Perfect California Coast Rain or Shine: Terranea Resort -
Colorfully lit fountain in front of Terranea Resort main lobby entrance

Perfect California Coast Rain or Shine: Terranea Resort

We’ve been to Terranea Resort on Southern California’s coast a few times now. This hotel is so special that we seek it out as a beachfront refuge regardless of the time of year. Summer at Terranea is, well, summer in California is what dreams are made of. But Winter is just as amazing here. That’s why we call Terranea Resort the perfect California coastal resort – rain or shine.

Terranea Resort offers an adults-only pool experience at Cielo Point, overlooking the Southern California coastline and Pacific OCean
Cielo Point is Terranea’s adults-only pool perched on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean.

With so many things to do on property at Terranea Resort, we rarely feel the need to leave. From its ideal position on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it’s possible to see all the way to Catalina Island. On a recent visit, we witnessed dolphins playing in the breaking waves, seals sunning on the rocks, and dozens – DOZENS – of sweet little brown and white bunnies feasting in the tall coastal grasses.

Combine all that with a peaceful, zen-like California vibe and tons of activities, and Terranea Resort never disappoints. Rain or shine.

Bunnies, bunnies, bunnies – everywhere!

Perfect California Coastal Resort – Rain or Shine

If you’ve visited Southern California before, you may have learned that late summer/early fall are the best months to visit. The weather gets better the later in the summer it is, and summer lasts well into October. When other parts of the country are starting to chill, people are putting on sweaters and boots. Not in Southern California. Locals know the water temperature of the ocean gets warmest in September, and the morning coastal fog is long gone.

Plus the sunsets at this time of the year are epic! Purples and oranges and reds brush the skies with amazing color as the sun dips below the ocean horizon.

Southern California sunset over the Pacific Ocean, taken at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes
Sunsets along the Southern California coastline are always colorful.

When it rains here, it really is mild. Oh the wind tousles the grasses around a bit, and – gasp – we might need to put on regular shoes rather than flip flops. But rain here is not a big deal, except for the chance to nestle into a cozy oceanfront resort room with a fireplace.

These are the times when we love to visit Terranea Resort. On the Southern California Coast in Palos Verdes just south of Los Angeles, it’s the ideal getaway.

Casita living room at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California
Our casita at Terranea had the perfect living room for lounging.

Terranea Resort in the Summer

On our recent visit to Terranea Resort, we had the good fortune of nearly ideal weather. The late summer Southern California days were not-too-hot and not-too-cold, and the ocean temp was refreshing. So we did all the summer things you can do at Terranea in the sun.

Here’s a few examples:

Kayaking the Coast

We could not believe how amazing it was to paddle out from the shore below the resort. Partnered up in twos, we set out for a fun little trip down the coastline to enjoy the water and surroundings. What we didn’t expect was a school of dolphins to come jumping past! We just stopped and watched them play. The best day on the water ever.

Paddling in kayaks along the Southern California Coastline near Terranea Resort
Archery on the Beach

If you’re going to try archery, Terranea Resort is a great place to do it. After all, the archery range is located on the beach just below the hotel. An area is marked off, targets are set up, and a coach is there to walk guests through the basics. Turns out Triton is a master, despite having never shot a single arrow before!

man poses on archery range holding bow with targets in background at Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes, California
Triton was crowned the King of Archery on the range at Terranea Resort.
Pool Hopping

Terranea Resort has four pools, all with different characters. For example, the Olympic sized pool at the spa draws guests for exercise. The family Resort Pool has plenty of play areas for the kiddies and a water slide. We love the quiet Vista Pool the most, and it has cabanas, a bar and a commitment to relaxation. Over at the adult pool, Cielo Point, there is more of a party vibe for adults only. If you are in the mood like we were, you can hop from pool to pool as you please!

