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Sunday Driving in LA.....Best way to spend a day with a MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE


Mar 1st, 2011, 04:59 PM
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Sunday Driving in LA.....Best way to spend a day with a MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE

I will be in LA in mid March and have rented a Ford Mustang for the 3 days we are there.

I currently have no plans at all on Sunday the 13th and would like some advice on the best places to visit within a 100 mile radius, give or take, to take advantage of this automotive utopia.

We will be most proberbly be staying in Santa Monica, and on on our previous trip to LA, didn't really venture out from the Hollywood/Beverley Hlls area, so we are almost a blank canvas. Dont wont to spend the entire day in the car but any destination should provide a scenic, traffic snarl free, experience.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 08:01 PM
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Just hope the weather is better than this past weekend, I saw video of snow above the "HOLLYWOOD" sign. Don't park under a tree that birds perch in.
Have a great time whichever way you go. Next time consider flying to Las Vegas and renting there.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 09:44 PM
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I would probably drive north along the coast up to Santa Barbara, then have brunch at Cold Springs Tavern just north of SB. Maybe continue up to Santa Ynez/Los Olivos, visit a winery, drive around the ranch country...back to the wharf in Santa Barbara for a light dinner, then a sunset drive down the coast.

You can google the history of the interesting Cold Springs Tavern.

If you don't want to travel much further north than Cold Springs, then you could head just south of SB to Carpinteria, then double back through the mountains to Ojai Village...then back down into LA around sundown.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 09:56 PM
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I'm thinking midnight. Up Beverly Glen to Mulholland Drive . . . .

Even if it's cold outside, the Mustang heater works well, even with the top down.
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Mar 1st, 2011, 11:04 PM
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Snow in LA? Does that happen often?

We are going to Vegas but most of our days are pretty planned whilst there.

How long does it take on the coast road to Santa Barbara? We drove from SB to LA on our last trip on the freeway and it seemed to take forever. Mind you, that was in a Chevy HHR.

Mulholland Drive sounds like a keeper.....loved the movie.

It doesn't matter how cold or wet...that top is staying down.
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Mar 2nd, 2011, 05:53 AM
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I echo the above thoughts and add a few ...
drive up the coast to SB or as tracy2cents suggests - Carpinteria
drive up Beverly Glen, across Mulholland and down Coldwater or Laurel Canyon (consider taking one of the canyons into the valley to Sherman Oaks/Studio City, there some terrific restaurants on Ventura Blvd)
drive up to Malibu, visit the Getty
drive to Ventura - spend some time walking on the beach, have lunch, see the San Buenavenura Mission and shop in the little main street area
drive down to Newport Beach, spend some time walking Balboa Island
drive down to San Juan Capistrano, visit the mission, shop, have lunch
I would normally recommend driving up Angeles Crest Highway into the foothills/national forest but believe it is still closed due to the fires a few years ago. This was a favored drive of Sunday motocyclists.
We've also driven to the Kern county area for nature hikes/picnic and early dinner at a roadhouse restaurant on the Kern River - don't remember much but it was a lovely day. Internet says it is 120 miles though that must depend on your starting place as LA is pretty big. I think it was summertime as this is truly in the mountains and we currently have snow in the hills (at pretty low altitudes)
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Mar 2nd, 2011, 06:20 AM
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Pacific Coast Hwy between Newport Beach and San Clemente would be a must, and maybe a local canyon like Trabuco.

Be sure to put the top up on the freeways(imo)...maybe Hollywood fwy with it down
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Mar 2nd, 2011, 05:22 PM
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What kind of day are you looking for? Personally, I'd spend the day driving Pacific Coast Highway. I'd go to the Getty Villa first, which is small but simply gorgeous. I'd have lunch along the beach with a view. Maybe Duke's or Moonshadows. If warm, maybe Malibu Seafood if you want a more casual environment. I'd probably head up PCH until you can hop on to the 101 and take the highway to Santa Barbara. I'd check out the beach and/or wander along State Street. Dinner in SB and then take the 101 back to LA (on a Sunday evening you should make it back in about an hour and a half). But that's MY kind of day. Haha. If you had something else in mind, let us know. We'd be happy to give you ideas.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 08:34 AM
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Welcome back mate! with Mustang too!

***Dont wont to spend the entire day in the car but any destination should provide a scenic, traffic snarl free, experience.***

Um, you've been here so you know that's California dreamin!

On your last trip I don't think you had time to visit Orange County beaches. I'm with FrankS- come on down and visit Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point etc. I can't guarantee there won't be traffic BUT there is a lot of nice scenery. There's a good reason there are luxury resorts in the area. Personally, I favor Laguna Beach. Take a drive to Top of the World for phenomenal views(make sure to look in your rear view on the way up). Let us know if you're heading this way to recommend a few stops and or restaurants.

I drive with my top down all the time during the winter and on freeways. Not sure of FrankS hesitation, except if you are stuck in gridlock surrounded by semis.

We had lunch here yesterday and dolphins were everywhere!
It's a fun casual piece of California history.

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Mar 3rd, 2011, 10:16 AM
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You're going to be surprised when you see all the snow on the mountains..it came down to about 500 feet last week. And overnight temps were not to much above 5 Celsius. Hopefully it will warm up for you.

