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Welcome to Pacific Palisades, a captivating coastal neighborhood located in the Westside region of Los Angeles, California. Boasting a combination of stunning natural beauty, exclusive residential neighborhoods, and access to cities like Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles, this community serves as a tranquil retreat for celebrities, industry leaders, and discerning luxury real estate investors.
Nestled along the Santa Monica Mountains, Pacific Palisades is bordered by Brentwood to the east, Malibu to the west, Santa Monica to the southeast, and the Santa Monica Bay to the southwest. It has long been regarded as a haven for celebrities, with its perfect blend of privacy, luxury amenities, and proximity to the heart of the entertainment industry.
Renowned movie icons like Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Matt Damon, and Jamie Lee Curtis call this oceanfront enclave home, and you can too. Here’s everything you need to know about investing in Pacific Palisades real estate.
PACIFIC PALISADES BY THE NUMBERS
100+ YEARS OF HISTORY
Originally inhabited by the Tongva people, Pacific Palisades used to be part of Rancho Boca de Santa Monica during the Mexican Period. It was also home to “Inceville,” the 460-acre film studio of silent film director and “Father of the Western” Thomas Ince.
In 1922, Pacific Palisades was bought and established by the Southern California Methodist Episcopal Church. The area enjoyed a slow and steady growth until the paving of Sunset Boulevard in 1925. This development brought a higher volume of traffic to Pacific Palisades, with people traveling to and from places like Beverly Hills and Westwood.
Pacific Palisades’ Mediterranean climate, gorgeous mountain landscapes, and secluded, small-town environment made it particularly attractive to high-profile individuals and artists throughout the years. Jewish intellectuals like Thomas Mann and Theodor Adorno to Academy Award nominees like Anthony Hopkins and Bradley Cooper treated the neighborhood as their peaceful hideaway.
24 SQUARE MILES OF LUSH LANDSCAPES AND REAL ESTATE
Encompassing about 24 sq. mi. of total area, Pacific Palisades is an exclusive coastal neighborhood with a population of around 32,000 residents. It is made up of around 17 residential communities, including:
3 MILES OF BREATHTAKING COASTLINE
One of the defining features of Pacific Palisades is its three-mile stretch of stunning beaches, including Will Rogers State Beach, Sunset Point Beach, and Ginger Rogers Beach. Here, residents can indulge in Southern California’s sunny climate with a wide range of activities, from swimming and paddle boarding to biking and bird watching. Your furry companion can join in the fun as well in dog-friendly beaches like the Topanga State Beach.
2 WORLD-CLASS NEIGHBORING BEACH TOWNS
Living in seclusion and tranquility doesn’t mean you have to live far from the action. Santa Monica, which sits right next to Pacific Palisades, offers a lively beach atmosphere with its iconic boardwalk, pier, and selection of shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, Malibu is home to several fine-dining restaurants and spa and wellness centers with unparalleled ocean views.
LUXURY HOMES FOR SALE IN PACIFIC PALISADES
Pacific Palisades is the pinnacle of coastal elegance and tranquility. Known for its pristine natural environment, wealth of amenities, and prestigious neighborhoods, Pacific Palisades real estate properties serve as the perfect sanctuary for luxury living.
The Pacific Palisades real estate market
The exclusivity and desirability of this neighborhood is reflected in the price of its homes. Between 2020 and 2022, the median listing home price for Pacific Palisades properties ranged from $3.295 million to $5.31 million, with some luxury homes selling for as high as $69 million.
Its housing market boasts an impressive range of architectural styles, including Craftsman, Mediterranean, Spanish Colonial, Mid-Century Modern, Tudor, and Ranch. When looking for luxury homes for sale in Pacific Palisades, buyers can expect:
- Expansive lots. Luxury homes in this neighborhood usually have ample acreage, with room for outdoor living spaces, beautifully landscaped gardens, and in-ground pools. To maximize Pacific Palisades’ gorgeous climate, many properties feature covered patios, balconies and terraces, outdoor kitchens, and fire pits.
- Panoramic views. Depending on the property’s location, it can feature unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, the Santa Monica Mountains, or the Los Angeles cityscape.
- High-quality finishes. Most luxury homes are bespoke, so it’s common to find meticulously chosen fixtures and finishes like stone or marble countertops, rich hardwood flooring, custom cabinetry, and other unique features like the red-tile roofs and arched doorways of Spanish Colonial-style homes.
- Opulent home amenities. From infinity pools and private tennis courts to state-of-the-art home theaters and historic wine cellars, you can expect the most indulgent amenities in these upscale properties.
