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Road trip from Los Angeles to the most beautiful National Parks in West America

A misty sky hangs over Los Angeles when we land at LAX in the morning at the end of May. It even rains when an airport shuttle, which only rings the car rental companies, drops us off at the company where we rented a car for our road trip. We can choose a rental car within the rented category and we choose a beautiful red one, which contrasts cheerfully with the misty sky. On the way to Santa Monica the sun breaks through and we see more and more blue in the sky. But chilling on the beach is not an option as far as we are concerned, although the Americans in Los Angeles do not shy away from grayer weather. Strange but true, we think there is a chilly north wind. Only in the course of the afternoon does the sun break through. We decide to test other to do’s for Santa Monica, are you reading? There’s plenty to do in Los Angeles right at the start of your road trip:

The Angels

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Roadtrip los angeles hollywood

Roadtrip los angeles strand

Start your road trip in Santa Monica, the most fun part of Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a huge metropolis and the best place to stay is Santa Monica. Because it lies on a fault line and is regularly hit by earthquakes, there are few high-rise buildings in Los Angeles. Everyone picks up their car and the city is notorious for its traffic jams. You prefer to avoid the evening and morning rush hours. We therefore spend the weekend at the (budget) Palm Motel in Santa Monica. On Saturdays we walk on Pico Boulevard to the Santa Monica Pier near the old center. On Sundays, that must be a car-free day, we take the car to Hollywood and look for the world-famous letters.

Rain or shine, this is what you want to do in Los Angels at the start of your road trip

  • Make your way to the terminus of Route 66, which is the more than 100-year-old Santa Monica Pier
  • Visit one of the many restaurants in downtown Santa Monica
  • Shopping! Go shopping on 5th Street
  • Visit the Comedy Club
  • Rent an (electric) bike on Ocean Avenue; Take a leisurely drive to Venice Beach and look around the Marina
  • Look for the white bridges, the Venice Canals
  • Take the bus to Montana Avenue; visit the historic theater or eat in one of the trendy restaurants
  • Don’t miss the Farmers Market on Pico Boulevard on Saturdays
  • And when you’ve seen enough of the city… head to the national parks in the area!
National Parks

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Roy's Mojave desert route 66

Ash Meadows mojave desert

Death valley driving tips

Route door Death Valley Badwater Basin

Leave Los Angeles and start your road trip to the most beautiful National Parks in West America

Los Angeles is the ideal base to visit the most beautiful National Parks in Western America. The following places are located in barely a day’s travel:

  • Death Valley, the hottest place in the US

  • Joshua Tree National Park, discover our tips

  • Zion National Park
  • Sequoia National Forest, with the largest trees in the world
  • Yosemite National park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Antelope Canyon (officially not a national park, but a beautiful nature reserve)

  • Horseshoe Bend (officially not a national park, but an incredibly special piece of nature)

The choice is huge as you can see. Leaving cold Los Angeles behind, we opt for a road trip to the Mojave Desert, follow a route to Death Valley and admire Joshua Tree National Park.