Rancho Palos Verdes

History of Rancho Palos Verdes Real Estate

Rancho Palos Verdes (RPV) was incorporated on September 7, 1973. Sitting atop the bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, it is known for expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. The history of Rancho Palos Verdes dates back to the Spanish explorers and the establishment of the first Spanish rancho land grant in California. Its most notable geographic features are the Palos Verdes Hills and cliffs with grand vistas of the Pacific Ocean, with views of Santa Catalina Island. Its most notorious geographic feature is the continuous landslide at Portuguese Bend, which may have been caused in part by septic runoff from homes in Rancho Palos Verdes and its neighboring communities.

Points of Interest and Amenities

Terranea Resort - Five Star Elegance on The Pacific Ocean Rim

Terranea is the 'Flagship Resort' of  Lowe Enterprises and enjoys a location to be envied throughout the world. Perched high above the Pacific Ocean on a 102 acre promontory (formerly the famed Marineland Aquatic Park), a world-class destination resort with a golf academy, opened in June 2009. Terranea is a dream vacation venue for the rich and famous. An exceptional opportunity presents a limited number of upscale Casitas and Villas for purchase by the public. These luxurious residential suites are fully furnished, maintained by The Resort, and offer the opportunity to experience all of the five-star services and amenities expected at a luxury resort.  The Villas and Casitas are whole ownership, fee simple real estate, with a use restriction imposed by the Coastal Commission which limits owners occupancy to 60 and 90 days per year.  While not staying at your resort home, the owners can rent their home through their own efforts, an outside rental agency, or through The Resort's Property Management program.

The resort features a spectacular five story, 360 room hotel as well as separate Casitas, Villas, and Bungalows that provide a combined total of 580 keyed entrances. Five bungalow complexes, each with four 1650 square foot, three bedroom, three bath units will be available in a future sales release.

The 62,000 square foot event center includes an 18,000 square foot main ballroom plus two junior ballrooms. A 25,000 square foot world-class health spa commands a bluff top promontory above the crashing waves. The golf academy features a large clubhouse and a nine hole executive golf course designed by Todd Eckenroad. This academy will be staffed with teaching pros and the latest equipment to enhance your game. There are also four spectacular championship golf courses within a few miles,  including the famed 'Trump National'.

Fine dining is a centerpiece of the resort and includes a signature restaurant,  'Mar Sel', featuring locally grown produce by exclusive contract with the resort. The old Marineland 'Lookout Bar' was rebuilt on the bluff''s edge and renamed the 'Point Bar'. Point Bar is also known as 'Nelsons' recognizing the actor who starred in the TV series 'Sea Hunt' which was filmed at the site. Many other themed restaurants and retail boutiques are throughout the complex.

The grounds and view are the 'Piece de Resistance' with meandering nature trails, lush landscaping, outdoor amphitheater, three magnificent pools, and a secluded beach. Terranea is undoubtedly one of the most desired wedding and event venues in the world.

Trump National Golf Course

Trump National has had a long and colorful history beginning in 1950 as perhaps one of the most spectacular farmlands on the West coast up until the first golf hole was completed in 1999.

• 1950's - The property was used for farming crops.
• 1953 - Edward Zuckerman buys 150 acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in unincorporated Los Angeles County.
• 1973 - Zuckerman's proposed development derailed by community opposition.
• 1989 - Land developer Barry Hon allies with Zuckerman family to build a golf course with residential housing.
• 1993 - Proposal denied by California Coastal Commission on grounds that it does not afford enough coastal access.
• April 15, 1994 - Retooled proposal of golf course, now called Ocean Trails, approved.
• January 1998 - Groundbreaking on Ocean Trails Golf Club begins.
• February 28, 1999 - Nine holes completed.
• March 20, 1999 - Celebrity Golf Tournament introduces Ocean Trails to nationally televised audience. July 2 opening date for finished 18-hole course is set.
• June 2, 1999 - Landslide demolishes 18th hole.
• July 2000 - Approval received to open Ocean Trails as a 15-hole golf course.
• October 2000 - Work begins on restoring the 18th hole. Enormous underground retaining wall is installed to prevent further slides.
• November, 2000 - Course opens to the public as 'best 15 holes in golf.'
• November 26, 2002 - Donald Trump purchases Ocean Trails.
• August 18, 2004 - Ocean Trails Golf Course closes for reconstruction and renovation. Clubhouse facilities remain open.
• January 20, 2006  - Trump National Golf Club officially opens with 18 holes.

Portugese Bend Club

The Portuguese Bend Club is a private beach colony that has existed since the 1940s. Now, there are 94 homes there and their occupants live alongside a landslide that presents a tolerable amount of inconvenience.

Covering 38 acres with a half mile of coastline, this area was once a haven of summer cottages and small homes built on land leased from Palos Verdes Properties. They were the typical 1940s weekend places where people went to have a quiet time at the beach. Back then there was a clubhouse, restaurant, paddle tennis courts, 50 foot swimming pool, a sandy beach, and a 485 foot long dockwhere boats could tie up. The restaurant, dock and clubhouse are gone and have been replaced with a volleyball court, playground equipment and, of course, the clubs signature palm thatched ramadas and picnic table.

Wayfarer's Chapel

One of the most notable landmarks in Rancho Palos Verdes is the Wayfarers' Chapel located near Portuguese Bend. This "Glass Church" was built by the Churches of the New Jerusalem in 1951 as a national monument to Emanuel Swedenborg, an eighteenth-century mystic. The construction was made possible by Mrs. Narcissa Vanderlip, who donated the site, and was designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyed Wright.


The city is served by Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District. PVPUSD schools have constantly ranked among the best in California and the nation. The Washington Post once ranked the district's largest high school, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (PVPHS) in neighboring Rolling Hills Estates as the 8th best public or private high school in the nation. Also, Chadwick School is a well known K-12 private school that serves the area. Another private school is Christ Lutheran Church and School. It ranges from preschool to 8th grade. Rolling Hills Country Day School[1], adjacent to the South Coast Botanic Garden, offers a private K-8 education. Rancho Palos Verdes also includes Marymount College.

The latest survey conducted by U.S. News in 2007 reports that PVPHS still ranks among the top 100, at 89th place, and the reopened Palos Verdes High School (PVHS) in Palos Verdes Estates trails closely behind, at 93rd place.

Schools Served by the PVPUSD:
• Cornerstone at Pedregal Elementary
• Dapplegray Elementary
• Lunada Bay Elementary
• Mira Catalina Elementary
• Miraleste Elementary
• Miraleste Intermediate
• Montemalaga Elementary
• Palos Verdes High
• Palos Verdes Intermediate
• Palos Verdes Peninsula High
• Point Vicente Elementary
• Rancho Del Mar High School
• Rancho Vista Elementary
• Ridgecrest Intermediate
• Silver Spur Elementary
• Soleado Elementary
• Vista Grande Elementary