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From downtown, the easiest way to hit the coast is by taking the Santa Monica Freeway (I–10) due west. Once you reach the end of the freeway, I–10 runs into the famous Highway 1. Better known as the Pacific Coast Highway, or PCH, Highway 1 continues north to Sonoma County and south to San Diego. MTA buses run from downtown along Pico, Olympic, Santa Monica, Sunset, and Wilshire boulevards westward to the coast. Driving along the coast is a quintessential L.A. experience—so is sitting in beach traffic. Avoid driving to Malibu during rush hour, when traffic along PCH moves at a snail's pace.
Public parking is usually available at beaches, though fees can range anywhere from $8 to $20; in some areas, it's possible to find free street and highway parking.
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