The City of Rancho Palos Verdes - Marineland The City of Rancho Palos Verdes Public Works Department



Marineland of the Pacific was a public aquarium and tourist attraction located on the Palos Verdes Peninsula coast above the Pacific Ocean in Los Angeles County, California, USA that opened in 1954.  Millions of people visited Marineland before it closed in 1987.

A Brief History

When it opened, Marineland was the world's largest oceanarium. Opening one year before Disneyland, many considered it California's first major theme park. The park was best known for its performing Orcas or "killer whales".   Another popular attraction was the "Baja Reef", a first-of-its-kind swim-through aquarium featuring a wide array of sea life. Besides entertainment, Marineland also contained educational and research facilities. Marineland pioneered many of today’s formulas for newborn marine animals. Most of the original work on dolphin echolocation was done at Marineland.

Marineland was home to a pilot whale named "Bubbles", the first whale captured for display. There were also dolphins, sea lions, harbor seals, sharks, and a wide variety of other sea creatures. Marineland was also home to Orky and Corky, two of the most famous Killer whales on exhibit at any oceanarium at the time.  Orky and Corky were later moved to Sea World’s San Diego facility where Corky continues to perform as "Shamu".


Much of Marineland's infrastructure remained relatively untouched for nearly twenty years. Marineland's landmark 414-foot high tower stayed standing until it was demolished in 1995. One of the Marineland Restaurants continued operating through 2004 as the "Catalina Room" (because on a clear day you could see Catalina Island), with the restaurant hosting numerous weddings. Several other structures remained until 2006.

Marineland's Spirit Lives On

The Point Vicente Interpretive Center, located a half-mile north from the former Marineland site, opened a large exhibit in July 2007 entitled "Marineland Remembered".  The exhibit features an extensive collection of Marineland artifacts, memorabilia, and souvenirs as well as recordings and a movie.  One exhibit highlight is an original dolphin statue from the park's entrance.

Television and film

While still in operation, the park was prominently featured in several television shows, including two episodes of "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Hart to Hart," as well as "Sea Hunt". Marineland was also the location for an episode of the Lucy Show in which Lucille Ball falls into an animal exhibit.

Since its closing, Marineland has been a popular locale for film shoots.   T Scenes from many major motion pictures have filmed at the site, including the "Pirates of the Caribbean" trilogy, "Charlie's Angels," "Inspector Gadget," "Fun With Dick and Jane," "Pearl Harbor", and "The Aviator".

Upcoming Development

After years of planning, grading and construction began in 2007 on  "Terranea", a project by Lowe Destination Development, which includes a hotel, privately-owned "casitas," and full spa and resort facilities.  The Resort opened in June 2009.