We travelers are driven by the need to discover the wonders of nature, beautiful places, cities, museums, theme parks, mountains, the sea, and more. Our destination today is located in California, a great state with so much diversity, and more precisely, in Los Angeles. We will take you to Rodeo Drive, a street in Beverly Hills with luxury shops that has become the “flagship” of the neighborhood.
Whatever the reason that brings to this “corner of the world” – whether it be simply the desire to see it, curiosity about the places frequented by the affluent, or interest in high fashion, luxury, and aesthetic trends – Rodeo Drive will show its true colors. Beverly Hills is a city that is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area. The climate of Los Angeles, which is warm in summer and mild in winter, is inviting and perfect for taking a stroll along the streets and avenues while looking up at the palm trees that reach the blue sky.
Where is Rodeo Drive?
Let’s start by getting familiar with Rodeo Drive. It is a world-famous street where you can shop for luxury brands that stretches for about 2 miles and is flanked by well-kept sidewalks and flowerbeds along the middle. The three blocks between Wilshire Boulevard and South Santa Monica Boulevard are the heart of Rodeo Drive. You will know that you’re in the right area when you see two fine black wrought-iron signs with the golden inscription Via Rodeo and N. Rodeo Drive.
Where to park in Rodeo Drive?
In Beverly Hills, there are well-marked public garages that tend to fill up quickly. There are, however, various places to park your car near Rodeo Drive with features such as “first two hours free”, “payment on exit” or “3-hour paid parking” (mainly at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd and Crescent Dr).
We suggest that you consult this useful website, where you will find all the details. Nevertheless, always keep in mind that the rules for parking are strictly enforced and there are fines for infringements. Also, do not be misled if you see some cars parked along Rodeo Drive… They have a permit!
How to get there by public transportation
There are various options with regard to means of transport. The trains and buses of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (also abbreviated Metro, Mta, Lacmta) serve the Greater Los Angeles area (Beverly Hills: line 704 or 720).
You can also opt for taxis of the Independence Cab Co. (700 N. Virgil Ave – Los Angeles), or, for a “touch of class”, ride in a limousine of American Luxury Limo (2550 Willow Lane Thousand Oaks, CA 91361).
For more information, please also consult our guide on how to get around Los Angeles.
Reasons to Visit Rodeo Drive
Many people who walk down Rodeo Drive, begin to imagine different scenarios, such as scenes in which the protagonists of the movies enter the boutiques, exit with bags and packages, then go out for a cocktail and show off their expensive purchases, and finally return to their suite at a 5-star hotel. The most common example is Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, when she goes on a shopping spree. But at the end of the day, it is still nice even to walk around, because it is interesting to discover this unique place, with its pros and cons.
As you continue window-shopping, you will reach the main area called Two Rodeo, which has the most spectacular architecture on Rodeo Drive. The layout of the buildings is inspired by historic European towns, with cobblestone, gas lamps, porches, benches, balconies, and flowers. It is a really pleasant and classy walk regardless of your interest in shopping or the opportunity to shop here. This street, which is not straight and is slightly uphill, then descends with a beautiful staircase overlooking Wilshire Boulevard, where the Beverly Wilshire Hotel stands out. But if you take a right, you will be right back on Rodeo Drive again.
Rodeo Drive Walk of Style
In 2003, the Rodeo Drive Committee founded the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style to honor “fashion legends who have made an important contribution to the world of fashion, costume, and design”. Normally one person is granted this honor each year. Each plaque bears the name and signature of the recipient together with the reason for the award. The first plaque, dedicated to Giorgio Armani, was presented on September 9, 2003.
On this occasion, there was also the inauguration of Robert Graham’s Torso, a shining sculpture of a woman without clothes, head, or arms. It is made of aluminum and is 13ft tall. This sculpture is located at the intersection of Rodeo Drive and Dayton Way, the starting point of the Walk of Style, a symbol of the “Walk of Style” where you can see not only the names of fashion and jewelry designers, such as Ferragamo, Valentino, Missoni, Bulgari, Cartier and the Versace brothers who joined Armani, but also personalities who symbolize style and elegance, such as Princess Grace.
