Monday, September 05, 2011
Vacation on the Palos Verdes Peninsula: Terranea
Located just minutes from Los Angeles, the new Terranea resort was built in 2009 but already feels like a natural part of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The resort is located on land inhabited by the Marineland sea life park from 1954 to 1987, but it took another 20 years to finally get everything in place to build the resort.
The location is pretty stunning, including a pretty clear view of Catalina island. Add that to the blue waters and the hillside above, and there are moments where you can imagine being in Hawai'i. (Well, except for the slightly chilly winds that sometimes come in via the Pacific. Bring a jacket for early mornings or late nights.)
The 582-room Terranea, built on 102 acres, includes a collection of residential bungalows, casitas and villas. The resort also features a 9-hole par 3 golf course, the Spa at Terranea, three ocean view pools and a collection of eight restaurants, bars, cafés and lounges.
Terranea plays down the Marineland aspect of the site -- perhaps because it's still such a sore subject for the area, as locals and Angelenos to this day are upset over how the park was abruptly shut down by new owners (who then shipped off beloved killer whales Corky and Orky to their signature Sea World in San Diego). Instead, Terranea embraces the area's history as a popular site for Hollywood productions -- most notably, the long-running Lloyd Bridges series "Sea Hunt." The resort's ocean front eatery Nelson's is named after Bridges' character, Mike Nelson, and is decorated with images from the show.
We spent four days there last month, and as you saw from our posts last week, made it a mini-vacation -- exploring the nearby sites but never leaving the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The kids would have been happy spending all day, every day, at the pool, which includes a major water slide, a splash zone and two hot tubs. (The pool is slightly heated, because it does get chilly at times there on the coast.) If you're looking for a getaway without actually spending the money to fly somewhere, Terranea is a pretty good substitute.
PREVIOUSLY ON FRANKLIN AVENUE:
Vacation on the Palos Verdes Peninsula: View from the Coast
Vacation on the Palos Verdes Peninsula: The Point Fermin Lighthouse
Vacation on the Palos Verdes Peninsula: Point Vicente and Marineland Memories
Vacation on the Palos Verdes Peninsula: The Wayfarers Chapel