Hidden Gems in Beverly Hills

Explore the LA neighborhood that’s known around the world as the epitome of luxury and style


Originally a Spanish ranch that grew lima beans, Beverly Hills is now one of the most famous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, recognized for Rodeo Drive, its high-value real estate, and multiple references in film and television. Investors came looking for oil but found water instead, making it a prime location to build a town. Beverly Hills was incorporated in 1914, named after Beverly Farms in Massachusetts and the hills in the immediate area. The city’s glamour and appeal to Golden Age Hollywood movie stars were established when Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford bought land to build Pickfair, their legendary 56-acre estate. Explore the hidden gems of Beverly Hills and you’ll soon become an expert on an LA neighborhood that’s known around the world as the epitome of luxury and style.

Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences | Photo: Oscars.org

Get up close and personal with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a non-profit organization of actors, directors, writers, technicians and producers in the film industry that you probably know first and foremost for their yearly Academy Awards. The organization is headquartered in Beverly Hills, as is its world-class film history library, the Margaret Herrick Library, with collections spanning the entire history of Hollywood.

Rose Garden | Photo: Angelo Henry, Flickr

Beverly Gardens Park - Rose Garden



The Rose Garden at Beverly Gardens Park lies along a two-block stretch between Foothill and Alpine, and, just like the rest of the park, along the north side of Santa Monica Boulevard. You'll find two metal dome trellises, a water fountain and lighted bollards for nighttime visits among the bed of roses that features a variety of different types. While you're there, walk along the granite path as you look for the other features at Beverly Gardens Park, including the Wilshire Electric Fountain and Cactus Garden.

Inner Courtyard, Greystone Mansion | Photo: Amber Lunsford, Flickr

Greystone Mansion



Upon land inherited from his father, Ned Doheny spent over $3 million - including $1 million for Greystone Mansion alone - constructing his estate in a combination of Gothic and Neo-Classical architectural styles, using steel reinforced concrete, Indiana limestone and Welsh slate. Just five months after he and his family moved in, he was found shot to death by his longtime friend, Hugh Plunket. Through a sale of the estate and mansion to a couple of different developers and eventually the City of Beverly Hills, the entire grounds were dedicated as a public park in 1971, and are also the site of the city’s largest reservoir. Visit the exterior park for free anytime from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (6:00 p.m. Daylight Savings) for a stroll around the majestic estate and gardens. The mansion is available for viewing only by appointment.

Nate N' Al in 1947 | Photo: Nate N' Al

Nate'n Al



Opened in 1945, Nate 'n Al is a delicatessen started by Al Mendelson and Nate Reimer, who both moved to sunny Los Angeles from Detroit. Though Nate eventually left the business, this Los Angeles landmark is still owned and operated by the family of the late Al Mendelson. The hangout was, and still remains, a favorite meeting place for movie industry personalities, agents and executives - most notably Larry King on an almost-daily basis.

Chef Fujita at Nozawa Bar, inside SUGARFISH Beverly Hills | Photo: Nozawa Bar

Nozawa Bar - SUGARFISH Beverly Hills



There are only 10 seats at Nozawa Bar, the intimate, traditional sushi bar located within SUGARFISH Beverly Hills. A reservation here requires a commitment - from your wallet as well as your appetite for culinary adventure. There are only two seatings per day, with 20 courses in all at $150 per person. Get a front row seat to this spectacular omakase experience by Chef Osamu Fujita and prepare to have your mind blown.

Saban Theatre | Photo: Mark Peacock, Flickr

Saban Theatre



The Saban Theatre is an Art Deco venue built in 1930, formerly known as the Fox Wilshire and one of 20th Century Fox's premier movie theatres for several decades before it was renovated into a stage theatre in 1981. Since 2005, it has been owned and operated by Temple of the Arts, an organization dedicated to the integration of Judaism with the arts. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in April 2012.

Spadena House | Photo: Terry Alexander, Flickr

Spadena House



You'd be surprised to know that regular Beverly Hills residents live inside the Spadena House, aka "The Witch's House," built in 1921 by Hollywood art director Harry Oliver. Once you visit, you might want to bring your kids back for Halloween. A picket fence, an odd-shaped and sweeping roof, twisted trees, off-center shutters and a garden where there used to be a moat, are just some of the features you'll love on observation. We can thank Michael Libow, a longtime Beverly Hills resident, for purchasing and restoring this house that could be straight out of Hansel and Gretel or even Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Cupcake ATM | Photo: S Sims, YouTube

Sprinkles Cupcakes ATM



This automated machine doesn't dispense cash, but accepts yours in exchange for Sprinkles cupcakes. Just look for the striped facade between the Sprinkles Cupcakes and Sprinkles Ice Cream for the Cupcake ATM that is as fun to watch as their freshly baked-and-restocked cupcakes are to eat. And if you have a four-legged friend, don't forget to bring Fido along - there are doggie cupcakes, too!

Ten Pound at Montage Beverly Hills | Photo: MBH Architecture

Ten Pound



Whisky lovers will love an escape in the luxurious cocktail bar that is £10 (Ten Pound) at the Montage Beverly Hills, which showcases the most celebrated and limited releases of The Macallan single malt Scotch whisky. Superb cocktails can also be sipped, made with the finest ingredients and served in Lalique crystal. Snack on aged sharp cheddar and pressed bacon while you sip your drink and perhaps even enjoy a cigar. The plush outdoor seating area overlooks the gorgeous Beverly Canon Gardens and is furnished with glass-enclosed fireplaces for the ultimate in Beverly Hills-style lounging.

Virginia Robinson Gardens | Photo: Virginia Robinson Gardens

Virginia Robinson Gardens



The legacy of Virginia and Harry Robinson (of Robinson’s department store fame) lives on through her philanthropy, but also through the Virginia Robinson Gardens, built in 1911 and the first estate in Beverly Hills. However, the gardens on the 6-acre property - located behind the Beverly Hills Hotel - were in serious disrepair at the time of Virginia's death in 1977. Willed to Los Angeles County, a partnership began between the County Supervisor at the time, Edmund Edelman, and Joan Selwyn, who helmed the Friends of the Virginia Robinson Gardens, to restore the estate and gardens. The Virginia Robinson Gardens was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It's also named a California Point of Historical Interest, and on the City of Beverly Hills Local Register of Historic Properties. Visitors can now take a guided tour by appointment only, Tuesday through Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.