Like most of us, when Jules Lund is away he likes to check out the sights and sounds of wherever he finds himself. On a recent visit to California, he decided to have a different look at Los Angeles
. He headed for Beverly Hills to see just what makes this place so different. After all, it covers just nine square kilometres and the relatively small area is home to more A-listers, stars and celebrities than anywhere else on earth. The best way to see what it's all about is on a tour.
Running from the Paparazzi
Cheryl Anker's Off 'n Running tours began in 1994 and she decided that in a city famous for the famous running from paparazzi that's what she would call her Beverly Hills Tours: Running from the Paparazzi. Jules joined the 6km jog.
Rodeo Drive is possibly the coolest and definitely the most expensive street to go shopping on in the world. The unofficial Rodeo ambassador was on hand. He greets people in 100 languages and has a smattering of Aussie words no-one else but a true-blue would understand.
O'Neill House on Rodeo Drive is an excellent example of Gaudiesque Art Nouveau architecture. The guest house was built between 1978 and 1983 and the main house in 1986. Six craftsmen created extensive mosaic work.
The Beverly Gardens were created in 1911 and cover a 14-block stretch of trees, shrubs and flowers. There's a rose garden, a cactus garden, ornate stone benches, a lily pond, fountains and a gravel path for joggers.
The grand Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel is very familiar for its starring role in Pretty Woman, the romantic Julia Roberts and Richard Gere movie.
The 2 Rodeo shopping centre is one of the most expensive and extensive retail centres ever built. All the major designer brands are there, including Jimmy Choo, Versace, Lalique, Georg Jensen, Tiffany & Co, tempting with exclusive jewellery and homewares and of course, restaurants and bars with exotic cocktails.
You might not see celebrities on your jog but you will see plenty of places they frequent such as The Ivy restaurant. Regulars there include Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise.
Chances are you will want to pop into Crumbs Bake Shop. They bake cupcakes, brownies, cookies, muffins and scones and their specialty is Crumbs' Signature-size cupcakes. The cupcake of the month for May is Fluffernutter.
One of the many good things about taking one of Cheryl's tours is that you get your bearings and see places you will no doubt want to visit later.
Through the glamour of Beverly Hills in Los Angeles
Off 'N Running has 90-minute Running from the Paparazzi Tours out of Beverly Hills for $80 per person. Everyone gets a T-shirt, fresh fruit, bottled water and a cupcake. The 90-minute tours are available from Monday to Friday and start at 1pm.
Air New Zealand has flights to Los Angeles.
- Sydney $2069
- Melbourne $2152
- Brisbane $2169
- Perth $2349
- Adelaide $2365
Sales and validity dates apply.
Prices correct at May 21, 2009.
For further information
Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476
Off 'N Running Tours
1129 Cardiff Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90035
Ph: +1 310 246 1418
Crumbs Bake Shop
9465 Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills CA 90210
Ph: +1 310 550 9811
Fax: +1 310 550 3944
Visas: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine readable passport with at least six months' validity after the departure day, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. From January 2009 Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at www.cbp.gov/esta.
Electricity: Electric current is 110V to 115v, 60Hz. Outlets take two-parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.
Time zone: The United States has nine standard time zones. Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific, Alaskan, Hawaii-Aleutian, Samoa and Chamorro. New York is GMT -5.
Currency: The American dollar.
International dialling code: +1.