Beverly Hills and the 90210 zip code are well known around the world, thanks to an abundance of luxury hotels and designer shopping on the famous Rodeo Drive. But there are actually more things to do in Beverly Hills than shopping. In fact, despite the hefty price tag typically associated with the area, there are quite a few things people can do for free (yes, really). Here are the best things to do on your next trip to Beverly Hills.
The Best Things to Do in Beverly Hills
The 90210 zip code has more to offer than just shopping
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1. Get Cultured at World-renowned Art Galleries and Museums
With all the wealth going around Beverly Hills, it’s no surprise that it is also home to several acclaimed art galleries, including the famous contemporary art gallery Gagosian. If the standard type of art gallery intimidates you, head to the latest art destination in Beverly Hills: Mr. Brainwash Art Museum, a pop-up exhibit happening at The Paley Center for Media. The temporary museum is run by French street artist Thierry Guetta, a.k.a. Mr. Brainwash, who has created a museum that is interactive, colorful and humorous.
2. Stroll the Gardens and Parks
One of the best—and free—things to do in Beverly Hills is to stroll through the beautiful gardens and public parks, some of which also house notable sculptures. The Beverly Gardens Park spans 1.9 miles and is home to the Electric Fountain, lily pond and a replica of the historic Beverly Hills sign (so ready thy Instagram). The famous Greystone Mansion’s exterior grounds are also free to visit, so you can explore their formal gardens and courtyards.
3. Indulge in Sweet Treats
Everyone knows about the high end boutiques in Beverly Hills, but did you know that Beverly Hills also has a high concentration of chocolate and dessert shops compared to other neighborhoods? Grab some treats (or souvenirs) from local chocolatiers andSons, K Chocolatier by Diane Kron or Edelweiss (the famous I Love Lucy chocolate scene was filmed at Edelweiss). There’s no shortage of desserts here either between Chaumont, Sweet Lady Jane, Mediterranean sweets specialist Cafe Sheera, and others.
4. Recharge at a Spa
Enjoying the spa facilities at five-star hotels or getting a treatment at the other spas and wellness centers in Beverly Hills is a sure way to recharge one’s mind and body. Tomoko offers a Japanese-style experience complete with an ofuro bath. For those wanting a splurge, La Prairie Spa at the Waldorf Astoria offers facials with caviar.
5. Tour Movie Locations
Even if you can’t shop like a movie star, you can still check out filming locations around Beverly Hills. One of the most famous, of course, is Pretty Woman. The Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where the movie was filmed, offers a special Pretty Woman experience complete with your own personal stylist and a chauffeur. While you can’t go behind the scenes and eat chocolates off of the production line a la I Love Lucy, check out Edelweiss Chocolates and see why this shop has been around for 80 years. Of course, Rodeo Drive has been the backdrop of many more movies and TV shows, including Beverly Hills Cop.
6. Dine and Drink in Style
Beverly Hills is home to world-class dining and drinking options, so be sure to explore some of the restaurants and bars here. Head to Massimo Bottura’s Gucci Osteria for chef Mattia Agazzi’s Michelin-starred Italian cooking. For some of the best and most interesting cocktails in Los Angeles right now, take a seat at the intimate The Maybourne Bar. There are plenty of casual spots, as well, from the old-school Nate ‘n Al’s deli to the new Florentine sandwich specialist, Lorenzo.
7. Explore Unique Architecture
Many architectural styles are represented among the residential and commercial buildings of Beverly Hills, but a few certainly stand out from the rest. One example is the Spadena House, also known as The Witch’s House. This fanciful house is an example of Storybook architecture and was originally designed by a Hollywood art director. Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright also designed the Anderton Court, which is his last Los Angeles building and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
8. Catch a Performance at The Wallis Center for Performing Arts
The Wallis Center for Performing Arts has been the community arts center of Beverly Hills since its opening in 2013. The center was endowed by and named after the philanthropist Wallis Annenberg. Between the 500-seat Goldsmith Theater and the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, and the intimate “The Sorting Room”, there are always plenty of events going on here from comedy shows, music, dance and theater. Check out the upcoming season and get tickets here.
9. Drink with a View at Rooftop Bars
Take advantage of Southern California’s year-round great weather by having some cocktails on the rooftops of Beverly Hills. Head to the Umbrella Social Club on the rooftop of SIXTY Beverly Hills hotel for some panoramic views and fun poolside-friendly drinks designed by the team behind Melrose Umbrella Co. Over at The Maybourne Hotel, is the West Coast outpost of the famous Dante from New York City and is serving Dante’s signature cocktails alongside an Italian-leaning food menu.
10. Shop on Rodeo Drives
OK, we can’t talk about Beverly Hills without mentioning the shopping. Rodeo Drive is lined with high end designer brands, but even if you can’t afford to shop there, it’s still fun to window shop and admire the displays. Two Rodeo Drive and its European style walkway and buildings are nice for a stroll (and photo ops) and they also have Christmas Carolers around during the holiday.
11. Stay Overnight at Kimpton Palomar
Our favorite Beverly Hills hotel that won’t break the bank? The Kimpton Palomar that offers sweeping city views and soaking tubs in all the guestrooms; daily happy hours in the seriously fun bar (there’s a pool table, shuffleboard, skeeball, darts and more on offer); and chilled out vibes in the heated outdoor pool. It’s the perfect place in Beverly Hills to kick back and relax...and after all the shopping, eating and exploring you've done—you’ve earned it.