8.7 out of 10

Palos Verdes Estates

Ranked 6th best city in California
33.7855304373519 -118.407787597379
Great for
  • Schools
  • Safe & Sound
  • Resale or Rental Value
  • Clean & Green
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Medical Facilities
  • Nightlife
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Childcare
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees
  • Beach Lovers
  • Trendy & Stylish


5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 5/5

"Palos Verdes Estates - The Perfect Place to raise a family"

Palos Verdes Estates is one of the most beautiful cities in the world to live. The Palos Verdes Peninsula is also one of the wealthiest communities in the country, as described in the Los Angeles Business Journal. Palos Verdes Estates has an extremely interesting history and it is one of the best examples of city planning and controlled growth of any small to medium sized city in the United States. Palos Verdes has only a limited number of entrances to the city, and many of the streets end at the city limits.Over 25% of the city's 4.75 square miles is zoned as permanent park land and is maintained in its natural state. Much of this parkland is scattered throughout the city and provide natural areas between different clusters of homes. Although there are some areas of the city with horse trails, none of the homes are zoned to maintain horses, and horses must be stabled at the Palos Verdes Stables or other privately owned stables in the area.

Valmonte: (Multiple Listing Service ("MLS") Area 164 ) A neighborhood on the eastern edge of the city (turn left when entering the city from Redondo Beach at the "Y"). This area is characterized by the lush canopy of eucalyptus trees, and the Palos Verdes Golf Club and Tennis Club which is in the center of the Valmonte area.

This area also is where the riding stable is located. Palos Verdes Drive is the main street running through the middle of this area, with a riding trail in the wide median strip. Valmonte has several home styles including old Spanish, Traditional, English Tudor, French Normandy, and Ranch.

Malaga Cove: (MLS Area 163 ) This area is home to Palos Verdes City Hall, the Police and Fire Station, La Venta Inn and the Malaga Cove Plaza, the first commercial plaza built in Palos Verdes Estates. Malaga Cove Plaza is home to the Malaga Cove Ranch Market, a post office, the Rive Gauche restaurant, a small sandwich shop, and several realty offices. It is the first impression that most people get of the city. It's beautiful Arched Buildings, and The King Neptune Fountain in the center of the plaza give the residents and visitors alike a sense of the quiet beauty of the city.. The Malaga Cove Branch Library, behind the plaza, has art shows, and special events, as well as summer "Picnics in the Park" on Wednesday evenings accompanied by musical performances.

The Malaga Cove School (the first school constructed in Palos Verdes), the Neighborhood Church (originally Haggerty's Mansion) and the Palos Verdes Beach and Athletic Club are also located in Lower Malaga Cove adjacent to the ocean. This area has a mix of homes, but are primarily old Spanish with red tile roofs, and a mix of other architectural styles. Some older condominiums are also located near Malaga Cove Plaza. See Malaga Cove Condos for a complete description of each property ). The homes in this area often have spectacular ocean views, as many of the homes are terraced up the hillsides.The area of Malaga Cove above Palos Verdes Drive is referred to as both Upper Malaga Cove as well as Montemar.This area is home to the La Venta Inn, which is a beautiful facility available for weddings and other events.

Lunada Bay: (MLS Area 160 ) This area is often referred to as two areas; Lower Lunada Bay and Upper Lunada Bay (Margate). Lower Lunada Bay is south of Malaga Cove, and is generally flat; the terrain gently slopes down to the cliffs. Paseo del Mar and Rocky Point are streets that run adjacent to the cliffs, and residents spend time daily strolling or running along the ocean. Several large parkland areas are on the cliffs affording spectacular views of Catalina Island and Lunada Bay. Lunada Bay is a favorite surfing spot, with an excellent point break. Lunada Bay Plaza and it's Italian Fountain is the center of the neighborhood, where locals meet for coffee and scones or lunch at the corner cafe. Lunada Bay Plaza also has several events during the year including the Halloween Harvest Festival, and a summer concert series in the Lunada Bay Park.Three schools (Palos Verdes High, Palos Verdes Intermediate, and Lunada Bay Elementary) are conveniently located for students to walk or ride bikes, or take the PV Transit (picks up at school) for a fee. Homes in Upper Lunada Bay are terraced up the hills, and many offer spectacular views. Homes in Lunada Bay have a mix of architectural styles including ranch, spanish, mediterranean, traditional. and craftsman. There are also several condominium developments near Lunada Bay Plaza

Monte Malaga: (MLS Area 162 This area is at the upper area of the hillsides of Palos Verdes Estates, and has some of the newer homes in the city. Homes in this area are predominantly Mediterranean in style with tile roofs. Many view lots in this area enjoy the "queen's necklace" view of the South Bay Beaches and Santa Monica Bay. Montemalaga Elementary School is located at the top of the Monte Malaga area. There are no townhomes or condominiums in this neighborhood.

