“Get your motor runnin’
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
In whatever comes our way”
‘Born to be Wild’ by Steppenwolf
Los Angeles is a city that has become a symbol of the American dream. Known for its sunny weather, diverse population, and entertainment industry, it is a destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. As the second-most populous city in the United States, with a population of over 3.9 million people, Los Angeles offers a unique experience for bikers who are looking for a thrilling ride.
That’s because Los Angeles has become famous as a biker’s paradise. The city offers a wide range of routes and destinations that cater to all levels of riders, from scenic coastal roads to winding mountain highways. LA is so famous for bikers that it’s been immortalized in movies throughout the decades. From Marlon Brando’s ‘The Wild One’ to one of the most iconic movies about bikers set in Los Angeles, ‘Easy Rider’, which follows the journey of two bikers from Los Angeles to New Orleans. This movie made ‘Born to be Wild’ an anthem of bikers and rebellious youth everywhere.
The ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen would regularly be seen riding around Los Angeles highways and hanging out at biker bars and even once said, “Billy Graham once asked me what my religion was and I told him, it’s the desert, the grass, the sun in the sky – and my wheels.” One of the best things about Los Angeles is the abundance of iconic highways, beautiful beaches, famous landmarks, and attractions that are worth visiting. But if you didn’t bring your own bike on your journey, don’t fret! There are plenty of motorcycle rentals in Los Angeles available, such as Explorify Motorcycle Rentals. Just speak to the experts.
Here is a multi-day guide for a biker’s trip to Los Angeles, including some of the most popular routes, destinations, and landmarks, but it’s easy to pick and choose or spread out the locations for however long you’re visiting.
So, grab your helmet and hit the road to explore all that Los Angeles has to offer:
It may sound like a cliché, but it isn’t! It’s what most people think of when they hear of Los Angeles. Start off your road trip early in the morning by riding through glitzy and glamorous Hollywood. The 1.5-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, is famous for its vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants lining the street. With its combination of scenic views, twists and turns, and bustling energy, you can ride past famous sights, the Whisky a Go Go, and the Roxy Theatre. Or feel the glamour and excitement of Hollywood at the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame and the iconic Hollywood Sign up on the Hollywood Hills. Even seeing the sign from a distance can be an incredible experience, as you’ll feel like you’re right back in the middle of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Head west towards the wide and smooth roads of Beverly Hills, past some of the most luxurious homes, estates, shops, and boutiques in the city (and possibly the world!). Ride on past the views of the city and keep heading west to Venice Beach, a vibrant and eclectic beach community known for its boardwalk, street performers, and eclectic shops. Ride around to explore the area, or simply relax and enjoy the beach and splash around in the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The Venice Boardwalk is a bustling 1-mile-long stretch of street art (just wait until you see the sand statues!), and pop-up shops, with so many tourists and locals bustling around. Show off your skating prowess at the skatepark.
Or, if you’re a gym fan, Muscle Beach, a fitness area that is popular with bodybuilders and weightlifters is perfect for you. Some of the biggest names in bodybuilding and film including Lou Ferrigno, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane have all called Muscle Beach home. The area features a variety of workout equipment and is a great place to watch some impressive displays of strength, with lots of abs and glutes walking around. Muscle Beach is open seven days a week and it costs $10 to enter and use the fitness equipment for a day. However, the basketball, beach volley, handball, and tennis courts are free for all and open at any time.
When in Venice, you need to explore the Venice Beach Canals. These 1.5-mile series of narrow waterways are lined with beautiful homes and lush greenery. The canals are a great place to explore on foot or on bike, with lots of scenic paths and bridges that offer stunning views of the water and surrounding architecture. You can get lost in this quirky area while walking over bridges, and taking snaps with the palm trees in the background. Right in the heart of Venice Beach at Windward and Pacific, is the famous Venice sign. The sign, which features the word “VENICE” in all caps and bright neon lights, is just a short distance from the beach and the boardwalk. The sign is a bright and colorful beacon that can be seen from several blocks away, and is especially striking at night when it is illuminated by its neon lights. Taking a picture here is necessary!
If you’ve explored all you can at Venice Beach and the Boardwalk, then ride a short distance towards Santa Monica Pier, where you can really have some fun! The pier offers stunning views of the ocean, as well as an amusement park, restaurants, and shops. Take a walk along the beach or shop and dine. At the Pier, you’ll likely see the street performers first, as well as the smell of cotton candy flowing through the air. Here, go get a drink at Rusty’s Surf Ranch, or make it to Pacific Park, open at 11am, for a scary amusement ride. The Ferris wheel ride is a must, if only for those incredible pictures at sunset.
Or if you want a quieter and more upscale beach community, continue your ride to Manhattan Beach, with its beautiful beaches and ocean views. While Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier buzz with tourists and vendors, Manhattan offers less crowded beaches with plenty of restaurants and shops, as well as opportunities for surfing and other water sports. Whichever beach you choose, you’ll get to experience those stunning ocean views.