- Utmost privacy and security. Pacific Palisades’ high-end properties are often located in exclusive gated communities like The Highlands and the Riviera, which provides residents with 24/7 security. Luxury homes are usually surrounded by mature trees and natural rugged landscape as well, adding an extra layer of privacy and security.
LIFE IN PACIFIC PALISADES
Planning to invest in Pacific Palisades real estate? Here’s a snapshot of what it’s like living in this gorgeous coastal neighborhood.
Access to some of the best schools in California
Served by the high-ranking Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD), Pacific Palisades takes great pride in its top-quality education system. The area is home to award-winning public schools like the Palisades Charter High School, one of the top 10 Best Magnet High Schools in California, and Marquez Charter Elementary School, a 7-time Apple Distinguished School and California Distinguished School recipient. Other top schools include Palisades Charter Elementary School and John Burroughs Middle School.
Proximity to premier shopping destinations
Despite its residential nature, Pacific Palisades is home to a range of shopping districts that cater to every taste and style.
The Palisades Village, or more commonly known as simply “The Village,” is the commercial heart of the community. Featuring an impressive selection of high-end fashion boutiques, artisanal stores, and one-of-a-kind restaurants in an open-air setting, this is every resident’s go-to place for an indulgent retail therapy session.
Neighboring Santa Monica offers a host of must-visit shopping destinations as well. Third Street Promenade, for example, is another outdoor, pedestrian-friendly shopping district that spans three blocks east of the Santa Monica Pier. Popular among both tourists and locals, the Promenade is home to big retailers like Aritzia and Madewell as well as homegrown specialty stores like Acorn Store and See Sea.
A short drive along the Pacific Coast Highway can also lead you to Malibu Country Mart, which houses an eclectic mix of luxury fashion stores, lifestyle brands, and al fresco dining options. With Malibu’s exquisite beaches and landscapes as the backdrop, the Malibu Country Mart has also become a popular venue for community events like farmers markets, local art exhibitions, and concerts.
A vibrant culinary scene
From fresh seafood at the oceanfront to good ol’ American comfort food, Pacific Palisades’ restaurant scene is as diverse as it is delightful.
- Hone your Palisades palate. A place is just as good as its food, and if you’re new to Pacific Palisades, there’s no better way to know more about your new home than having dinner at one of its most iconic restaurants: Gladstones. Perched at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Sunset Boulevard since 1972, it is a must-visit for classic seafood and oceanfront dining. Make sure you try their clam chowder, lobster roll, and fish and chips.
- Have some authentic Italian fare. Many people find the Palisades’ beautiful Mediterranean climate and serene atmosphere reminiscent of the coastal towns in Italy. It comes as no surprise that the neighborhood is home to some of the best Italian restaurants in the Los Angeles area.Modo Mio Cucina Rustica, for example, invites guests to savor the warmth and elegant simplicity of homemade risottos, gnocchi, and other regional specialties as you share it with loved ones. Cinque Terre West Osteria, a family-owned business, offers Ligurian dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, showcasing the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean in coastal California.
- Go on a culinary journey. You don’t have to travel far to have a taste of international cuisine. The Pearl Dragon, located along Sunset Boulevard, has been serving Asian fusion dishes and sushi to the Palisades community since 2001. Committed to sustainability and social responsibility, the restaurant offers only the freshest, organic, and locally sourced seafood and ingredients. The Draycott, on the other hand, brings you the regal elegance of London with its all-dining restaurant-cafe concept. Using only ingredients from local farms and purveyors, it features seasonal dishes with a British twist, as well as an extensive brunch menu and a generous Happy Hour.
Abundant green spaces and outdoor recreational activities
Pacific Palisades is best known for its vast nature parks and long list of outdoor activities. From award-winning golf courses to scenic hiking trails, this Los Angeles neighborhood has something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of our favorites:
- Book tee times at The Riviera Country Club. Experience golfing at its finest at The Riviera Country Club’s world-class golf course. Designed by George C. Thomas, this 18-hole course has consistently ranked among the top 50 globally and top 25 in the United States, hosting prestigious events like The Genesis Invitational and the 1995 PGA Championship. So, whether you’re a casual golfer or a seasoned professional, the course’s natural beauty will leave you in awe, while its strategic layout puts your skills to the test.
- Explore the Will Rogers State Historic Park. Originally the beloved ranch of actor Will Rogers, this 186-acre park offers numerous horseback and hiking opportunities as well as a glimpse into his fascinating life. You can explore his stunning 31-room house, saddle up for a horseback ride around the polo field, or embark on a moderate three-mile hike to Inspiration Point.
