Exploring Los Angeles on foot can easily be a tremendously fun and exciting experience. However, if you’d like to spend some time behind the wheel during your trip, it’s worth noting that Southern California is also home to some gorgeous scenic drives. Along with offering beautiful views of the landscape, many also give you the opportunity to spot various famous area landmarks.
The following are a few noteworthy examples to keep in mind. If you’re looking for the most scenic drives in Southern California, they should be on your list:
The Most Scenic Drives in Southern California
The Pacific Coast Highway
Odds are good you’ve seen the PCH before. This famous stretch of road has shown up in movies, TV commercials, travel documentaries, and much more.
It’s easy to see why. Throughout its 656-mile span, thee PCH (officially known as State Route 1) offers drivers unbeatable views of the Pacific Ocean.
You of course may not have time to drive the entire PCH during your LA visit. Luckily, you can still take your car out on the road for a brief trip. A relatively quick three-hour drive can take you from the endpoint of the PCH, Dana Point, up to Santa Monica. This also gives you the opportunity to see such famous California spots as Laguna Beach and Long Beach.
Just keep in mind, some people mistakenly believe the PCH always resembles a traditional highway. This isn’t the case. Some sections consist primarily of city streets. Prepare accordingly by making sure you have enough time to reach your destination if traffic is congested.
El Camino Real
Are you interested in a longer drive that will provide you with a unique glimpse into California’s history? If so, consider driving the entirety of El Camino Real. Stretching from San Diego (although the route technically begins in Mexico) to San Francisco (with LA of course along the way), the route offers views of pueblos, missions, and bells, reflecting the Spanish influence on California’s culture.
Again, don’t worry if you don’t have time for the full trip. If you like, you can simply hop onto El Camino Real in LA and take it as far north or south as you’d prefer before turning around. One of our team members will gladly provide directions if you’re worried about getting lost.
Rim of the World Scenic Byway
If you’re not afraid of venturing away from the city for a few hours, Rim of the World Scenic Byway offers drivers the chance to explore a part of California they might otherwise miss. Located east of LA, this 110-mile route tends to run tight along the sides of mountains. The result? Amazing views of the California landscape. Drivers can also stop to relax at Big Bear Lake, go hiking, take a steamboat ride to get a closer look at lakefront houses, or even zipline between the trees.
These are of course just a few of the more scenic drives in Southern California. Although you should keep them in mind during your visit, we’d be happy to make additional recommendations if you’d like.