Palos Verdes Peninsula Tour

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 11 visitors

State: California
Date Submitted: August 1, 2003
Submitted by: Bill Belei
Motorcycle Road Length: 35 Miles Miles

Written Directions

I suggest starting in the town of San Pedro, CA. San Pedro is just about 40 minutes from downtown LA. To get to San Pedro you basically would just take the 110 south till you see the exits for San Pedro. Take the last one which will drop you off on Gaffey street. You'll have to cut through San Pedro by taking Gaffey street south. After about 5 minutes you'll start to climb a large hill and Gaffey will basically dead end into Paseo Del Mar/Sheppard St. Note: If you want to see the Korean Bell (AKA Friendship Bell) then look for Angel Gate park on the right ... you can't miss it. Otherwise, once 25th dead ends, take a right on to Paseo Del Mar and head east. Take this about 10 miles, all the way past White Point Park and then you want to look for Western Ave. which will be on road that veers off to your right. Take Western Ave only for a mile or two and then take a left on to 25th street and head west on Palos Verdes Drive south. Now the directions are less tricky and you can really start to see some of the coastal scenery. Head west for about 10 miles and you'll see a road off to the right that is cutting back up steeply into the hills. That road is Palos Verdes Drive East. I highly recommend you take a detour there and head up into the hills. Although its not very long, it has some great switch backs that will be a lot of fun as you lean and twist into the turns and accelerate up the hill. Take this road up until you come to a stoplight at which you want to take a left on to Crest Road. Follow Crest Road right up to the crest of the hill and enjoy the great view as you take a break. Follow your same route back down hill to get back on to Palos Verdes Drive South and continue to head west along the coast line. Now you'll have about 25-30 miles of great coastal driving with relatively minor traffic congestion. Hopefully Catalina Island will be in full view for your trip!!! At the end of the route, Palos Verdes Drive South will turn into Palos Verdes Drive West and will dump you off into Torrance and South Redondo Beach. There if you want to continue along the coast (not nearly as majestic and much more crowded, you can take Catalina Ave or the Pacific Coast Highway. This is the perfect end to the drive as you will have plenty of places to pull over and eat or shop at. Good luck and enjoy this hidden gem in LA!


The scenery on this route is the best coastal scenery you are going to find in LA County. The Palos Verdes peninsula with its hills, cliffs, and impressive elevation offers breathtaking scenery and its only 40 minutes or so from downtown LA. If you live in/near LA and haven't discovered it yet, you've really been missing out on an incredible coastal area. If you follow the path that I spell out below in my directions, you'll start out on a large hill overlooking the southern coast of LA. From there you can see the Port of Los Angeles and all the huge commercial ships coming in and going out as well as smaller pleasure boats. As you drive you'll wind your way around to the southwest and eventually western coastal areas along high cliffs that give you a great view of the ocean scenery (especially beautiful during sunsets!!!). If you're lucky and the weather is clear over the water, you'll see the beautiful and mysterious Catalina Island. Many people in LA have no idea that such large and beautiful island is parked just off shore because the island often is not visible. However, when the ocean air is clear enough, you'll be amazed at the large island sitting only 20 or so miles of shore. You'll also get a great inland view high above LA's south bay towns (Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, etc.) if you take Palos Verdes Drive East detour that I recommend in my directions below. This road will take you nearly to the very top of the Palos Verdes hill where you'll be at a great vantage point over the areas below. This is especially pretty at night with all the lights. Also, since this area has some of the most dramatic ocean views near LA, you'll see some magnificent houses in some really upscale neighborhoods that are positioned to take advantage of the wonderful coastal views.

Road Quality  

The road conditions couldn't be much better when you compare them to the normally overcrowded LA streets. This road is relatively smooth with gentle twists and turns. If you take the Palos Verdes Drive East detour I recommend, you'll get into some fun tighter turns with steep elevation gains. Keep in mind that some road construction was taking place in the summer of 2003 ... should be ideal when they get done and have all the brand new smooth pavement in place.

Overall this is a great road with on IMPORTANT exception. Just after 25th street becomes Palos Verdes, there is a 1/8 mile stretch of road that runs by the coast where there is constant land shifting toward the ocean. The road has some SEVERE dips which can easily dump you if you don't know they're coming. If you are prepared for them with slower speed you'll be fine. Sections of the road in that area are constantly under repair from the cracks in the road where it has shifted toward the ocean. After that the road is beautiful!

Roadside Amenities  

As far as things to do when its time to pull over and take a break, there's enough stuff to do to keep you busy for a full day or weekend if you look around. If you like seeing large commercial ships as well as smaller private boats, just head down the hill and find the Port of Los Angeles. There are two large tourist areas near the port that offer parks, restaurants, shopping and some very inexpensive and enjoyable coastal cruises. One of the tourist areas is the Port's O Call Village which is a vintage New England style port replica (apparently filming for TV and movies takes place in this area). Also, the Port of LA has an annual Lobster Festival (in mid September) that is ideal for lobster lovers. At the start of the directions I provide below, you can visit San Pedro's "Korean Bell" or "Friendship Bell" which is located in Angel's Gate park. This huge bell was donated to LA from the South Korea back in 1976. It has a park and sits up at the crest of a hill offering a great view. Also, if you like history, this park has the Fort MacArthur Military Museum which highlights a fort that was built back in 1916. Just about a hundred yards away from this park is another park named Point Fermin park. This park offers tours of an old lighthouse and has a long walk/jogging trail around the perimeter of the park. If you like shopping, then you'll find a couple boutique centers that are found toward the tail end of the road when you start getting back into the more crowded areas. These boutique areas are great places to pull over, get some ice cream, and walk around looking at the arts and crafts. Also, if you want to do something really exciting, take a boat to Catalina Island which by itself, Catalina Island could turn into a week's vacation if you wanted it too.

