Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Pacific Palisades and Will Rogers State Beach, California
The Palisades, PacPal, Pali, Palisades
"If you’re rich, you live in Beverly Hills. If you’re famous you live in Malibu. If you’re lucky, you live in Pacific Palisades.’"
"Where the mountains meet the sea."
Map of Pacific Palisades
|First settlement by Chumash people||8,000 BCE|
|• Type||Neighborhood of Los Angeles|
|• Body||Pacific Palisades Community Council/Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce|
|• Total||24.31 sq mi (62.97 km2)|
|• Land||22.84 sq mi (59.15 km2)|
|• Water||1.47 sq mi (3.8 km2)|
|Elevation||328 ft (98.5 m)|
|Highest elevation||2,126 ft (648 m)|
|Lowest elevation||0 ft (0 m)|
|• Density||1,185/sq mi (457.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
Chamber of Commerce
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. It is known for its seclusion and for being a close-knit community with a small-town feel, as well as its Mediterranean climate, hilly topography, natural environment, and abundance of parkland and hiking trails, 3-mile (4.8 km) strip of coastline, and for being home to a number of architecturally significant homes.
Pacific Palisades has historically been home to many Hollywood celebrities. Due to its secluded location compared to other affluent areas such as Beverly Hills, notable residents are afforded more privacy and paparazzi are uncommon. People in the entertainment industry and other affluent residents also live throughout the Palisades, although some residents are middle class. As of 2018, the community's population was 28,881.
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 three-mile length of the Palisades coast spans from after Sorrento Beach in Santa Monica to the south ending at Sunset Point Beach with Malibu to the north. Beaches along the Pacific Palisades coast include: Will Rogers State Beach, Sunset Point Beach, and one of the few 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.
In 1911, film director Thomas Ince created his Western film factory, "Inceville", which at its peak employed nearly 600 people. 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. Believers snapped up choice lots and lived in tents during construction. By 1925, the Palisades had 100 homes. In one subdivision, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. 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).
During their exile from Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s, many German and Austrian intellectuals and artists associated with the Exilliteratur settled in Pacific Palisades, including Thomas Mann (1550 San Remo Drive), Lion Feuchtwanger, Theodor W. Adorno, Vicki Baum, Oskar Homolka and Emil Ludwig. 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".
For many decades there was a virtual ban on drinking alcohol 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. 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.
Areas or neighborhoods
- The Village is the Pacific Palisades' central business district, centered at Sunset Boulevard and Via de la Paz.
- The Via Mesa 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 nestled between Temescal Canyon on the west and Potrero Canyon on the east; the Huntington Palisades is nestled between Potrero Canyon on the west and Chautauqua Boulevard on the east. Both of these neighborhoods are easy walking distance to The Village and sit upon high bluffs that look out over the Pacific Ocean. Many of the homes in these neighborhoods are accordingly afforded beautiful ocean views and ocean air. This area is also home to the largest park of the Palisades: the 117-acre Palisades Park which has four baseball diamonds, eight tennis courts, two indoor basketball courts, a hockey rink, dog parks, and multiple playgrounds.
- 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. As with The Via Bluffs and The Huntington Palisades, The El Medio Bluffs are located on a high ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean and much of the neighborhood is afforded beautiful ocean views and ocean air.
- Castellammare is located along the Pacific Coast Highway on small bluffs much closer to sea-level, just north of where Sunset Boulevard meets the PCH. This is the home of the Getty Villa and the narrow, winding streets in this neighborhood have Italian names and ocean breezes.
- Palisades Highlands is a community near the end of Sunset Blvd., bordering Topanga, about five minutes away from the center of Pacific Palisades (The Village). The Highlands could almost be considered its own separate community high up the hill overlooking the ocean, up Palisades Drive.
- Rustic Canyon is the neighborhood east of Chautauqua Boulevard that dips into Santa Monica Canyon and includes the Will Rogers State Historic Park. 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 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."
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.
Parks and recreation
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 (0.47 km2) of land. 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. The Pacific Palisades Tennis Court, also at that address, has eight courts.
- Rustic Canyon Park is located along Rustic Canyon Road. The Rustic Canyon Pool is located at 601 Latimer Road. 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).
- 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.
- Santa Ynez Canyon Park is located at Palisades Drive and Avenida de Santa Ynez.
- Rivas Canyon Park is located at the east terminus of Oracle Pl.
The California Department of Parks and Recreation also has locations in Pacific Palisades.
- Will Rogers State Beach extends one and three-quarters mile 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.
- Will Rogers State Historic Park. While Will Rogers made Beverly Hills his home in the late 1920s, in 1922 he bought a large plot of almost 200 acres (0.81 km2) 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.
- Temescal Gateway Park located at 15601 Sunset Blvd., is one of the most popular parks in the Santa Monica Mountains. The park encompasses 141 acres 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 “Big Wild.”
- 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 miles of trails through open grassland, live oaks and spectacular 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.
- Eames House: The 1949 home and studio of husband-and-wife design pioneers Charles and Ray Eames.
- The Getty Villa: An educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.
- Villa Aurora: An artists residence and historic landmark located in the former home of exiled German-Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta.
- Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine: A 10-acre 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.
Sports and recreation
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.
Riviera Country Club
The Riviera was designed by golf course architects George C. Thomas, Jr. and William P. Bell, 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. The club is scheduled to host the Olympics in 2028.
Will Rogers Polo Club
The Will Rogers Polo Club is a polo club located at 1501 Will Rogers State Park Road, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California., which is within Will Rogers State Historic Park, and is Southern California's only remaining polo club.
Residents are zoned to Los Angeles Unified School District schools. The area is within Board District 4. As of 2017, Nick Melvoin represents the district.
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.
- Canyon Elementary School opened in 1910.
- Pacific Palisades Elementary opened in 1922.
- Marquez Elementary School opened in 1955.
- 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.
- Palisades Charter High School, commonly known as "Pali High", opened in 1961. Pali High later became a charter school in 1994.
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.
- Calvary Christian (K–8)
- Village School (pre-K–6)
- Corpus Christi (K–8)
- St. Matthew's Parish School (PS–8)
- Seven Arrows (K–6)
- Westside Waldorf (K–8)
- Lycée Français de Los Angeles Pacific Palisades Campus
Los Angeles Public Library operates the Palisades Branch at 861 Alma Real Drive.
Images for kids
Starbucks in the Village neighborhood.
In Spanish: Pacific Palisades para niños
Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.