There are very few road trips as iconic as the sun-soaked Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Start off your day by riding along the PCH, taking in the stunning views of the ocean and the cliffs. One of the first things you’ll notice as you hit the road is the salty scent of the ocean air, making you think of the majesty of the ocean. As you ride along, you’ll be treated to views of the coastline, with the sparkling blue water stretching out as far as the eye can see.Along the way, you’ll ride past sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, and rolling hills, each with its own unique beauty and charm. One of the most iconic stops along the way is the Bixby Bridge, a famous stop along the Big Sur coast. This towering concrete arch spans a deep canyon and offers stunning views of the ocean below.
To ride the entire PCH, it would take a good three days with lots of stops along the way to enjoy the ride of a lifetime, with the salty Pacific air blowing through your hair and California sunshine shimmering on your cheeks. But you can choose to ride sections of the Highway which only take a few hours each. While on your ride, you must stop off at Neptune’s Net for a bite to eat. Located at 42505 Pacific Coast Highway, north of Malibu, the iconic Neptune’s Net has been used in countless Hollywood productions. You might recognize it from ‘The Fast and the Furious’ or ‘Point Break’. That’s because it’s a popular destination for bikers looking to experience a slice of California’s biker culture while enjoying some good seafood or American classics.
After the ocean air and food, ride about an hour to Universal Studios Hollywood, the theme park and movie studio. The park is in the heart of Hollywood and has thrilling rides, shows, and behind-the-scenes tours. One of the most popular attractions is the Studio Tour, which takes you through some of the most famous sets and locations used in movies and TV shows. You’ll get to see iconic sights like the Bates Motel from ‘Psycho’, the house from ‘Desperate Housewives’, and the streets of New York City from countless films. Not to mention the ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Transformers’, and ‘The Simpsons’ rides to name just a few, as well as the special effects shows throughout the day. Adult tickets start from $109 for the day but be sure to book a ticket online in advance to save time and money.
If you’re not exhausted by the Universal Studios trip, then end your day by riding out to Griffith Observatory, in Griffith Park. The iconic observatory offers stunning views of the city and the stars, and is a sight to behold itself, with its iconic Art Deco architecture. You can explore the various exhibits and displays inside the observatory for $10, and attend shows at the planetarium to learn more about the stars and the universe. Sunset is particularly special here. As the sun begins to set, the sky above the observatory turns into a kaleidoscope of colors, with shades of orange, pink, and purple painting the horizon. The city below begins to light up, with the skyscrapers downtown and the lights of Hollywood and Beverly Hills in the distance creating a stunning backdrop.
Plot out your day by following another of the famous highways, Mulholland Highway. Start at Mulholland Drive, a winding 21-mile route, and take the legendary road all the way west to Mulholland Highway, right out at the Malibu coast. Start at Cahuenga Boulevard near the 101, and drive into the hills. While there, why not stop at the Hollywood Bowl Overlook to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood Bowl Amphitheater, and downtown Los Angeles? Pull in here and take advantage of the free overlook to give you panoramic views of the angelic city.
The famous Mulholland Drive is home to the rich and famous and has stunning views of its own before the road ends west of Encino Hills Drive and becomes an unpaved dirt road. Take the 101 South and exit Topanga Canyon South, then right onto Mulholland Drive and then left and you’ll arrive on Mulholland Highway. If you follow the road correctly, it’ll take you all the way to the beach!Mulholland Highway is a winding road that snakes its way through the Santa Monica Mountains, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys. As you ride down the Mulholland Highway, you’ll pass by some of the most iconic spots in Southern California, such as the Malibu Hindu Temple, a popular spot for followers of Hinduism in Southern California. You’ll ride by some of the most beautiful mansions in the area, and see the occasional celebrity on their way to their secluded hilltop homes.
You will also find ‘The Mulholland Snake’, the nickname for a section of Mulholland Highway in Malibu, popular among experienced motorcyclists and sports car enthusiasts for its hairpin twists and turns. The Snake leads up to the world-famous motorcycle bar hangout, the Rock Store. This legendary biker hangout has been a popular destination for riders for decades and is a good spot to soak up the biker atmosphere, drink some coffee, and maybe even spot a celebrity motorhead such as Jay Leno on one of his many bikes from his collection.
Once you reach the end of the Mulholland Highway, you’ll find yourself in the Santa Monica National Recreation Area, a stunning park that stretches all the way to the coast. Here, you’ll find miles of hiking and biking trails. As you explore here, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains, with its rolling hills, wildflowers, and sweeping ocean views.
You’ll find some of the most beautiful beaches in this area, including El Matador and Zuma Beach. Relax the rest of the day away at one of the beaches, with pristine coves surrounded by towering cliffs and rock formations. The beaches are known for their stunning natural beauty and clear blue waters, making them a favorite spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. There are also several nearby restaurants and cafés where you can grab a bite to eat or a cold drink after a long day of riding and beach-going. With its stunning landmarks, iconic highways, popular biker destinations, and beautiful beaches, Los Angeles offers an unforgettable experience for those ‘born to be wild’.