- Bask under the sun at Will Rogers State Beach. Unlike its busier neighbors, Will Rogers State Beach provides over 103 acres of tranquil beachfront for those who simply want to enjoy a leisurely day sunbathing and swimming. You can also find a variety of well-maintained amenities and facilities, such as volleyball courts, picnic tables, and a playground.
- Hike across Topanga State Park. Spanning across 11,000 acres – and with over 76 miles of trails – Topanga State Park is considered to be the largest state park within a city. And for Pacific Palisades residents, it is an expansive playground for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. You can explore popular routes like Los Liones Canyon Trail, East Topanga Fire Road, and Parker Mesa Overlook Trail. Geology enthusiasts can find fascinating geologic formations like earthquake faults and volcanic intrusions, while history buffs can visit historic sites like the Trippet Ranch Area, Will Rogers’ Cabin, and Josepho Barn.
- Admire the views at Asilomar View Park. Perched above the Pacific Coast Highway, this breathtaking lookout point offers panoramic vistas of the ocean and coastline. It is one of the lesser known parks in Los Angeles, which makes it perfect for a romantic date or a peaceful solo retreat. You can capture stunning sunset photos, explore its mini hiking trails leading down the hill, or indulge in a bite or a cup of coffee while taking in the coastal beauty of the Palisades.
A haven for artists
With its stunning natural beauty and rich history, it’s no surprise that Pacific Palisades has a number of renowned museums, galleries, and cultural centers. From learning about the ancient Greeks to watching a contemporary theater performance, this vibrant neighborhood offers a myriad of opportunities for artists and art enthusiasts.
- Discover the beauty in antiquity at the Getty Villa. Set within a recreated Roman country house in Castellammare, the Getty Villa is an educational center and art museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the art and cultures of Greek, Roman, and Etruscan civilizations. It houses a collection of more than 40,000 artifacts, including renowned sculptures like the Lansdowne Heracles and the Victorious Youth. The Villa also hosts rotating exhibitions and live performances in its indoor auditorium and outdoor theater.
- Meet inspiring artists at Villa Aurora. Formerly the home of renowned German author Lion Feuchtwanger and his wife Marta, this Spanish-style mansion has served as an artists’ residence since 1995. Offering numerous fellowship and residence programs to talented artists, it serves as a cultural hub for international encounters and creative debates. They also hold several public events throughout the year, including performances, exhibitions, and lectures.
- Explore new art exhibits at the Bruce Lurie Gallery. Originally established in New York’s East Village, the Brucie Gallery has found its new home in Pacific Palisades. This renowned art gallery has propelled many emerging artists into the spotlight, showcasing a variety of works ranging from avant-garde pop art to abstract sculptures. Whether you’re a seasoned art collector or a curious enthusiast, the Bruce Lurie Gallery offers a captivating experience and expert advice on building your art collection.
- Watch a local production at the Pierson Playhouse (Theatre Palisades). Founded in 1963 by visionary TV writers, this community theater has been delighting audiences with original plays and high-quality performances for decades. The Pierson Playhouse, which opened in 1988, serves as its permanent home. From major productions to chamber music concerts, Theatre Palisades puts out a variety of shows that the whole family can enjoy.
Cultural community events
Pacific Palisades is a community that thrives on fostering connections. From patriotic parades to vibrant farmers markets, this coastal neighborhood offers an array of community events that bring residents and visitors together.
- Celebrate Independence Day at the Pacific Palisades Fourth of July Parade/Palisades Rocks the Fourth. A long-held hometown tradition since 1948, the Pacific Palisades Parade is a spectacular showcase of the community’s spirit. There’s also a spectacular fireworks display, live music performances, and a variety of engaging activities, ensuring an unforgettable Independence Day experience.
- Join the annual Palisades Menorah Lighting. Since 1988, the Palisades Village has come alive on the first night of Hanukkah with a magnificent menorah lighting ceremony. Organized by Chabad of Pacific Palisades, local Jewish leaders, and the Chamber of Commerce, it features live Hanukkah music, mouthwatering latkes and chocolate gelt and engaging activities like arts and crafts, face painting, and balloon twisting.
- Support local farmers and artisans at the Pacific Palisades California Certified Farmers Market. Held every Sunday at Palisades Village, the Pacific Palisades Farmers Market has served as a platform where local farmers, bakers, and artisans can connect with the community and each other.
FIND YOUR DREAM HOME IN PACIFIC PALISADES TODAY
Ready to start your search for luxury homes for sale in Pacific Palisades? It’s wise to have a top Realtor on your side. With a stunning track record of over $1 billion in real estate transactions, James Respondek is the expert you need to navigate the luxury market in Pacific Palisades.