You would assume that this glamorous municipality doesn't need a special introduction. And you'd be right, if you think only about its well-known, highly frequented neighborhoods, locations, or amenities. However, a part of its charm is in the hidden gems, some of which connect Beverly Hills with its artistic, entrepreneurial, and extravagant past.
Whether the attractions rise and shine for a time or weather the decades, they make the residents and visitors alike delighted for stopping by. Together with more popular amenities, these hidden attractions in Beverly Hills make the core of the recognizable local lifestyle. It is one of the many reasons for moving to Beverly Hills, and an excellent one at that.
The city between Los Angeles and West Hollywood is always full of surprises, and the following is our collection of must-see spots.
1. Virginia Robinson Gardens
While not really among hidden attractions in Beverly Hills, Virginia Robinson Gardens is full of them. The history of this place doesn't start with being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The gracious and tranquil surroundings will easily take you to the early 20th century when the rich and successful knew how to enjoy and entertain. Thanks to the altruistic Virginia Robinson who willed her estate and gardens to the County, visitors can catch a glimpse of LA at its finest.
A docent-led tour and every second spent on the magnificent grounds are full of discoveries. Aside from the rare flora, Pompeii artifacts, fragrant Rose Gardens, and the expansive Palm Tree Forest, Ms. Robinsons' legacy offers even more. Seemingly frozen in time, the artfully manicured Gardens testify of the Beverly Hills' glamorous heyday.
2. Greystone Mansion & Park
Your day trip to Beverly Hills would not be complete without a visit to the Greystone Mansion and Park. The partly Gothic and partly Neo-Classical mansion has nested within a park many have seen in the famous classics over the decades. Being one of the most filmed homes doesn't harm its reputation the least. As notorious as is lavish, the historic Doheny-Greystone estate is today a public park.
Unless you attend special events or belong to a movie crew filming here, you won't be able to tour the inside of the Mansion. Its interior has had so much screen time it's a wonder no one has pieced the movie parts together yet. Nevertheless, its elegant courtyards and fountains will keep you amazed and intrigued for hours.
3. Spadena House
Spadena house, popularly known as The Witch's House, was home to a silent film studio in the 20s (the 20th century 20s). Today, it is a private residence, not owned by any witch but by Michael Libow, a Beverly Hills real estate agent who saved the house from demolition. This quirky piece of architecture truly stands out from its neighbors and doesn't need any magic to grab the attention of an unsuspecting passerby.
Many do not know this, but the house was not built in its current location. It was initially constructed in Culver City, and when the studio got closed, the Spadena House was transported to Beverly Hills. You can take photos of this whimsical home from the sidewalk, but be aware that no trespassing is allowed, and please, don't pick the berries! The witch's signs are quite clear.
4. 24-Hour-Sprinkles Cupcake ATM
Although Sprinkles is a famous Californian brand and everybody highly recommends their cupcakes, the one thing that makes them even more exciting and worth a visit is their cupcake ATM. This cute 24-hour ATM takes your plastic money and returns a fresh, light, creamy, hand-frosted cupcake. Getting closer to these delicacies is one delicious reason to move to this beautiful neighborhood, especially if you have kids. While you might need the right assistance to smooth the process of relocating here, you won't need any help to handle these smooth treats. True, it's not really a hidden attraction as it is so popular, but it would be a shame if it didn't make our list.
5. The "Celluloid" Monument
Out of all the monuments you can find in Beverly Hills, the one representing a spiraling celluloid film has a quite interesting story. It serves as a reminder that Beverly Hills, with its secluded features, wasn't merely a playground for the rich. The movie stars portrayed on the sides of the monument were not honored for their acting achievements but a completely different contribution.
When Los Angeles started to grow closer, there were efforts to make Beverly Hills a part of the city. However, the Celluloid Monument is a testimony that the movie stars did manage to secure their beloved town's independence. Not solely by charm but through resolute campaigning.
6. Sheats-Goldstein House
The Goldstein House is a glass and concrete modernist architectural masterpiece, designed, built, and later renovated by John Lautner. Multi-millionaire J. Goldstein has purchased the home initially commissioned by the Sheats family and employed Lautner to remodel it. Over the years, the house received its current perfected look - luxurious, ultra-modern, and brimful with the artwork.
If your real estate search in Beverly Hills leads you toward architectural marvels such as this one, you're out of luck. James Goldstein has bestowed the house to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). However, thanks to the fact that nobody can reside in this architectural wonder, everybody can spend some time inside and admire Lautner's genius. If that is not sufficient to take your breath away, the view the house offers will. Specifically, the Los Angeles night panorama admired from an all-glass master suite jutting out from a hill. Exceptionally starry.
A few last but important notes
Perhaps the best legacy of 20th-century Beverly Hills is not only its hidden attractions but what they represent. Behind the glamour, grandeur, and luxury lie the stories of philanthropy, determination, and creative entrepreneurship. Whether you just visit or plan to join this exclusive six-square-miles club, look behind the shiny and sparkling, and you'll discover the real hidden attractions in Beverly Hills, California.
Written by Mary A. Richardson
Written by Mary A. Richardson