As the crown jewel of the ritzy 'burb of Rancho Palos Verdes, Terranea Resort offers eight restaurants, posh villas and a dreamy sense of escape. With your first step onto the lobby's gleaming marble floor, you are transported into a travel brochure — the overly friendly concierge, the extravagant floral arrangements on every accent table in sight, the expansively perfect ocean view. Outside, there's a cliffside adult pool, fire pits for talking and watching the sun go down, and a public trail for locals and guests leading down to tide pools — which are rare along most of Los Angeles County's shoreline. Terranea was built on the Palos Verdes Peninsula's land's end — a choice hunk of windblown acreage that was formerly Marineland. In its new incarnation, you can spot whales from the bluff, brunch at Nelson's cliffside or rent a villa for a girls' weekend filled with poolside cocktails and lavish dinners. 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes. (866) 802-8000,

—Esha Jalota

LA Weekly