Happy Earth Day, YRH community! While this holiday is important every year (and every day), we’re sure Earth Day is resonating even deeper with us all during COVID-19. We at youRhere have mixed emotions about this day, as we know, with humans’ absence from the world, small amounts of damage done to the environment is starting to reverse. Additionally, this “healing” (combined with massive mis-information about it, including dolphins in the Venice canals) has also sparked a number of funny memes that have, no doubt, lifted our spirits a little. Humans are nothing if not masters of the phrase “run with the bit.” So while we’re giggling away at the internet’s creativity, we’re also mourning the ability to move about freely outside—especially on Earth Day. Enter: the scenic drives of Los Angeles.
With an immense decrease in air pollution, traffic, and accessible outside spaces, a quick drive around town can be a freeing way to explore LA. Why we don’t endorse daily or long-haul drives (diesel vehicles are some major contributors to LA air pollution, after all), bottling up your anxieties and your stir-crazy tendencies is just not healthy; taking a day this month to drive around and remind yourself of your surroundings could be restorative. Earth Day is a great holiday to start planning that drive.
Three of our favorite, most scenic drives of Los Angeles aren’t far from one another: two reside in the historic Hollywood Hills over on the east side of Los Angeles, while one is the gem of the Santa Monica mountains over on the west side.
Laurel Canyon Blvd.
via @nikilg’s Instagram
The east-most offering on our list is also the urban-meets-earth option: Laurel Canyon Boulevard. The road begins in the deep north (of The Valley, that is) and extends down to the famed Sunset Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles: but not before it treks up and over the Hollywood Hills. Winding through the summit of Laurel Canyon Blvd. will give you perfectly blended views of Downtown LA/parts of Hollywood *and* lush, rolling hills. This is a similar view to the ones you’re offered via some of LA’s most lovely hiking trails—many of which are currently closed due to the pandemic.
Coldwater Canyon Dr.
via @soelju3’s Instagram
Any child of the 1980s/1990s remembers the thrill of watching the animated spectacular Tarzan & dreaming of flying through the trees of a dense forest. Coldwater Canyon Drive (a short road that only reaches through the Hollywood Hills) is as close as you can get to that feeling in the City of Angels! You’ll discover panoramic treetop views set against the backdrop of distant mountains. While you’re sure to catch glimpses of the city below, this drive gives you more of an “escapist’s” view of the town (and the illusion that you’re much farther from city life than you are—all from the comfort of your car!) Coldwater Canyon features a few stopping points for you and your loved ones to take a brief break from driving and breathe in some of the fresh air—at least six feet away from other cars, of course.
Malibu Canyon Rd.
via @sky.view.photography_’s Instagram
Our furthest-west drive is one of YRH’s most favorite (What? We’re admitting our bias!). Malibu Canyon Road extends from Calabasas in the north to (you guessed it) Malibu in the south. Its presence in the gorgeous beach town means you’ll get stunning views of the ocean during the southern part of your drive, while also getting to see some of the most beautiful, rural parts of the Santa Monica mountain range. Some nervous drivers may want to sit this one out, as the road above the ravines can be quite the zig-zag, but fear not; there are plenty of look-out spots available to passersby that want to do the ol’ park-and-stare from the safety of their vehicles.
Tell us about you! What’s your favorite scenic drive in your area?