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4 Scenic Drives in Southern California to Take in From Your Audi

Image via Flickr by digitizedchaos

Image via Flickr by digitizedchaos

There’s a lot to be said for commuting or running errands in your Audi. It feels good to surround yourself with quality and luxury as you navigate the hurdles of day-to-day life. But once in a while, you want to reward your car for all it does for you and see what it can do on the open road. There’s no better place to let loose and take in the fresh air and gorgeous scenery than in perpetually sunny and warm Southern California. Here are four of the area’s most scenic drives, all of which are perfect for you and your beloved Audi.

Pacific Coast Highway/Route 1

The PCH, as it is known to locals, runs straight up the California coast from San Juan Capistrano (between San Diego and Los Angeles) to the town of Leggett in Mendocino County, less than 300 miles from the Oregon border. You could easily spend a week exploring the small coastal towns and laying on countless beaches along the way. If you don’t have that long, take a day or two and focus on the stunning scenery of Big Sur and the famous redwoods. Maximize your beach time by cruising the coast in an Audi A5 hybrid, or ultra-fuel-efficient A3.

Route 66

This drive is more historic than scenic, but everyone should experience a stretch of America’s Main Street. Route 66 actually ends at the famous Santa Monica Pier, which is a perfect place to catch a ride on the PCH. But if you want wide open roads and unforgettable scenery, choose the stretch between the desert towns of Barstow and Victorville. Put the top down on your A3 convertible and soak up the sun as you speed past ostrich farms and explore local oddities like Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch.

Route 74

This 48-mile stretch of highway in Orange County travels through the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, and introduces travelers to a microcosm of Southern California, from the desert to the mountains to lush forests. You’ll only need a couple of hours to traverse it, so take the time to hop out for a short hike, a lovely lunch, some shopping, or even a spa treatment.

Angeles Crest Highway

Further north in Los Angeles county, escape the star-obsessed city and head into Angeles National Forest. Start in swanky La Canada-Flintridge, where you’ll get your fill of mansions and swanky shops, and then leave civilization behind as the world opens up into the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains. Take a side trip to Mount Wilson, or stop for lunch at Newcomb’s Ranch. Note that the road can be icy in the winter months (yes, even in SoCal), so choose an SUV that combines luxury with toughness, like the all-weather capable Audi Q5.

Southern California is teeming with gorgeous drives that are best experienced from the comfort and luxury of an Audi. You may have to work hard to pull your attention away from the car’s exquisite performance, high-tech amenities, and plush interior, but with such memorable scenery just out the window, you should have just what you need to tear yourself away.