What comes to mind when you think of Hollywood? Glamor, celebrities, luxury, mansions? That’s the image we have been sold, right? Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Hollywood is where most of the filmmaking happened back in the day, but now it’s full of nightclubs and tourist attractions.
Basically, this “lifestyles of the rich and famous” picture we have of Hollywood is actually a little city called Beverly Hills. You may have heard of it. Rodeo Drive, opulent hotels, Pretty Woman, Real Housewives…
If you are trying to decide what to do in Beverly Hills, let us take you there. Let us show you the real distance from Hollywood to Beverly Hills, which is literally about five miles but it is also so much further in its own little heavenly bubble.
Celebrities, Celebrities, Celebrities
What celebrities live in Beverly Hills? Um, a huge percentage of them. Try these names on for size; Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Madonna, Jay Leno, Jennifer Lopez, Dr. Phil, Oprah Winfrey…and that’s just the beginning, not including who used to live there.
Most of Old Hollywood made their mark in the Beverly Hills neighborhoods. Beverly Hills’ homes to the stars tours will show you where stars like Frank Sinatra, Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Walt Disney and many others lived during their reign.
With so many stars living here, it is not unheard of to see them and their celebrity friends walking around just like you and me. There is so much to draw them in and if you have the budget, you can experience the same luxurious lifestyle. Even if only for a day, it’s worth it. Even if you are on a budget – there are plenty of sights to see that don’t cost a thing!
Shopping and Rodeo Drive
When finding things to see in Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive should be at the top of the list. This posh shopping haven is one of the most popular Beverly Hills attractions. Only the best shops, restaurants and hotels are located on Rodeo Drive; Cartier, Fendi, Bulgari, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, Tiffany & Co., etc. You know you won’t get any knockoffs here.
Giorgio Beverly Hills was the first high-end boutique to open in Beverly Hills in 1967. Gucci followed a year later and a precedent was formed. From there, luxury stores and salons continued to line the street until it became the international luxury outdoor shopping mecca that it currently is.
One of the most anticipated events on the Drive is the Concours d’Elegance, which happens every Father’s Day. The name of the event is translated as a competition of elegance and the event is held for owners of the most expensive cars in the world to come and compete to see who has the best and most unique luxury or classically restored automobile. Many celebrity car enthusiasts can be seen there, including Jay Leno, Caitlyn Jenner, Keanu Reeves, among others.
The Concours is the largest event held publicly in Beverly Hills and it is free to the public. That is definitely something to consider if you are in the area around Father’s Day. Free and Rodeo Drive don’t often go together.
Swanky Restaurants in Beverly Hills
Spago. What a cool name, right? It sounds very Beverly Hills. Wolfgang Puck knows what he’s doing. This hotspot has received two Michelin stars and is considered the most iconic restaurant in Los Angeles by Zagat. Spago is Puck’s flagship restaurant and his first claim to fame.
Celebrities are regulars as are many other players in Hollywood like agents and managers. It is a common meeting place for stars and directors to discuss upcoming projects. It’s a staple and it is still one of the swankiest places to get a meal in Beverly Hills.
If you’re in the mood for a two-star Michelin Japanese restaurant, there is always Urasawa. Want Italian? How about Enoteca Drago? Chasen’s is another popular celebrity hangout right on the border of Beverly Hills.
And don’t worry about parking. With all of this luxury, dining comes with some of the best valet services in the world. These valets handle the most expensive cars in the world. They will treat yours with just as much care as they would a Rolls Royce.
Ritzy Hotels and Spas
Beverly Hills hotels do not mess around. They bring a mix of pure luxury and elegance with that Old Hollywood charm. You can’t go wrong with two of the most famous and prominent hotels.
The Beverly Hills Hotel is one of the oldest and most historic luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and all of Los Angeles. It is famous for its sunny California charm and vintage sign. Don’t let the casual and low key vibe fool you, though. This hotel is pure luxury.
The hotel is currently undergoing some controversy over one of its foreign investors and because of this celebrities and public figures have boycotted the hotel. However, the firm that runs the hotel has not changed the essence and spirit of the hotel and it is still an iconic landmark to add to your list of what to do in Beverly Hills.
The Beverly Wilshire, located at the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo Drive, is the hotel made a cultural icon by Pretty Woman. Richard Gere made Julia Roberts an honest woman and everybody fell in love with the hotel as we saw the gorgeous sweeping lobbies, the high-end elevators and that suite. Remember that incredible suite that is bigger than most of our homes? They even have a Pretty Woman package!
