I have so much fabulous Southern California content to share with you guys! But, as usual, I’m still muddling my way through the hundreds of photos we took. We’ve also been busy visiting friends in Dallas, hosting friends this week and have several upcoming travel plans (visiting family in New Jersey, dog sitting in Nashville) in the works. So for now, let me wax poetic about one of our favorite adventures on our SoCal trip last month, exploring Abalone Cove Shoreline Park in Rancho Palos Verdes.
There are an abundance of coastal hikes in and around Rancho Palos Verdes, but we ultimately chose Abalone Cove for its access to a sandy beach and good hiking trails.
Abalone Cove has a convenient pay-to-park lot. The first 30 minutes are free. After that it’s $6 for up to 2 hours, and $12 for more than 2 hours. You can start to see incredible views of the coastline during the drive down, so we were eager to park and get ourselves closer to the water.
As you first enter the park you follow a narrow path down towards the beach area. It was a fairly easy trek and definitely family friendly. Once you get towards the bottom you can go left or right. We decided to try the right side after the people in front of us all went left. This was a wise decision. With no one else around, we had a little rocky beach area to ourselves to explore.
The rocks made a lovely, soothing sound as the waves washed over them and receded back. We sat there for a bit taking in the sound of the waves. As land-locked Okies, this is always one of our favorite parts of visiting the ocean.
We headed south towards the sandier beach and couldn’t help but notice all of the colorful plant life surrounding us. There were pops of color with pink, red and yellow growing from the sprawling green plants. Tom thinks it was a type of ice plant, based on hearing golf announcers at Pebble Beach call it that. Whatever its called, it was gorgeous and I wish we had some growing in our yard somewhere.
We made our way over to the sandy beach area where a few people were swimming. As refreshing as that looked we decided to stay dry for the drive home and stick to a short hike. There was a small trail behind the beach to climb up the shoreline and get a higher vantage point. Before heading that way we walked down closer to the water and were mesmerized by the serene beauty of the Abalone Cove area.
Tidepooling is a popular activity here. But because the area is also an ecological preserve visitors are not allowed to take any protected marine life out of the park.
After determining we had enough sand in our shoes (seriously, how does sand always get everywhere!), we turned back toward the trail to head upwards. We must have stopped every 20 feet or so because the views just kept getting better as we ascended and we couldn’t get enough of it. The higher we went, the grander the views of the entire cove and coastline became.
Overall, Abalone Cove Shoreline makes for an easy hike that is more about the views and landscapes than strenuous exercise. Still, it was a nice way for us to get some steps and activity in a fun way. We could have easily made more of a day out of the experience. But we were determined to venture onward and pack in as many other Los Angeles area sights and bites as we could before our trip ended.
Stay tuned for more highlights from our time in southern California!
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