Abalone Cove Shoreline Park in Rancho Palos Verdes isn't the easiest spot to access, which makes it a rewarding beach experience. Even during the peak afternoon hours on a holiday weekend, the park is free of the hordes of people seeking an ocean breeze. The park itself sits on a bluff overlooking the Pacific. It's a lovely spot to picnic. But checking out the tide pools is a workout. Don't wear flip-flops. A short but very steep hiking trail leads you to the beach, where you will find a small playground, a lifeguard post and plenty of room to lie in the sun. Climb down a few more rocks to reach the shoreline. Amid the breathtaking rock formations are the tide pools. Since this is a State Ecological Preserve, you cannot touch the marine life. Parking is $5 for cars, $15 for buses. 5970 Palos Verdes Drive S., Rancho Palos Verdes. (310) 377-1222, palosverdes.com/rpv/recreationparks.

—Liz Ohanesian

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