Warren Beatty, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon all famously made the historic Beverly Wilshire their home for a few years each. That doesn’t even account for all the other stars who have stayed there throughout the years.
Beverly Hills Real Estate
So, besides celebrities, who lives in Beverly Hills? Oh, my dear, everybody who is anybody. Living in Beverly Hills is a must-have status symbol that many business owners, doctors (mostly plastic surgeons), lawyers and Bravo reality show cast members can’t do without.
Where is Beverly Hills? What is a Beverly Hills’ address? You might recognize one of the city’s zip codes. Does 90210 ring a bell? There’s a reason that zip code was used in the iconic show about rich teenagers attending Beverly Hills High School. It is one of the most coveted zip codes in the world. It comes at a premium but oh my, what you get for your money.
Weezer said it best, “Beverly Hills – That’s where I want to be! Living in Beverly Hills…”
Beverly Hills is located in the heart of Los Angeles, between Santa Monica and Hollywood. If you’re on Wilshire Blvd. or Santa Monica Blvd., which criss-cross in Beverly Hills, you’ll eventually make your way into this epicenter of opulence.
Beverly Hills Mansions
Beverly Hills homes have a history as fabulous as Rodeo Drive. Below are the most famed areas of Beverly Hills, packed with the most celebrity history.
Beverly Hills Mansions in Benedict Canyon can be worth up to and over 100 million dollars. You must have prime assets to gain access to this part of the Hills. If you stroll the streets, you might get a glimpse of residents such as Bruce Springsteen, David Beckham, Posh Spice…er Victoria Beckham and Mr. Ego himself, Gene Simmons.
Beverly Hills Mansions on Bedford Drive are worth the most with some houses going into the hundreds of millions. This is the area that boasts the famed 90201 zip code. Steve Martin has a home here and the history is rich with Old Hollywood ghosts such as Lana Turner, Merv Griffin, and Ava Gardner.
Beverly Hills Mansions on Carolwood Drive has some of the biggest and most sprawling estates. It was once home to Walt Disney and Barbara Streisand. If you want a little bit of morbid history, this is also the street where Michael Jackson moved to from his infamous Neverland Ranch and also where he died.
On a happier note, Carolwood Drive has also been home to George Harrison, Paul Newman, Elvis Presley and Rod Stewart. And finally, the best-named entertainer ever once had a house there, you may or may not have heard his music but odds are you heard his fabulous name, Engelbert Humperdinck.
Beverly Hills Mansions on Crescent Drive will run you upwards of 25 million or more and has a convenient location close to The Beverly Hills Hotel. On a beautiful day, you can walk to shops, restaurants or a fabulous spa treatment. It is also home to the Crescent Palace, which was famously on the market and sold for 58 million dollars. You might have heard of the former owners, the Hadid family.
Beverly Hills Mansions on Roxbury Drive run into the tens of millions and was once home to the queen of comedy, Lucille Ball. It was also the street that housed Jimmy Stewart of It’s a Wonderful Life fame. His house made it into Architectural Digest all for being immaculately kept and untouched by renovations for over 50 years. Unfortunately, the home was later demolished.
There’s more Old Hollywood on Roxbury than you can shake a diamond encrusted stick at. George Gershwin, the man who wrote most of your favorite musicals, once lived there just down the street from his lesser known brother, Ira Gershwin, who also wrote a lot of your favorite musicals and jazz songs.
There must have been It’s a Wonderful Life reunions galore as Lionel Barrymore, also known as Old Man Potter, also lived on the street. There were a lot of Christmas movie favorites who lived there as Rosemary Clooney from White Christmas had an estate on the street and once brought in Bing Crosby and his four sons to sing Christmas Carols to the neighborhood.
This historical monument that also doubles as a Beverly Hills city park is also known as the Doheny Estate. It has a rich history and has been used extensively in film and television as well as for high-profile celebrity weddings.
Its 46,000 square foot house and 16-acre land has been a popular film location since the fifties. Its staircase has been used countless times. You might recognize its bowling alley from the film, There Will Be Blood, which was loosely based on the oil tycoon, Edward Doheny, who the estate was originally built for.
After all of this, you might wonder exactly where is Beverly Hills, is it in Heaven? Just how far is Beverly Hills from L.A.? The distance from Beverly Hills to Hollywood is about a 15-minute drive via Santa Monica Blvd but the distance from the real world is much further than that. So yes, it is a very expensive Heaven but if you are creating a real Heaven on earth, shouldn’t it be?