Point Vicente Interpretive Center

Located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, the Point Vicente Interpretive Center is an expansive park that’s perfect for picnics, getaways, weddings or even just a day out. It features its own natural history museum where visitors can discover the cultural and natural history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The Center opened initially in 1984 with a mission to educate those who visit about the historical significance of the Peninsula. In 2006, after much expansion and renovation it was reopened as a new state-of-the-art facility covering about 10,000 square feet. With exhibits that highlight all aspects of the peninsula, from its flora and fauna to its geology. The museum is a popular destination especially for those seeking a whale watching experience in the area.

The whale watching is particularly unique here as the Interpretive Center allows visitors both a recreational opportunity to view these animals in their natural habitat and an education opportunity to witness the Pacific grey whale’s annual migration. There is a special viewing to see this premier species migrate from December through April at the facility.

People visit the center to observe the stunning view of the Pacific Ocean from the park, which is conveniently located next to another interesting tourist attraction in the area: The Point Vicente Lighthouse. A list of all the features available at the Interpretive Center include:

  • History Museum
  • Gift Shop
  • On-site parking
  • Large Picnic Areas (Picnic Tables available but no Fires/Barbeques allowed on-site)
  • Walking Trails
  • Restrooms
  • Special Wedding Venues
  • Whale Watching Exhibits

Getting There

The Point Vicente Interpretive Center is about a 40-minute drive from the city of Los Angeles, and only a 15 to 20-minute drive from Long Beach, California. If using public transportation, visitors can make use of bus connections through the Metro-LA. The nearest bus stop is the one at the corner of PV Drive West & Hawthorne, but the bus rides are not direct take considerably longer so a car will be the best way to access Rancho Palos Verdes from another city.

When to Visit

The park facility is open daily until dusk, all year-round. Visitors can however only access the museum at the Interpretive Center from 10AM to 5PM, although during the summer the hours of operation are extended. The park remains closed for annual holidays like New Years (Jan. 1), Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve (Dec. 24) and Christmas Day (Dec. 25).

Visit the Point Vicente Interpretive Center to enjoy the sea view and have a picnic by the sea. Otherwise contact the center for rental plans in order to host your special event like a wedding or reception at the facility.

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