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Driving from Universal City to the beach...

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Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Well, we finally decided to rent a car! Thanks for all the advice about getting one, I know it's going to be nice having the extra flexibility.

So, we plan on getting up very early on the Sunday of our trip to drive from Universal City to the beach. With the time difference it will be no problem for us to get up quite early. We want to get to the beach in time to see the sunrise... I know, sounds corny, but we think it will be fun! :)

Is there a certain scenic beach area that you guys recommend going to? I was thinking of driving over to the Malibu area and then later that morning driving down to Santa Monica. It looks like the 101 will take us straight over to Malibu and then we can take PCH down to Santa Monica or Venice Beach. (then back to Universal via the 405 to the 101) Does that sound like a good plan?

Thanks in advance! :)

West Hollywood...
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1. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Sounds good to me. One thing, though...

For your drive to Malibu, you will need to turn off of 101 and drive one of the "Canyon Roads" to reach Malibu. These roads are quite hilly (up and down) and curvy (left and right) so although it looks like a flat route from the 101 to Malibu, it isn't. So, just be prepared for that. I'm not trying to scare you but if you're not used to driving these kinds of roads (or riding in a car that is driving on these kinds of roads), the temptation is to allow your eyes to follow the path of the road while it curves to the left and curves to the right. While it's good to be an attentive driver, this kind of concentration can make people (drivers and passengers alike) a little light-headed so, for your passengers: tell them to let their eyes explore the surroundings; instead of staring at every bend in the road and for the driver, try to look at the "big picture" rather than staring too closely at every twist and turn. Most importantly, if you get a little dizzy (or nauseous), take a break or "switch drivers".

Don't get me wrong. This isn't a big problem but it can be a little one so forewarned is forearmed!

Have a great time!

Santa Monica...
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2. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

I recommend driving Sunset Blvd to the beach. Take the 101 to the 405, get off at Sunset (make a left off the exit), and turn right on Sunset. It's a very pretty drive, won't cause car sickness (the canyon roads can) and, once you get to PCH, you'll have a gorgeous drive north toward Malibu.

Have breakfast in Malibu! I recommend Marmalade.

Definitely head to Santa Monica and Venice afterward, have lunch there, shop, etc.

USA
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3. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Thanks for the quick replies! I get really severe motion sickness, so I think I'll avoid those canyon roads altogether and take Sunset instead.

I'm guessing traffic will be very light in the wee hours of the morning, right?

West Hollywood...
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4. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Yes!

Los Angeles
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5. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

yeah, take sunset thru hollywood, beverly hills, westwood and you will be fine. The street will get more "curvy" pass the 405 fwy, so you might take the fwy (405 south to 10 west) to get to the beach after westwood

Manhattan Beach...
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6. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Just a note, in CA the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

So the sunset at the end of the day has the beautiful orange skies at the beach. I've been to the beach when the sun rises, to set up for 10k races etc. and all you see is the sun coming up over buildings to the east in the SoBay area. Still great to sit on the sand.

Topanga, California
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7. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Don't like curvy? Want the best views?

Here's the inside tip:

US 101 North

Lewis Road south (in Camarillo)

Hueneme Road southwest (right)

Las Posas Road south (if you want to simplify, take Las Posas Road south from US 101)

CA SR 1 south, entering Malibu from the west.

You will absolutely love this route!

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

I agree on the Sunset route. And yes, no traffic at that time at all. You can drive all the way to Zuma beach, and then do Santa Monica and Venice on the way back as yogachick mentioned.

USA
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9. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Do you guys recommend a certain route back to Universal City from Santa Monica? Are there certain freeways we should avoid because of traffic on a Sunday evening? (around 8pm)

We are going to try to have dinner at one of the restaurants there on the beach in time to watch the sunset. We're looking for someplace pretty casual where we can wear jeans/tshirt type attire (after a full day at the beach). I'm guessing there are plenty of places to choose from, but any suggestions would be appreciated! Should we get reservations if we are wanting to go around sunset?

I've read that Duke's or Gladstone's might be good choices, but I think they are not actually in Santa Monica, right?

Los Angeles...
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10. Re: Driving from Universal City to the beach...

Good Morning

It will be a tad difficult to go and see the sunrise at the beach since you are facing West on the west coast. A sunset drive might be more in order then.

This aside,

Take the 101 north,

Exit LAs Virgines, turn left.

go on Malibu Canyon road all the way until you reach Pacific Coast Highway.

you can turn either left ( and maybe get some food for a picnic on the beach at the village . You might also bump in the local celebrity du jour there ( famous haunt especially at the Starbucks or the general store there). If you turn right, there is 1/2 a mile down the road a large public beach.

I would suggest to take the same road for the return to avoid the afternoon traffic.

Enjoy

Meherio