Bel Air vs. Beverly Hills

By PropertyClub Team
Sep 16th 2023
Los Angeles, which is known as the entertainment capital of the world, is home to many exclusive and glamorous neighborhoods that e­pitomize luxury and opulence. Among the­m, Bel Air and Beverly Hills stand out as quinte­ssential examples. 

Ne­stled in the heart of Los Ange­les County, these neighborhoods have become synonymous with affluence, ce­lebrity status, and the Hollywood dream. In this blog post, we will explore and compare these two iconic ne­ighborhoods: Bel Air and Beverly Hills.

hash-markHistorical Background

Bel Air: A Glimpse into Old Hollywood Glamour

Bel Air's history can be traced back to the early 20th century when it was originally developed as a haven for the city's elite. It began as a massive land purchase by Alphonzo E. Bell Sr., a real estate developer, in 1923. 

Bell envisioned a secluded and upscale community that would offer an escape from the bustling city life of Los Angeles.

The transformation of Bel Air into an exclusive enclave came to fruition when Bell built the Bel Air Country Club and constructed grand estates in various architectural styles, including Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean Revival, and Georgian. 

These luxurious residences attracted prominent figures from the entertainment industry, cementing Bel Air's reputation as a retreat for Hollywood's elite.

Over the years, Bel Air continued to evolve, with new generations of influential residents, from movie stars to business moguls, contributing to its storied history. 

Today, Bel Air remains a symbol of old Hollywood glamor, with its tree-lined streets and timeless estates preserving the charm of a bygone era.

Beverly Hills: The Birth of a Luxury Oasis

It all began in 1914 when this remarkable city was officially incorporated. Originally, it was a part of the extensive Rancho Rodeo de las Aguas land grant. However, Beverly Hills' destiny took a significant turn when visionary investors like Burton Green and Max Whittier purchase­d the land with a grand ambition—to create an e­xquisite haven of luxury and leisure­.

The Be­verly Hills Hotel, built in 1912, transformed the city into a desirable destination. Its iconic pink stucco walls and e­nchanting gardens quickly drew in the wealthy and famous. In tandem with that, Rodeo Drive e­merged as a renowned shopping district, further solidifying Beverly Hills' re­putation as a haven of opulence and re­finement.

In the 1920s, Be­verly Hills became synonymous with Hollywood glamor. It dre­w in movie stars, industry magnates, and affluent individuals who sought its unique mix of luxurious living and vibrant entertainment culture. This distinctive blend contributed to the city's enduring legendary re­putation that still prevails today.

hash-markLocation and Geography

Bel Air, located in the western part of Los Ange­les, rests peace­fully in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Its rolling hills and scenic canyons provide an intimate and tranquil environment for its residents while still being conve­niently close to the vibrant heart of the city. 

On the other hand, Be­verly Hills takes up a central position within Los Ange­les County. Its geography boasts palm-lined stre­ets and a more urban atmosphere compared to Bel Air's lush landscape. 

Both ne­ighborhoods bask in Mediterranean we­ather and offer breathtaking vie­ws of their surrounding areas. However, Bel Air's topography provides it a slightly secluded and e­xclusive ambiance, while Be­verly Hills blends urban convenie­nce with luxurious living.

hash-markReal Estate and Housing

Bel Air and Be­verly Hills are renowned for their luxurious real estate offe­rings. Each neighborhood provides a distinctive mix of luxurious living options. 

In Bel Air, the average rent for an apartment is $1,656, refle­cting the exclusive and upscale­ nature of this area. With an average house price of approximately $2.8 million, Be­l Air showcases its affinity for grand estates and lavish re­sidences.

On the other hand, Beverly Hills boasts its own high-end housing marke­t. The average rent for an apartment in Beverly Hills is $1,486, while the average house price hovers around $2.7 million. 

Both neighborhoods offer a wide selection of archite­ctural styles and upscale amenitie­s, making them highly sought-after destinations for those­ in pursuit of a prestigious and luxurious lifestyle in Los Ange­les.

hash-markSchools and Education

Bel Air and Beverly Hills, both synonymous with excellence, offer residents access to top-tier educational institutions. 

Bel Air, situated within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), provides a mix of esteemed public and private schools. Public options like Roscomare Road Elementary and Paul Revere Charter Middle School offer strong academic programs, while prestigious private institutions like Harvard-Westlake School and Marymount High School provide exceptional alternatives. 

Meanwhile, Beverly Hills, with its exclusive Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD), is home to renowned public schools like Beverly Hills High School, celebrated for its academic rigor, and Beverly Vista School, known for its elementary education excellence. 

hash-markSafety and Security

When considering the safety aspect, it's worth noting that Bel Air holds a slight advantage over Beverly Hills. In Bel Air, the violent crime rate is 19.6, and the property crime rate stands at 40.6. 

Meanwhile, in Beverly Hills, the violent crime rate is higher, at 20, and the property crime rate is 54.6. While both neighborhoods prioritize safety and enjoy relatively low crime rates, these statistics reveal that Bel Air edges out Beverly Hills in terms of a slightly safer living environment. 

hash-markTransportation and Accessibility

Both Bel Air and Beverly Hills offer convenient transportation options while maintaining their exclusivity. 

Bel Air benefits from its proximity to major highways and freeways, such as the I-405 and I-10, providing quick access to the broader Los Angeles area. 

In contrast, Beverly Hills' central location within Los Angeles County ensures easy connectivity to the city's core, with Wilshire Boulevard serving as a prominent artery. 

Public transportation is accessible in both neighborhoods, with bus routes and Metro stations, allowing residents to navigate the city efficiently. 

While owning a car is common in these areas, residents of Bel Air and Beverly Hills enjoy a balance between urban accessibility and the peaceful seclusion of their neighborhoods.

hash-markParks and Recreation

Bel Air and Beverly Hills offer an abundance of parks and recreational amenities, allowing residents to enjoy the outdoors and engage in various leisure activities. 

Bel Air is home to the expansive and picturesque Stone Canyon Reservoir, surrounded by serene walking trails and scenic vistas. The beloved Bel-Air Country Club offers members golf, tennis, and social experiences in a lush setting. 

Meanwhile, Beverly Hills boasts the beautiful Beverly Gardens Park, featuring cactus and rose gardens, a historic cactus fountain, and art installations. Greystone Mansion and Park provide a glimpse into the area's history and offer serene gardens and cultural events. Additionally, the Beverly Hills Tennis Center and Roxbury Park are popular destinations for sports enthusiasts.

hash-markFamous Residents

Bel Air and Be­verly Hills are renowned as the sought-after destinations for numerous celebritie­s and influential individuals. Each neighborhood boasts a rich legacy filled with shining stars.  

Bel Air has been cherished by Hollywood le­gends like Elizabeth Taylor, Alfre­d Hitchcock, and Jennifer Aniston. Meanwhile­, 

Beverly Hills has played host to luminarie­s such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Lucille Ball, establishing itself as an epicenter of Hollywood glamor and opule­nt living.

Bel Air vs. Beverly Hills: Which is Right for You?

Choosing between Bel Air and Beverly Hills ultimately hinges on your lifestyle preferences. If you prioritize a more secluded, exclusive atmosphere with larger estates and a lower crime rate, Bel Air may be your ideal choice. On the other hand, if you seek a central, vibrant urban experience with an iconic shopping district, Beverly Hills is likely the better fit.