The City of Rolling Hills Estates is located on the northern side of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, facing the city of Torrance. It boasts a distinctive rural vibe with its expansive homes, numerous horse trails, and parks and open spaces that are larger than most found in Los Angeles County.
This affluent community of around 8,100 residents strives to maintain its bucolic character and equestrian tradition. Strict zoning regulations limit commercial development, keeping the city mostly residential and preserving its serene country feel.
The land where Rolling Hills Estates now sits was part of Rancho San Pedro, the first Spanish rancho land grant established in California in the 1700s. In the late 1800s, the land was acquired by the Bixby family, who hired Harry Phillips, Sr. to be the foreman of the 16,000-acre Bixby Cattle Ranch. Harry Phillips, Sr. introduced agriculture to the region and became the area’s first permanent resident.
In 1913, the Bixby Ranch was sold to New York banker Frank A. Vanderlip, Sr., who developed the land into the Palos Verdes Project. Years later, the project was broken down into smaller developments, including Rolling Hills Estates.
In 1957, Rolling Hills Estates was incorporated as the 60th municipality of Los Angeles County. A series of annexations after that expanded the city to its current size of about 4.18 square miles.
Real Estate and Property Types
Rolling Hills Estates comprises around 30 neighborhoods, each with a distinct character and architectural style. These neighborhoods include gated communities with high elevations, providing stunning views of the city and amenities that include tennis courts, stables, and riding and bridle trails.
The housing stock in Rolling Hills Estates is made up mostly of single-family homes with expansive lot areas of around 1/3 acre to over an acre. There are many horse properties that back to one of the city’s riding paths. Horse trails and open spaces separate homes, creating an atmosphere of spaciousness and privacy.
Rolling Hills Estates also features low-density townhome and condo communities, providing relatively more affordable options to homebuyers. They come with excellent amenities, including clubhouses, swimming pools, tennis courts, and more.
Living in Rolling Hills Estates
The equestrian lifestyle defines Rolling Hills Estates. The city’s 25 miles of bridle paths are bordered by white three-rail fences that add to the community’s rural charm. Residents can also get access to the horse trails of neighboring Rolling Hills with a special rider’s permit.
The city operates several riding rings and horse arenas, and organizes equestrian-related activities all year round. Private facilities offer horse boarding services, riding lessons, and other equestrian services.
Rolling Hills Estates residents also enjoy a number of beautiful community parks with sports courts and fields, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
Excellent shopping, dining, and other leisure activities are found at the city’s mile-long commercial district. The community’s main retail hub is the Promenade on the Peninsula, a mixed-use complex featuring a wide array of shops and restaurants, as well as an ice skating rink, a movie theater, and a splash pad. The commercial district also encompasses part of The Peninsula Shopping Center, which serves the communities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Other attractions in the city include the main library of the Palos Verdes Library, and the Norris Theater for Performing Arts, which feature performances by local and professional groups.
The city is served by Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District, which includes some of the country’s top-ranked schools.
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