The Best Scenic Sunday Drives in Los Angeles

Sunday drives in Los Angeles can be epic. We've made a point to take to the roads to explore our new city, finding some great drives along the way. No matter what your interests, I guarantee that you'll find something here to persuade you to get behind the wheel and make tracks. So, be sure to check out the best scenic Sunday drives in Los Angeles!

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Rancho Palos Verdes

Access Palos Verdes Blvd from CA Hwy 1 in Redondo Beach; drive South along the coastline, making stops along the way for scenic views and vistas. Pop into the Malaga Cove Ranch Market for picnic supplies, which you'll need for your stop at the Point Vincente Lighthouse. After lunch head further south for some more coastal fun at the Abalone Cove Ecological Reserve. Here you can access the beach for an up-close view of beautiful tide pools. Further southeast you'll notice that Palos Verdes Blvd becomes W 25th St when you enter San Pedro. Stay the course until you reach S Gaffey St, where you'll turn south in the direction of the sea on your way to Angels Gate Park. Here you'll find the Korean Friendship Bell and a stunningly beautiful sunset. When your slice of paradise is over, head north on S Gaffey St until you reach the 110, turn north toward Los Angeles and head home.

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Head north on the 405 from West Los Angeles toward Sherman Oaks where you’ll connect with the 101 Fwy to venture west toward Agoura Hills. Take the Kanan Rd exit off the 101, turning left to head south. Next turn left onto Cornell Rd where you’ll find the entrance to Paramount Ranch. Stop for a brief hike on the grounds of the old movie set before setting off for the next leg of your journey.

Turn right onto Cornell Rd headed south toward Mulholland Hwy, turn right. Twist and turn along Mulholland Hwy until you reach Kanan Dume Rd. Head south on Kanan Dume Rd until you reach the Malibu Cafe. Stop for brunch to refuel for rest of your drive. Once you’ve had enough to eat, head south again on Kanan Dume Rd until you reach Latigo Canyon Dr, turn left. Take your time on this epic journey, twisting and turning through the canyon while enjoying the coastal vineyard views of Triunfo Creek Vineyard, Malibu Rocky Oaks Vineyard and Colcanyon Estate Wines. When you finally reach the Pacific Coast Hwy turn left toward Malibu. Find your favorite spot to stop along the PCH to watch the sunset. You’ve earned it.

Chevy Chase Drive

Beginning in Glendale you can access E Chevy Chase Dr directly off the 2. Head north through a lovely residential area with canopy trees and manicured lawns. If you have plenty of time, stop by Descanso Gardens on Descanso Dr to see what’s in bloom. The mountain views and sweeping vistas are sure to please. Stop by the Wild Oak Cafe for Peets Coffee and a snack. Or park and hike the Arroyo Seco. Hop back on E Chevy Chase to finish the scenic drive at the 210 or continue on to the next drive: Angeles Crest Hwy.

Angeles Crest Hwy

Access the Angeles Crest Hwy from the 210 Fwy in La Canada Flintridge. Head north, holding your breath and the edge of your seat while traversing the switch-backs. Make your way through the tree-lined mountain passes of the Angeles National Forest until you reach the Buckhorn Campground. Park here (Adventure Pass required) to start your hike to Cooper Canyon Falls. Now that you’re tired and hungry, head back southwest along Angeles Crest Highway toward Newcomb’s Ranch (closed in bad weather and every M, Tu, W) for a little rest and relaxation SoCal diner-style. Enjoy a taste of Southern California history while mingling with the motorcycle crowd before returning the way you came.

Mulholland Drive

Everyone knows that Mulholland Dr is THE iconic drive in Los Angeles. There is simply no denying it. Anyone who loves a good drive is sure to find something wonderful on this stretch of asphalt. Access Mulholland Dr directly from the 405 and head east toward the Hollywood Hills. Swing by the Beverly Glen Deli to grab provisions which you’ll definitely need later. Continue east until you reach Fryman Canyon Park. Hike to your heart’s content. Exhausted and dusty, head further east until you reach the 101.

Lake Hollywood Drive

From the 101 North in Hollywood take exit 8c (Gower St). Turn right onto N Beachwood Dr. Slowly climb north along Beachwood through a largely residential area of the Hollywood Hills. You’ll begin to catch glimpses of the Hollywood Sign but stay in the car for the big payoff. Make a quick pit stop at Beachwood Market to grab a sandwich for a picnic later. Continue climbing north on Beachwood, turning left onto Ledgewood. Climb north along Ledgewood Dr, taking your time to drive safely. Turn left onto Heather Dr, then right onto Durand Dr. You’ll quickly come upon Mulholland Hwy, turn left.

You’ll soon come face to face with the Hollywood sign. Park along the street to take some epic shots of the sign and the Hollywood Reservoir. When you’ve had your fill of Hollywood Sign pics, continue onto Canyon Lake Drive. You’ll quickly reach Lake Hollywood Park. Take a turn around the Lake Hollywood trail or bring the pup and stop by the Park, which offers a dog run for off-leash fun!

Unpack your picnic and enjoy the grassy lawn. When you’re ready to head home, hop back onto Canyon Lake Drive. Turn left onto Tahoe Dr which will later become Lake Hollywood Dr. Continue on until you reach Wonder View Dr; turn left to continue on Lake Hollywood Dr. Twist along through the residential area until you reach Barham Blvd, turn left and connect with the 101.

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Until next time my friends,

Carlie Dayle

Los Angeles Scenic Drives | Los Angeles Things to Do | Scenic Drives Southern California | LA Attractions | Los Angeles Travel | Visit California | Sunday Drives

11 Comments

  1. Rob Taylor on July 11, 2016 at 7:36 am

    You had me at the mention of the Point Vincente lighthouse. Heading to Rancho is a great drive!

    • acajunincali@gmail.com on July 12, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      I knew I would 🙂 and you are so right! Rancho Palos Verdes is a great drive.

  2. Kevin Wagar on July 12, 2016 at 10:52 am

    LA doesn’t get enough credit for its incredible landscape and natural beauty. Great drive tips!

    • acajunincali@gmail.com on July 12, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Kevin! And I completely agree. It has so much to offer, not just the plastic and suntans everyone always imagines.

  3. melody pittman on July 12, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    I’m crazy about Los Angeles but many of these are new to me. I am always up for a stroll up to Mulholland Drive or anywhere in the Hollywood Hills. Nice list. 😉

    • acajunincali@gmail.com on July 12, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Thanks so much Melody! LA has something for everyone! It’s one of the greatest things about my adopted hometown!

  4. Ami on July 13, 2016 at 5:24 am

    So many options to drive around . I hope someday I get to do them all 😀 Well captured.

    • acajunincali@gmail.com on July 13, 2016 at 6:55 pm

      I hope so too, Ami! Thanks so much for the kind feedback.

  5. Bob on July 14, 2016 at 8:11 am

    What a great drive. I would love to visit Paramount Ranch and Angels Crest Highway sounds like a great road for a motorcycle ride.

  6. Vyjay on July 18, 2016 at 12:50 am

    All of them are spectacular drives and some really stunning views along the way. A great way to spend the day I am sure.

  7. Shobha on July 20, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Funny! I only have ever heard bad things about driving in LA. It’s refreshing to hear a positive take on driving in LA and beautiful things to see in the area.

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