Beverly Hills, Los Angeles: what to see in the city of stars

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Judit Llordés

Beverly Hills is undoubtedly the capital of luxury, wealth and glory. A city in all respects, Beverly Hills is part of the "Golden Triangle" which also includes the neighboring cities of Bel Air e Holmby hills.

It gained its reputation in the 20s when it started to become the headquarters of movie stars and celebrities (the city is also twinned with French film star Cannes). Today, tourists invade the streets (especially the most famous street: Rodeo Drive), amazed by the glitz and luxury that continues to characterize the neighborhood.

Its 14,7 km² are synonymous with: majestic villas (often hidden behind large gates), powerful and gleaming cars, crazy shopping and lots of luxury. Elements found in many films and series, with which the city fascinates and inspires.

What does Beverly Hills really look like?

Beverly Hills is, above all, a small town for the rich. Less than six square miles, Beverly Hills is strictly a neighborhood of homes and shops. The city has churches, but it has no factories; it has restaurants, but no industry; boutique, but no billboard. There is not even a hospital or a cemetery in the city to remind the inhabitants of their mortality. It is said that, technically, no one is born or dies in Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills is a place for the lucky ones living in comfort. On the tree-lined streets of the city, you'll see more limousines, gleaming Mercedes-Benzes and elegant Ferraris per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

Inhabited by many movie stars since 1920, it has developed under strict rules. The color, the size of the houses, the street signs and the pedestrian crossing are strictly regulated. For example, it is forbidden to walk around the neighborhood if you don't live there. You can still cross it by car, as long as you respect the speed limit and don't stop in front of the houses ...

Between Wilshire and Sunset Boulevards, you will find what is sometimes called "The Golden Triangle", bordered by Santa Monica Boulevard (to the northwest), Wilshire Boulevard (to the south) and Canon Drive (to the east). Within the "Golden Triangle" is a grid of seven small shopping streets filled with shops and restaurants. At the center of this triangle is none other than Rodeo Drive, the legendary shopping street of Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills is, undeniably, an extremely beautiful neighborhood. The streets are pleasantly planted with palm trees, sycamores and even oaks. The houses are beautiful and perfectly aligned. The architecture is reminiscent of European bourgeois neighborhoods with a touch of Victorian style and sometimes bold colors. The gardens are clean, richly flowered and well shaded. Its shopping streets are immaculate and filled with exclusive boutiques and sophisticated customers. This is the way most people would probably want to live if they could afford it.

While the houses south of Sunset Boulevard are beautiful, most of the truly spectacular villas in the city are located north of Sunset. If you've ever wondered where to find the most expensive properties in the South of California, look no further. Homes north of Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills earned that title, beating nearby Bel-Air and sunny Malibu. Ironically, this same land once sold for less than $ 3 per acre, but in those days it was essentially a swamp.

Celebrity magazine fans can search for the houses of the stars on special maps (Star Home Map) sold in all newsstands of Los Angeles. Among the many stars who have lived in Beverly Hills are Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Tom Cruise and Humphrey Bogart.

How to get to Beverly Hills

The city of Beverly Hills is located west of Los Angeles and southwest of Hollywood. It is surrounded by Bel-Air and Westwood (west), the Santa Monica Mountains and West Hollywood (north), Hollywood and the Fairfax neighborhood (east), and West LA and Century City (south).

The best way to get there and visit the city is by car. If you haven't booked one yet, we recommend that you read our guide on car rental in USA.

From Hollywood & Vine, drive two blocks south to Sunset Boulevard, then turn right (west) and take Sunset Boulevard west (approximately four miles) to Beverly Hills. You will know you are in Beverly Hills when the scenery changes from concrete sidewalks to verdant lawns, from skyscrapers to apartment buildings.

Head west along Sunset Boulevard, pass Beverly Hills Hotel and turn south into the residential section of Rodeo Drive. This will give you the chance to see some of the stars' homes before reaching the central shopping area of ​​Rodeo Drive.

Da West LA, take the San Diego Freeway (405) to Wilshire Boulevard or Santa Monica Boulevard and drive northeast (approximately three miles) to Beverly Hills.


What to see in Beverly Hills?

Rodeo Drive

You can't talk about Beverly Hills without mentioning Rodeo Drive. Famous around the world for its luxury boutiques lining impeccable sidewalks, Rodeo Drive is one of the most expensive streets in the world.

Rodeo Drive actually refers to a small upscale neighborhood around the axis and not just the road. It was in the 70s that the street began to attract luxury brands, such as Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent or Louis Vuitton, who settled in elegant shops.

