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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fellas,

My buddy & I and our spouses are flying into LAX tomorrow and driving down to San Diego late tomorrow night. In between, we'd like to 'tour' Los Angeles and get a feel for as much of the city as possible. We get in at 9am tomorrow and here's the route I've devised based on several suggested routes I've come across:

• Out of LAX, take I-105 East to I-405 North
• At I-10 & I-405, go west on I-10 to PCH (Pacific Coast Highway)
• Continue West on PCH (several miles) to Kanan Dume Road
• Take Kanan Dume Road north (inland)
• Proceed inland to Mulholland Highway. Make a right turn (east) at the stop light at Mulholland
• Follow Mulholland to Topanga Cyn Blvd
• Turn left (north) on Topanga Cyn Blvd (not Old Topanga)
• Go to Ventura Blvd then turn right (east) – we’re now cruising down Ventura Blvd in ‘The Valley’
• Follow Ventura Blvd east – just past Balboa Blvd – look for Havenhurst (there is a Gelson’s market)
• Turn right on Havenhurst (south) and go back up into the mountains
• After several stop signs, must turn right or left – turn right onto Havenhurst Avenue
• Take Havenhurst up to the next right/left decision – either way is correct but left is shorter. Go left
• At the top of Havenhurst, we’ll be on Mulholland Drive. Go left (east) and enjoy spectacular views of LA and the Valley for several miles. Be mindful in the area of Coldwater Cyn Rd as we’ll need to be in the left turn lane to stay on Mulholland
• Continue on Mulholland to Hollywood Bowl Overlook – just past Outpost Dr. Get out, take pictures, etc
• Continue on Mulholland to W. Park Glen Drive/Hillpark Drive. Make a right
• Turn right on Cahuenga Blvd, stay in left lane
• Merge onto Hollywood Fwy, I-101, heading south
• Take I-101 to I-110, Harbor Fwy. Get off on first exit (23A).
• Continue in middle/right lane on off-ramp to S. Beaudry Avenue.
• Left on Beaudry Avenue to Wilshire Blvd (after 6th Avenue, before 7th Avenue)
• Take Wilshire Blvd to Rodeo Drive
• Right on Rodeo Drive to to Sunset Blvd
• Right on Sunset Blvd to Crescent Heights Blvd/Laurel Cyn Blvd, make a left
• Take Crescent Heights Blvd/Laurel Cyn Blvd to Hollywood Blvd, make a right
• Take Hollywood Blvd to at least Vine Street, further if we’re in the mood
• Right on Vine or comparable, to Sunset Blvd
• Right on Sunset Blvd
• Sunset Blvd to Crescent Heights Blvd
• Left on Crescent Heights Blvd to Santa Monica Blvd
• Right on Santa Monica Blvd
• Santa Monica Blvd to Wilshire Blvd
• Right on Wilshire Blvd
• Wilshire Blvd into Santa Monica (beach/pier/city)
• South on PCH to Ocean Avenue to Venice Beach

Am I in way over my head with this?
Is it likely we'd make it back to Venice Beach before dusk?
Would you make any alterations to this route?
Will traffic have me hating life?
Any suggestions on quality places to eat which wouldn't eat up too much time?

I know much of the route is very 'touristy' but that's what we're looking for. I'm also aware this plan would have us on the road for most of the day and that's not an issue either. We're really just looking to see and get a feel for as much of the city as possible in one day.

I appreciate any and all comments. Thanks.

· I <3 MSB
508 Posts
Hoo, boy. Yes, in way over your head. Unless you have an amazing sense of direction and a really good GPS, you will get lost out the wazoo in the hills at least a few times there, and lock yourself into a bunch of traffic. You also are going in a circle. You will, however, get a very good feeling for sitting in a car all day, and your wives might just kill/divorce you, so yes, you'll get the sense of LA.

A few things:
1. what time are you getting in? LA traffic is very time-dependent. You don't want to be on the 405 in morning rush-hour (which in LA is a bit later than other cities - entertainment and internet folks go in later)
2. You do Mulholland twice in two different places - once by the water and once overlooking the Valley. Both are nice, but I would pick what you're most into.
3. You miss the East Side completely. When you go down Beaudry, you will be on the West side of Downtown, and miss just about everything but a view of the skyine and a quick drive in between a few of the smaller buildings.
4. Then, you take Wilshire all the way to Beverly Hills, which definitely gives you a great sense of the city (Wilshire is the center of Frank Gehry's LA), but really only interesting to architects, city planners and urban history enthusiasts.

