Photograph courtesy Flickr/Ale*
For this Pacific Palisades outing trek north on the beach side of Pacific Coast Highway near Sunset Boulevard and cross PCH, using the pedestrian overpass near Porto Marina Way. The white building here was Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café until the silent screen star was found dead (a suicide—or a murder?) in 1935. Past that, climb the steps to Castellammare Drive. Across the street and to the left, stairs rise to Posetano Road. Go left. Sea breezes blow over the steep hillside, which boasted a dozen stairways before many were destroyed by landslides in the 1960s and ’70s. Turn left onto Revello and keep an eye out for a staircase to nowhere on the right. By the house at 17712, go down the steps to Castellammare and bear right at the bottom. Just beyond another intersection with Revello, drop down the staircase to Porto Marina. A right and a short jaunt uphill lead to views of the ocean and Villa de Leon, a 12,000-square-foot Italianate mansion built in 1926 for wool magnate Leon Kauffman. Uphill and around the corner, bear right onto Castellammare once more. Descend gradually, enjoying an ocean panorama, until you meet your original staircase, now on the right. Your starting point lies across PCH.