From Beverly Hills to Bel Air: Explore Which LA Neighborhood is Right For You

From glamorous Beverly Hills to coastal Pacific Palisades, discover which Los Angeles neighborhood you should call home

From the palm tree-fringed streets of Rodeo Drive to the frothy waves of the Pacific Ocean, Los Angeles offers a never-ending catalog of high-end shopping and dining options, entertainment possibilities, and outdoor pursuits. Whether you’re in the mood for a world-class concert, a street taco tour, or a challenging hike, you can find all that and more in the City of Angels. Not surprisingly, LA’s neighborhoods are just as diverse as its activities. And with over 80 neighborhoods to choose from, it can take a bit of time to figure out which one is right for you. Consider this your go-to guide for three of the most popular neighborhoods in the city. Whether you’re looking for a ritzy enclave or a laid-back oceanfront community, you can find it all in Los Angeles. Here are three of the top neighborhoods to look into if you’re considering switching addresses in 2020.

Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills is best known for Rodeo Drive, a ritzy strip with boutiques from world-class designers such as Prada, Gucci, and Versace. If you’re looking for ready access to some of the best shopping in the world, this high-end enclave might be right for you. But Beverly Hills has much more to offer than just shopping. There are also plenty of restaurants helmed by renowned chefs (from Wolfgang Puck to Curtis Stone), public green spaces designed for picnicking or reading, and famed celebrity hangouts such as The Beverly Hills Hotel, which boasts lush tropical gardens and a poolside café.

Beverly Hills is primarily made up of multimillion-dollar gated estates set on well-manicured lawns. Often hidden behind hedges and thickets of trees, these opulent estates range from American Colonial to Georgian to Cape Cod style. Every piece of Beverly Hills real estate feels elegant yet distinct, and they all offer a welcome sense of privacy and security. Known for being a safe and quiet enclave, Beverly Hills is ideal for ultra-high-net-worth individuals who prize peace and quiet. From families with young children to retirees looking for a quieter pace of life, the famed 90210 zip code draws residents from all around the globe. If you’re looking for a pristine and beautiful neighborhood where you can easily walk to Rodeo Drive for dinner or drinks, Beverly Hills is the place for you.

Bel Air

For many, Bel Air is synonymous with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But in addition to serving as the backdrop for the popular television show that starred Will Smith, it’s also a great place to put down roots. Alongside Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, Bel Air makes up the Platinum Triangle, an affluent area on LA’s Westside. Two regal entrance gates off Sunset Boulevard lead into streets lined with luxe mansions set on well-vegetated lots. The entrance situation alone provides a welcome dose of privacy and seclusion in a big city where it’s often difficult to find any.

Don’t be surprised if you end up with a famous neighbor or two—celebrities ranging from Beyoncé to Elon Musk to Jennifer Lopez have all snapped up homes in Bel Air. And, honestly, it’s not hard to see why: Bel Air has an influx of high-end real estate, from Spanish-style homes to California moderns to sleek contemporary residences. More importantly, for those prizing privacy, the homes are usually gated or hidden behind privacy fences and hedges designed to keep prying eyes away. There are no official apartments in Bel Air, but it has plenty of single-family homes—and most of them are set on large lots, which makes it easy to host a barbecue or birthday party.

Because Bel Air is overwhelmingly residential, you won’t find as many dining and shopping options like in neighboring Beverly Hills. But Hotel Bel-Air (a celebrity haunt and luxe hideaway) and the exclusive Bel-Air Country Club are two of the most popular see-and-be-seen spots in town. Annual events such as the Bel Air Film Festival are also well worth a visit. Should you wish to branch out, Bel Air’s proximity to downtown Los Angeles makes exploration a breeze.

Known for being a safe and secluded neighborhood, Bel Air is perfect for entertainment executives, celebrities, and others who prize privacy and seclusion, as well as ready access to attractions available throughout Los Angeles.

Pacific Palisades

If you love the ocean, Pacific Palisades is for you. Nestled between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Pacific Palisades is an affluent neighborhood dotted with ocean-facing estates as well as condos and apartments. Designed as a primarily residential area, Pacific Palisades offers residents an endless list of outdoor entertainment options. For starters, Temescal Gateway Park has hiking trails that overlook the ocean, and Will Rogers State Park offers access to a 22-mile beachfront bike path. There are several other public parks in the Palisades, each offering panoramic ocean views and plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, or picnicking.

One of the most popular attractions in town is the hilltop Getty Villa museum, which is filled with Greek and Roman antiquities. Another architectural marvel well worth a visit is the mid-century modern Eames House, which was the former residence of designers Charles and Ray Eames. If you’re in need of a little enlightenment, head to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, a 10-acre spiritual commune founded by Paramahansa Yogananda, whose book Autobiography of a Yogi introduced many Westerners to yoga and Eastern mysticism. For a night out on the town, head to Palisades Village, a walkable area filled with boutiques, restaurants, a movie theater, and coffee and dessert shops. From Madewell to See’s Candy, there’s something for everyone at the Village. The architecture in regards to Pacific Palisades real estate is just as diverse as the shopping and dining options: it has everything from modernist dwellings to Mediterranean villas. It’s a great place for families with young children, outdoorsy types who love to explore, and retirees who want to soak up the sunshine. If you’re looking for an ocean-facing community that has plenty of entertainment options, Pacific Palisades is right for you.

While figuring out which house to buy may be difficult, deciding which real estate agent to go with doesn’t have to be. With years of experience in the Los Angeles luxury market, Joyce Rey has the knowledge and insight necessary to guide you through the process. Whether you’re looking for Beverly Hills luxury homes or Bel Air real estate, Joyce can answer any questions you have and help you find a property that matches every item on your checklist.

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