What’s not to love about Beverly Hills? This home to the rich and famous is among the most glamorous and famous cities in the world. From coming for hopeful celebrity spottings and people watching, to window shopping at the most exclusive boutiques in the world on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills is sure to have something for you. This inside glimpse at seeing how and where movie stars live all began in the early 20th Century, as Beverly Hills rapidly established itself as the place to reside for the Hollywood elite. Stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Charlie Chaplin built and purchased numerous homes across the city, many of which can still be seen today. Anyone can come and visit, but very few are familiar with what all they are witnessing. Perhaps there’s a world famous spot just one block over that you would have otherwise walked right past. This article was designed to make you a Beverly Hills insider so you are familiar with all of the cities best. I’ll be Paris Hilton for the day and show you what it’s like to step into the world of hairless kitties, black cards, and Louboutins galore!
1. It’s Home To The Most Expensive Store In The World
The $12 million House of Bijan, the most expensive store in the world, is located on Rodeo Drive and requires a reservation to shop. Customers average $10,000 a visit, and with socks that cost $50 and suits in the upwards of $15,000, we can see how that would be easy to do. Upon entering, take note of the amber colored crystal chandelier, which is made from over 1,000 authentic Bijan perfume bottles. The names of some of Mr. Bijan’s well-known clients are permanently engraved on the front window of his store, which include President Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Tom Ford, Jay Leno, and many others.
Surrounding Rodeo Drive stores include designer clothing shops by Armani, Gucci, Coco Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany, and Harry Winston. Yet one of the more fascinating sights was seeing all of the homeless people begging for money here along one of the most expensive shopping destinations in the world. These people are probably making more that a lot of the shoppers themselves! Los Angeles has the largest homeless population in the nation. There’s 48,000 people on the streets in L.A., more than enough to replace each person in Beverly Hills, and then some.
We even saw one woman who was all dolled up in this brightly colored feathered dress, who was literally just standing right, front and center, on Rodeo Drive, tall and proud to show off her dress for a few hours. We got the biggest kick out of this.
Tip: Pronounce it roh-DAY-oh, as there aren’t any cowboys here. Though, the cast from A&E’s “Duck Dynasty was recently spotted down the road at the Beverly Wilshire, so I suppose stranger things have happened! The Rodeo Drive legend is much bigger than the street itself and visitors often marvel at how small the shopping area truly is. The street stretches from Sunset to Wilshire, but the main shopping section of Rodeo Drive is only three blocks long.
Get your picture taken with the famous $1.7 million Bijan Bugatti! This Rodeo Drive landmark was owned by now-deceased designer Bijan Pakzad, who is billed as “the most expensive clothing designer in the world,” and his family decided to park the car out front as a tribute to him. TMZ reported about how it was vandalized back in 2011.
2. They’ve Got The World’s First 24-hour Cupcake ATM
Stop by Sprinkles Cupcakes, which the Food Network has declared to be “the world’s first cupcake bakery.” Though it’s viewable without out making a purchase, it’s worth every dollar to try Sprinkles’ signature red velvet treats. This is so trendy that we don’t know how long it will last, but we couldn’t resist telling you about the “cupcake ATM” at Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery. It takes your ATM card just like the ATM at your bank, but instead of boring cash, it dispenses fresh-baked cupcakes. Not only are they delicious, but they taste even better because it’s so much fun. You’ll find the ATM next to the bakery at 9635 S Santa Monica Blvd, two blocks west of Rodeo Drive.
3. The Beverly Hills Police Department Can Respond In Less Than A Minute!
How come the police stations back home don’t look this nice? It’s all decked out with matching white roses and a fancy facade that fits right in with its uppity surroundings.
4. The Beverly Hills Hotel Is The Cities First Historic Landmark
The pink-stucco, Mission-style main building, which was completed in 1912 (back before there even was a city called Beverly Hills), and its secluded bungalows are partly concealed by 12 acres of tropical gardens, invoking an air of privacy on the hotel and the comings and goings of its guests. Accordingly, it has long served as a refuge for Hollywood denizens as well as visiting celebrities in town for filming. Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe and Marlene Dietrich are just a few of the star names studding the hotel’s list of former guests. Elizabeth Taylor’s father once had an art gallery here!
