As the film capital of the world, Los Angeles has plenty of beautiful and famous movie landmarks to create your own self-driving tour. There are tons of iconic backdrops, locations, studios, and famous landmarks to see and photograph for the perfect Instagram post. While there are professional Hollywood driving tours, we recommend the DIY approach. You’ll be able to explore more, get closer, and see LA’s character beyond the glitzy façade. Here are our top picks for movie and tv filming locations in Los Angeles.
Bronson Canyon, aka, Bronson Caves, is a man-made collection of tunnels and crevices carved into the Hollywood Hills. This rocky, interplanetary landscape is one of the most popular filming locations in the industry. Its otherworldly setting is balanced out by its easy access, lying on the far western edge of Griffith Park. Hundreds of popular sci-fi, western, and action flicks have used Bronson Caves as a backdrop, including the original Batman movie (see if you can find the OG Batcave).
Other notable T.V./films shot here: The Hills Have Eyes, The A-team.
This historic downtown landmark is most notable as the filming location for the 1980s sci-fi classic Blade Runner. On the outside, the building seems to just be another old brick structure repurposed for hip start-up office space. When you step inside however, you’re transported back 100 years. Natural light shines through the beautiful atrium down onto the ornate ironwork adorning the stairs and walkways. The Bradbury Building is close to LA’s Grand Central Market and the Million Dollar Theater.
Other notable tv/films shot here: 500 Days of Summer, The Artist
Pro tip: prepare to fill up on gas a couple of times and watch your mileage. You can easily rack up 60-100 miles a day driving in the LA metro area.
Bring a swimsuit (& maybe a sweatshirt) to this iconic spot in Malibu. From May-August, Point Dume is a popular beach for swimming and sunbathing. Get there early, as the parking lot can fill up quick. Dramatic cliffs and rocky seaside outcroppings provide a picturesque backdrop against the Pacific. Various cliffs and coves in the area have been featured as countless movie and tv filming locations. The most recognizable is the “Statue of Liberty” beach scene from the original Planet of the Apes. Though when you see it, you might be more impressed that they were able to get the small stretch of beach completely deserted.
Other notable tv/films shot here: The Big Lebowski, Iron Man.
This burgeoning section of east LA is filled with hipster shops, boutiques, and coffee shops. Silverlake’s indie aesthetic and hilly streets make it a prime movie and tv film location for modern meet-cutes, comedies, and dramas. You’ll probably find more interesting food and chic houses here than instantly recognizable movie backdrops. Still, Silverlake is definitely worth a walk, and is a good spot to see famous musicians, actors, and social media influencers going about their daily lives.
Notable tv/films shot here: Transparent, You’re the Worst, Casual, Love, Togetherness.
Glide down over the iconic Mulholland Drive, one of the most scenic and famous roads in American culture. Mulholland meanders through the Santa Monica Mountains all the way from West Hollywood out to Ventura County. This 21-mile stretch of highway has been mentioned in countless songs (catch the ‘Free Fallin’ reference?), movies, and a favorite of filmmaker David Lynch. Many scenes in Twin Peaks are filmed in the hills near Mulholland and the street itself is the namesake of Lynch’s neo-noir mystery. The views are worth the twists and turns. Just drive safely and don’t be afraid to pull over.
If you’re going to do a self-driving tour, you’re going to want to ride in comfort. We have tons of affordable, quality vehicles at our LAX lot that may not be as flashy as a Maserati on Mulholland, but will 100% get the job done (and save you money). Even better, every car comes with full insurance coverage from Allstate, as well as roadside assistance and 24/7 support. We only have one request: please tag us in all your awesome photos!
Car rental is a must for anyone visiting southern California. Here’s what you need to know about renting a car in Los Angeles.
While you can get around some major cities without a rental car you’ll definitely want one while in Austin.