Travel

Pacific Palisades

Establishment neighborhood
Palisades Village
15225 Palisades Village Ln., Pacific Palisades
Rick Caruso, the real estate mogul behind the Grove and the Americana, has built, in his signature classic California style, 2019’s answer to the mini mall. It’s contemporary, mostly outdoors (this is LA, after all), and frankly, too beautiful to be called a mall at all. Veronica Beard, Jennifer Meyer Jewelry, and Vince are just a sampling of the thirty-three stores on the property that manages to feel more like a quaint little village than a retail experience. The restaurants deliver, with Edoardo Baldi’s (of famous Beverly Hills E. Baldi Ristorante), Sweet Laurel Bakery, and the more casual Edo Little Bites leading the charge.
Sweet Laurel
15279 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades
As one of six siblings, Laurel Gallucci spent a fair share of her childhood in the kitchen baking. Brownies, cookies, you name it. But years later, she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and suddenly sugar, dairy, and gluten—the foundations of baking—were out. She went back into the kitchen to experiment. Could a dairy-free almond-flour cake taste good and look beautiful? Very much yes. Today, her cakes—towering layers of coconut-lemon, vanilla, or chocolate sponge iced to perfection and decorated with fresh-cut flowers and fruit—are not only great to look at, but virtually every guest can eat them.
Los Leones Trail
Los Leones Dr., Pacific Palisades
Starting at the end of Los Leones Drive in the Palisades, the best version of this hike ends at the Parker Mesa Overlook in Malibu, which is the perfect perch to have a snack or a meal after a roughly three-mile ascent. (About a mile in, make sure you take a hard left at the Paseo Miramar Trail junction.) There’s not a lot of shade—and because of the unsurprisingly gorgeous view of the Santa Monica Bay and surrounding area at the top, it’s fairly well-traveled—so it’s best to go in the early morning. You’ll see “Los Leones” and “Los Liones” used interchangeably; don’t worry, they’re the same thing. There are a couple small parking lots at the bottom, and ample (free) street parking. Note: No dogs allowed.
Sweet Rose Creamery
970 Monument St., Pacific Palisades
As far as we’re concerned, Josh and Zoe Loeb can do no wrong—their adorable ice cream shop, which is a partnership with Shiho Yoshikawa (she used to work with Zoe at Tartine), only strengthens their case. Shiho picks up ingredients for her inventive flavors at the Santa Monica farmers market, and her milk and eggs are from local purveyors as well. Favorites include matcha, fig, and goat cheese, and the old-fashioned strawberry, which tastes fresh off the vine. This is LA, so there are also some dairy-free options: If that’s your vibe, definitely try the horchata. The original is at the Brentwood Country Mart, but now they have locations all over the city: Studio City, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and the Palisades.
Will Rogers State Park
1501 Will Rogers Park Rd., Pacific Palisades
Nestled at the base of the Santa Monica mountains, this 186-acre state park boasts horse stables, a polo field, and a riding ring, along with a host of trails that feed into other state park systems. Whether you come for a riding lesson or a trail ride, or just want to throw down a blanket and have a picnic while a polo game unfolds, it’s a pretty idyllic place to spend the day. Tours of Will Rogers’ homestead are also available.
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