I would cut out a few sections:
1. If you want to end up by the water, don't start there, too.
2. Cut out the trip down Ventura Blvd and then back up to Mulholland - you'll get plenty of it in your other leg.
3. Cut out the trip down Wilshire to Beverly Hills - if the wives want to see it, take the freeway as long as you can. Problem with Beverly Hills, though, is that they have kept freeways away from it, so it takes a while to get there no matter what, and it involves traffic.
4. When you go Downtown, I would want to go to Boyle Heights for some real mexican food. A trip to Nina's for a huitlacoche or chicharron quesadilla would be worth your while. Problem is that Nina is a street vendor. check her twitter, or give her a call to find out exactly where/when she'll be there on Breed St. #breedstscene on twitter, or (323) 807-6813 Also, check out the Disney Center and the Cathedral on Temple, and some other cool things downtown.

I would go E on the 105 to the 110N, and start downtown, ending at the water. Perhaps N/W on the 101 after a side-spur Downtown. You could get off the freeway in Hollywood to get the idea (Grauman's Chinese Theater, etc), then go to pick up Mulholland in the Valley, to the water (reverse your directions). Frankly, taking just that part of the route, and ending up in Venice, will take all day.


1,031 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hahaha!! Well, I hear divorce is expensive and I've got a few items left on my Things to Do Before I Die List so you can imagine my appreciation for you taking the time and helping me out here!

We get into LAX at 9am but will likely be on the road no sooner than 10-10:30am.

I think I understand the route you're suggesting. I do have a few more questions if you have the time...

I intentionally routed us in a circle through Hollywood b/c I figured it was necessary to see Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd & Santa Monica Blvd in those stretches. Is that not essential? What would be your preferred route through Hollywood?

I don't understand what you mean by 'take the freeway as long as you can' with regards to seeing Beverly Hills/Rodeo Drive.

After our stops Downtown and Hollywood, you're suggesting we get back on the 101. Is Highland Avenue going to be my best bet on getting on the 101 from West Hollywood? And then take that to Mulholland -- is that the Valley Circle Blvd exit?

And drive back down to Malibu, down the PCH, through Santa Monica & into Venice, yes?

· I <3 MSB
508 Posts
Ha! Driving directions are the only thing my lady and I ever argue about, and then only when we're sitting in the wrong seats (I drive, she navigates).

I wouldn't worry too much about particular entrances/exits on the way out of Downtown (but then again I lived there for years). There are a ton of entrances/exits clustered there, so if you miss one, another will be nearby. That said, if you go N on Grand (past the Walt Disney center), there is an entrance to the 101 (I think it's called the 101N there, but don't be confused if it's called the 101W - they are the same thing). From the 101, if you want to make a circle, you can take the Sunset Blvd exit, go West until La Brea, go North on La Brea, and then East on Hollywood until Highland, and then head North on Highland past the Hollywood Bowl back to the 101. You can take that back W and pick up Mulholland by way of Topanga Cyn.

The problem is that Bevery Hills is smack in the middle of your circle, and there really is no freeway access (by design). I just wouldn't take Wilshire there; if you really wan to go there, instead of doing a circle through Hollywood, I would exit the 101 on Hollywood, and then take Hollywood West. I would go down (S) to Sunset at Crescent Heights, and then take Sunset through West Hollywood. You can take it through to Bevery Hills (perhaps straight to Rodeo). Maybe do a lap of 90210, and then take Coldwater Cyn up to Mulholland. Coldwater is a street studio types often take from Beverly Hills up to the Valley - you can take it up to Ventura, and then hop onto the 101 again to take you a bit faster to Topanga to pick up Mulholland where you want it (you would actually cross it on Coldwater, but I wouldn't get on it there). That is one heck of a detour, though. You might be able to fit it in, though, and might just be hitting sunset by the time you wind your way to the water.

Oh, if you want to get something to eat around Downtown, and Nina's doesn't work out, Phillipe's is one of the places that claims to have invented the French Dip sandwich. It's very good, and is also only a couple blocks walking from the Pueblo de Los Angeles - touristy, but it's where La Iglesia de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles is. (The city's original name was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula)

Are y'all staying in Venice?

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