There are many scenic locations in Los Angeles. The city has great museums, scenic parks, iconic locations, and famous restaurants. If you take advantage of car rentals at LAX, you can also find plenty of scenic roads to tour. One of the most famous scenic drives in Los Angeles is Mulholland Drive.
Mulholland Drive starts in Calabasas and stretches 21 miles to the heart of Los Angeles. It soars high above the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Hills. This lends itself to spectacular views of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. If you’ve always dreamed of tooling along Mulholland Drive like a movie star, here’s a list of great places to see the sights, and places to stop and enjoy along the way:
Lots of Access Routes
Mulholland Drive is very easy to get to in a rental car. You can choose from any number of different ways to hook up with Mulholland Drive from various parts of the city. Here are some of the easier access routes: to get to Mulholland drive:
The 405 Freeway
It’s easy to find the west end of Mulholland Drive right off the 405 freeway. This is the best route to take from anywhere in west Los Angeles, near the Los Angeles Airport. Take the off ramp for Mulholland Drive and follow the signs.
The 101 Freeway
From North of Mulholland Drive, you can take the 170 freeway to the 101 and get off at Barham. Then turn left onto Cahuenga Boulevard West. From there, Mulholland Drive will be a side road to the right off Cahuenga, about a half mile up the road. There aren’t any signs except for the street sign, so make sure to watch out for it. You can also use the 101 freeway if you are south of Mulholland. Again, look out for Barham, and continue south along Cahuenga until you get to the turnoff for Mulholland Drive.
Laurel Canyon Boulevard
Laurel Canyon Boulevard. is another popular street to for tourists to cruise using car rentals. You can get to Laurel Canyon Blvd from the south by heading west on Hollywood Boulevard, or Sunset Boulevard, to Crescent Heights Boulevard. Head North on Crescent Heights Boulevard, which becomes Laurel Canyon Boulevard at Hollywood Boulevard. Continue North on Laurel Canyon Boulevard through the hills until you get to Mulholland Drive at the top of the hill. You can also head south on Laurel Canyon Boulevard from the 101 freeway or the 170 freeway if you would like a different route to Mulholland Drive.
Coldwater Canyon Drive
Similar to Laurel Canyon Road, you can get to Mullholland Drive by taking Sunset Boulevard to Beverly Drive, then traveling north on Beverly Drive until it becomes Coldwater Canyon Drive. This route is best if you just drove your rental car down to Rodeo Drive for a little shopping or celebrity watching. From north of Mulholland, you can take Coldwater Canyon Avenue south.
Places To Stop and Visit
There are lots of great shops, restaurants, and historic locations that are worth a stop top all along the drive. You’ll recognize many iconic locations from movies and television shows. Here are some of the more well known locations to check out:
Universal Studios and Universal CityWalk
Universal Studios is a great place to visit and spend a few hours or a whole day. You can enjoy the full featured amusement park within Universal Studios, or take a walk along the beautiful outdoor shopping area of Universal CityWalk. The experience comes complete with lots of famous stores, attractions, and places to take that perfect selfie.
Runyon Canyon Park
If you like hiking the hills, check out Runyon Canyon Park. It’s situated in scenic Hollywood Hills, and it’s a great place to walk, jog, or just sight see. There are many trails to hike on, and the views from the hills are fantastic. Simply take Runyon Canyon road right off of Mulholland Drive, and the park is just a few miles south.
Car Rentals Make Touring the Hollywood Hills Easy
The Hollywood hills offer a great driving experience, and a chance to see beautiful celebrity mansions and get up close and personal with the Hollywood sign. The Griffith Observatory is also a great place to visit and spend an afternoon. If you have a car for touring, simply cruising around the Hollywood hills is a sure bet for relaxing fun while seeing how the stars of stage and screen live.
The Hollywood Bowl Overlook and Museum
One can’t-miss spot is the scenic Hollywood Bowl Overlook. The overlook is just off Mulholland Drive. It offers spectacular views of both the Hollywood Bowl and the iconic Hollywood sign. In addition to the overlook, you can check out the Hollywood Bowl Museum. Inside you’ll enjoy thought provoking exhibits on the cultural events, history, natural environment, and architecture of the Hollywood Bowl. You can also take a guided tour of the Hollywood Bowl, complete with visits to the backstage and onstage area, lus the best seating areas, which also feature a stunning view of the Hollywood sign.
Fly and Drive In Los Angeles
If you’re visiting Los Angeles, you’ll really need a car to get around. Long and short term car rentals from Value Rental Car in Inglewood and Pasadena are the best way to tour Mulholland Drive, and to see everything else Los Angeles has to offer.
Photo courtesy of the The Jon B. Lovelace Collection of California Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America Project, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division