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Where to see big houses?

New York City
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Where to see big houses?

During our time in LA, we'd like to spend an hour or two driving around and seeing some of the opulent mansions we've heard so much about, but I've also heard that many of them are hidden behind gates, bushes, and long driveways. Is there a route, or certain streets, that you would recommend we drive around to see housesthat are actually visible? Alternatively, somebody mentioned something about a trolley tour in Beverly Hills that takes you to see the mansions; would our time be better spent this way? Thanks!

Corona del Mar, CA
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1. Re: Where to see big houses?

I guess it depends on what you mean by "opulent mansions"?

You can drive through the flats of Beverly Hills, there are great homes there, but I wouldn't call them opulent mansions, but it is all relative. You can drive through the Holmby Hills, Trousdale Estates, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Bel Air and see great homes too.

The place that has really opulent mansions is Montecito near Santa Barbara, but I don't recall how much you can see from the streets.

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: Where to see big houses?

Start at the corner of Doheny Road and Sunset Bl and head west on Sunset Bl (you'll be entering Beverly Hills from the eastern border). Turn right (north) onto any street and you'll see mansions. I can assure you that there are PLENTY of homes that are visible. I'm guessing that the ones with the most amount of obstruction are the ones owned by well-known celebs. Can you blame them? If they weren't 'blocked off', fans would be leaning over the fences taking photos 24/7.

Fortaleza, CE
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3. Re: Where to see big houses?

You just want to see big mansions, modern ones, ones that house (or housed) famous people, interesting architecture, or what? Historic or modern? You might look at fodors.com/world/…30982.html (these all seem to be open to the public) and similar sights. There are special tours on architecture of Los Angeles. Many "opulent" mansions may be not only behind big gates and fances, but in gated communities on private roads you can't even drive on (for good reason, as noted above).

If you're looking for famous and infamous houses, you can find sites like www.hollywoodusa.co.uk/famous-houses.htm

Edited: 09 November 2012, 19:23
Santa Monica, CA
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4. Re: Where to see big houses?

I love walking/driving around tony neighborhoods. The gardens tend to be gorgeous! Because I live in Santa Monica, I do this on the north side of town here, north of Montana Ave. I also like Beverly Hills, north of Santa Monica Blvd., in the vicinity of Maple St. Holmby Hills and the historic West Adams areas are pretty great, too.

New York City
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5. Re: Where to see big houses?

Thanks for the replies, and please keep them coming! Just to clarify - we will also be spending time in Malibu, Santa Monica, the Valley (Calabasas and Oxnard, considering driving up to Santa Barbara), and driving down to SD through Orange County. So if there are areas in any of those places with impressive mansions, I would appreciate those suggestions as well - thanks!

Winnipeg Canada
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6. Re: Where to see big houses?

Great topic.

Santa Monica...
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7. Re: Where to see big houses?

In Malibu, park near the Pier on PCH. Head south (looking at the ocean, head to the left), and walk Carbon Beach. Beautiful homes, gorgeous walk.

Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: Where to see big houses?

I cannot imagine spending my vacation time trying to look at other people's big houses, "mansions" or not. Especially when the ones which might house your favorite celebrities are almost certainly not "on display" for you to see, nor or the most opulent. Hedges, private roads, gated communities.

If you owned a mansion would you site it where every tourist from NY could see it from the road, driving around? I think not.

Dublin, California
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9. Re: Where to see big houses?

Actually if I own a mansion I'd put it out there for all to see how rich I am. Definitely.

For OP, another possibility is the city of San Marino, just south of Pasadena. It's one of the richest communities in LA county.

Santa Cruz...
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10. Re: Where to see big houses?

You guys need to get a life. <grin>

Got to Yosemite, Redwood National Park, Joshua Tree, Death Valley.

Look at beauty which matters.

Oh, well. ;~)