Pacific Palisades is nestled between the Santa Monica Mountains and Santa Monica Bay. It basks on bluffs (palisades), between Santa Monica (to the south), Brentwood (to the east), and Malibu (to the west).
The Palisades have a population of about 27,000. The Village is the heart of Pacific Palisades consisting of shops, restaurants, banks, coffee and juice bars, upscale boutiques, and is host to a Sunday morning Farmer’s Market.
Founded in the 1920s by the Camp Meeting and Chautauqua Association. headed by a Methodist minister, Rev. Charles Scott. Scott founded the community envisioning a religious commune. His followers bought up the lots, some with remarkable views, and lived in tents during construction. One of the aptly-named streets that connects Sunset Blvd. to Pacific Coast Highway, is Chautauqua Blvd., named for his educational Chautauqua-tent seminars.
In the “Village” area known as the Alphabet Section, streets were named for Methodist missionaries. The tents were eventually replaced by cabins, then by bungalows, and ultimately by multi-million dollar homes with dramatic ocean, city, and coastline views.
Will Rogers developed a 186-acre ranch in upper Rustic Canyon. Donated to the State of California by his family, Will Rogers State Historic Park is the site of a public polo field, the Rogers homestead (recently renovated), and is a trailhead to the Topanga State Park and Santa Monica Mountains.
The Palisades is also home to the J. Paul Getty Villa, The Self-Realization Lake Shrine, Temescal Canyon Mountain Gateway Park, Will Rogers State Historic Park.
Pacific Palisades is served by the city of Los Angeles as fire, police, public school system (all Charter schools), sewer, and trash pick-up. The Charter schools in Pacific Palisades boast excellent test scores and very active parent participation. Palisades Elementary School (Charter) is located near the heart of the Village on Via de la Paz. Marquez Elementary serves the western half of Pacific Palisades, and Canyon Elementary School serves Rustic and Santa Monica Canyons (L.A. City) There are six private elementary schools, and one private middle school in Pacific Palisades.
Palisades High School, or “Pali” opened in 1961. Recently the sports stadium was renovated. All surfaces are engineered to protect the students and the environment.
Pacific Palisades has an ideal climate. In winter, the night-time lows can get down as low as 30 degrees, but the daytime temperatures average 68 degrees to about 78 (ocean-cooled) degrees in the summer. In the fall, there is usually a one-week heat wave that can take temperatures over 100 degrees.
Near the new library, Palisades Park has 16 public, night-lit tennis courts. From dog-training to Tai Chi, basketball, baseball to summertime *movies in the park*, our Public library and Park (part of LA City Parks and Recreation) are a boon to the town.
There are only two restaurants in Pacific Palisades with full liquor licenses. However, local restaurants offer most types of cuisine and many have excellent wine lists.
The Palisades has several residential areas. From east to west, Sullivan Canyon, the Palisades Riviera (home to the renowned Riviera Country Club, Rustic Canyon (once the home of a club called the Uplifters Club), Will Rogers residential area, as well as Huntington Palisades (recent sale of an ocean view castle on a hill for $16Mil). The Alphabet Section is Village-proximate, as are the Bluffs (including Via De La Paz and Swarthmore to the bluffs). The bluff neighborhood just west of the High School (I call it Temescal West) is under-going a dramatic building boom. Mostly with the flavor of Cape Cod-style homes, there are also some stunning Contemporary designs, as well. Heading west and north of Sunset Blvd. is Marquez Knolls, developed by the Lachman family. The mostly single-level neighborhood is renowned for dramatic ocean and city views, and its active homeowner’s association.
West of Marquez Knolls (south of Sunset Blvd.) is the Bel-Air Bay Club tract, an enclave of custom homes, some with outstanding ocean views. This tract has underground utilities and is only a few feet from the beach. On PCH, below the private Bel-air Bay club, is access to PCH, and the entrance to the beach-side Bel-air Bay Club.