You just got your new car rental and are ready to hit the road to check out the best scenic drives in Los Angeles. We have put together the top 10 best scenic drives in Los Angeles that you can drive to today.
Renowned as the “City of Angels,” Los Angeles is one of the top destinations to get into a car and cruise down different highways with amazing views. Beyond the LA traffic congestion, the city hides a treasure trove of some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in the United States. From the winding roads of the Hollywood Hills to the sun-kissed beaches of Santa Monica, these top 10 scenic drives in Los Angeles will take you on a captivating journey through the diverse landscapes of the city. Whether a local or a first-time visitor, hop in your car and explore the stunning mix of mountains, coastline, and cityscapes that make up this iconic metropolis.
1. Pacific Coast Highway (PCH)
The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most celebrated drives along the coast of California. This route is a must-see for travelers and locals alike. This snaking highway takes you along the continent’s edge. It offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, showing off nature’s power as the waves crash against the shore. But, beyond the unbeatable views, the Pacific Coast Highway includes some hidden gems you must explore. These stops include El Matador Beach and its historic villa. So, grab your camera and experience the scenic beauty of the PCH that will leave you amazed.
2. Mulholland Drive
Mulholland Drive is one of the most iconic routes in Los Angeles. This quintessential LA experience showcases incredible views of the city and its surrounding hills and nature. The 21-mile winding road stretches from the Hollywood Hills to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of some of the city’s most notable landmarks, including the Hollywood Bowl, Griffith Observatory, and Getty Center. Be sure to pull over at the various lookout points to capture stunning panoramic cityscape views. For an even more unforgettable experience, plan your drive during sunset, and witness the city’s skyline transform into a sea of shimmering lights.
3. Angeles Crest Highway
For those ready to escape the city and immerse themselves in nature, Angeles Crest Highway is the perfect scenic drive. This 66-mile drive winds through the Angeles National Forest, offering breathtaking views of the mountains, forests, and valleys. The drive is incredibly stunning when the leaves change colors during the fall. Remember to stop by the scenic viewpoint at Mount Wilson Observatory for some stargazing at night.
4. Sunset Boulevard
Stretching 22 miles from Downtown LA to the Pacific Ocean, Sunset Boulevard is an iconic street that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This scenic drive provides:
- Stunning city views
- Famous landmarks like the Sunset Strip
- Chateau Marmont
- Beverly Hills Hotel
As you cruise down the boulevard, make sure to make a pit stop at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, a unique experience that offers a glimpse into Hollywood’s glamorous past. With its rich history and vibrant energy, Sunset Boulevard is a must-do when visiting Los Angeles.
5. Wilshire Boulevard
If you’re looking for an unforgettable driving experience in LA, Wilshire Boulevard should be at the top of your list. This iconic 15-mile stretch takes you through some of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods, including Beverly Hills and Bel Air, offering a glimpse of the glamorous LA lifestyle. As you cruise, stop at the famous Los Angeles County Museum of Art, known for its impressive collection of contemporary and modern art, or the Petersen Automotive Museum, a must-visit for car enthusiasts. So whether you’re a local or a first-time visitor, a drive down Wilshire Boulevard is an absolute must-do to experience the charm and allure of Los Angeles.
6. Santa Monica Mountains
The Santa Monica Mountains boast some of the most breathtaking drives in all of LA, with over 60 miles of winding roads that showcase stunning views of the mountains, beaches, and canyons. If you’re a nature lover, add Malibu Creek State Park and Topanga State Park to your itinerary – both are excellent spots to stretch your legs and soak up the gorgeous scenery. And, of course, no visit to the Santa Monica Mountains would be complete without a stop at the iconic Malibu Pier. But if you want something a bit different, check out the Getty Villa, where you can explore ancient Roman architecture and artifacts in a serene and picturesque setting. So hit the road and prepare to be amazed by the natural beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains!
7. Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills is known for its luxury lifestyle. A scenic drive through the city is the perfect way to experience it. The drive passes through some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city, including the Beverly Hills Flats and Trousdale Estates. Also, remember to stop by Rodeo Drive for some high-end shopping.
8. Palos Verdes Peninsula
The Palos Verdes Peninsula is a hidden gem of Los Angeles, offering some of the best coastal views in the city. The drive spans 30 miles, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, cliffs, and beaches. Some highlights include the Point Vicente Lighthouse, Abalone Cove, and the Wayfarers Chapel. The drive is breathtaking in spring when the wildflowers fully bloom.
9. San Gabriel Mountains
The San Gabriel Mountains has some of the best scenic drives for those who want to escape the city. The drive spans 35 miles, offering stunning views of the mountains, forests, and valleys. You’ll pass by charming small towns such as La Cañada Flintridge and Wrightwood along the way. Don’t forget to stop by the Mount Wilson Observatory for some stargazing at night.
10. Canyon Lake Drive
When you’re looking for a view in both directions on your scenic trip, don’t forget to drive in the hidden gem of Canyon Lake Dr. If you want to see the Hollywood sign up close while on your drive, Canyon Lake Dr. is your best option to get views of the city and the Hollywood sign which is a stroll through Lake Hollywood Park. You will be treated to stunning views of the Hollywood Sign, the glistening waters of the reservoir, and the surrounding lush green hills as you drive around this scenic park. This drive is a perfect escape from the fast pace of the city because of its quiet atmosphere and the perfect setting to stop the car and have a picnic. Canyon Lake Drive is a must-visit scenic drive destination for anyone seeking a leisurely cruise, a picture-perfect spot, or simply an opportunity to reconnect with nature.
Rent a Car and Experience Los Angeles
There you have the top 10 places to drive and experience the best views of LA. Los Angeles offers a variety of breathtaking scenic drives that are perfect for car enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
From the iconic PCH to the lesser-known Angeles Forest Highway, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So grab your car rental in Los Angeles and hit the road to explore the best that LA has to offer. Take your time, enjoy the views, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
If you’re looking for an exotic or luxury car to cruise and enjoy your scenic ride, contact Drive LA, the best exotic car rental company in Los Angeles, to experience your next LA trip in style.