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When it comes to luxury and sophistication, no other place comes close to Bel Air. It hardly needs to be stated that Bel Air is an iconic community known for its luxurious amenities, manicured landscapes, and opulent residences, all of which make it a symbol of luxury living.
If you’re looking at Bel Air homes for sale or simply want to explore your options in this most sought-after area, we can give you a rundown of the most exclusive neighborhoods. We can also give you a glimpse of life in Bel Air so you can better decide whether an investment in this premier location is right for you.
Bel Air: An Overview
Bel Air’s history can be traced back to Alphonzo E. Bell, who, in the 1920s, established a luxury estate that would eventually become the exclusive residential haven for celebrities, tycoons, and other society luminaries.
Covering an area of 16.5 square kilometers, Bel Air is situated about 12 miles or 19 kilometers west of Downtown Los Angeles and is part of a high-priced area on the Westside known as the “Platinum Triangle” along with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills.
Located in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, Bel-Air enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate, with the community—and its surrounding neighborhoods—experiencing pleasant weather throughout the year.
Now home to roughly 8,000 residents, Bel Air stands as an enclave of affluence, with the community noted for its picturesque surroundings and proximity to upscale amenities and attractions. Aside from the luxurious lifestyle it offers, Bel Air’s reputation for providing privacy and high-end real estate has drawn the attention of prospective buyers and investors from all over the world.
When you have a Bel Air address, you’ve entered another stratosphere, and you can count some of the most well-known global celebrities and A-listers. Many of them have bought a home here in Bel Air.
Neighborhoods in Bel Air
Bel Air is composed of three main sections, namely East Gate Bel Air, West Gate Bel Air, and Upper Bel Air, all three of which are renowned for their opulent estates, picturesque landscapes, and top-tier attractions and amenities. These neighborhoods, in turn, are home to several residential districts, all of which are considered some of the best places to live on the West Coast.
East Gate Bel Air: East Gate Bel Air is an iconic neighborhood marked by its exquisite mansions and immaculately manicured lawns. One of the most exclusive of Bel Air neighborhoods, East Gate Bel Air’s housing stock is made up mostly of large, old estates developed before World War II.
Given the history of the homes in the area, East Gate Bel Air employs a design committee that is tasked with preserving the community’s architectural harmony. In line with this, the committee has passed several regulations on designs for homes in the area, as well as deed restrictions requiring land purchasers to spend a minimum of $20,000 on home construction.
The neighborhood is home to the Bel Air Country Club, an oasis of luxury and leisure where golf enthusiasts and other residents gather to enjoy world-class golfing, upscale dining, and exclusive events.
West Gate Bel Air: Located at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Bellagio Road, this part of Bel Air is home to properties that date back to the mid-1960s. Homes in West Gate Bel Air are relatively more accessible compared to those found in its surrounding areas, although they still fetch impressive, multi-million-dollar prices. One major factor that draws people to this part of Bel Air is its location, which provides residents easy access to some of the best entertainment establishments, sports venues, education institutions, shopping centers, and restaurants in the Westside of Los Angeles.
Upper Bel Air: The beautiful and lush landscaped northern section of Bel Air, Upper has some smaller properties compared to the rest of Bel Air. Homes in this area tend to sit on lots that are less than an acre in size, which allows buyers to experience the luxury of a Bel Air home at relatively more affordable prices.
Stone Canyon Road: A historic residential district within the Bel Air neighborhood, Stone Canyon Road is synonymous with sophistication and architectural grandeur thanks to its selection of sprawling single-family luxury homes set against lush greenery. Homes in this part of Bel Air mostly date back to the 1930s and 1940s, making them some of the oldest in the area.
Located in the western portion of Bel Air, Stone Canyon Road started as part of a 1925 extension to Bel Air, eventually becoming the neighborhood of choice for some of the greats in the entertainment industry, such as actress and singer Judy Garland, director Timothy Whelan, director Norman Foster, actress Dolores Del Rio, actor Claude Rains, and actress Greer Garson.
Moraga Drive: Another historic residential district, Moraga Drive exudes a classic charm with its tree-lined streets and elegant estates. This 42-home neighborhood has top-tier housing stock which seamlessly blends Mediterranean and contemporary styles.
One of the most affluent residential areas in the Bel Air neighborhood, Moraga Drive provides easy access to some of Bel Air’s most popular attractions, including the Moraga Vineyards and Estate. Now owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Moraga Vineyards and Estate is a noteworthy historic attraction where wine connoisseurs can appreciate exceptional wines, as well as partake in events that bring together the community in an upscale and convivial setting.
Bellagio Road: One of the most sought-after addresses in the entire United States, Bellagio Road is for those seeking a luxurious yet discreet lifestyle. Here, residents enjoy the utmost privacy and in the most sophisticated of settings. Bellagio Road boasts meticulously manicured lawns, towering palm trees, and elegant luxury homes that showcase remarkable craftsmanship and exquisite design.
Originally established in the mid-20th century, Bellagio Road offers easy access to some of Bel Air’s renowned landmarks and attractions. This includes the iconic Hotel Bel-Air and the beautiful and picturesque Bel-Air Country Club.