Within the city boundaries are Palos Verdes High School, and Palos Verdes Intermediate School, and several local elementary schools, all part of the Palos Verdes Unified School System. There is an additional high school located in Rolling Hills Estates, Peninsula High, and both high schools are California Distinquished Schools, with open enrollment to students on the Peninsula (they do not have enrollment boundaries). Palos Verdes HIgh has a unique class scheduling structure, called block scheduling, where students attend three extended periods each day, alternating with their other three classes each day. Peninsula High has a more traditional structure of the same periods for all classes each day. Palos Verdes Unified School District has some of the highest test scores in the state. For local school test scores, Click Here. There are also a number of excellent private schools on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Most of the cultural activities for the city are located in Rolling Hills Estates, adjacent to Palos Verdes Estates. These include the Norris Center for the Performing Arts, the Palos Verdes Art Center, the Peninsula Symphony, and the PV Players. For further information on Arts and Culture on the Peninsula

Youth Sports Leagues: There are two baseball little leagues in the city boundaries; Palos Verdes Little League, with fields in Valmonte and Malaga Cove, and the Lunada Bay Little League, with fields in Lower Lunada Bay. AYSO Soccer leagues are active throughout the City. Girls softball is generally played on fields in other adjacent Peninsula cities. There are also youth basketball leagues, and lacrosse leagues for intermediate schools. Most youth sports are played at school facilities and fields.

Swimming: Palos Verdes Estates residents can enjoy the facilities of the beautiful Palos Verdes Beach and Athletic Club by either becoming a member (although the wait list is over 9 years), or paying a daily fee per person.

Golf Facilities are available at Palos Verdes Golf Club, and Los Verdes Country Club and Trump National Golf Club in adjacent Rancho Palos Verdes. Residents of Palos Verdes Estates enjoy significant discounts to play golf at Palos Verdes Golf Club ( less than half the general public rate, and only $15 for junior golfers). The Golf Club is closed to the General Public on weekends, however residents of Palos Verdes Estates may play there after 2:00 pm. Los Verdes is a public golf course run by the County of Los Angeles.

There are no large park facilites in the City of Palos Verdes Estates, however there are several public bluff top areas preserved for public access with spectacular views, and several small neighborhood parks. There are some small neighborhood parks, including the park at the entrance to Lunada Bay Plaza. There are also numerous other large parks in the adjacent cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Rolling Hills Estates.

Any proposed construction of a new home or changes to the exterior of a home in Palos Verdes Estates is subject to the approval of the Art Jury, run by the Palos Verdes Homes Association. The Palos Verdes Homes Association was the original governing body of Palos Verdes Estates before incorporation of the city in 1930, and still has significant responsibilities in running the Art Jury review of plans for construction . All homes in the City are subject to recorded deed restrictions giving the Art Jury approval over all architectural design issues of a new home or addition. These standards have been instrumental in maintaining the architectural integrity of the original planners of the Palos Verdes Project. For additional information on the Palos Verdes Art Jury, Click Here.

Property Taxes: The property tax rate for the fiscal year 2012-2013 is 1.082793% % (computed by the standard 1.0% of the property's assessed valuation (in accordance with Proposition 13, a property's assessed valuation is the original purchase price, plus the cost of improvements, based on the value of permits pulled, plus an increase in valuation of 2% per year) plus additional tax rates for voted bonded indebtedness) . In addition, direct assessments of approx. $1,500-$1,600 per parcel for such items as school parcel taxes, fire suppression fee, emergency services tax, sewer fee and other taxes are added to the property tax bill.

Utility Tax: The City no longer charges a utility user tax.

There are two commercial shopping plazas within the city limits of Palos Verdes Estates:

Malaga Cove Plaza: This was the first shopping Plaza completed within Palos Verdes Estates, as part of the original Palos Verdes Project. The Plaza includes King Neptunes fountain, including a statue of King Neptune ( See the History of Palos Verdes Estates ). The Plaza includes the Malaga Cove Market (which has delicious sandwiches and deli items), a Bank of America branch and ATM, several real estate offices (including my offices at Remax Palos Verdes Realty, a cafe, and the Rive Gauche restaurant (adjacent to the Plaza behind City Hall).

Lunada Bay Plaza: Lunada Bay Plaza includes a market, a bakery, two barber shops, hair salons, liquor stores, three excellent restaurants (Japanese, Lunada Bayhouse restaurant ( steaks, seafood, and pasta ), and Mexican), a Pizza & Deli, a hardware store, video store, banking & small offices, a travel store, a bridal shop and a ladies clothing store round out the center.

Two shopping centers are at the top of the "hill", off of Hawthorne Blvd. and Silver Spur Road, The Peninsula Center, which has a Vons Supermarket, drug store, and many other local services and stores, and Promenade of the Peninsula Regional Mall are located in Rolling Hills Estates. Also located in nearby Rancho Palos Verdes, at the corner of Palos Verdes Drive West and Hawthorne Blvd. is the Golden Cove Shopping Center. Several good restaurants are located here including the Admiral Risty.