Yes Mulholland Drive is the classic, as is the coast up to Malibu (but expect lots of traffic). I might also suggest heading out to Palm Springs which is pretty with snow on the mountains, you can loop through Joshua Tree and back to LA ending with a stop at the Cabazon outlets mall, head back late to miss the Sunday evening traffic though.
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Mar 3rd, 2011, 11:35 AM
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Thanks for posting a provocative question and netting responses that make me want to get in an airplane and head west. Justification for some of the time I waste on the Forums.
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Mar 4th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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We rented a Mustang for a visit to L.A. a few years ago. We were looking at colleges with our son, and he really enjoyed getting to drive the Mustang on Sunset up to Malibu, and further.

Also agree with driving one of the canyon roads, but I forget the one we took from Melrose and ended up on Sunset in the BelAir neighborhood. I think! It was fun. Very narrow, though.

We love Huntington and Newport, too, so you could head down that way. And Laguna, Dana Pointe. So many gorgeous places to see.

Plot your drive to have the least amount of city traffic with the most miles of scenic driving. Have fun, and please report back.
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Mar 4th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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It's going to be a very full day!!!!

I am thinking that we may head North in the morning and have brunch somewhere around the Malibu area. Then head back south through the hills, check out the Getty Centre and continue down to the Orange County beaches.

SOCALOC...The Beachcomber looks like our type of place, you know me well!!!

I have been to Santa Barbara and would love to drive there as well but it seems it would be too hard to do that and the OC on the same day.

After an early dinner, we will probably head back North for an eveving drive up to Mulholland, or I may keep this trip until after the Lakers game on Monday night, if dinner goes a bit longer.
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Mar 4th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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Driving north, then south, then north again? Uh, have you any idea what LA traffic is like?

I suggest you head south, to places mentioned above, and skip the Malibu brunch this time.
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Mar 4th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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Sunday traffic is not all that bad. If anything I'd skip the OC beach section.
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Mar 5th, 2011, 07:39 AM
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I agree with skipping the Orange County beaches. From the Getty Ctr to OC and back, it will be all unpleasant freeway. You might consider cruising the South Bay beaches of Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo, then around the Palos Verdes Peninsula. http://wikitravel.org/en/Palos_Verdes

You could then continue over the Vincent Thomas Bridge and the Port of Los Angeles to Long Beach. There are plenty of waterfront dining options in Long Beach. If you are still feeling ambitious after all of that driving, you can continue down to the Northern OC beaches of Seal Beach and Huntington Beach before heading back north.

Will Homer Simpson be guiding you on your GPS this time?
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Mar 5th, 2011, 08:00 AM
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Ah, yes, the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Great suggestion! If you really intend to make it a looooong day, Shane, I'd go for the drive to Malibu and then head south. That drive is really super... and especially in a convertible.
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Mar 7th, 2011, 08:02 AM
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Oh my- that IS a lot of driving Shanek. If I remember correctly- you weren't impressed with Malibu on your last trip. I love that stretch since it's a piece of SoCal coast that isn't so developed.
And forget anywhere near Long Beach- far from scenic.
Rancho Palos Verde is beautiful but it's a very small area.
True- if you decide to head south to OC beaches- you'll need to take 405 and then I'd get off around Seal Beach and take the coast drive from there.
Perhaps read Fodor's reviews about SoCal beaches before you turn the ignition and take the top down.
And if you missed the Getty Center last time - you really should see it.
Have fun wherever you go!
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Mar 7th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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If you're going north then I would skip Orange County. I like the drive up PCH through Malibu but if you weren't fond of Malibu before then head south.

I'd drive through the South Bay (Redondo, Manhattan, Hermosa Beach) and then through Palos Verdes (beautiful drive). Maybe stop and have lunch at Trump Golf Course or at Terranea Resort www.terranea.com.

Then continue on as lvk suggested through San Pedro and Long Beach. Driving the Vincent Thomas Bridge is interesting because you are able to see the Ports of Los Angeles (San Pedro) and Long Beach. The Port of Los Angeles is the busiest in the US with all the containers shipped. A nice little stop in San Pedro is the Korean Bell Pavilion.

You can continue on through Long Beach, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach and then head back via the 405 freeway. In Long Beach stop and take a little walk along 2nd Street that has shops and restaurants. If you have more time can continue a little further into Orange County going to Newport and Laguna Beach.

It's raining today but checking the weather for this upcoming weekend looks like it will be sunny although the high for example in Redondo Beach will only be 67, Santa Barbara 66 but other places a little warmer. So might be a little chilly for a beach drive but you can turn on the heater if necessary.
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Mar 7th, 2011, 10:06 AM
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socaloc-I agree that Long Beach is not scenic as in seeing the beaches but I think the Port of Los Angeles is interesting and has some beautiful views from San Pedro. You're only in Long Beach a short period of time but if you come over the bridge and drive down Ocean Blvd there are some beautiful homes in the Bluff area and 2nd Street is very cute. Then continue on through Seal Beach towards Huntington which is a nice drive. The drive through Palos Verdes is one of my favorites and to me has some of the most spectacular views in the LA/OC area.

The problem with driving through Newport Beach is that you don't see the ocean much until you get closer to Crystal Cove. Laguna is beautiful and I agree with that. I guess it depends what the OP wants to do in the evening. If they want to get back and drive Mulholland, they might not want to go that far south.
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