High above Pacific Palisades, the view from Temescal Ridge takes in a vast area of Santa Monica Bay. As the sun drops to the horizon, a hiker pauses to watch the denouement to the day.
"Struck by beauty?" asks a smiling woman passing him as she races down the trail.
Well, as a matter of fact, yes. It's one of those Southern California moments when the light brings the ocean, the mountains, and the city into perfect harmony. "I'm giving in to it," he replies. "Just for a few minutes."
Seconds later the big payoff comes.
Pacific Palisades is centered on Sunset Blvd. between I-405 and State 1/Pacific Coast Hwy. For information, contact the Pacific Palisades Chamber of Commerce; 310/459-7963.
WHAT TO DO
Getty Villa A reinvented landmark. INFO: Free advance timed tickets required; $8 parking; 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy.; 310/440-7300.
Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine A soulful and meditative escape to a place of surpassing beauty. INFO: Closed Mon; free; 17190 Sunset Blvd.; 310/454-4114.
Temescal Gateway Park Shaded picnic area and 3-mile (round-trip) canyon loop hike to a small waterfall, as well as hiking access into Topanga State Park. INFO: 15601 Sunset Blvd. at Temescal Canyon Rd.; $5 parking; www.lamountains.com; 310/454-1395.
Will Rogers State Historic Park Tour the ranch house (11, 1, and 2 Tue-Sun), or head out on trails to outstanding city and ocean views. INFO: Off Sunset Blvd. at 1501 Will Rogers State Park Rd.; $7 parking; 310/454-8212.
WHERE TO EAT
Cafe Vida Popular local spot offers sidewalk seating and a diverse menu emphasizing fresh, natural ingredients. INFO: $$; 15317 Antioch St.; 310/573-1335.
Intemperantia Save up some calories for these imported Swiss chocolates. INFO: 15324 Antioch St.; 800/982-0088.
Modo Mio Traditional Italian in an Old World atmosphere. INFO: $$$; 15200 Sunset Blvd.; 310/459-0979.
WHERE TO SHOP
BOCA Man The Palisades is filled with quality women's and children's stores; here's one for the guys. INFO: 15300 Antioch St.; 310/454-3891.
Chefmakers High-end cookware and hands-on cooking classes. INFO: 872 Via de la Paz; 310/459-9444.
Elyse Walker Popular clothing, shoe, and handbag boutique carries a wide range of designers. INFO: 15306 Antioch St.; 310/230-8882.
Village Books Thoughtful selection and a helpful, enthusiastic staff make it a perfect alternative to chain stores. INFO: 1049 Swarthmore Ave.; 310/454-4063.