Property types in Bel Air
Bel Air homes for sale come in a wide variety of types and sizes, each one having its own unique characteristics and features.
What often springs to mind when we think of Bel Air residential is the million-dollar mansion, and for good reason. The preferred homes for everyone from celebrities and politicians to business tycoons, these palatial homes often feature extensive grounds, complete with manicured lawns, and pristine gardens. Often they come with private tennis courts and swimming pools. The architecture ranges from classical styles to modern masterpieces, all of which exude grandeur as well as sophistication.
Living in Bel Air
Given its status as one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the world, prospective buyers can expect to experience only the best in Bel Air, whether in terms of amenities, attractions, and services.
Bel Air is home to top-rated schools. Prospective residents—especially those with school-aged children—have access to top-rated schools in Bel Air. Parents who prefer to send their children to public schools can choose from schools operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). This includes Roscomare Road Elementary School, which caters to younger students, and Paul Revere Charter Middle School. Both have a reputation for their focus on academic excellence.
On the private front, the prestigious Harvard-Westlake School offers a comprehensive K-12 education and is ranked among the country’s best private schools.
Bel Air has a wealth of top-tier attractions. Some of the must-visit destinations in and around the area include the Getty Center, which offers not only world-class art collections but also stunning gardens with panoramic views of the city.
For a taste of history and stunning architecture, visit the Greystone Mansion and Park. This grand estate offers manicured gardens, fountains, and picturesque courtyards.
Nature enthusiasts will find Stone Canyon Reservoir, Franklin Canyon Park, and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area worth visiting. These attractions have well-maintained hiking trails and captivating landscapes.
As mentioned earlier, the neighborhood is home to the Bel Air Country Club, whose lush George C. Thomas Jr.-designed golf courses and elegant surroundings make it a great place for enthusiasts looking to indulge in a leisurely round. Aside from its golf courses, the club also has 19 tennis courts and a fitness center.
Amazing restaurants abound in Bel Air. Bel Air has possibly one of the best culinary scenes in the world, and a quick look at the Michelin website will show that there are over 180 Michelin-starred restaurants in or near Bel Air.
One of our suggestions would be The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air. A local favorite, The Restaurant at Hotel Bel-Air is led by chef de cuisine Gel Zara. It is famous for its specialties such as Maine diver scallops, Colorado lamb chops, and American wagyu steak. It’s not just the great dining though, eating here is an encompassing experience in LA’s rich heritage.
Another key fixture in the Bel Air food scene is Il Segreto Ristorante. One of the best Italian restaurants in the Bel Air area, Il Segreto is the brainchild of chef and restaurateur Giacomino Drago and is famous for blending traditional Italian flavors with modern techniques. Must-try dishes include authentic Al Tartufo pizza, which they make with fresh black truffles and real mozzarella; Aragosta pasta, which is packed full of fresh-caught lobster and crab meat; and grilled branzino.
If sushi is on your mind, visit Sugarfish. Located just a short drive away from the Beverly Hills neighborhood, Sugarfish takes pride in only using hand-selected and sustainably sourced fish—a key element behind their reputation as one of the country’s premier sushi spots.
Exposure and access to some of the world’s best restaurants comes with a Bel Air address. You’ll never really have a shortage of choice and there’ll always be a new and exciting project that takes the culinary world by storm, and you’re almost certain that it or a branch will open in or near Bel Air.
Bel Air has an abundance of luxury shopping options
Given its location in the heart of Los Angeles, Bel Air provides easy access to some of the most exclusive shopping destinations in the Greater Los Angeles Area, making it the perfect neighborhood for those looking to get the finest in fashion, decor, and lifestyle.
One key shopping destination in Bel Air is Westwood Village Square. Located in the vibrant commercial district on the Westside of Los Angeles, Westwood Village Square is home to establishments such as Whole Foods and Target, making it an important stop for those looking to replenish their pantries with essentials.
When it comes to more high-end offerings, Westfield Century City Mall is a must-visit. Measuring over 1,300,000 square feet, Westfield Century City Mall houses well over 100 retail destinations, including luxury department stores Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s, as well as high-end brands such as Chanel, Jo Malone, Marc Jacobs, and Ralph Lauren.
Another shopping destination that Bel Air residents have easy access to is the iconic Rodeo Drive. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the palm tree-lined stretch of Rodeo Drive is home to designer storefronts, all of which showcase the latest collections from renowned luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
Explore Bel Air, CA with Sharona Alperin
In such an exclusive and prestigious area it pays to work with the best realtors when looking for Bel Air homes for sale.
Affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty, our team at Sharon Alperin + Associates will help you navigate Bel Air’s upscale real estate market, as well as be your champion in securing the best deals for your dream home.
As part of the Sotheby’s International Realty family, our team at Sharon Alperin + Associates takes pride in our dedication to providing excellent service at the bare minimum, it’s what our clients deserve.
For a stress-free and successful home-buying journey in Bel Air and its surrounding neighborhoods in Los Angeles, don’t hesitate to give Sharon Alperin + Associates a call at 310.888.3708 or send us a message here to get started. Together we can land your place in this most coveted of neighborhoods.