On the Walk of Style of Rodeo Drive instead you will find on the pavement a series of plaques with quotes and signatures that commemorate the leaders of style in fashion and entertainment.

The House of Bijan

But these shops have nothing to do with The House of Bijan, the most expensive shop in the world! Shop of a deceased Iranian designer. Here a pair of socks will cost you $ 100 and dresses start at $ 25.000. Here the regulars are Tom Cruise, Michael Jordan, Vladimir Putin or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

A $ 1,7 million super car is parked in front of the store that can be used to escort VIPs who have made a purchase in the store.

The Greystone Mansion

This stunning 1928 Tudor-style mansion is a gift from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to his son. Today, the 55-room (4200 m²) residence is empty and cannot be visited. The gardens are however free.

The Greystone Mansion is now used to host events of all kinds (weddings, festivals, balls, etc.) and film shoots. It has often been used in cinema (Bodyguard, Indecent Proposal, Batman & Robin, X-Men…) and on television (Mac Gyver…).
Gardens open from 10am to 00pm (17pm in summer)
Address: 905 Loma Vista Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Beverly Hills City Hall

This magnificent Spanish Renaissance-style building was built in 1932 by architect William Cage. The 8-story tower and its golden mosaic dome have since become a landmark in the urban landscape. Despite the aggression of time and the numerous earthquakes, the town hall is still there, in all its splendor.

In 1982, a major renovation project was launched. The work ended in 2008 with the development of a green space in front of the new entrance.

Address: 455 North Rexford Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Beverly Gardens Park

It stretches all along Santa Monica Boulevard, a true boundary between the residential side of the city and its commercial side. Why do we talk about it? Because we are sure that you will stop in front of the "Beverly Hills" sign reproduction of the historic arch that was previously in the city center. In the gardens there is also a collection of public art, including the famous one Electric Fountain, another large, fairly photographed spot. During the third weekend of May and October the park hosts the Beverly Hills Art Show.

Will Rogers Memorial Park

If you want to take a break between palaces and luxury shops, go to this beautiful park. It is the first public park in the city, opened in 1915 and called Sunset Park at the time. In 1926, actor Will Rogers became honorary mayor of Beverly Hills and the park was renamed in his honor. There 90210 Beverly Hills television series - New Generation was shot in part here.

Address: 9650 Sunset Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The gardens of Virginia Robinson

Botanical gardens presented in thematic forms: magnolias, camellias, gardenias, azaleas but also palms, roses and aromatic herbs. It is possible to admire the first house built in Beverly Hills, in a Mediterranean style. It is the oldest property in Beverly Hills, built in 1911, and is now furnished with antiques and artifacts from around the world.

Guided tour by appointment, from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 13:00.
Admission $ 11, discounts for seniors, students and children.
Address: 1008 Elden Way Beverly Hills, California 90210

I Palazzi a Beverly Hills

VIPs, celebrities, kings and queens, heads of state and other world famous personalities have stayed at these hotels!

Regent beverly wilshire

Have you never entered it yet the facade looks familiar? Normal, this is it the glamorous hotel (5 stars) of Pretty Woman. The television series Entourage was also partially filmed on the stage. John Lennon or Elvis Presley also lived here for a while. Built in 1928, the mansion is located at 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, at the southern end of Rodeo Drive.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Built in 1912 and nicknamed the Rose Palace. It is located at 9641 Sunset Bld. A very charming hotel! In 1976, the hotel served as an illustration to the band The Eagles for their famous album Hotel California. Its 5.000 m² house more than 200 rooms and suites, and its superb gardens are a real feast for the eyes.

Bel Air Hotel

A discreet palace in lush greenery with streams and small waterfalls. The Spanish Revival style home built in 1946 is located at 701 Stone Canyon Blvd.

The Villas of the VIPs

Those who want to get close to the villas of Hollywood stars will find organized tours and also addresses and maps. Be aware, however, that you will not go beyond the fences and that you will see little more than hedges.

So the idea of visit Beverly Hills on your own, just by car, it's not bad. It is especially not recommended to park in front of celebrity homes, unless you want to board a patrol!

However, you cannot fail to take a photo break in front of the magical House of the Witch (also known as Spadena House), which seems to come from a short story by Hans Christian Andersen.

It was Harry Oliver, Hollywood's artistic director and decorator, who built this extraordinary house in 1921 to house the offices of Irvin Willat's studios (39 silent films between 1917 and 1937). The house was later inhabited by the Spadena family. Falling into disuse in the late 90s, major work was done to find it completely renovated in 2011. You can see House of the Witch in the film Clueless (1995).

Address: 516 Walden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills –
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