Beverly Hills, Los Angeles: What to do and see

Beverly Hills is undoubtedly the capital of luxury, wealth and glory. A city in every aspect, Beverly Hills is part of the "Golden Triangle" that also includes the neighboring cities of Bel Air and Holmby Hills.

It gained its reputation in the 1920s when it began to become the home of movie stars and celebrities (the city is also twinned with the French film star Cannes). Today tourists invade the streets (especially the most famous street: Rodeo Drive), amazed by the glitz and luxury that still characterizes the neighborhood.

Its 14.7 km² are synonymous with: majestic villas (often hidden behind large gates), powerful and shiny cars, crazy stores and a lot of luxury. Elements found in many movies and series, with which the city fascinates and inspires.

What is Beverly Hills really like?

Beverly Hills is, above all, a small town for the rich. At less than six square miles, Beverly Hills is strictly a neighborhood of homes and stores. The city has churches, but no factories; it has restaurants, but no industry; boutique, but no billboards. There is not even a hospital or a cemetery in the city to remind residents 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 city's tree-lined streets, you'll see more limousines, gleaming Mercedes-Benzes and sleek 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, size of houses, street signs and pedestrian walkways are strictly regulated. For example, it is forbidden to walk through 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", bounded 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 commercial streets lined with stores and restaurants. At the center of this triangle is none other than Rodeo Drive, the legendary Beverly Hills shopping street.

Beverly Hills is, without a doubt, an extremely beautiful neighborhood. The streets are pleasantly planted with palm trees, sycamores and even oak trees. The homes 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 spotless and lined with exclusive boutiques and sophisticated customers. This is the way most people would probably want to live if they could afford it.

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

Fans of celebrity magazines can look for the homes of the stars in special Star Home Maps sold at every newsstand in 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.

Getting 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 to and visit the city is by car. If you haven't booked one yet, we recommend you read our guide on car rental in the USA.

From Hollywood and Vine, drive two blocks south to Sunset Boulevard, then turn right (west) and take Sunset Boulevard west (approximately four miles) to Beverly Hills. You'll know you're in Beverly Hills when the landscape changes from concrete sidewalks to green lawns, from high-rises to apartment buildings.

Head west on Sunset Boulevard, past the Beverly Hills Hotel and turn south toward the residential section of Rodeo Drive. This will give you a chance to see some of the homes of the stars before you reach the central shopping area of Rodeo Drive.

From West LA, take the San Diego 405 freeway 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. Rodeo Drive, famous the world over for its upscale boutiques lining the pristine sidewalks, is one of the most expensive streets in the world.

Rodeo Drive actually refers to a small exclusive neighborhood around the axis and not just on the road. It was in the 1970s that the street began to attract luxury brands, such as Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, who set up store in elegant stores.

At Rodeo Drive Style Promenade, on the other hand, you'll find a series of plaques on the sidewalk with quotes and signatures commemorating style leaders in fashion and entertainment.

The House of Bijan

But these stores have nothing to do with The House of Bijan, the most expensive store in the world! Store 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.

Greystone Mansion

This impressive 1928 Tudor-style mansion is a gift from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to his son. Today, the 55-room (4200 m²) residence is vacant and not open for tours. However, the gardens are free of charge.

Greystone Manor is now used to host events of all kinds (weddings, festivals, balls, etc.) and film shoots. It has often been used in film (Bodyguard, Indecent Proposal, Batman & Robin, X-Men...) and television (Mac Gyver...).
Gardens open from 10h to 00h (17h 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 cityscape. Despite the aggression of time and numerous earthquakes, the city hall is still there, in all its splendor.

A major renovation project was launched in 1982. The work was completed 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

Stretching 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're sure you'll stop in front of the "Beverly Hills" sign, a reproduction of the historic arch that formerly stood in the center of the city. The gardens also feature a collection of public art, including the famous Electric Fountain, another large and much-photographed landmark. 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 among palaces and luxury stores, head to this beautiful park. It's the city's first public park, 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 named in his honor. There 90210 TV series Beverly Hills - New Generation was filmed 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 Mediterranean style. It is the oldest property in Beverly Hills, built in 1911, and is now furnished with antiques and artifacts from all over the world.

Guided tour by appointment, Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Admission $11, discounts for seniors, students and children.
Address: 1008 Elden Way Beverly Hills, California 90210

The Palaces of Beverly Hills

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

beverly wilshire regent

Never been inside, but the facade looks familiar? Normal, this is the whole glamorous (5-star) Pretty Woman hotel. The TV series Entourage was also partially filmed on the set. John Lennon or Elvis Presley also lived here for a while. Built in 1928, the mansion is located at 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, at the south end of Rodeo Drive.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Built in 1912 and nicknamed the rose palace. Located at 9641 Sunset Bld. a hotel with a lot of charm! In 1976, the hotel was used by the band The Eagles to illustrate their famous album Hotel California. Its 5,000 m² are home to more than 200 rooms and suites, and its magnificent gardens are a real treat for the eyes.

Hotel Bel Air

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

The VIP Villas

Those who want to get close to the villas of Hollywood stars will find organized tours as well as directions and maps. However, be aware that you won't go beyond the fences and will see little more than hedges.

Hence the idea of visiting Beverly Hills on your own, by car alone, is not a bad one. In particular, parking in front of celebrity homes is not recommended, unless you want to board a squad car!

However, you can't miss taking a break photo in front of the magical Witch House (also known as Spadena House), which looks like it came from a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

It was Harry Oliver, Hollywood's art director and decorator, who in 1921 built this extraordinary house 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 1990s, a great deal of work was done to find it completely renovated in 2011. You can see House of the Witch in the movie Clueless (1995).

Address: 516 Walden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills -

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