Los Angeles is a landscape of beauty, and it’s best seen from the window of your car. Taking a scenic drive in L.A. is the perfect way to experience its stunning terrain, global-reaching culture, and unforgettable sights.
From the beaches to the Hollywood Hills, and all points in between, Los Angeles offers a unique escape that will stay with you long after your journey ends.
As you venture through neighborhoods old and new, you’ll find plenty of surprises lurking just around the corner that will make any journey an unforgettable memory.
Overview Of Scenic Drive In Los Angeles
Los Angeles is home to many remarkable sites that are sure to be unforgettable, and a scenic drive offers the best way to take them in.
Pristine beaches, mesmerizing mountain vistas, lush valleys, and more await as you travel through the city’s most beautiful spots.
The route takes you right through Hollywood and Beverly Hills so you can catch a glimpse of the iconic Hollywood sign while visiting lush neighborhoods.
Additionally, you will drive up the renowned Griffith Park Viewpoint for incredible views of downtown L.A., followed by miles of breathtaking coastline filled with amazing beach communities such as Santa Monica Pier and Zuma Beach.
Popular Scenic Drive In Los Angeles
For stunning views of one of the most sunny cities in America, take a scenic drive around Los Angeles.
Popular drives like Mulholland Drive will bring you up close to lavish mansions overlooking bright blue skies while Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue offers some of the most enchanting city beachfronts in the country.
Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)
Taking a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway in Los Angeles is like traveling to an entirely different world.
This scenic drive never fails to captivate its spectators with unforgettable coastal views and breathtaking landscapes.
As you cruise down the highway’s winding roads lined with towering palm trees and quaint beachside bungalows on one side and deep blue waves crashing against steep rocks on the other, it’s hard not to feel deeply introspective.
Every turn affords travelers exceptional vistas that stretch out into distant horizons before disappearing into thin air at their edges, for here, infinity lies both within sight and grasp.
Seeing the city of Los Angeles from the top of Mulholland Highway is a breathtaking experience.
With its winding path, lined with green shrubs and trees creeping up to old fashioned restaurants and shops, this scenic drive provides beautiful vistas of the city that will take your breath away.
Not only does it provide stunning views of downtown Los Angeles and beyond, but it also boasts many attractions along the way such as vintage motels, iconic film locations and stylish eateries all ripe for exploring. A cruise down Mulholland Drive will forever be etched in your memory.
Angeles Crest Highway
Taking a drive down the Angeles Crest Highway is one of the best ways to appreciate the natural beauty of Los Angeles.
Spanning nearly sixty-five miles, this scenic road winds through some of California’s most stunning mountains, including the San Gabriel Mountains and the Liebre Mountains.
Along the way, travelers are treated to sweeping views of high peaks, deep canyons, lush foliage, sandy desertscapes, and plentiful wildlife.
Whether you visit during the winter months to see snow covered mountains or traverse it during the warmer months for some sightseeing, the Angeles Crest Highway never fails to impress.
With designated rest stops and plenty of picnic spots, so that visitors can take breaks in between their journey, it’s easy to spend a day admiring all this mountain route has to offer.
Taking a drive on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is a guaranteed pleasure for anyone seeking to experience true beauty and american glamour.
From the iconic view of the Hollywood sign to beginning your journey in the bustling city center, taking a leisurely drive down Sunset Blvd is truly an unforgettable experience.
Along this legendary road are some of L.A.’s most recognizable cities, offering several points of interest such as Beverly Hills and Bel Air.
Whether it be day or night, driving along this boulevard brings countless opportunities to witness stunning wilderness views or bustling nightlife scenes, creating the one-of-a-kind ambiance California is known for.
Topanga Canyon Boulevard
If you’re lucky enough to be in Los Angeles, you don’t want to miss out on an incredible drive down Topanga Canyon Boulevard.
This winding thoroughfare offers exceptional views of the Malibu Hills and glorious views of the Pacific Ocean. The crisp air and peaceful atmosphere make it the perfect place for long drives and scenic overlooks.
You’ll pass through thick forests, open meadows, and unique rock formations as you take in the remarkable beauty of nature. Don’t forget to stop at Sagebrush Cantina for an interesting snack at the end of your journey.
Venice Beach Boardwalk
The Venice Beach Boardwalk offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and is a great destination for locals and tourists alike.
It stretches over two miles along the gorgeous white beach and is overlooked by countless shops, restaurants, and entertainment stops.
