldorf (K–8)
  • Lycée Français de Los Angeles Pacific Palisades Campus[111]

Public libraries

Los Angeles Public Library Palisades Branch

Los Angeles Public Library operates the Palisades Branch at 861 Alma Real Drive.[112]


Menorah lighting

Beginning in 1988, each year on the first night of Hanukkah a public menorah lighting ceremony is held at the Palisades Village, the downtown area of the Palisades. The menorah lighting is organized by Chabad of Pacific Palisades as well as other leaders in the local Jewish community, and the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce. It is hosted by Palisades Chabad Rabbi Zushe Cunin, as well as the honorary mayor, the city councilman representing the area, and local developer Rick Caruso. It is accompanied by a community event featuring live Hanukkah music, complimentary Hanukkah foods such as latkes, chocolate gelt and sufganiyot, Hanukkah-themed arts and crafts, face painting and balloon twisting.

On December 2, 2018, the 30th Annual Pacific Palisades Menorah Lighting was held at its new location, the Palisades Village shopping center. This was the highest-attended menorah lighting in Palisades history and was attended by over 1,000 people, including actors and Co-honorary Mayors Janice and Billy Crystal, Rabbi Zushe Cunin, Palisades Village developer Rick Caruso, and councilman Mike Bonin. The Crystals also helped in the planning of the event. The event performances of Hanukkah and other traditional Jewish music by the Marquez Elementary Choir, Paul Revere Music Club and the Westside Waldorf School.[113]

Pacific Palisades is also home to one of the few vegan Hanukkah celebrations in Los Angeles, "Lights and Latkes", hosted by vegan Rabbi Jonathan Klein and JewishVeg Los Angeles.[114]

Palisades Rocks The Fourth!

Fireworks during the 2006 Palisades Rocks The Fourth! event.

Palisades Rocks The Fourth is a Palisadian tradition that first began in 1967. Every Fourth of July, the community's Chamber of Commerce sponsors day-long events which include 5K and 10K runs, a home decorating contest, a parade down Sunset Boulevard, and a concert accompanied by a fireworks display at Palisades High School football field.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Palisades Rocks The Fourth! was held mostly virtually beginning in 2020. A virtual concert accompanied by fireworks and a flyover by World War II fighter pilots flying AT-6 fighter jets over the Palisades.[115]


The Pacific Palisades is home to a large Jewish population and has a number of synagogues including the following:

  • Chabad of Pacific Palisades- local Chabad center located at 17315 Sunset Blvd in the Castlellammare neighborhood, offering religious services, Hebrew school and early Jewish education. Chabad of the Palisades hosts a number of Jewish events, and is also responsible for the annual Menorah lighting and Hanukkah celebration at the Palisades Village.[116][117]
  • Kehillat Israel- Reconstructionist synagogue, this is the oldest synagogue in the Palisades.

Sports and recreation

Bel Air Bay Club

Wedding at the Bel-Air Bay Club.

The Bel-Air Bay Club is both an event venue (Upper Club) and a private beach club (Lower Club) located in the area.

The Upper Club, includes an ocean view and on-site accommodations available for private parties. The interior of the Bel-Air Bay Club Upper Club includes large windows, a fireplace, and iron chandeliers. The Bel-Air Bay Club is primarily used as a wedding, social, and corporate event venue.[citation needed]

Riviera Country Club

Par 3 on the course.

The Riviera Country Club is a private club with a championship golf course and tennis courts in the Riviera neighborhood of Pacific Palisades. It is just a block south of Sunset Boulevard.

The Riviera was designed by golf course architects George C. Thomas, Jr. and William P. Bell,[citation needed] it has been the primary host for the Genesis Invitational (originally the Los Angeles Open), an annual event on the PGA Tour in February. The 2021 edition was the 58th held at Riviera.

The Riviera has hosted three major championships: the U.S. Open in 1948, and the PGA Championship in 1983 and 1995. In addition, it was site of the U.S. Senior Open, a senior major, in 1998 and the U.S. Amateur in August 2017.[118] The club is scheduled to host the Olympics in 2028.[54]

Will Rogers Polo Club

Match at the Will Rogers Polo Club in 2013.

The Will Rogers Polo Club is a polo club located at 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California.,[119][120][121][122] which is within Will Rogers State Historic Park, and is Southern California's only remaining polo club.


  • The Los Angeles Times is the citywide newspaper.
  • The Palisadian-Post, founded in 1928, is the oldest newspaper to serve the Pacific Palisades community.
  • The Palisades News, first published in 2014, is a Palisades-based newspaper published twice monthly for the residents of Pacific Palisades.[123]
  • Circling The News, is a local news site established in 2017 by Sue Perscoe, a former writer for The Palisades News, and featuring a number of guest writers and columnists.[124]
  • Perspective Palisades, is a local magazine founded by local historian and realtor Michael Edlen in 2020, the magazine is published each quarter and features real estate-related news as well as historical information, news in the community, and interviews with notable Palisadians.[125]


Burns House

Architect Charles W. Moore designed his first house in Los Angeles for the UCLA economist and urban planning professor, Leland Burns. The house was completed in 1974. It occupies a narrow ledge on a steep slope of the Santa Monica canyon. The house is composed of an interlocking set of shed roofs and tower, its forms reminiscent of The Sea Ranch Condominium, but adapted for a sense of the Mediterranean climate and Hollywood allusions. An interior staircase climbs up through a vertical cleft in the narrow house, and then at the very top of the third story, the stair descends outside, back down into a swimming pool court. Designer Tina Beebe developed with Moore the color scheme, whereby exterior planes were painted in a range of ochres, pinks, roses, and golds, so as the light and shade shifts during the day, the house itself seems to change like a chameleon.[attribution needed] The house was built around a tracker organ hand-built by Jürgen Ahrend, an instrument known as Opus 1, U.S.A.