Police and Fire Protection:and other Civic Services

Palos Verdes Estates is the only city on the Palos Verdes Peninsula with its own police force. The other Peninsula cities contract with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. Fire and Paramedic services for Palos Verdes Estates are contracted with Los Angeles County. There is a web site at http://www.pveca.us/ which provides Palos Verdes Estates residents with a communications tool that will allow for the exchange of ideas, promote and/or recommend improvements in City services
  • Wonderful ocean and city light views
  • Great place to raise a family
  • Very safe
  • Good Suburban Entertainments
  • Great Clean Neighborhood
  • Great Schools
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 4/5

"Great Palos Verdes Neighborhood"

I’m not sure why this only designates one section of Palos Verdes, really it should be an overview of all of Palos Verdes which it seems to me occupies the entire Peninsula. As it is designated however, Palos Verdes Peninsula designates a particular residential section of Palos Verdes.

Like all the rest of Palos Verdes, this is strictly the province of the filthy rich. Not that there is anything filthy about this or any other neighborhood in Palos Verdes. In fact, if anything, Palos Verdes is probably too clean and immaculate. There is actually something rather off-putting about such sunny perfection. It is kind of like the teacher’s pet in class, who knows every question and raises their hands at every opportunity. (Not even the teacher likes that busy body.)

Living here just feels a bit like living on a sitcom version of life. The streets are just wide enough to allow comfortable driving; the lawns are uniformly green, the hedges are perfectly trimmed into cubes with each lawn has its own tree—often a palm—to give homes their own individual flare. Thankfully, this is not one of those planned communities where all the homes are in the same architectural style. The majority of homes here are of the flat variety. Quite a few are of the split level Ranch variety, but there are also some that resemble the main home in the film American Beauty. I am not sure what that is called but their some attractive boxy versions of that here. Some of the homes here actually resemble variations on Eichler homes with flat roofs that rise at the center where there is a recessed central entrance way. It is actually a really attractive neighborhood that manages to avoid looking overly planned.

The neighborhood also has a little restaurant, a multi-screen movie theater and a bit of a shopping area—so you get all of the pleasures of suburbia almost within walking distance. There are also sidewalks which make this a great neighborhood for kids and families in general so that they can stay healthy.

There are also some really great schools here. Palos Verdes Peninsula High School is the main high school for Palos Verdes and, as you would expect, continues the trend of great seaside schools. Palos Verdes High always ranks at least a hundred points higher than the state average on API scores and 250 higher on the SAT. 2/3 of PVH students test proficient on the Math portion of the STAR test and 4/5 do so in English. Put simply this is one of the great schools around.

Overall, however, there is definitely a bit of conservative streak here and it does feel a little bit like Orange County. A bit too conservative for my taste.
  • Great Clean Neighborhood
  • Great Schools
  • Good Suburban Entertainments
  • Very Expensive
  • Lacks Public Tranportation
  • A Bit Snooty
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Trendy & Stylish
  • Beach Lovers
Kathy Tyndall
Kathy Tyndall PRO Having lived in Palos Verdes for 35 years, I have never found it to be an intimidating place. I moved to Palos Verdes from having grown up in the Pacific Palisades which WAS very status conscious. What I love about PV, as the locals call it, is the mix of people who live here. Some of the earliest homeowners to "the Peninsula" were aerospace engineers who came in the 50's and 60's and never left. There are may immigrant families who came for the excellent school system and the English As a Second Language program. And, now there are kids who grew up on "the hill" returning with their families to live.
Maureen Megowan
Maureen Megowan PRO Although homes in Palos Verdes are expensive, there are many residents who have lived here for many years that bought homes 30 years ago and that could not be classified as "filthy rich". To buy a home in Palos Verdes Estates now requires the ability to pay at least $900,000 (for a fixer ) and up.
The homes in Palos Verdes Estates are all custom homes built in the 1920's through today, with varying architectural styles. Many are of ranch , contemporary modern, Spanish or Mediterranean design, but several neighborhoods include Tuscan, English Tudor, and even French Normany.

Most neighborhoods in Palos Verdes Estates do not have sidewalks and also do not include street lights. I , for one, like this as I can see the stars at night. There are two shopping plazas in the City in Malaga Cove and Lunada Bay providing local shops including markets and restaurants.

It is a wonderful city to raise children, and has one of the highest rated school districts in the State. The incredible beauty of the city, with its spectacular ocean and city light views never gets old, even after 28 years of living here !!
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Best Neighborhoods in Palos Verdes Estates

"Lunada Bay - Wonderful Family Community"
33.7726584683363 -118.412971814129

Unranked Neighborhoods in Palos Verdes Estates

Malaga Cove

"Fantastic Area to Live in a Beautiful Community"
33.7960185181317 -118.384942343266

Monte Malaga

"Monte Malaga - A Wonderful Place to Live"
33.7872209882529 -118.394297064787


"A Wooded Enclave Retreat"
33.8020001282813 -118.388551180703

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