North of Beverly Hills, and part of the same Platinum Triangle area, Bel Air is one of America’s most prominent neighborhoods in the Santa Monica Mountains overlooking downtown LA. Conveniently located just minutes from Interstate 405, Bel Air boundaries are Holmby Hills to the east and the huge UCLA campus and Sunset Boulevard to the south. It is divided into three main areas: East Gate Old Bel Air, West Gate Old Bel Air and Upper Bel Air. One-of-a-kind estates on large private lots epitomize theseestablished neighborhoods. Founded in the 1920s by Alphonzo Bell, the streets were named on an Italian theme by his wife, hence the origins of Bellagio, Cascada and Sopa de Oro. Bell also founded the Bel Air Country Club with its premier George Thomas designed golf course. In the heart of the city is the quaint Bel Air Hotel.
Bel Air homes range fromostentatious mansions to modest ranch-style homes with unsurpassed views across the canyon to downtown LA, which twinkles with lights after dark. Some residences on the upper hill enjoy breathtaking views as far as the Los Angeles Basin and Catalina Island. Ample security ensures the privacy and security of residents who include TV stars and celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, and formerly Ronald and Nancy Reagan and Elizabeth Taylor.
Bel Air is frequently featured in TV sitcoms such as Will Smith’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” while Sunset Boulevard is a veritable movie set for box office hits such as “Get Shorty”. The area now hosts the annual Bel Air Film Festival. In contrast, Bel Air has quiet areas of natural beauty such as Stone Canyon Reservoir Park and the Kyoto-inspired Hannah Carter Japanese Garden with its pagoda, water basins and symbolic carvings.
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