Los Angeles isn’t just a great place to be a tourist. It is also home to close to 4 million people. Whether it be in the city or one of LA’s many suburbs, there is a quiet side of LA that many tourists do not see. One of the most exclusive of these residential areas is called Bel Air. While you might have only heard of it from the popular and iconic “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” — it is indeed real and home to some of LA’s wealthiest families.
Bel Air was founded in 1923 by Alphonso E Bell, Sr. whose wealth came from the oil found on his property in Santa Fe Springs. After Bell purchased the land in which Bel Air sits, he broke it up and developed large lots into single family residences.His wife named each of the streets with Italian names and started an exclusive garden club. Ordinances were also established barring multi-family residences and lot sizes, so Bel Air would always keep up its beautiful appearance.
Located in West LA, together with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, Bel Air completes the third side of LA’s “Platinum Triangle,” an area denoted for its lavish lifestyle. A huge draw for this neighborhood is the incredible architecture on display.Not only does Bel Air have some beautiful homes with spectacular views, it also boasts a luxury hotel AND a Country Club. Enclosed within its gates is also the popular Hannah Carter Japanese Garden. Inspired by the gardens of Kyoto, the main gate, garden house, bridges and shrine were built in Japan and re-assembled here. The garden also boasts antique stone carvings, water basins, lanterns and a five-tiered pagoda also from Japan.
As for the Hollywood side to Bel Air, the exterior shots of the famous Beverly Hillbillies were taken in Bel Air. In fact, the home that was filmed was such a popular spot for tourists that many people used to wander on to the property and ask to see “Granny” from the show. Scenes from “The Rockford Files” were also filmed there as well as some scenes from “Get Shorty”. Many celebrities live in Bel Air, not only because of its exclusivity but because the woodland-like setting and the set back nature of some of the homes help to make the residences more incognito. Stars such as Kim Kardashian & Kanye West, Jennifer Aniston, Gordon Ramsay, Sarah Michelle Gellar and former President Ronald Reagan have all resided there.
Bel Air is just one more reason to love Los Angeles. Come discover it with us .
- “Don’t Hesitate….Just Do It!!”
The tour was a lot of fun and he even took us to less well known spots for some great photo ops! Definitely recommend doing and would absolutely do another tour with these guys when next back in LA!
~ Kelly T
- “Perfect fit for our family!”
Our tour was AMAZING. This is one of the most professional companies I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I would recommend them in a heartbeat.
~ Michele G, El Segundo, California
- “LOOK NO FURTHER”
I can recall doing a bus tour of LA a number of years ago, and that tour did not remotely compare to what we experienced with our number one guide Rivers. Our family of four, including two boys aged 13 and 10, had the best day possible.
~ Lindsay O, Hepburn Springs, Australia
- “Worth the Splurge”
Eight hours seems like a lot of time, but the day just flew by. It was so fun and interesting. I would do this again with no regrets.
The Kozars, Lethbridge, Canada
- “Great family day”
A big thank you to Scott for our fantastic LA tour!! We got all the sights in, in one day including a last minute shop @ Dash!! Scott was full of information and my family including my 3 year old had a fantastic day!! Highly recommend !!