Mulholland Drive is one of the more famous roads in the Los Angeles area. The road is named after William Mulholland, the man who brought water to Los Angeles at the expense of the Owens Valley. Built in the 1920s, as Los Angeles was expanding under its newly-found (stolen) water, the highway was created as a scenic drive, intended to be similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway of the Shenandoah Mountains (thanks Ereneta).

The road begins at PCH to the east of Malibu, where it quickly ascends a steep canyon to the top of the rocky backbone of the Santa Monica Mountains. From there it twists and turns along this ridge, offering many scenic views of the ocean to the west and the hilly country to the east. After a while it travels along the edge of Malibu Canyon State Park and continues to the east.

Somewhere along the way, between Malibu Canyon and the 405 freeway, the road loses its pavement. Supposedly, this area is off-limits to the public, although I have not tried to access it. Also inaccessable are fire roads associated with Mulholland farther east, near the Hollywood sign. East of the 405, Mulholland meanders through mansions in the Hollywood Hills before eventually landing near Universal Studios.

Update: The section of Mulholland between Topanga Canyon and the 405 freeway is indeed accessible. However, it is closed to automobile traffic (with the notable exception of the lucky few, like myself, who work for the Park Service). Anyone is free to hike, bike, or ride a horse along the road, which offers excellent views of the Valley and Topanga State Park.