Bradbury House

Bradbury House

The Bradbury House is a historic house in the Huntington Palisades neighborhood. It was designed in the Spanish Revival style by architect John Byers, and it was completed in 1923.[126] The home was built for Lewis L Bradbury Jr,[127] whose father, Lewis L Bradbury, commissioned the construction of the Bradbury Building in Downtown Los Angeles.[126] It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since March 22, 2010.[128]

Business Block

The Business Block building is a historic building located in the Palisades downtown area called the Village. It serves as the anchor of the downtown area, and was designed by architect Clifton Nourse and dedicated in 1924. The building is 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) and sits on 36,000 square feet (3,300 m2) of land. The Business Block building is located between Antioch, Swarthmore and Sunset in the Village neighborhood of Pacific Palisades, an area in the Westside of Los Angeles, California.[129]

Dolores del Río House

The Dolores Del Río House is located at 757 Kingman Avenue and was designed for Mexican-American actress Dolores del Río and her husband, production designer Cedric Gibbons, by architects Douglas Honnold and George Vernon Russell in 1929.[130][131][132][133]

Eames House

Eames House

Eames House is the 1949 home and studio of husband-and-wife design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames.

The Getty Villa

Art on display at the Getty.

The Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of Ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

Kappe Residence

The Kappe Residence is a house located in the Rustic Canyon section of Pacific Palisades, that was designed by architect Raymond Kappe, FAIA,[clarification needed] and was intended to be his own private residence. The house is a modern design built into a heavily treed hillside. The Kappe Residence was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1996, and in 2008 it was named one of the top ten houses in Los Angeles by an expert panel selected by the Los Angeles Times.

Mort's Palisades Deli

Mort's Palisades Deli, more commonly referred to as Mort's Deli, was a Jewish delicatessen located at 1035 Swarthmore Ave on the corner of Sunset Boulevard in the Village. Mort's was a neighborhood fixture and local landmark, which first opened in 1972 and closed in 2008 upon the building's sale to former mayor Richard Riordan, who closed the deli to make way for a bistro, which itself closed after a few months. The deli was known for their Reuben sandwiches and celebrity clientele including Larry David, Walter Matthau, and Larry King among others, as well as being featured in numerous episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm as Leo's Deli.

Old Santa Monica Forestry Station

The Old Santa Monica Forestry Station is the nation's first experimental forestry station, built in 1887. The Old Santa Monica Forestry Station was designated a California Historic Landmark (No.840) on March 20, 1970.[134] Old Santa Monica Forestry Station is located in the Rustic Canyon neighborhood of Pacific Palisades. It is south of what is now called Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The hills and canyons around the Santa Monica Canyon were a land boom in the late 1880s. In 1971 the state placed a marker near the entrance of the Rustic Canyon Recreation Center at the NW corner of Latimer and Hilltree Roads, at 601 Latimer Road; which reads:[135][136]

In 1887, the State Board of Forestry established the nation's first experimental forestry station. Located in Rustic Canyon, the station tested exotic trees for planting in California, established plantations for management studies, and produced planting stock for scientific and conservation purposes. The station was operated by the Board of Forestry until 1893 and by the University of California until 1923.

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine

Temple located at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine.

Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine[30] is a 10-acre (4-hectare) spiritual center on Sunset Boulevard founded in 1950 by Paramahansa Yogananda, whose classic book Autobiography of a Yogi introduced many Westerners to yoga and Eastern mysticism.

Thomas Mann House

Thomas Mann House

Designed by JR Davidson, this was Thomas Mann's home during his exile from 1942 to 1952.

Villa Aurora

Villa Aurora

Villa Aurora is an artists' residence, Historic-Cultural Monument, and former home of exiled German-Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta.


Pacific Palisades is home to a variety of species of wildlife, both native to the area and introduced from elsewhere.

Wild Parrots

Nanday parakeets resting in a tree in Pacific Palisades

Pacific Palisades has been noted for its large population of California wild parrots, and is one of the main areas in Southern California where wild parrots can be found. Parrots mainly live in the sycamore-lined canyons of the Palisades. Wild parrots have lived in the Palisades since the 1960s, and are said to descend from pet parrots that were released by their owners in the area in the wake of the 1961 Bel Air fire, and the closing of Busch Gardens in Van Nuys.[137][138]

Pacific Palisades is home to numerous species of parrots, and the most commonly-sighted species is the Nanday parakeet.[139] Other species of parrots found in the Palisades include the mitred parakeet, yellow-chevroned parakeet, white-winged parakeet, rose-ringed parakeet, red-masked parakeet, blue-crowned parakeet, red-crowned parrot, lilac-crowned parrot, white-fronted parrot, blue-fronted parrot, yellow-headed parrot, and the red-lored parrot.[140]

In popular culture

Filming locations

Notable people

See List of people from Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles

See also


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Further reading

  • Young, Betty Lou, Pacific Palisades: Where the Mountains Meet the Sea , Pacific Palisades Historical Society Press (1983)

External links

This page was last edited on 25 June 2024, at 06:33
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