The Shops of Rodeo Drive
In this “paradise of luxury”, the shops and salons sell clothes, shoes, bags, suitcases, jewelry, cars, make-up, and beauty treatments. Along the N. Rodeo Drive are various world-famous brands and well-known figures in the fashion industry. The boutiques are furnished in styles ranging from classic to eccentric because, rightly so, they reflect the brand they represent. We recognize the red shop windows of Valentino and the black one of Armani, trendy shoes by Jimmy Choo, classic totes by Louis Vuitton, timeless creations by Madame Chanel, Lacoste t-shirts with the famous crocodile, Fendi bags with the iconic “F”, and elegant jewelry by Tiffany and Cartier.
And there’s no shortage of a window displaying Porsche cars either! Instead, the Ferrari cars are located farther down the street (9372 Wilshire Blvd.), but the showroom is not far away. It would not be unusual if you were tempted to buy something as you walk along Rodeo Drive, where the displays are intended to be eye-catching and enticing.
When I visited Rodeo Drive, it was out of pure curiosity we wanted to explore our surroundings. We passed in front of well-known Italian and international brands that presented their trendy collections, and sometimes there were attractive models donning the boutique’s collection, who are “placed” outside the stores in order to attract attention and entice people to come in. It is not surprising to see wealthy people getting out of a limousine in front of the entrance of a boutique where the staff has already been alerted for the visit and it is not even surprising to see “paparazzi“.
Most shops are open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sundays from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, but not all of them are open on Sundays. Even if your style does not reflect these standards, Rodeo Drive is an icon of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. It’s worth taking a walk here anyway, because the environment is undoubtedly very pleasant and not excessively snobbish even though you are surrounded by luxury and the prices on display have many zeros… too many!
Where to Eat in Rodeo Drive
After a nice walk and maybe some five-star shopping, why not treat yourself to a five-star meal at the 208 Rodeo Drive at the 208 Rodeo Restaurant? The restaurant has a contemporary bistro look in a moderately business casual atmosphere. The restaurant serves California cuisine and has indoor and outdoor seating. The wide staircase (Spanish Steps) that flanks the charming “European” building faces the famous Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
For those who like Asian cuisine, we recommend Urasawa (218 N. Rodeo Dr.), a Japanese restaurant that serves artfully and skillfully prepared dishes. The food is both tasty and beautifully presented. The restaurant has high prices, but let’s not forget where we are. It offers various choices of sake, the classic Japanese alcoholic beverage. For us, they are expensive, to say the least (from 70 to 400$) but even if it is not in your price range, it may be worth trying something at the restaurant or simply go in and have a look around.
There are also several restaurants and cafes along the streets that run parallel to Rodeo Drive and along South Santa Monica Boulevard.
Where to Stay near Rodeo Drive
There are many hotels in the area, but there is only one that is directly located along Rodeo Drive. It is the Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel (360 N.Rodeo Dr.), between the Rolex and Michael Kors boutiques, which are also located inside it together with the Patek Philippe store. The hotel is modern and welcoming and the interior design of the rooms and suites are furnished balancing casual elegance and accessible luxury. From the hotel rooms, you can see Rodeo Drive, Hollywood Hills, and downtown Los Angeles. The hotel guarantees its guests reception desk assistance and access to free wi-fi, a gym, a spa, and a convention center.
Here are 4 accommodations close to Rodeo Drive (for other accommodations in the area, check out our selection of accommodations in Beverly Hills) which should be pointed out, because they are icons of this reality. It’s clear that in the Beverly Hills area prices are not cheap by any means, but if you don’t stay here it’s still worth visiting these places of luxury, elegance, and refinement. Perhaps you may just enter and ask for a brochure. In this way, you can visit the lobby and get an idea of the style of the structure, so that you can get to know this area better, regardless of your personal interest in the lifestyle or how much you want to invest to stay overnight.
Scenes of Pretty Woman were filmed near the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (9500 Wilshire Blvd.) which is why the facade looks familiar. The hotel, which is not far from Two Rodeo, was inaugurated in 1928 and for years has been the favorite place of many Hollywood celebrities and the international elite. The luxurious rooms and suites are located in two buildings, one overlooking Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive and the other overlooking the residential area of Beverly Hills.