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) Bill Belei



Add a Photo Add a Video



Reviewed by Guest on April 25, 2009
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Bob Mateski
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I grew up in Long Beach and used to ride up there back in the early 70's when there were hardly any cars, I am sure it is much more congested now but the views have to still be great.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by Guest on October 4, 2008
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Roberto & Fatima
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Standard
Comment: We just got our motocycle and it was our first little road trip, it was a great trip that we will never forget and the beggining for many more. Thanks for the tip.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by jdlt on February 1, 2015
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Jdlt
motorcycle_year: 2012
motorcycle_make: suzuki V strom
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: nice ride for my first scenic ride. Just short enough to sneak in an a Saturday morning. I started in long beach and made my way over the two bridges to gaffes street. A lot of construction, but not as bad as I expected, even with truck traffic. I also turned on 25th because I am pretty sure paso del mar is still closed. Like others have said parts are pretty bumby around Portuguese bend. Traffic was heavier than expected with lots of bicycle riders. I turned around before dropping into redondo beach and hit the side ride on the way back. For first pleasure ride not bad.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by adhersin on March 28, 2014
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Adh13
motorcycle_year: 2006
motorcycle_make: Kawa Ninja
motorcycle_type: Standard
Comment: Very relaxing ride and beautiful scenery. Don't hesiste to stop and enjoy the beauty of the ocean at the numerous lookout points along the road. Some bumps here and there but globally, it's an easy ride without too much traffic during the week ( Except the way back to LA on the 101 of course....)
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by Guest on October 7, 2012
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 08
motorcycle_make: Triumph
motorcycle_type: Standard
Comment: The route shown is now blocked by a huge landslide East of Western Ave.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by mooseariss on July 26, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2004
motorcycle_make: HD
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Beyond the "picturesque" look of this ride, the road conditions are less than desirable. I ride this road every other day, and there are several parts on the road, where you pretty much should stand on your bike to avoid physical torture to yourself, or damaging to your bike. For about 1/2 mile there is an area called Portuguese bend. This part of the road is notorious for being uneven and as crooked as a politician. the road shifts constantly, so what you expect to be one day can change the next.
There are several points during this road where there are street turn outs around the corner from a blind turn, making this hazardous for anyone coming around the corner at a relatively quick rate. At one point you wind up going through a neighborhood, where the residence have a tendency to come out and throw things at you or spray water on you because you are "annoying" them.

If it was not for PCH in the area being so congested and badly maintained I would just avoid this road all together.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by Guest on December 15, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Mason Mattenson
motorcycle_year: 2001
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: My wife Kris and I did this ride on Sunday Dec 12, 2010. It was a clear sunny day and the ride was fantastic! Visibility was great and Catalina Island was like a postcard in the ocean throughout the whole ride. There was some traffic but it didn't take away from the gorgeous scenery. We started in San Pedro and wound up at Naja's located at the Redondo Beach King's Harbor where they have great Caribbean Kabobs and more than 80 beers on tap! Great day! Great ride!
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by Guest on October 20, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Paul
motorcycle_year: 2003
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: If amyone wants to meet up and do this road let me know I live here and love the cruise. Its Awesome!!! Its Beautiful and lots of fun
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by Guest on June 6, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Stephen Adams
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: It's ok, but I grew up riding around here. Yes, loud pipes are an issue. I have Cobra slash downs and keep the noise down as I can. I passed a PVPD watching a stop sign today and no problem, but I was being heavily tailgated right up to that stop sign and honked at and I was doing just over speed , limit. Sherrifs and PD sit at various places all around the peninsula so be forwarned, racing aorund the hill is no longer tollerated, especially the PV Eest switchback route. But it is a beautiful drive and highly recomended if you have not done it just to do it.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by Guest on June 17, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: aaron
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: OTHER
motorcycle_type: Enduro
Comment: This route should be avoided if you have a bike with Loud Pipes. Palos Verdes PD WILL ticket you for loud pipes.
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Reviewed by Guest on March 18, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Michael
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Great ride thanks for the heads up on the road condition will remember for all of the rest of my days
Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Visitors who liked this road trip also liked:

The Three Sisters (AKA The Twisted Sisters)- Ranch Roads 335, 336,337a (100%)
Tunnel of Trees Road (49%)
The Triple Nickel - Route 555 (47%)
Beartooth Pass (37%)
Arkansas Pig Trail - Arkansas 23 (35%)




I've run the numbers, and these were the most popular roads in 2015 - Top 5 Motorcycle Roads per Region

Top 100 Motorcycle Roads

See the top 100 rides & routes in the US according to the - ''Riders' Rating'' voting system.

Click here

Motorcycle Lane Splitting Poll

Are you for or against legalizing motorcycle 'lane spliting?'

Take the poll now!