My 2016 US Road Trip on the West Coast

Road trip from LA via Death Valley to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and back

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Already more than two months have passed since a long-desired dream came true. I was finally leaving on a flight with Lufthansa towards the United States for an extensive road trip on the US west coast. I planned to drive about 2,425 miles (3.902 km) within 13 days and explore some of the most-visited places and cities on the west coast of the US. My trip started in Los Angeles, where I picked up my rental car. The travel plan included as next stops Death Valley and Las Vegas. After two nights in Las Vegas I would continue towards the southern part of the Grand Canyon. Via the northern rim I would leave the Canyon and head back to Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

I started to plan my trip already back in November 2015. Next to my flight with Lufthansa I had to book a rental car for the entire trip. As the rental car would be my second home on the road trip, I was looking for a car to seat at least two passengers and their luggage. A convertible with unlimited miles were two other pre-conditions. Since the US-based rental car agencies didn’t offer a deal fitting to my budget, I was lucky that Sixt rent a car has established a presence in the United States. Sixt provided a great deal for the car I was looking for.

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A complimentary shuttle bus brings customers to the branch office near the airport. I handed over the booking confirmation to a rental agent and received in exchange the keys to a BMW 428i convertible. Now that’s a great way to start a road trip I would say! 🙂 All in all I expierenced a great service from the Sixt rental station at the Los Angeles airport. The features of the BMW 428i included a sports automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, leather seats and keyless-go functionality. The car is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine which offers 240 hp and a peak torque of 255 pound-feet.

Part 1 – Hollywood Hills & Mulholland Drive

My first drive with the BMW 428i took me towards Hollywood and the Mulholland Drive. If you look for a good photo spot in front of the Hollywood sign, simply put the street name “Canyon Lake Drive” in your navigation system. On the way towards the Canyon Lake Drive, make sure to use North Beachwood Drive. Both streets will offer you some great photo spots in front of the famous Hollywood sign. If you go there during the week, possibilities are high that you are able to snap some great photos!

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Next to great photo opportunities in front of the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Hills have some twisty roads to offer as well. Since Los Angeles is well-known for horrible traffic jams on the freeways, I can only highly recommend to take a detour. The great panoramic view over the city will make up for a few minutes of additional driving. Ok, I admit, in my case we talk about hours rather than minutes 🙂

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Another great road near Los Angeles with stunning views of the city is the Mulholland Drive. It is closely located to Hollywood and can be accessed via crossing Hollywood Freeway 101. The Mulholland Drive takes you all way up to Woodland Hills. Make sure to stop at Narrows Overlook and at Johnson’s Overlook to enjoy a fantastic view on Los Angeles.

Click here to continue to Page 2 – Driving Angeles Crest Highway and Death Valley

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