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Why rent a car in Hollywood?

The Hollywood hills are imprinted on the imaginations of generations of movie-goers, with the famous Hollywood sign lit up at night and visible from all over Los Angeles. Tinseltown attracts stars and fans and wannabes alike, all drawn to the global entertainment centre. The film studios are just one part of town but there are plenty more iconic tourist attractions. A rental car is almost a requirement for anyone who wants to see the sights and drink in the atmosphere.

How to get to and around Hollywood?

Both Los Angeles International Airport and Bob Hope Airport are within easy reach of Hollywood. Bob Hope Airport serves mostly other airports within the region but Los Angeles is the main international hub, with direct scheduled flights from all over the world. LAX, as it’s often referred to, is 13 miles from Hollywood and the journey along the I-10W takes about 45 minutes.

Hiring a car in Hollywood city centre

There are car hire offices all over Hollywood and Beverly Hills, mostly to the south of Sunset Boulevard. California State Route 2 has several offices where you can rent a car while further north around Hollywood Heights there are similar options.

What brands are available?

Hollywood has car rental companies of all the varieties you could hope for. Big international brands include Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, Budget and Sixt, but if you want something with a little more va-va-voom then head to a local hire car outlet that will find you wheels that really match the location. Business hours are usually 7am to 7pm in Hollywood. At the airport, counters operate 24 hours a day.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Hollywood

Malibu isn’t just a celebrity hang out – it’s a stretch of stunning beaches that California is renowned for. The idyllic sands, perfect surfing and the Santa Monica mountains in-land make Malibu a great place to visit and a better place to live. The best route is along the CA-1 N coastal road via Santa Monica – it’s just over 42 miles and takes about an hour and 10 minutes.

South of Hollywood is Long Beach, another superb destination for sunseekers. The Queen Mary is moored here, and you can look around the on-board museum. Take a Segway along the beach front or check out the many galleries and museums. The 30-mile drive should take about an hour.

Further south, San Diego is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to take in the ocean road. The 130-mile drive, almost to the Mexican border, takes about three and a half hours, and the city is well worth the trip. San Diego Zoo is world famous, and there are dozens of art galleries, parks, museums and gardens to enjoy.

Tips and tricks for driving in California

The Californian freeways are famously wide and busy and car culture is as strong here as anywhere in the world. The speed limit is 25mph in the city, and 65mph on freeways. Like most parts of the US, right turns are permitted on a red light if the car has come to a complete stop. To cope with the traffic, invest in a satnav and learn the jargon – ‘surface streets’ are any roads that are not freeways.

The state of California has some marvellous scenic routes and there’s plenty of places to stop and refresh yourself on your west coast road trip.

Ready to plan your Hollywood city break?

To start organising your trip to Hollywood and other parts of California, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.