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 Blvd., 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.

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.