In the late 1930s, The Beverly Hills Hotel had white sand “imported” from Arizona to fill part of the area surrounding the pool to create a faux beach for the hotel’s very popular Sand and Pool Club. Also worthy of being mentioned, HotelChatter named the legendary Fountain Coffee Room’s grilled cheese #1 one on it’s top five favorite hotel grilled cheese sandwiches.
The Beverly Hills Hotel in the 1950s. The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously to approve new rules for demolishing or altering structures at least 45 years old and The historic Beverly Hills Hotel was among those considered to be worth saving. (Courtesy of The Beverly Hills Hotel).
5. Beverly Hills Is The Only City To Boast: No Hospital, No Cemetery, No Billboards, And No Telephone or Power Wires
The early 1900s were an interesting time in many cities in the west, as cars and animals didn’t alway mix and mingle well. In 1930, horses were banned by the city of Beverly Hills!
6. Many Famous Films Have Been Shot At The Greystone Mansion
With an advance tour reservation, an average person can enter and explore the first floor of the Greyhouse, which is an official park in Beverly Hills. Films shooting occur here frequently at the designated historical landmark which boasts of lush English gardens. Scenes from popular films such as The Bodyguard, Spider Man 1-3, Rush Hour, The Big Lebowski and There Will Be Blood. As for TV, Murder, She Wrote and The Mentalist used the home for filiming. The gothic neoclassical style mansion was the site of the murder of wealthy heir Edward “Ned” Doheny, who grew up in the massive home, once formerly the most expensive house in California (It cost over 3 million to build).
Monthly mansion tours conducted by park rangers start at $15. Besides tours, there are some limited activities scheduled here, including concerts, a murder mystery theater production, the Greyhouse Concours D’elegance vintage automobile show + extravanganza and a monthly “Tea and Talk.” Placed on the Registry of Historic Places in 1976, the largest private estate in the history of Beverly Hills serves as a venue for city events, weddings, films and even a summer day camp for those who want their kids to spend the summer in high style.
Wait a second, I was expecting all of the Beverly Hills cabs to be Rolls Royces! My favorite form of local transportation is via the Beverly Hills Trolley at Rodeo Drive and Payton, which meets for a 40-minute tour. This tour is more fun and informative than the tours that leave from Hollywood Boulevard and it’s shorter and less expensive, as well.
7. The Beverly Hills Zip Code Area Is The Richest Per-Capita Area In The Nation
In addition to the famous zip code 90210, Beverly Hills is also served by three other zip codes, 90211, 90212, and 90213. While it’s no longer the number one place on the list of dream places to live by those involved in film and television, it’s still considered among the finest.
The average home cost in Beverly Hills is $1,161,200, so living in Beverly Hills requires a high income. This is because the cost of living in Beverly Hills is 163.40% higher than the U.S. average.
8. It’s Home To The World’s First Cheesecake Factory
Just one block off Rodeo Drive on North Beverly Drive, lies the world’s first Cheesecake Factory, which opened in 1978. Today they have over 150 restaurants, which bring in nearly $2 billion in annual revenue! The world’s largest Cheesecake Factory is currently located in Dubai.
9. It’s Named After A Place In Massachusetts
Although thought of as an entirely unique area of the country, the area was actually named after the developers’ memories of the rolling hills of Beverly, Massachusetts.
10. The Beverly Wilshire Is where “Pretty Woman” Was Filmed
With the reputation the city has achieved, few would believe that at one time one of the most popular local activities was to go to the Beverly Hills Speedway to watch early auto races. The famous Beverly Wilshire Hotel was constructed in 1928 on part of the site of what used to be the Beverly Hills Speedway. The famous Beverly Hills High School is constructed on land that was also once a part of the Beverly Hills Speedway.
Notable people who attended Beverly Hills High School include Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, David Schwimmer, Tori Spelling, and Betty White.
Consider dining at the Beverly Wilshire!
11. The Post Office Offers Valet Parking
12. Beverly Hills Is The Most Filmed City In The World
There’s a museum of television and radio, which is called The Paley Ceneter For Media. It opened in 1996, as the West Coast location of New York City’s Museum of Television and Radio, bringing the institution’s mission of preserving American broadcasting heritage to the heart of the nation’s entertainment capital. The museum combines an extensive tape library with several public galleries, education and listening rooms, and a 150-seat theater. The museum’s entire library of 100,000 programs covers more than 75 years of TV and radio broadcasts. Radio buffs can avail themselves of the listening room and studio on the ground floor.
What’s your favorite thing to see or do in Beverly Hills? I’d love to hear from you!