Hidden Gems & Attractions In Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills has a global reputation for its celebrity residents and guests, grand homes and flagship stores along Rodeo Drive, but the city's multitude of unique architecture, verdant parks and gardens, gourmet food shops and specialty bars are often overlooked. Go beyond the Golden Triangle or the iconic "Beverly Hills" sign in Beverly Gardens Park and pay a visit to some of these lesser-known gems.
Virginia Robinson Gardens
Virginia Robinson of the Robinson’s Department stores, whose family built this estate in 1911, was known as the "First Lady of Beverly Hills." She was famous for her legendary card games and extravagant parties, which were frequented by celebrities like Fred Astaire, Charlie Chaplin and Lillian Disney. Inspired by her travels, Virginia transformed her six-acre estate into a botanical garden oasis complete with exotic and rare plants, pools and fountains.
Spanning 6.2 acres, the estate and its grounds include: The Italian Terrace Garden, The Great Lawn, The Display Rose Garden with heirloom roses, The Kitchen Garden where groundskeepers grow seasonal vegetables and herbs and The Palm Tree Forest featuring over 200 King Palms – the largest collection outside of Australia. Virginia Robinson Gardens is open to the public Monday-Friday for approximately 90-minute docent-guided tours. Reservations are required. Schedule a tour by emailing email@example.com, calling (310) 550-2065 or by making reservations online.
Virginia Robinson Gardens, 1008 Elden Way, Beverly Hills, California 90210
The O'Neill House makes you feel like you've stepped into Alice's Wonderland. The home's facade was inspired by the surreal designs of famous architect, Antoni Gaudi. This house is just steps from the Golden Triangle. Be sure to walk or drive down the alley that runs along the house's left side as the swirling exterior can be seen even better from the back.
The Witch's House, also known as the Spadena House, appears to be plucked straight out of a fairytale. The house was built in 1921 for a silent film movie studio, Willat Studios in Culver City, to serve as its offices and dressing rooms. When the studio closed, the Spadena family moved the home to its current location in Beverly Hills, where it has been since 1934. Thanks to the pointy, lopsided roof, tiny windows and stucco with a distressed paint technique, the home has been described as the quintessential Hansel and Gretel house.
O'Neill House, 507 North Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
The Witch's House, 516 North Walden Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Both homes are private residences. Tours are not offered. Do not trespass and please be respectful of the residents by viewing from the public right-of-way only.
Greystone Mansion & Gardens: The Doheny Estate
Built in 1928 for the son of a prominent oil baron, the majestic Greystone Mansion today is surrounded by 18.5 pastoral acres of lush, city-owned parkland.
Greystone has had feature roles in dozens of famous movies including The Big Lebowski, There Will Be Blood, Ghostbusters, Austin Powers: Goldmember and Spiderman.
Visit Greystone Mansion and stroll through two public areas on the grounds-the beautifully maintained formal gardens with their centerpiece fountain, and the pool and inner courtyard area. Reservations are required. Same day reservations and walk-ups are not available. The grounds are open for exterior visits 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, as well as on occasional weekends. Make reservations online.
If you're seeking to go inside the mansion, attend one of the special events held throughout the year.
Greystone Mansion & Gardens: The Doheny Estate, 905 Loma Vista Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Beverly Hills Parks
Beverly Hills is home to almost as many trees (33,000 species) as residents and has an impressive 14 parks! This commitment to urban forestry has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation who has named Beverly Hills a "Tree City USA" community for over 25 years.
Head over to Beverly Gardens Park, the home of the famous Beverly Hills sign for a commemorative photo of your time in Beverly Hills, but don't miss some of the smaller pocket parks dotted around town. Beverly Cañon Gardens is nestled beside The Maybourne Beverly Hills and offers plentiful seating for a mid-day break. Will Rogers Memorial Park's central fountain filled with Koi fish, sweeping lawns, and countless palm trees that span the property, make it perfect for a romantic picnic.
Beverly Gardens Park, Santa Monica Boulevard between Wilshire Boulevard and Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Will Rogers Memorial Park, 9650 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Beverly Cañon Gardens, 241 North Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
Cheese aficionados may think they've died and gone to heaven upon entering this shop that stocks over 500 varieties of the best cheeses from all over the world. While the store is known for its extensive cheese offerings, it also features wine and fine foods, including truffles, caviar, olive oils and charcuterie.
Say hello to owner Norbert Wabnig on your next visit and be sure to ask about their monthly cheese and wine pairing classes.
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, 419 North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Other Gourmet Food Shops
It's hard to imagine another location so concentrated with specialty sweets shops than Beverly Hills. Customers love the many flavors at Sprinkles Cupcakes and its popular cupcake ATM, and a variety of vegan macarons beckon from the counter at Ladurée. Open for tours, Edelweiss Chocolates was Lucille Ball's favorite and inspired her iconic "Job Switching" assembly line I Love Lucy episode.
Edelweiss Chocolates, 444 North Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Ladurée, 311 North Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90212
Sprinkles, 9635 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Mastro’s Steakhouse may be one of the finest steakhouses in Beverly Hills, but it is also highly regarded for its extraordinary cocktails. The celebrated Mastro’s Penthouse is located on the top floor of the restaurant and features an open-air rooftop patio. The scene is festive and energetic as most nights often feature music from a live DJ. The famous Mastro’s Martini is the signature cocktail to order as it is shaken with dry-ice, creating a cool mystical effect, perfect for photos and starting off the night right.
Mastro's Steakhouse, 246 North Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210
Trousdale Estates is a 410-acre enclave of luxurious, mostly single-story homes in Beverly Hills, California. Developed in the 1950s and 60s, Trousdale Estates quickly became famous for its concentration of celebrity residents and the unrestrained extravagance of its architecture. Early houses were designed by renowned architects including Frank Lloyd Wright.
Celebrity residents have included the likes of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. More recently, Jennifer Aniston and Jane Fonda have lived in the neighborhood.
Trousdale Estates are located northeast of Greystone Mansion. Head north from West Sunset Boulevard on Mountain Drive (turn onto Loma Vista Drive) or North Hillcrest Road.