It has been said that Hollywood isnt a place, but a state of mind. And that if it did exit anywhere, youd find it in Beverly Hills .

Locals know that its here, not Hollywood that stars live, dine, shop, and go about their daily lives. Within the citys six square miles, youll find only luxury homes and boutique stores, and the famous Golden Triangle: an even smaller grid of posh commercial streets nestled between Wilshire and Sunset Boulevards. And it is here that the stars come out to play. Car buffs will want to stay awhile to count the numerous Ferraris, Maybachs, and Lamborghinis

But Beverly Hills isnt all celebs and diamonds; amidst the grandeur youll find pockets of normalcy, in parks, the farmers market and top class restaurants. Because everyone needs to eat, and what is a city without a park?

To get situated, I always suggest that any visitor hop aboard the fun Beverly Hills trolley tour for a 40-minute narrated adventure of art, architecture, historical and renowned areas of the city. Itll give you a sense of what youd like to explore further, plus theres never a dull moment!

After a meander at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market, browse some of my favorite boutiques, before people-watching over a glass of cold white wine at any of the bustling cafs along North and South Beverly Drive. In the summer, make sure to gather to groove to the sounds of live music from rockabilly to jazz in Beverly Canon Gardens. And while LA and Beverly Hills are, of course, synonymous with film, one of our best hidden secrets is the vibrant theater scene. Head to the historical Wilshire Theater, to see the latest show.

Photo credit: Cornelius O’Donoghue /

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