Its iconic boardwalk provides a wide path perfect for morning or evening strolls, bike rides, or rollerblading alongside some of the most breathtaking scenery in California.
With majestic sunsets and days filled with sunshine, this memorable experience will be unforgettable.
Malibu Creek State Park
Located just outside the city, Malibu Creek State Park offers stunning landscapes along its winding roads and provides a peaceful respite for those looking for an awe-inspiring escape.
One of the hot spots to check out on a scenic drive through Malibu Creek State Park is Rock Pool, where visitors can explore a charming lake tucked into a shallow canyon surrounded by foliage.
Pepperdine University sits perched atop a hill overlooking its namesake beach, providing stunning panoramic views from high above Malibu’s wild coastline.
Further down, there’s the Solstice Canyon Trail, one of the most popular hikes in the area with beautiful views and an interesting history surrounding its ruins.
Temescal Canyon Road
Montage of lush canopies, dramatic cliffs, and flowing streams, this is Temescal Canyon Road in Los Angeles.
It all begins at the Pacific Coast Highway at the Santa Monica border and continues for about 16 miles, curving along Sunset Boulevard.
Along the way stop off for forest hikes or even biking if that’s your calling. Temperatures here tend to remain cool year-round due to coastal winds and this tranquil atmosphere makes it a perfect escape from hectic city life while still being close enough to partake in it.
San Vicente Boulevard
Meandering from the Pacific Palisades to Brentwood, San Vicente Boulevard is one of the most picturesque drives in Los Angeles.
Every inch of the boulevard is lined with gorgeous trees, providing plenty of shade on sunny days and making every drive feel like a journey through a shady paradise.
The boulevard also passes by some of LA’s most fashionable neighborhoods, with some days giving you perfect glimpses of celebrities and their homes.
For those who are looking for more than just a drive and prefer to get out and explore on foot, there are plenty of coffee shops sprinkled along the way for refreshment stops throughout your adventure.
Mount Baldy Road
Mount Baldy Road in Los Angeles is a not-so-discovered gem offering an incredible sightseeing adventure.
With its serpentine curves and switchbacks, this beautiful scenic drive provides sweeping views of rolling meadows, lush green valleys, and serene mountainous vistas.
The best time to take the drive is during a sunset when the horizon colors erupt into shades of pink, orange, blue and purple.
Tips For Enjoying The Drive
Going for a drive in Los Angeles is an experience like none other. The city is filled with stunning views and spectacular sights, so it’s no wonder that many people come to Los Angeles just to drive around the city.
To really savor this experience, here are a few tips for enjoying a scenic drive in LA.
Best Time To Visit
To make your journey the most enjoyable, consider visiting during the winter months when temperatures are cooler, but still warm enough to roll down your windows and take in that fresh California air.
You’ll be able to make plenty of stops along the way; fall foliage brightens up many public outdoor spaces like Griffith Park, where you can bring a picnic and enjoy spectacular views from lookouts like Mount Hollywood.
Preparing For The Drive
The key to preparing for such an incredible journey is being sure to plan ahead and have all necessary items in tow.
Making a packing list can save time that would be better spent enjoying the sun from the window of your car as you take in all Los Angeles has to offer.
Los Angeles is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with many spectacular sites and scenery. However, it’s important to be prepared, is why packing the right supplies is essential for making your trip a success.
Make sure you have snacks, water, sunscreen, and maps ready to go as you explore Los Angeles. These must-have items will ensure that you get the most out of your journey along some of California’s iconic roads.
Driving along the scenic routes of Los Angeles can be an enjoyable and picturesque experience, but road conditions should always be taken into account.
Keeping up with the traffic can pose challenges, especially during rush hour when bumper-to-bumper traffic is common.
Much of the major interstates in LA have recently been under construction, which can inevitably lead to delays.
Unexpected changes to what is usually a wide lane can also become more narrow, leading to more constricted driving pathways.
Los Angeles is a bustling metropolis with something exciting to do at every turn. For residents and visitors alike, one of the top activities has to be a leisurely scenic drive through the city.
Taking a drive can allow one to explore the surroundings and enjoy a unique perspective from behind the wheel. Whether you stay close to downtown or travel further out into Hollywood Hills or Pacific Palisades, exploring Los Angeles by car is truly a fantastic way to appreciate its grandeur and beauty.
No other perspective allows for such an intense appreciation of all that The City of Angels has to offer like getting behind the wheel does, it’s no wonder why taking a scenic drive in Los Angeles is considered one of the best ways to explore.