of White Point and Royal Palms County Beaches above include fishermen and kids
casting a line on the rocks on Christmas Day, a boy wearing a Superman costume,
view from the hilltop and teens walking down the steep road to beach
White Point and Royal Palms County
Beaches 1799 Paseo del Mar, San Pedro
White Point/Royal Palms Shoreline
Complex off Paseo del Mar at the base of a 100-foot bluff, enjoys glittering
ocean vistas and Santa Catalina Island in the distance. A shelf of shore
curving west from a rocky point, a reef, and some large trees to the west
are remnants of the Royal Palms Recreation Center, developed by Ramón
Any day is a fantastic day to visit
this stunning Los Angeles County park. Located near the northern edge of San
Pedro and southern point of Rancho Palos Verdes, it was once the the White
Point Hot Spring Hotel, a spa that was popular in the 1920s and '30s,
especially with Japanese-Americans. While you can still see the ruins on the
White Point and Royal Palms County Beaches now attract a diverse
population of Los Angeles beach-goers and tourists. Great spots for family
picnics, fishing, rock
climbing, surfing, plus restrooms and picnic facilities overlooking stunning
views of Catalina Island, glass cases near the picnic facilities include
1920s and ’30s era images of the location.
The paved road to the beach is steep,
so it’s best to drive down the hill and park in the public spaces. A large patio at the upcoast end of the beach
was once the dance floor of the Royal Palms Recreation Center. Now the area
is a shaded picnic spot furnished with benches. A stream (dry in the
summer) runs down the cliff face, under the patio, and out to the ocean.
White’s Point, at the downcoast end of the beach is less accessible.
Boulders line the shore and surround the ruins of mineral baths. In 1933 an
earthquake closed the warm-water vent. There are tidepools among the rocks
and ruins, but you’d have to leave your chair behind and climb over the
boulders to see them.
Tojuro Tagami and his brother Tamiji,
built and operated the spa in partnership with the landowner, Ramón
Sepúlveda. It included a sulfur-spring pool kids used to bathe in on their
way home from school. They blasted roads, dug out the sulfur hot spring. It
was a favorite place for Japanese-Americans to come for picnics. The Tagamis
were not the first Japanese immigrants to discover White Point. Around 1898,
12 fishermen arrived from the small town of Los Angeles and discovered the
abundance of lobster and abalone at the reef. Sepúlveda built housing for
them on the shore, and they soon were harvesting two tons of abalone a day.
In 1906, with stocks being rapidly depleted, the state legislature
restricted the take and the operation folded. Contributing to its demise was
fear of the "Yellow Peril," fueled by Randolph Hearst in the Los Angeles
Examiner. Yellow Peril was a racist term, a color metaphor for race,
referring to the skin color of East Asians, and the xenophobia that a mass
immigration of Asians would threaten wages and standards of living.
The Tagamis, who farmed at West Adams
Street in Los Angeles, were attracted to White Point by the healing
qualities of the spring. Tamiji suffered severely from arthritis but after
several weeks of immersion in the hot water from the ocean, he recovered and
was again able to work. So they built a bathhouse, and went on to build a
saltwater swimming pool, cabins, a restaurant, and a hotel. The next
generation of Tagamis continued to operate the spa. There was a pier and
fishing barge where Spanish mackerel, bass, and jack smelt were plentiful.
The Tagamis also trapped lobsters and dove for abalone for their Rancho
de los Palos Verdes was divied out in land grant deeds with Don Delores
Sepulveda receiving his parcel in
1822 for his support of the Mexican Revolution. He held the land
for 60 years till 1882. The Bixby family, whose holdings stretched the coast and
included Long Beach ranchos to the south, sold a parcel to Frank Vanderlip
in 1913. This president
of National City Bank in New York and one time owner of the peninsula acquired the property
from Jotham Bixby, and was reportedly so inspired by what he saw that he called in design experts who created
set back requirements, prohibited billboards and imposed a system of
architectural review. Builders administered by the Palos Verdes Homes
Association and the Palos Verdes Art Jury set the tone for a newly formed
development that even today includes only small road signs as you enter the
cities that feature properties ranging from modest homes to mansions, many
with stunning cliff-top ocean views.
Tourists who want to see the splendor of the ocean
and to enjoy the natural resources can take docent-led nature hikes. Los Serenos de Point Vicente docents
conduct guided tours of the Ocean Trails Project. The walks begin at the
public parking lot at the end of La Rotonda Drive off of Palos Verdes
Drive South. Docents lead hikers through paved trails along a bluff and habitat corridor. They provide information about the history,
geology, marine ecology and habitat restoration work of the Ocean Trails
project. Tours last approximately two hours. No reservations required.
Monthly walks led by PVP Land Conservancy 310-373-0202
There are six blue spaces in the lot at the beach, none in the blufftop lot.
Park restrooms have wide stalls and grab bars.
Facilities: Tidepools, Swimming, Surfing, Diving, Picnic area, Promenade,
Parking: 191 spaces, (13 disabled),
Electric Vehicle - 1inductive, 1 conductive
Lifeguards: Lifeguards are on the beach during daylight hours.
Southern Surf Report (310-379-8471)