Stretching 21 miles (34 kilometers) along the eastern ridgeline of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Hollywood Hills, Mulholland Drive includes two popular routes. If you don’t want to rent a car, a guided tour is the easiest way to get a lay of the land while soaking up the sights, including celebrity homes.
Follow Cahuenga Pass to Laurel Canyon, which winds up above downtown Hollywood and the Hollywood Bowl, past Runyon Canyon and above Universal City, where a significant turnout allows you to linger on views of the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains. Alternatively, driving from Laurel Canyon to Beverly Glen Boulevard offers real-estate-heavy views of the Westside on one side (including West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Bel-Air), and the wide, flat, mountain-rimmed San Fernando Valley on the other. There are several turnouts between Laurel Canyon and Coldwater Canyon, and again prior to Beverly Glen.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A night drive or bus tour is a great way to experience the glitz of the LA lights below.
- There’s parking every mile or so for photo ops, so don’t forget the camera.
- Suggested duration is 1–2 hours, but itineraries vary depending on stops.
How to Get There
Tours typically offer hotel pickup or meet at a central location on Hollywood Blvd. or in downtown Los Angeles. If you opt to self-drive from Beverly Hills, take Sunset Blvd. to either Benedict Canyon Dr. or N. Beverly Glen Blvd.; both roads wind through the Hollywood Hills to Mulholland. Or, follow I-405 N. from the Getty Center.
When to Get There
Traveling during rush-hour on weekdays may increase chances of getting stuck in traffic, as the route traverses the hills from L.A. into the San Fernando Valley. Smog-free days are best for clear views, but the road is generally open anytime of year.
While the Hollywood Sign is a not-to-be-missed sight, it's the exclusive mansions of movie stars that many tourists come to L.A. to see. A narrated tour will let you soak up all the glamour while a guide points out the present and past homes of the rich-and-famous. Once you’ve driven the road, watch it unfold in David Lynch’s namesake 2001 film.
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