Palos Verdes Peninsula
California Coastal National Monument
BLM California, Palm Springs South Coast Field Office
California Coastal National Monument on the Palos Verdes Peninsula
Six places to see
- Bluff Cove Overlook
(City of Palos Verdes Estates)
Parking and overlook at 1300 Paseo del Mar just off Palos Verdes Drive West.
Located at the north end of Palos Verdes Peninsula, this is part of Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline
Preserve. The overlook offers a stunning view of California Coastal National Monument rocks, Bluff Cove, and the coast area of the Santa Monica Bay. Flat Rock, Bit Rock and others at the north end of Bluff Cove are the surface expression of underwater ridges and reefs. The cove is a wintering area for shorebirds such as willets, marbled godwits, and plovers.
- Point Vicente Park and Interpretive Center
(City of Rancho Palos Verdes)
Located on Palos Verdes Drive West, north side of U.S. Coast Guard’s Point Vicente Station.
This is a great place to take the family. The Interpretive Center, with a book store and gift shop, is free and open daily to view displays on geology, marine life, the kelp forest, and human history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Point Vicente is high above the rocky shore and popular for viewing Pacific gray whale migration from December to mid-May. Picnic areas, a bluff top walkway, and parking are available. For guided tours of the Center, local trails and tidepools call (310) 377-5370. The historic Point Vicente Lighthouse is adjacent. Lighthouse tours are available, call (310) 541-0334 for a schedule and for more information.
- Point Vicente Fishing Access
(City of Rancho Palos Verdes)
East of Point Vicente, off Palos Verdes Drive South.
From this viewing area is a blufftop trail and fishing access to the rocky beach. Protected as a feature of the Monument, the prominent rock Toveemor is the embodiment of a Tongva Indian deity, associated with the local tribe's creation story. Today anglers shore-fish for bass, surf perch and rockfish. Parking and restrooms are available.
- Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and Ecological Reserve
(City of Rancho Palos Verdes)
Palos Verdes Drive South.
An 80 acre bluff park offers spectacular views and trail access to colorful tidepools. This exposed reef is one of many focal points of habitat preservation for the Monument. Nearby is a playground, picnic tables, and restrooms. There is a parking fee. For guided hikes call (310) 377-1222.
- Royal Palms County Beach
(Los Angeles County )
Western Avenue and Paseo del Mar, San Pedro.
This is an inviting place to see marine life, an interpretive center, and ruins of the 1915 Royal Palms Hotel. An underwater nature trail for divers is just offshore of White Point Beach. Rocky reefs beneath the kelp canopy provide habitat for marine life such as moray eels, sea cucumbers, giant keyhole limpets and California sheephead. The cove is also a popular surfing spot. Parking and restrooms are available. There is a use fee.
- Point Fermin Park
(City of Los Angeles)
Paseo del Mar and Gaffey Street, San Pedro.
This is a popular place to safely view harbor seals warming in the sun on the rocks. Here they can be observed from above. Landscaped with Moreton Bay fig trees, the bluff park overlooks the Point Fermin Marine Life Refuge. Facilities include playgrounds, picnic tables, restrooms and outdoor amphitheater. Free tours of the Point Fermin lighthouse are given Tuesdays through Sundays from 1-4 pm. Information on whales, dolphins and porpoises can be found at the American Cetacean Society building. Parking and restrooms are available. For park events and information call
Your Coastal Riches
California Coastal National Monument, under the responsibility of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, is recognized as a unique biological treasure. A crucial part of a fragile ecosystem, the monument comprises more than 20,000 small islands, rocks, exposed reefs, and pinnacles (the portion above mean high tide) located off the 1,100 miles of the California coastline.
These rocks and small islands supply shelter and nutrients for thousands of organisms and provide important breeding grounds and nesting areas for thousands of seabirds, including
cormorants, gulls, murres, petrels and auklets. The brown pelican relies on the monument’s rocks and islands for critical resting and roosting habitat.
Several California marine mammal species depend on the monument’s rocks, islands and exposed reefs, as well as the ocean resources around them, for forage and breeding grounds. Harbor seals and California sea lions are common occupants of the monument, but Stellar sea lions and northern fur seals can also be seen. In addition, the monument includes a significant amount of the rocky coastal ecosystems and portions of the intertidal zone.
Enjoy this spectacular interplay of land and sea!
The mission of California Coastal National Monument is to protect and foster an appreciation and stewardship for the unique coastal resources associated with California Coastal National Monument.
How can I learn more?
Bureau of Land Management
California Coastal National Monument, Monterey, Ca
(831) 372-6115 www.blm.gov/ca/ccnm
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
(310) 548-7562 www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
California Coastal Commission
1-800-COAST 4-U (262-7848) www.coastal.ca.gov
California Dept of Fish and Game
(562) 342-7100 www.dfg.ca.gov
City of Rancho Palos Verdes
Abalone Cove Shoreline Park & Ecological Reserve
(310) 377-0360 ext 309 www.palosverdes.com/rpv
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/NOAA
(202) 482-6090 www.noaa.gov
Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy
(310) 541-7613 www.pvplc.org
Point Vicente Interpretive Center
31501 Palos Verdes Drive West, in Palos Verdes
(310) 377-5370 Open Daily 10 am-5 pm
How can I protect the sea life here?
- Cut six pack rings before throwing them away. Better yet, recycle them! The birds will thank you!
- This monument is a marine protected area. Taking or possessing tide pool animals is against the law. No collecting.
- Protect seabirds by watching your bait at all times while fishing. Look carefully before you cast and retrieve your line. Use barbless hooks or artificial lures when possible.
- Don’t leave fishing lines unattended or reeled up with bait dangling by the hook. Place unused fishing line in a trash can and not in the water; even small amounts can tangle a bird.
- Avoid disturbing birds near roosting and nesting areas when boating or kayaking.