For many Los Angelenos, we long for a temporary escape from all the hustle and bustle in our city. A scenic drive away is the perfect solution...especially during this quarantine. One of my favorite ways to explore the city of Los Angeles is by jumping in my car and driving to a new area I haven't seen before. What feels better than blasting the music and driving along the coast with the windows down during sunset? (or top down if I'm lucky enough to be in my boyfriend's convertible).
Where should you cruise to first? Below is my top 5 list of Los Angeles’ best scenic drives. No matter which one you choose, you won't want to miss a second of the breathtaking views whether its water or mountains.
Pacific Coast Highway
For the typical Southern California cruise, head to Pacific Coast Highway. Stretching 650 miles from California’s northern border with Oregon all the way down to San Diego, this road is the longest in California. You'll see the endless pacific ocean coast on one side and spectacular coastal estates on the other. The Los Angeles part of PCH takes you from the water and sand in Santa Monica to the cliffs in Malibu. I would recommend making a stop at Zuma Beach or Point Dume.
Palos Verdes Peninsula
Cruise down Palos Verdes Drive West for a unique coastal experience along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This drive is shorter and more relaxed compared to the rest of the city of Los Angeles. I suggest making stops at Pointe Vicente Lighthouse, Wayfarer’s Chapel, the Vincent Thomas Bridge or the Korean Bell of Friendship at Angel’s Gate Park in San Pedro.
Winding through the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Hollywood Hills is Mulholland Drive. The road basically splits LA with Hollywood on one side and the Valley on the other. You'll find eight overlook points on your drive, as well as several celebrity homes along the way.
Angeles Crest Scenic Byway
The Angeles Crest Scenic Byway provides a scenic and secluded getaway minutes from the city of Los Angeles. It's seems surprising that only minutes from Downtown Los Angeles, you can enter a forest and become immersed in views that don't look anything like the rest of Los Angeles. With elevations over 7,000 feet, the views run from the San Gabriel mountain range all the way through the Angeles National Forest. The vista points provide views of the Pomona Valley and you may catch glimpses of the Mojave Desert. Many think this drive is one of the best scenic drives in the city!
Many of us Los Angelenos try to avoid this famous street at all costs, but if you are just visiting Los Angeles for the first time, it's a must. On the touristy and crowded street, you'll find some of the most iconic Hollywood spots including the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Dolby Theatre, the Hollywood Wax Museum, and more!