10 Ways to Show Off In An Exotic Rental Car in Los Angeles
If there’s one thing that people think of when they think of Los Angeles, it is the automobile. Los Angeles is a city built around the love of the automobile. Where the East Coast, especially Manhattan, is cramped by comparison, Los Angeles and the West Coast is an expansive, sprawling statement to unmitigated available space. Matt Novak, writing for the Smithsonian, described what it was like to try and live without a car in LA, a town that is positively a monument to the automobile.
“Living in L.A. without a car has been an interesting experiment,” he writes, “one where I no longer worry about fluctuations in the price of gas but sometimes shirk social functions because getting on the bus or train doesn’t appeal to me on a given day. It’s been an experiment where I wonder how best to stock up on earthquake disaster supplies (I just ordered them online) and how to get to Pasadena to interview scientists at JPL (I just broke down and rented a car for the day). The car — my car — has been sitting in that parking spot for over a year now, and for the most part it’s worked out pretty well.” Novak goes on to explain that California car culture, specially Los Angeles, stems from the railroad and the rise of Los Angeles as a technologically oriented metropolis. “This early and rapid adoption of the automobile in the region is the reason that L.A. was such a pioneer in the area of automotive-centric retailing,” he explains. “The car of the 1920s changed the way that people interacted with the city and how it purchased goods, for better and for worse. As Richard Longstreth notes in his 2000 book, The Drive-In, The Supermarket, and the Transformation of Commercials Space in Los Angeles, the fact that Southern California was the ‘primary spawning ground for the super service station, the drive-in market, and the supermarket’ was no coincidence.”
So when you find yourself in Los Angeles, what better way to meet people and impress them than behind the wheel of a rented exotic automobile? There are plenty of places where people go to “cruise” and to show off their cars. Presented here, then, are our top ten ways to show off behind the wheel, or in the passenger seat, of an exotic rental car in Los Angeles. There’s a good chance, even if you don’t live in Los Angeles, that you’ve heard of these locations. That’s because Los Angeles car culture has made them famous well beyond the borders of Los Angeles.
1. Mulholland Drive
In the movies, it’s not uncommon for two or more characters to drive up above Los Angeles and look out over the city. There’s a very good chance, depending on the movie you’re watching, that these characters are on Mulholland Drive. The drive offers multiple overlook points and was once the means of connecting outlying housing tracts to the vibrant city itself. To cruise Mulholland Drive is a joy in and of itself, but there are plenty of people who are also on Mulholland who’ll take in the sight of you behind the wheel of your rented exotic car. And BE CAREFUL as some parts of the road are narrow, full of holes, and very windy.
2. Griffith Observatory
Another location that you are guaranteed to have seen in movies is Griffith Observatory. There’s a loop connected to this that is a great place to drive and offers wonderful views of downtown LA. You can cruise and take it all in, or you can park and really savor it. And of course you will recognize the observatory itself and probably some of the scenery around it, as these have appeared in movies time and time again.
3. Hollywood Boulevard
You’ve probably heard that Hollywood is more than just a place where movies are made. The famous (some would say infamous) intersection of Hollywood and Vine is a popular location for those who are out to cruise. This is also where the Walk of Fame is located, and there are a number of other tourist attractions in the area, including Graumann’s Chinese Theatre. Don’t be fooled; the area can be a little rough on foot at night. That’s yet another reason to drive an exotic rental car and see it all from the road.
4. Wilshire Blvd
Cruising Wilshire will take you right through the heart of the city, including some of its more colorful neighborhoods and attractions. These include the Miracle Mile. If you’re keen to do some tourist sightseeing, there are numerous museums in the vicinity, and this is where you’ll find Los Angeles’ famous La Brea Tar Pits.
5. San Gabriel Canyon Road
The San Gabriel Canyon is popular with hikers. You can drive the area and even visit the famous “Bridge To Nowhere,” now a popular location for thrill seekers. Keep following San Gabriel Canyon and you’ll wind up at Crystal Lake.
6. Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard is yet another location that has been made by television and movies. The Sunset Strip is a mind-blowing tourist area, home to such famous clubs as the Whisky a Go-Go, the Viper Room, and the House of Blues. The boulevard is multiple lanes wide and a very hip “cruising” spot, where you and your exotic rental car are sure to be noticed by the throngs out to enjoy the nightlife (or the day).
7. Palos Verdes Drive
Taking Palos Verdes Drive, you’ll eventually come to a lighthouse, although we’re outside the city proper at that point. There’s still plenty to see and do if you’re game to make a day trip of the exploration. Don’t miss the glass church, otherwise known as Wayfarer’s Chapel (you’ve seen that in movies too, of course). Keep in mind, though, that you won’t be opening up your exotic rental for any engine-whirring tours on this particular route, where the speeds are kept slow and tourist-friendly.
8. Melrose Avenue
Shopping and restaurants are what Melrose Avenue offers those who drive its length. Paramount Pictures can be found here, too, as can the famous Melrose Place from the long-running television show.
9. Angeles Crest Highway
They say you’ll miss the forest for all the trees, and that’s a possibility with Angeles Crest. This road is found within Angeles National Forest and offers some spectacularly scenic views. Don’t miss mOunt Wilson Observatory while you’re there.
10. The Pacific Coast Highway
The PCH offers yet more fantastic scenery as you motor along its length. This is where you go if you’re keen to spend some time on hot sand surrounded by hotter bodies. If you’ve always had a yen to see the Pacific and smell the ocean, this is the route for you.