The Best Scenic Drives Around Los Angeles for Fresh Arrivals

The Best Scenic Drives Around Los Angeles for Fresh Arrivals blog header

Welcome to Los Angeles, a city famed for its dazzling blend of natural beauty and urban glamor. For those of you who’ve just landed and are considering a car booking at LAX, the adventure begins the moment you hit the road. Los Angeles is not just a hub of entertainment; it’s a starting point for some of the most breathtaking scenic drives in Southern California. Let’s explore the best routes to take that are all within 150 miles of the city:

Pacific Coast Highway: Malibu Coast Adventure

One of the quintessential scenic drives for anyone doing a car booking at LAX is the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). This iconic highway stretches along the coast, offering uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean. Start your journey by heading west from Los Angeles to Malibu. This stretch is about 27 miles and takes you past some of the most exclusive beaches in the area. Stop at Zuma Beach for a quick dip or a sunbath and continue to Point Dume for spectacular cliffside views.

Angeles Crest Scenic Byway: Escape to the Mountains

If you prefer mountains to beaches, the Angeles Crest Scenic Byway offers a refreshing change of scenery. After your car booking at LAX, drive north towards La Cañada Flintridge to access this route. The drive takes you through the San Gabriel Mountains and offers stunning vistas, winding roads, and access to hiking trails. The full drive stretches for about 66 miles, ending in Wrightwood. You’ll find plenty of spots for picturesque stops, especially during the spring when the wildflowers bloom.

Palos Verdes Drive: Coastal Cliffs and Quiet Towns

For a shorter drive that’s rich with views, consider Palos Verdes Drive. Starting from LAX, head south to the Palos Verdes Peninsula. This area features dramatic cliffs, lush parks, and panoramic ocean views. The drive itself is approximately 23 miles and loops around the peninsula. Make sure to stop at the Point Vicente Lighthouse for some stunning photos and a chance to spot migrating whales during the right season.

Mulholland Drive: Hollywood Hills and City Views

No scenic drive list in Los Angeles is complete without mentioning Mulholland Drive. This route offers breathtaking views of both the Los Angeles basin and the San Fernando Valley. Begin your journey from the 405 Freeway and let Mulholland Drive take you on a winding path through the Hollywood Hills. Notable stops include the Hollywood Bowl Overlook and the Griffith Observatory, where you can get an up-close view of the iconic Hollywood Sign.

Rim of the World Scenic Byway: Majestic Vistas

Another mountainous escape is the Rim of the World Scenic Byway. It starts about 60 miles from LAX, near the town of San Bernardino. This drive offers some of the most dramatic landscapes in Southern California, with vast forest views and mountain vistas. The route is particularly stunning in the fall when the leaves change color. The drive extends roughly 110 miles and provides access to several natural attractions, including Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear Lake.

Santa Barbara Via Highway 101: Coastal Charm Meets Historic Elegance

For a scenic drive that combines the allure of the coast with the serenity of a historic city, consider a trip to Santa Barbara via Highway 101. After picking up your rental car from LAX, head north on the 101 for about 95 miles. This drive is renowned for its ocean views and the rolling hills that flank the highway, offering a peaceful contrast to the bustling Los Angeles streets.

As you approach Santa Barbara, known as the “American Riviera,” the architecture shifts to Spanish Revival, providing a picturesque backdrop to the blue Pacific. Spend time exploring the historic Santa Barbara Mission and wander through the city’s charming downtown. The drive itself is just as relaxing as the destination, with ample opportunities to stop at beachside parks like Carpinteria State Beach, where you can stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh ocean air.

Car Booking LAX Tips: Maximizing Your Scenic Drives

To make the most of these scenic drives after your car booking at LAX, consider a few helpful tips:

Choose the right vehicle : Depending on your route, a convertible might enhance your beach drives, while an SUV could be better suited for mountainous terrains.
Plan your timing : Los Angeles traffic can be challenging, especially during rush hours. Start your drives early in the morning to avoid heavy traffic and maximize your time enjoying the views.
Pack essentials : Bring snacks, water, and a camera. You’ll find many spots worth stopping for, and having essentials on hand means you can take your time.
Stay flexible : While it’s good to have a plan, sometimes the best experiences come from spontaneous decisions. Don’t hesitate to explore a tempting side road or a local eatery.

Each of these drives highlights a different aspect of Southern California’s diverse landscape, all accessible with a simple car booking at LAX. Whether you’re in the mood for ocean breezes, mountain air, or city sights, Los Angeles offers it all. So pick your route, start the engine, and discover the stunning scenery that awaits just outside the bustling city.

Value Rental Car Is Perfect Alternative for Car Booking LAX

As you plan your scenic drives around Los Angeles, consider making your car booking near LAX with Value Rental Car, conveniently located in both Inglewood and Pasadena. With a reliable vehicle from Value Rental Car, you’ll be well-equipped to explore the best that Southern California has to offer. And you’ll save money by booking near, but not inside the LAX terminal. Whether you’re cruising along the coast, ascending into the mountains, or exploring historic cities, your journey starts with the right car. Happy driving and enjoy the beautiful landscapes that await!

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