The other day it occurred to me how I have never walked around Rodeo Drive, the most famous thoroughfare in Beverly Hills known for its luxury stores squished on four blocks.
I think I drove by once but can’t remember when. As a long time Sothern California resident, I felt curious about what the area offers. I have never been the shopping obsessed kind of traveler so I don’t feel the urge to have my photo taken in front of a Prada or Hermes store.
Fast forwarding a couple of days, I found myself on Rodeo Drive, the exclusive shopping district everybody mentions when talking about Los Angeles (even though Beverly Hills is an independent city). It is not only Rodeo Drive, the elite business district extends to the streets that lie a few blocks in either direction of the aforementioned street. The area is known as “Golden Triangle”.
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Rodeo Drive is a 2-mile-long street but the area of interest for visitors is the stretch between Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard.
The street started to be recognized as a luxury shopping mecca in the late 60s when Fred Hayman (the Father of Rodeo Drive), Aldo Gucci and Van Cleefs & Arpels opened stores on site. Rodeo drive’s fame gained new heights when Bijan Pakzad opened a showroom in 1976 and dubbed it “the most expensive store in the world.” The marketing technique worked well and the rest is history.
Rodeo Drive Shopping
What to expect? Rows and rows of name brand stores. All the big fashion and high-end firms have a presence here. There are modernly designed buildings, well-curated storefronts and a few racks with expensive goods. In a move to avoid having a heart attack, I didn’t enter any of the stores to check the prices.
You are going to notice a few people inside the stores. Plus, there are not that many people carrying chic bags on the street.
But, do not get confused. Los Angeles has more than 260,000 millionaire households (and our neighbor Orange County has more than 110,000). You do not have to be a math genius to understand there is an enormous purchasing power in the area. I have heard the ultra reach visit this places by appointment and are received in a private room.
The other thing that I have heard is that many of the stores on Rodeo Drive have a physical location for branding and marketing purposes. Their main mission is not to sell.
Here is a list (partial) of brands found in this famous stretch: Saint Laurent, Max Mara, Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Armani, Hermes, Vera Wang, Bijan, La Perla, Cartier, Tory Burch, Roberto Cavalli, David Yurman, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Ermenegildo Zegna, Burberry, Dior, Harry Winston, Burberry, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Jimmy Choo, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana
Best Photo Spots on Rodeo Drive
Now, a lot of people come to the area in search of nice photo opportunities. You can not go wrong in here. There are plenty of modern and aesthetically pleasing buildings. Start by taking your photo in front of your favorite luxury store.
The sign announcing the Beverly Hills’ city limit and Rodeo Drive’s street signs are popular photo stops too.
At one point, you are going to notice a group of people standing around and photographing a vehicle. There is a Rolls Royce Phantom parked in front of the House of Bijan. The spot where the car is parked has its own yellow meter (the color characteristic of Bijan’s brand) Make sure to take a good look at this car. It may be your only opportunity to get close to a car valued at more than a million dollars.
And of course, everybody wants to make it to Two Rodeo Drive, a shopping complex built to resemble the old buildings and cobblestone streets of Italy. It is interesting to note that one of the most expensive sushi restaurants in the United States (Urasawa) is located within the complex. A lot of people like to capture the sign marking the intersection between Rodeo Drive and Via Rodeo.
At the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard, you will find the well-known Rodeo Drive Steps. Be patient and try to capture the spot without the crowds.
The Anderton Court, located on a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is another unique spot to check out. You will find not find stairs on this three-story building. Acess to the different levels is through a series of ramps.
Hollywood is home to the Walk of Fame (known for its starts) but few are aware that Rodeo Drive has a Walk of Style. This initiative honors men and women who have made significant contributions to the world of fashion. Look for the square plaques along the sidewalks. Designers such as Salvatore Ferragamo and Tom Ford have been recognized.
Maybe a lot of people are attracted to the area because of all the glamour revolving around it. Rodeo Drive has been known to be used as a filming location for countless films and television shows. People dream of walking into a superstar or getting even a small piece of something from there.
Other Beverly Hills Attractions
The city of Beverly Hills is more than Rodeo Drive. Within walking distance of Rodeo Drive, you can visit the Beverly Gardens Park, the City of Beverly Hills City Hall, the Paley Center for Media, the Beverly Canon Gardens and the Beverly Hills Hotel (famous for its pink color).
In addition, there more luxury good stores, restaurants, and cafes on the streets parallel to Rodeo Drive (within the Golden Triangle). If you are in the area, continue your walking tours on the following:
- Beverly Drive
- Canon Drive
- Camden Drive
- Bedford Drive
Where to Eat in Beverly Hills
Shopping rules in Rodeo Drive. As a consequence, you are not going to find many restaurants or cafes. However, you only have to walk a couple of blocks to find a delicious pot to satisfy your hunger. Here are my recommendations for the area:
- The Farm – Beverly Drive
- Nate n’Al Delicattesen – Beverly Drive
- M Cafe – Beverly Drive
- Gratitude – Canon Drive
- Panini Kabob Grill – Santa Monica Boulevard
If you have a few bucks to spare, these are some places to check in:
- Mastro’s Steakhouse – Canon Drive
- Spago – Canon Drive
- Citizen – Canon Drive
- Sugarfish – Canon Drive
- Ocean Prime – Camden Drive
- Crustacean – Bedford Drive
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Go Greek Yogurt and Amorino. Sprinkles, a brand specializing in cupcakes, deserves a special mention because of its ATM cupcake dispenser. Yes, you read that right! You can get your cupcake fix in a cinch!
Cofee lover should head to Brighton Coffee Shop or the Nespresso Boutique Bar.
Rodeo Drive Parking
Municipal garages provide two hours of free parking. If you go over the two hours, get prepared to pay (it can be as much as $1.25 per every 15 minutes).
Parking structures are located in the following locations:
- 9510 Brighton Way
- 345 N. Beverly Drive
- 241 N. Canon Drive
- 438 N. Beverly Drive
- 461 N. Bedford Drive
- 216 S. Beverly Drive
If you are visiting Los Angeles, allocate some time to visit Beverly Hills. It is located 9 miles from Santa Monica and 5 miles from Hollywood. Therefore, it can be easily added to any itinerary for visiting Los Angeles. My one day in Los Angeles guide has detailed instructions on how to incorporate Beverly Hills on a day of sightseeing.
Beverly Hills Tours
I am sure all the Los Angeles tour buses drive-thru here (very slowly and causing traffic). You see all the cameras and iPads pointing to several spots on the road. Everybody gets crazy when the buses pass by Bijan’s Bugatti in front of the namesake store.
Even though the tour sounds like fun, I recommend you visit Rodeo Drive and other Beverly Hills attractions on your own. In that way, you can walk around at your own pace and stop wherever you want.
More of Los Angeles
More of Southern California
Have you walked by Rodeo Drive? Have you taken any Beverly Hills tours?
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