In the 1870s, the Pacific Palisades fell short in its pursuit of becoming the commercial center for the Port of Los Angeles. Instead, it evolved into an exclusive haven for the affluent, featuring elite beach and country clubs like the renowned Riviera Country Club, which has hosted the PGA US Open. Initially, the area remained predominantly agricultural until the early twentieth century.

During the 1930s and 1940s, intellectuals and artists escaping Nazi Germany sought refuge in the Pacific Palisades, resulting in a German population that persists today.

Today, Pacific Palisades thrives, attracting notable artists and corporate leaders who contribute to a close-knit community. Concealed behind tall hedges, some of the larger estates offer panoramic views from high peaks, overlooking the winding canyon roads. The region maintains one of the lowest population densities in Los Angeles, with just over 1000 people per square mile.