You’ve heard the horror stories about driving in and around Los Angeles? Believe all of them.

An early-morning, weekday drive from Venice Beach to the Chateau Marmont Hotel, originally meant to be a relaxing little jaunt along Sunset Boulevard, was instead a stop-and-go, glacial, bumper-to-bumper crawl past non-descript strip malls, movie and TV billboards pitching actors and actresses for Emmy Awards, homeless camps below bridges, and grimy motels.

Related: BMW’s new M850i Gran Coupe – zero to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds

Down on Ocean Drive, at the luxurious Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows, it was another world – an opulent island onto itself, overlooking a most glorious beach view, and the Santa Monica Pier. We drove the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive Coupe for a sunrise drive down by Venice Beach, along the coast, before the city stirred.


Peaceful and tranquil, especially at this time of the day, a spattering of joggers and bootcampers, city bikes and scooters, dog-walkers, we settle for breakfast off of Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach. The car attracts attention, even at this time of day, with the sleepy early risers.


Santa Monica is a city west of downtown Los Angeles, next to the Pacific Palisades, with a population of just over 92,000. It’s walkable, over eight square miles, and features a 3.5 mile-stretch of Pacific coastline. There is a charming, relaxed, vibrant, laid-back feel but with all the amenities and sophistication of a big city.

Take a drive not only along the beach, but as well, past the posh shops and upscale restaurants in the downtown area. The Third Street Promenade is a popular destination, an outdoor mall featuring a mix of leading retailers as well as local, high-end boutiques. The Chestnut Club on 14 St. is one of the more popular nightclubs, offering a chilled, swanky atmosphere.

Start your drive in the 2019 BMW M850i xDrive by going here.