Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive
The gleaming star at the heart of Beverly Hills, and the principle reason why most people visit the neighborhood, Rodeo Drive is the last word in luxury shopping, a hot spot of haute couture fashion.
Many of the major upscale names are here, including Gucci, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Chanel and Christian Dior, as well as a smattering of small designer boutiques. The sun-dappled and palm tree-lined sidewalks are full of wealthy shoppers clutching their bags of designer goodies and flocks of tourists following in their wake.
Even if you’re not going to pack your shopping bags, there’s plenty of sumptuous eye candy to make your visit worthwhile. The stores are used to window-shopping tourists and you are free to walk in. Some stores, however, are open by appointment only.
The upscale shopping area only runs the few blocks between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, making it much smaller than its global reputation. At the corner of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard is Two Rodeo, a cobblestone area lined with outdoor cafés and a few big-name stores. Its design resembles a romanticized version of an old continental European avenue.
If you hope to do a bit of celebrity spotting you may be in luck. Rodeo Drive is a magnet for the acting elite. Your best chance may be inside Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel, known affectionately, and accurately, as the “hotel of the stars.”
Once you’ve seen where global icons shop and unwind, you can also discover where they live. The Beverly Hills Trolley Tour, which starts out from the corner of Rodeo Drive and Payton Way, is a 40-minute open-air tram ride that takes you inside some of the area’s most expensive neighborhoods.