Your eyes need a break from strip malls, freeways and drive-throughs. Instead take a moment to gaze at thoroughfares shaded by fig trees and lined with purple blossoms. Ahhh, this is why we love this city. Here, the eight most breathtaking streets in Los Angeles.
The 8 Most Beautiful Streets in Los Angeles
From the beaches to the canyons
Palos Verdes Drive
You know the 110, aka the Harbor Freeway, which you use to get from one freeway to another? Well, take it all the way south to the harbor where it gets its name, the Port of Los Angeles, and take a right. You’ll find yourself in an enclave of exclusive communities that offer killer ocean views, the exclusive Terranea Resort and Donald Trump’s public golf course.
Del Mar Boulevard, Pasadena
The seasonal cloud cover known as June Gloom brings gray days in May and June, but there’s a counter-agent to make us feel better--the garishly wonderful jacaranda trees that line Del Mar Boulevard. These tall trees explode in such lovely purple blossoms that even people who park under them and suffer fallen blossoms on their cars can’t be too peeved.
La Mesa Drive, Santa Monica
In the late 1800s, more than a hundred Moreton Bay Fig trees were mistakenly planted instead of magnolias. Today these majestic rainforest natives with pushy roots are prized by residents and protected by the city, resulting in a dreamy seven blocks of land-value-raising canopy over the street.
What’s 21 miles long, mostly two-lane and responsible for the stardom of Naomi Watts? It’s Mulholland Drive. This winding road that goes from east to west at the ridgeline of the Santa Monica Mountains offers wow-worthy vistas at all hours, but the sexiest way to see it is to whip around the Hollywood Hills portion at night. Top down, of course.
San Vicente Boulevard, Brentwood
The coral tree is the official tree of Los Angeles. And just like most of us, it's a transplant. This South African native has a marvelous gnarled trunk, and in spring, clusters of orange flowers dot its twisty limbs. This five-mile stretch of them was planted in 1950 and has been declared a historic monument. All together, they are almost enough to make you get over your resentment of West Side traffic.
Pacific Coast Highway
Also called Highway 1, this seaside byway traces the length of California’s coast. It’s most beautiful as dawn breaks over the Palisades and the Malibu cliffs, before it gets too hot and trafficky. The seaside houses here belong to movie stars and moguls, but there’s still a sleepy, beach-town vibe to the stretch just above Santa Monica. (Thank you, diehard surfers.)
There’s so much to see on this 22-mile-long road that starts downtown and cuts through Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Holmby Hills, UCLA, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades. It’s all eye-catching in its own way, but the murals of the Echo Park section touch the art lover in us.
Between Fourth and Sixth streets, there is a little stretch of heaven lined with skinny palms that points directly at the Hollywood sign. It’s the perfect backdrop for out-of-towner snaps--and maybe a selfie or two.