Things To Do In The Area
Things To Do In The Area
Are you looking to add some variety to your retreat program?
Here are some options that you may want to consider for your group.
Will Rogers State Beach is easily accessible by going straight down Temescal Canyon Road to the bottom of the hill. It is about a ¾ mile downhill walk, however, be aware that the return trip is a pretty steep hill. If you drive, there is a large pay parking lot at the entrance or free street parking on Temescal Canyon Road. The beach also features a snack bar and restrooms. Lifeguards are generally on duty on fall and spring weekends, and daily in the summer.
Biking and Rollerblading
There are several shops along the beach that rent bicycles, rollerblade skates, and other sports equipment. Some are open year-round, others are seasonal. The wide South Bay Bike Trail that runs 22 miles along the ocean from Pacific Palisades to Torrance offers plenty of room to ride or skate.
Getty Center Museum
This world-famous museum features paintings, sculpture, pottery, manuscripts, photography and more in a spectacular hilltop setting overlooking the city. Admission is free, though there is a parking fee and reservations are recommended for parking, as it fills up fast. Wonderful cafe, restaurant, and gift shop, too. Look for information at or call (310) 440-7300.
Getty Center Villa
Located in Pacific Palisades on PCH, the Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The antiquities are arranged by themes including Gods and Goddesses, Dionysos and Theater, and Stories of the Trojan War. Make sure to take in the Roman-inspired architecture and gardens. Admission is FREE; an advance, timed ticket is required. There is a parking fee. Again, look for information at or call (310) 440-7300.
Outdoor opportunities abound in the area, with all kinds of hikes nearby, from easy strolls to more strenuous climbs. One block form Aldersgate is Temescal Gateway Park, here you will find trailheads leading in many directions. One goes to a bridge overlooking a small waterfall (less than 2 miles Aldersgate’s door), others connect with an extensive network of trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. Many trails have spectacular ocean or city views. Please contact the manager for trail maps and recommendations. Designated mountain biking areas are also available nearby.
Plan a stroll to the bluffs to watch the sunset. This is about a 20-minute walk each way to a large grassy area on the Palisades overlooking the ocean. This very popular destination has a couple of benches to rest, and a fence to lean on. You can occasionally see dolphins playing in the surf! This walk is all residential streets and sidewalks: a short portion is uphill. The manager will gladly give you easy walking directions. Don’t forget your camera!
Santa Monica Pier
The famous Santa Monica Pier features seafood restaurants, a restored carousel, and ocean discovery center. The Pacific Park, an amusement park with a Ferris wheel, a small roller coaster, bumper cars, and other rides. There are plenty of carnival games and an arcade. Grab an ice cream, watch the street musicians and smell the fresh sea air. and .
Within easy walking distance, you will find an assortment of shops in the “Village” a newly remodeled area of Pacific Palisades. Antiques, clothing, furniture and home decor, and gift shops abound. Take a left onto Antioch and proceed about 2 blocks until you reach Sunset Blvd. From there, enjoy the surrounding fare on the streets of Swarthmore, Via de la Paz, Monument, and others. Every Sunday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. there is a Farmer’s Market on the Palisades High School Campus.
Other Shopping options include the famous Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, between Broadway and Wilshire. This pedestrian-only street had large chain stores: Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, PacSun, Lululemon, Adidas, Pottery Barn, and many others), inter-dispersed with small boutiques, galleries, and restaurants in all price ranges. There are 3 multi-screen movie theaters as well. On weekends there are numerous street performers to add to the experience. At one end of the Promenade is Santa Monica Place, a 3 story mall. On the mall’s third floor you will find an extensive food court with a view of the ocean called the Dining Deck. Parking is free for the first 90 minutes in the city parking structures or the mall structures off of 2nd and 4th streets.
Theatre Palisades, next door to Aldersgate Retreat Center, produces live stage productions throughout the year. Group rates may be available. Call for current production schedule, ticket prices and information (310)454-1970 or http://www.theatrepalisades.org/ .
Will Rogers State Historic Park
In the early 1930”s, Will Rogers was the most popular and highest paid actor in Hollywood. During the 1920’s he bought 186 acres in Santa Monica overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Will Rogers ranch consisted of a 31 room ranch, a stable, corrals, riding ring, roping arena, polo field, golf course, and hiking trails. In 1944, the ranch became a state park. Park staff and docents offer tours of the Ranch House, Thursday through Sunday. The Will Rogers Polo Club plays polo every weekend from April to October. Riding lessons are available on Monday through Saturday. Guided trail rides are offered. Hikers can enjoy a moderate 3-mile loop to Inspiration Point. Adventurous hikers, mountain bikes, and equestrians can tackle Backbone Trail into the Santa Monica Mountains, which can take you all the to Point Mugu. Go to www.parks.ca.gov/willrogers/ or call (310) 454-8212 ext 103 for information.