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10 Places of Interest Near Malaga Cove

March 21, 1987|ROBERT JOHN PIERSON

After your walk--especially if it was a morning excursion--you may want to explore the rest of Palos Verdes Peninsula. The Top 10 places highlighted below can easily be seen on a scenic two-hour drive.

From Malaga Cove Plaza, drive south on Palos Verdes Drive West about one mile to Bluff Cove, where the gentle hills plummet to the ocean. From the cliffs you can observe surfers below and radio-piloted model airplanes above.

Follow Paseo del Mar along the bluffs to Lunada Bay. All along the coast below is the Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Marine Preserve, a public park with lonely stretches of beach and public paths.

About two miles past Lunada Bay, on Palos Verdes Drive West, you come to one of L.A.'s few lighthouses, the Point Vicente Lighthouse. A small nature center features information on the natural history of the Peninsula and its coast.

Half a mile farther you come to what was once Marineland, recently sold and tragically closed down.

About one mile east you come to Wayfarer's Chapel, designed in 1946 by Lloyd Wright as a memorial to Swedish metaphysician Emmanuel Swedenborg. The glass chapel, set in a coastal redwood grove, offers a serene setting for contemplation.

For the next two miles, drive very carefully: You are entering one of the fastest, continually moving landslide areas in the world. Portuguese Bend used to be a placid, pastoral place, but in the 1960s when the Army Corps of Engineers began grading to extend Crenshaw Boulevard, they unwittingly triggered this slide area. Scores of homes were destroyed. Each month the land moves several inches and the road must continuously be repaved.

Follow Palos Verdes Drive South to 25th Street. Turn right on Western Avenue and then turn left onto Paseo del Mar. About two miles later you arrive at the oldest lighthouse in Southern California: Point Fermin Lighthouse, built in 1874. The Eastlake Victorian wooden complex is set in a park surrounded by Moreton Bay fig trees.

Continue east to Pacific Avenue and turn left. Signs will lead you to the Cabrillo Marine Museum several blocks to the east. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, this museum provides superb exhibits highlighting the natural history of the Southern California coast.

Return and go north on Pacific Avenue. At 6th Street, turn right. The Deco Ferry Building at the street end once carried thousands of passengers and cars a day to Terminal Island before the Vincent Thomas Bridge was built. Now the building houses the Los Angeles Marine Museum, depicting the history of the L.A. Harbor.

Just south of the Marine Museum is Ports o' Call Village, a quaint group of shops and restaurants. Harbor tours leave from here.

Return to 6th Street, turn left (west) and turn right on Gaffey Street. Follow Gaffey for about three miles to Palos Verdes Drive North and turn left. At Crenshaw Boulevard turn right to the South Coast Botanic Garden.

From here you may go north on Crenshaw Boulevard to the San Diego Freeway.

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