Los Angeles County’s most famous city calls to mind sun-drenched images of opulent mansions, palm tree-lined streets, and of course, those store signs along Rodeo Drive.
But there’s more to this Westside enclave than “champagne wishes and caviar dreams”, as the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous catchphrase goes.
Few would guess that this TV-famous zip code – 90210 – is in fact a small and close-knit community of just a little over 35,000 residents.
Spanning just 5.71 square miles, the city is bounded by Franklin Canyon Park and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area to the north, West Hollywood to the east, Hillcrest Country Club to the south, and Los Angeles Country Club to the west.
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BH is bisected by Santa Monica Boulevard (where the Pacific Electric’s Red Line streetcars once ran) into north and south sections. Today, longtime BH residents still refer to the city’s northern and southern sections as “north or south of the tracks”.
“North of the tracks” refer to Beverly Hills and some parts of Los Angeles north of Santa Monica Boulevard up until Mulholland Drive.
“South of the tracks” span Downtown Beverly Hills and the adjoining residential neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods and cities with a 40-mile radius include:
- West Hollywood
- Century City
- Los Angeles
- Long Beach
- Santa Ana
How to get to Beverly Hills, CA
BH is accessible via the following roads and freeways:
- I-405/San Diego Freeway
- U.S. Route 101
- Glendale Freeway
Fun fact: The 2, or the Beverly Hills Freeway, was planned in the 1940s and would have provided a direct connection between the 405 and 101, cutting through some of the Westside’s most prestigious neighborhoods – including Century City, West Hollywood, and of course, BH. However, homeowners opposed the idea and the plan got scrapped in the 1960s.
Los Angeles Airport (LAX) is located about 10 miles from BH. Airlines like Aer Lingus, Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France, ANA, Air China, and American Airlines offer commercial and private flights at the airport.
Hollywood Burbank Airport serves travelers in Hollywood, Los Angeles, and San Fernando Valley with commercial domestic and international flights.
More fun facts about Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills banned horses in the 1930s
The first Cheesecake Factory opened in North Beverly Drive in 1978
It’s home to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM – the first of its kind in the world
There are no smokestacks, billboards, or visible telephone lines in the city
All fire hydrants are painted silver, not yellow
There are no hospitals or cemeteries within city limits
All businesses close by 9 p.m. (but luckily, the Cupcake ATM runs 24/7)
History of Beverly Hills, CA
Key milestones that led to the development of Beverly Hills
BH was bountiful even before the mansions, high-profile residents, and luxury stores – it was always rich in water and vegetation. Its coveted location between the Benedict, Coldwater, and Franklin canyons meant that water ran freely in the streams that flowed through the hills in the area.
Its earliest inhabitants, the Gabrielinos and Tongva Native Americans, called it El Rodeo de Las Aguas, or “The Gathering of the Waters”, and considered the area sacred.
Spanish settlers first made contact with these groups in 1769 and brought with them the smallpox epidemic that would wipe out the majority of the populace.
In 1838, the Mexican governor of California deeded a 4,500-acre land grant in El Rodeo to Maria Rita Valdez Villa, who built an adobe ranch house and raised cattle. This land grant made up the core of what we know as BH today.
But the ranch became the target of raids, and in 1854, Villa sold it to Benjamin D. Wilson and Henry Hancock, for which BH landmarks Mt. Wilson and Hancock Park are named.
The ranch would change ownership a few more times with failed plans for development until 1900, when Burton Green and several of his partners purchased the area on behalf of the Amalgamated Oil Company.
The company commissioned oil explorations and drilled wells before rebranding as the Rodeo Land and Water Company in 1906.
Green would rename the area Beverly Hills after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts. He also hired landscape architect Wilbur D. Cook, who designed BH’s first streets. The city’s most iconic streets – Canon, Carmelita, Crescent, Elevado, Lomitas, and Rodeo –were constructed in 1907.
To spur development, Green also had the Beverly Hills Hotel constructed in 1912. The hotel was served by a Dinky railroad and quickly became the community’s social hub.
The community prospered and BH was incorporated in 1914 – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Mansions for sale in Beverly Hills
Overview of local real estate market
Property types, notable architectural styles
Typical home features
BH is one of the hottest housing markets, not just in the United States, but in the world. Buyers can choose from some of the finest single-family homes, townhomes, and condos imaginable.
The most in-demand areas in the city include Trousdale Estates, The Flats, and North of Sunset Boulevard.
Buyers will also find a wide range of architectural styles in the city, including Spanish, Mediterranean, Cape Cod, Traditional, and Contemporary, just to name a few.
Most homes come with outdoor pools, multi-car garages, outdoor patios, and gardens, offering plenty of recreational opportunities right in your own backyard.
Some of the larger properties in the city also have tennis courts, basketball courts, and private theaters. No matter your lifestyle and hobbies, you’ll surely find a home that accommodates your needs.
Living in Beverly Hills
Despite the perception that BH is home to actors, athletes, models, and musicians, the majority of its residents actually work in the legal and management sectors, with the rest working in media, entertainment, healthcare and social assistance, sales, and office administration.
BH has a temperate climate with mild winters and occasional rain. Residents enjoy warm and sunny weather most days of the year.
Peak season is June to August though January to June also attracts many out-of-towners due to a series of classical music concerts held at the Greystone Mansion and Gardens.
October is another highlight, with artSHOW gathering some of the nation’s finest and most talented artists in BH.
BH diners are spoilt for choice, with restaurants serving New American, Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Greek fare, just to name a few. Residents and their guests can have their pick of international cuisines as well as seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.
The city has more than its fair share of celebrity chef-owned restaurants, such as Spago by Wolfgang Puck and Maude by Curtis Stone.
Residents are served by the Beverly Hills Unified School District, which consists of the following schools:
- Beverly Vista Middle School
- Beverly Hills High School
- Moreno Continuation High School
- Horace Mann
- El Rodeo
Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) buses pass through Robert Way, Doheny Drive, and Wilshire, Sunset, Robertson, Beverly, Olympic, San Vicente, La Cienega, and Santa Monica boulevards.
The city also provides subsidized transportation programs and a complimentary Dial-A-Ride shuttle service to elderly and differently-abled persons.
Moreover, BH has its own Bike Share program with various bike rack locations across the city.
Parks and Recreational Activities
Residents and their guests can go for walks, have picnics, and enjoy the scenery at these green spaces within the city:
- Beverly Gardens Park
- Virginia Robinson Gardens
Famous Attractions and Landmarks
- Rodeo Drive
- Melrose Avenue
- Beverly Hills Hotel
- Greystone Mansion & Gardens
- Stahl House
- Schindler House
Most Expensive Mansions for Sale in Beverly Hills
List of featured mansions
List price of each mansion
Features and size
For more information on Beverly Hills CA real estate, get in touch with Sharlene Chang – a local expert with an international perspective. She has lived in both Taiwan and the United States, and speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese in addition to English.
Having been exposed to different cultures, she understands clients’ real estate needs no matter their background, and communicates with warmth and tactfulness in their preferred language.
With professional experience in hospitality procurement and project management, Sharlene offers concierge-style services with high net worth clients in mind.
You can also reach her at 310.968.0367 and [email protected].
Feel free to inquire about virtual tours in addition to private home viewings should any of her listings catch your attention.