About This Place
Rancho Palos Verdes (sometimes abbreviated RPV) is a city in Los Angeles County, California that was incorporated on September 7, 1973. The population was 41,643 at the 2010 census. Rancho Palos Verdes translates from Spanish as Green Mast Farm or Green Pole Farm, referring to the North American tree species Parkinsonia florida (blue palo verde).
Rancho Palos Verdes is an affluent suburb of Los Angeles. Sitting atop the Palos Verdes Hills and 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.
Wayfarers Chapel designed by Lloyd Wright and built between 1949 - 1951 is on the National Register of Historic Places. Point Vicente Lighthouse was built in 1926 and is also on the National Register of Historic Places. Point Vicente Interpretive Center opened in 1984 with a mission to present and interpret the unique features and history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The almost 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) expanded Interpretive Center, re-opened on July 15, 2006, features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Peninsula, with a special emphasis on the Pacific gray whale. This premier whale watch site provides spectacular opportunities to view the annual migration of the Pacific gray whale, from December through April. The former Marineland of the Pacific (1954–1987) site was re-developed and is now occupied by the Terranea Resort, which opened in June, 2009. The city is also home to Trump National golf course, one of eleven in the Trump portfolio of courses. Portuguese Bend landslide, one of the largest continuously moving landslides in North America, is located along the southern coastal area. Together with the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, in 2009 the city completed the acquisition of a total of two square miles of open space land, the Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, the largest such preserve of coastal open space north of San Diego and south of Santa Barbara.