Guests staying at this hotel can make use of the spa, the swimming pool, concierge services, the fitness center, and the conference center. The Cut, the restaurant inside the hotel, has been described by readers of USA Today as the best hotel restaurant in the United States. The meat and fish dishes are creative and served in a spacious room with a modern design. In the evening, the large windows allow the moonlight to amplify the effect of the panorama.
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills (9850 Wilshire Blvd.) is a refined hotel with white as the main color of its interior design. It has luxurious rooms and sumptuous suites that have balconies with a wide view, a lobby with a bar, and a spa. The Jean-George Beverly Hills Restaurant offers fine dining under the direction of the award-winning chef of the same name. The dishes of this established chef range from European to South and North American cuisine. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in indoor or outdoor dining areas. The Rooftop Lounge, on the 12th floor, serves California cuisine in an outdoor, palm-lined setting with scenic views of Beverly Hills and Hollywood.
However, there are a couple of cost-effective alternatives in the immediate vicinity. In the hotels we recommend below, your stay will certainly be very pleasant even if the hotels are not as prestigious.
The Sirtaj (120 South Reeves Dr.) is a Beverly Hills boutique hotel just half a mile from the shops and restaurants on Rodeo Drive. The furnishings are modern but also oriental-inspired, wi-fi is free, and the property has a bar-restaurant. Sirtaj Hotel’s luxurious rooms have a 42-inch flat-screen cable TV, a minibar, and a coffee maker. The Sirtaj Hotel’s restaurant serves contemporary Indian cuisine with fresh local ingredients. The bar offers special cocktails, craft beers, and wines. Guests receive a welcome drink upon check-in and can make use of the concierge services, 24-hour reception, and parking at a cost of $39 per day.
The Sixty (9360 Wilshire Blvd.) is located in downtown Beverly Hills next to the Ferrari store, which is a “pilgrimage” destination for many visitors. Aside from being “red”, the rooms of this hotel are elegant and have wooden floors, a French-style balcony, and are decorated in warm tones. This 4-star hotel has an outdoor swimming pool on the top floor, a lounge with panoramic views of the city, and a 55-inch LCD screen in each room.
Caulfield’s Restaurant serves contemporary American cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The top-floor bar, Above Sixty, serves drinks, snacks, and has entertainment. Guests have free access to the modern gym, the business center, and 24-hour concierge service. The concierge can arrange various activities as well as car rental services. The property also offers indoor parking at a cost of $35 per day.
Rodeo Drive Events
During the year, three events take place in the Rodeo Drive area that deserve to be highlighted and that will turn the spotlight even more on this destination.
- In June, during Father’s Day, the Concours d’Elegance takes place, an event that showcases some of the most expensive cars in the world. It dates back to the 17th century when French aristocracy paraded in carriages through Paris’ parks on summer weekends and holidays.
- During the Fashion Night Out in September, shops extend opening hours and champagne is served to guests and shoppers. It also takes place in thirty other locations around the world. It was created in 2009 in New York City to revitalize the economy and stimulate consumer interest, and now this event continues over the years. A Ferris wheel and other attractions capture the attention of those who visit the three main blocks of Rodeo Drive.
- Signs of the approaching Christmas holidays are noticeable as early as November when the Holiday Lighting Celebration takes place. Christmas lights, live music, and theatrical performances create the holiday atmosphere. Giant decorative gift packages are scattered among the flowerbeds and at the entrance to Two Rodeo. This is also a time for charity events. Donations of winter clothing for the Los Angeles Salvation Army are accepted.
Rodeo Drive Tours
Because L.A. has such a favorable climate, it would not be a bad idea to use “two wheels” to visit the area of Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. You can either opt to simply rent a bicycle, including hybrid bikes, or take advantage of a bike tour with a tour guide.
If you want to rely on a more unusual (and less tiring) means of transportation, such as the segway, which in recent years is becoming more and more popular, you can find all the information by clicking on the link below.
Today we have added a “golden” piece to our knowledge of California, but many other destinations await us in this great state that never ceases to amaze us. Let’s keep our suitcase ready!