Main lounging inside pool cabana at Terranea Resort in Southern California
We love a good cabana, and these at Terranea’s Vista Pool are spectacular.
Yoga by the Sea

One of the advantages of a cliffside location is Terranea’s spa and fitness facilities, which have unobstructed ocean views. We walked down as a family to take a yoga class, and loved working out with the fresh sea air cooling us. With that kind of incentive, I would work out all day, every day!

Outdoor Dining at Sunset

As I mentioned earlier, the California sunsets can be epic. Particularly at at perfect California coastal resort like Terranea Resort. Any one of their restaurants offers up a terrific sunset cocktail or dinner. One summer evening at Nelson’s, we enjoyed lobster rolls, beers, great music and a killer sunset.

Family dining on outdoor patio at Bashi Restaurant at Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes, California
Outdoor dining at Bashi Restaurant is always a highlight at Terranea Resort.

Terranea Resort in the Winter

On our previous visit to Terranea Resort, it was a stormy week full of clouds, wind and some of that water that falls from the sky. Yes it rained in Southern California, a rare thing and we loved it. The idea of a beach vacation conjures images of sun-drenched days and sandy toes. But some of the best times at the beach for interesting views and uncommon experiences are in the winter.

Spooky bare tree at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California
Winter and rainy days make even the trees at Terranea more dramatic.

That’s what makes Terranea the perfect California coastal resort, rain or shine. Here are some examples of the fun we on our rainy day vacation at a beach resort:

Hot Oil Massage at the Spa

A spa visit is always in season, and we love a good massage any time of the year. The Spa at Terranea is a welcoming and warm place to relax, especially when the weather is cold and rainy. The Ocean’s Renewal massage with warm seaweed oil is a good option. So is the Volcanic Clay wrap, which wraps you in warm clay for an exfoliation experience.

Rainy day view from the Spa at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California
A warm massage at the Spa at Terranea is a perfect rainy day activity.
Warm Drinks in the Lobby

When you can’t explore outdoors due to the rain, a cozy living room in the Terranea lobby is really inviting. We strolled up to sit in the comfy chairs by the fire and sip hot toddies. The people watching was fascinating, and we heard so many languages from around the world. No one seemed at all bothered by the weather – in fact it seemed everyone was in a jovial mood.

Terranea Resort hotel lobby with fireplace, Palos Verdes, California
Gathering in the Terranea hotel lobby is a great way to spend a rainy day.
Room Service by the Fire

Don’t know about you, but I cannot function without my morning coffee. Here at Terranea Resort, we did one better. Rather than go out in the rain, we ordered room service for breakfast. We made a little picnic by the fireplace in our casita and enjoyed a quiet meal in our pajamas.

special version of chicken and waffles at Mar'Sel Restaurant at Terranea Resort
Brunch at Mar’Sel includes masterpieces like this special version of chicken and waffles.
Soaking in the Tub

I’m not a big bath guy, but the bathtub in our room at Terranea seemed like the ideal place to lounge on a winter day. And oh how it was. While the members of my family were watching movies, reading books or staring at the fire, I soaked. And soaked and soaked. It was brilliant.

Man relaxes in tub at Terranea Resort
Enormous bathrooms include huge tubs, made for soaking and relaxing.
Gourmet Meals

Terranea Resort is renowned for its restaurants, and we felt obligated to try them all. LOL. Seriously, the food at this resort is delicious. Whether you prefer Asian specialties and hot saki at Bashi, or something more elegant at mar’sel, the options are plenty. (Hot tip: the muesli and chocolate croissants at Sea Beans in the morning are worth a little walk in the rain!)

Colorful sushi dishes on display at Bashi Restaurant at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California
The Asian dishes at Bashi are both delicious and beautiful,

Rain or Shine

So now you see why we call Terranea Resort the perfect California coastal resort – rain or shine. It is clearly one of our favorite resorts to visit as a family. Now that the girls are off to college, I think it may be time for a return visit for just us parents!

coastal wildflowers along bluff at Terranea Resort in Southern California
The coastal plants along the bluffs at Terranea Resort grow wild and free.
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