That feeling of freedom, head out the window with the wind howling through your hair as you gaze out into the raw country of wherever you are driving! We love that feeling, so we decided to pack our bags and head to the USA for two weeks discovering as much as we could.
Not only do American's drive on the opposite side of the road to us, but also the opposite side of the car. We thought this would be daunting for us aussie's, but actually we felt safe and confident at all times driving in our Land Rover. We chose to drive a Land Rover Discovery 2019 because we knew it would be the best car to get us to all of the amazing nooks and crannies we wanted to see on our roadtrip.
And so it began…
After an easy 12 hour flight with no sleep, we landed in LA and dusted off our dresses and washed our salty hair and went straight out for dinner to the highly recommended Catch LA. This restaurant had such good vibes and lush decor, and really set the bar high for our first night in LA.
The Discovery took us all around LA, and might we mention again driving on the opposite side of the road was made easier feeling so safe in such a sturdy car! The navigation helped us get to cruise down Rodeo Drive and past all of the luxe Hollywood Hills homes.
We set sights on the Hollywood sign and had a vision, we wanted to adventure to the sign and stand above it instead of viewing it from The Observatory. This was a 3 hour ordeal finding out how to get there, because the local neighbourhood has actually convinced the council and Google Maps to redirect all traffic to the Griffith Observatory which is where you will find around 3,000 people daily, packed streets full of cars and police officers directing traffic, all there to watch the sunset facing the Hollywood sign from a viewing point. This is where we originally ended up without realising Google had actually sent us back 30 minutes in the opposite direction to where we intended to be, but we wanted to be above the sign for sunset so here are our tips on how you can get there!
Tips on how to get to the Hollywood sign
Drive up North Beachwood Drive and then turn left onto Ledgewood Drive and park where you can. There’s a metal gate where North Beachwood Drive ends which takes you to a dirt road leading to Sunset Range Hollywood. Follow Hollywood Ridge Trail to Mount Dee Drive where you’ll see the sign.
It’s about a 35-45 min walk (we ran it in about 20 mins as we were going to miss the sunset). Note, wear running shoes!
Next, we headed for Santa Monica and stayed at Shore Hotel, an eco-conscious hotel that happens to also be beachfront where it was the best place in Santa Monica to watch the sunset, from our balcony with a wine in hand!
If you’re in Santa Monica, a short 30 minute drive to Malibu is essential! Here you will see all of the beachfront mansions – El Matador Beach is where we stopped for a swim and a surf and locked up the car using the Land Rover Activity Wristband.
Palm Springs and Joshua Tree are a definite for your road trip – Palm Springs is about 2 hours from LA and here you will find the cutest little homes amongst the most majestic mountains and well-manicured streets. Really cool town, the vibes here are awesome!
We felt very 'luxe' driving around in the Land Rover Discovery and it made our adventure around California so fun! Apart from being extremely spacious and fitting all of our luggage and surfboards in comfortably, the car also had some other incredible features including the Activity Key which is a waterproof and robust wristband that is used to lock and unlock the car whilst you leave the actual keys inside the vehicle. This means no more hiding the car keys in the towel on the beach while you go for a surf!
Apple Car Play through the infotainment system was also genius! All we had to do was use our Iphone chord to link up our phone and we were able to jam to our favorite roadtrip playlist on Spotify! CarPlay shows your messages, podcasts, maps and spotify all on the built-in display screen!
The car had some other really cool detailed features, such as displaying your driving speed on the front windscreen and heated seats!
We had such an incredible time exploring the USA! We definitely saw so much but also missed out on visiting some other beautiful places and can't wait to go back and cross some more spots off the list!
Have you visited the USA? We can’t wait to go back and would love to hear your favourite spots to visit next time, let us know!