Los Angeles is the only major city in the world divided by a mountain range, and the road on top of this range is the famous Mulholland Drive. It travels 21 miles along the peaks and canyons of Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains, separating the Los Angeles basin from the San Fernando Valley. The winding road provides amazing views of the city (particularly at night) and offers many opportunities to pull over and enjoy the view 1,400 feet above sea level.
Completed in 1924, it's named after William Mulholland, the engineer of the aqueduct connecting L.A. and the Valley. Yes, there are celebrities up in them thar hills -- Leonardo DiCaprio, Kevin Costner -- but you'll never find them, as most of the mansions are well hidden. You don't need to drive the whole road to get the full effect. From Cahuenga Boulevard (near the Hollywood Bowl), take the Mulholland Drive turnoff heading west. After about a mile, you'll see the scenic view area on your left (look for the black iron fence). Park at the small paved parking lot (which closes at sunset), ooh and aah over the view of the L.A. basin, and then drive a few miles farther west until you spot the other scenic view area on your right (dirt this time) overlooking the San Fernando Valley. The whole trip should take you less than an hour. Tip: Don't drive here after 3pm on the weekdays -- the rush hour traffic in this area is horrible. Also, no matter what your map says, there is no Mulholland Drive exit off U.S. 101; you have to get on at Cahuenga Boulevard.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010