Beverly Hills may be one of the world’s most glamorous places to live, but it is also a city designed for visitors. High-end tourism is crucial for the city’s legendary hotels, restaurants, shops, galleries, and beauty, health and wellness services to thrive. Palm trees, mansion-lined streets and A-List faces are easy to encounter. But an informed visit takes a little planning. In this final installment of a three-part series, Luxury Travel Advisor looks at the chic (and nostalgic) essentials of a Beverly Hills visit. 

Clients should know that the city itself is relatively small geographically, just under six square miles. At its heart is the walkable, central business area known as the "Golden Triangle." Bounded by the famous thoroughfares of Santa Monica Boulevard, Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, the Triangle is walkable—or better yet, stroll-able. It takes a few visits to truly appreciate the details in the immaculately maintained medians, bespoke lampposts and facades of some of the priciest commercial real estate in the world.

Rodeo Drive, of course, is the main attraction of the Triangle. It’s the realm of international fashion and jewelry houses and local design boutiques. Clients can browse (or buy) at Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Valentino, Armani, Dior and Cartier, or newcomers like Golden Goose and Amiri, among other names. At Two Rodeo Drive, a quaint cobblestone walkway leads up to Tiffany & Co., Versace, Jimmy Choo and Lanvin. But people-watching is perhaps the biggest attraction of Rodeo Drive, followed closely by exotic car watching. Flashy, loud sports cars rev their engines at every streetlight, many with million-dollar or more price tags.

Stefano Ricci on Rodeo Drive

Clients who aren’t staying at a hotel within the Triangle, such as The Peninsula, The Maybourne Beverly Hills or the Beverly Wilshire, may be driving themselves. Be forewarned that locals are experts at spotting and snagging precious metered parking along the streets. The best bet for visitors is to take advantage of the two-hour free underground parking structures on nearly every block of the Triangle. Also beware of tourists running into the middle of the street without warning to snap selfies. It’s a year-round hazard. Paparazzi- and camera crew-dodging is another skill. Locals take it in stride as a cost of living in a city with the well-known.

Rodeo is by no means the only reason to explore the Triangle. The blocks to the east, including Beverly and Canon, also offer rows of boutiques, confectioners and jewelers. Canon has become known as the "Restaurant Row" of the Triangle. During the pandemic, the city instituted the #OpenBH program, which has transformed sidewalks into parklets. Bars, restaurants and even beauty salons are operating in the open air. Beverly Hills now has the look of a busy European city, with waiters jostling to avoid pedestrians along the busy walkways.

Outside the Triangle is South Beverly Drive, below Wilshire Boulevard and a few blocks east of Rodeo Drive. It has a more small-town feel but is worth exploring for more low-key shops and dining options.


Chaumont Bakery and Cafe

The dining options in Beverly Hills are the stuff of legend and require a separate story of their own. Suffice to say that the classics never go out of style. Clients are assured a quintessential Beverly Hills experience (and possibly a celebrity sighting) at Mastro’s Steakhouse, The Ivy, Il Cielo, Mr. Chow, Matsuhisa, The Palm, The Grill on the Alley and Crustacean, among others.

Then there is Spago, the flagship of the acclaimed Wolfgang Puck. Like so many other establishments, it had to pivot during the pandemic. It expanded operations into a massive, 6,500-square-foot clear pavilion, complete with chandeliers, climate control and socially distanced tables. Current plans are to keep the pavilion operating into 2022.

New eateries attracting attention include Matū, featuring a tasting menu centered on 100 percent grass-fed Wagyu beef. Gucci Osteria opened atop the Gucci store on Rodeo Drive. It is helmed by the Michelin-starred Massimo Bottura and has outdoor seating with great views of the city. Highly anticipated and expected to launch soon is Tatel. The Spanish restaurant from Madrid and Ibiza will open at the former Nic’s location on Canon Drive. Investors include Cristiano Ronaldo, Pau Gasol and Rafael Nadal, so it will no doubt attract an equally splashy clientele.

If clients are interested in local hangouts, suggest the Paris Tokyo Sushi Sky Lounge. It is located on the rooftop of Heritage Fine Wines on Canon Drive and has one of the best rooftop views in the city. Singer John Legend has a dedicated pop-up room at the wine boutique, which carries his Legend Vineyard Exclusive (LVE) Collection label. Legend is known to drop in for impromptu performances.

Locals and influencers alike sing the praises of the Chaumont Bakery & Café for authentic French egg dishes, sandwiches and salads. For quick bites, Croft Alley is always packed but inviting. Another local gem is Euro Caffe, tucked into an arcade on Canon. Though quite touristy, it’s fun to snag a cupcake from the flagship Sprinkles Cupcake store ATM on Santa Monica Boulevard. (Yes, that's an ATM that dispenses cupcakes.) And for a comfort food run, recommend celebrity chef Curtis Stone’s The Pie Room by Gwen on South Beverly Drive. They make great picnic fare to enjoy in one of the city’s famous parks.

Parks and Outdoor Spaces

Beverly Gardens Park

Beverly Hills moniker of “The Garden City” is well-earned. It is a city laden with parks, fountains and walking paths. The most famous among them is Beverly Gardens Park, which extends for nearly two miles of Santa Monica Boulevard. Lined with hundred-year-old cypress and ficus trees, sculpture, it features the much-photographed lily pond and iconic Beverly Hills Sign.

If clients are in Beverly Hills over the weekend, it’s worth a jaunt to the Beverly Hills Farmers' Market. Open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, it offers California-grown seasonal produce, juices, baked goods and lots of specialty items, as well as live music and a petting zoo.

Art Tours

“Peace and Love” by Ringo Starr

Not as well known to visitors is the fact that Beverly Hills contains an extensive public art collection. The city has devoted public funds to acquiring more than 50 notable pieces from around the world. One of its most recent is “Iron Root,” 2015, by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei. The Arts and Culture Commission has created a “Fine Art Walking Tour” that provides different walking routes throughout the city. 

One of the most recognized pieces in the city’s collection is located on a corner of Beverly Gardens Park, at Canon Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s a giant peace sign sculpture named “Peace and Love,” 2019, by local resident Ringo Starr. The peace sign is synonymous with the singer, songwriter, drummer and former Beatle. The sculpture is eight feet tall and weighs more than 800 pounds. Starr recently posed at the sculpture for his 80th birthday along with family and friends.

If clients aren’t lucky enough to be in town for a Beatle’s birthday, and are disappointed at not seeing any celebrities, there is no shame in seeking them out. The old “maps to the movie star’s homes” available at every corner have transformed into a huge business. Namely, specially outfitted buses offering professional tours. They line the streets, often stopping traffic for a “sighting.” One of the most popular is the TMZ Celebrity Tour, which is produced by the celebrity news site and TV show, TMZ. It promises to increase visitor’s chances of spotting their favorite star and offers special charters for clients traveling in a group.

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