California has been a destination for actors, directors, and would-be creatives for over 100 years. While the weather and sheer beauty of the state make it a perfect place to settle for virtually anyone, the reasons for so many celebrities establishing themselves there go a little deeper. The main factor that has drawn celebs to Cali is a little-known district called Hollywood.
As Californians celebrated the turn of the 20th century, the city of Hollywood was already on the up. In 1902, Hollywood’s potential was recognized by Canadian-American businessman H. J. Whitley.
The man who later became known as the “Father of Hollywood” brought fresh developments to the area in the form of the Hollywood Hotel (current day Dolby Theater) and a luxurious residential neighborhood called Ocean View Tract. Whitley was also responsible for funding a bank, which was one of the primary reasons the city was hooked up to electricity and gas lines.
Hollywood was acknowledged as a significant municipality in 1903 but eventually merged with Los Angeles in 1910. At this point, Hollywood was an established and affluent part of California and quickly became one of the essential areas in the country for film and entertainment.
If you’ve ever wondered, “where do celebrities live in California?”, this article covers all the major hotspots, with a little history along the way.
Why Do Celebrities Live in California?
One of the first major motion pictures, or storytelling movies that we are familiar with today, was The Count of Monte Cristo. After the shooting began in Chicago, the crew decided to relocate to Hollywood to complete other scenes and wrap production.
A few years later, Hollywood’s first film studio was created on Sunset Boulevard. By 1913, over 20 film organizations had established themselves in the area.
California’s unique blend of sunshine, diverse landscape and large population made it the perfect place to film, produce, and scout talent. To boot, by shooting movies in Hollywood, filmmakers were not constrained by Thomas Edison’s motion picture patents (Kinetograph) at the time.
As technology advanced, so too did filmmaking, and Hollywood naturally developed into the biggest hub for movie production in the United States and beyond. By 1915, some of the biggest film production companies in the world had planted their roots in Hollywood, including Paramount Pictures.
Over the next few decades, more global production companies were established or relocated in Hollywood, such as Twentieth Century-Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia Pictures, and Warner Brothers.
Hollywood didn’t take long to become the one true destination for actors, writers, and filmmakers. It has represented the dreams of virtually every American with the ambition to make it to the silver screen.
Although Hollywood has changed over the decades, it remains a special place, etched in film history forever.
Celebrity Hotspots in California
If you look up any celebrity star map, you’ll find that movie stars are scattered throughout the entire state of California. However, certain areas are known for attracting major stars more than others, such as Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.
These areas have several affluent neighborhoods and mansions that most could only dream of owning. Here’s a look at some of the hotspots and what celebrities live there:
Where Do Celebrities Live in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles county encompasses several cities, including popular celebrity hubs, like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Malibu. However, Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) is also extremely popular for big-name stars and has seen somewhat of a revival over the past few years.
Billions of investment dollars have brought a slew of luxurious residential properties, art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques to the area, making it very attractive to wealthy actors, musicians, or L.A.-based sports stars.
The compact area has a lot of cultural diversity. While it’s an expensive place to live, there are virtually endless amenities for those who can afford it, from yoga studios to artisan breweries and from boutique art galleries to state-of-the-art music studios.
Some major celebrities known to live in DTLA include Nicolas Cage, Diane Keaton, Vincent Gallo, Johnny Depp, and Justin Bieber.
Where Do Most Celebrities Live in Hollywood?
The Hollywood Hills has been one of the most popular neighborhoods for celebrities for over 100 years. Nestled in the Santa Monica mountains, Hollywood has some of the best city views in California. Despite its proximity to DTLA, the hills offer a beautiful blend of nature, tranquility, and a vibrant social scene.
Hollywood Hills-based celebs have a variety of world-class restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from. Gorgeous parks are dispersed around the area, providing safe places to walk or entertain kids.
You’ll struggle to find a region with more luxurious housing in terms of real estate. One of the most appealing aspects of living in Hollywood is the privacy, especially for big-time celebrities looking for a break from the paparazzi.
Griffith Park, Bronson and Runyon Canyons, and the Hollywood sign are some of its most famous landmarks. The area also has excellent schools, so it’s a perfect place to raise a family if you’re in the entertainment business.
Countless stars have lived in the famed Hills over the years. Some of the recent celebs known to have homes there include:
- Leonardo DiCaprio
- Zac Efron
- Halle Berry
- Jared Leto
- Salma Hayek
- Justin Timberlake
- Chrissy Teigen
- John Legend
- Harry Styles
- Robert Pattinson
Where Do Celebrities Live in Beverly Hills?
Beverly Hills is perhaps the most luxurious location in California for celebrities. Mulholland Drive, Bedford Drive, and Benedict Canyon are prominent addresses for big-shot celebs, from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to pop sensations like Taylor Swift.
The 90210 zip code is etched in time as a prime location for those fond of a lavish lifestyle. As you’re probably aware, celebrity home tours are incredibly popular in California.
They give tourists and fans a sneak peek at what it’s like to be one of the Hollywood A-listers. Beverly Hills is one of the go-to stops on any tour since celebs are so densely populated.
Here you’ll see some of the most beautiful homes in the Platinum Triangle: Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Holmby Hills.
Where Do Celebrities Live in Bel Air?
Located in the foothills of the Santa Monica mountains, Bel Air is another iconic Californian neighborhood for celebs. Although it’s a well-known address, Bel Air is small, measuring only 6.5 square miles. However, it’s a highly exclusive district, home predominantly to millionaires and celebrities.
To give you some context on the type of people residing here, Jennifer Lopez recently purchased a Bel Air property with an estimated value of $40 million.
Other notable residents include Star Wars creators George Lucas, Elon Musk, Jennifer Aniston, Beyonce, and Jay-Z. The power couple owns an $88 million mansion with multiple swimming pools, a 15-car garage, and bulletproof windows.
You’ll find Holmby Hills, another exclusive neighborhood in Santa Monica just south of Bel Air. There you can find the famous Playboy Mansion, The Manor (Spelling Manor), and tens of multimillion-dollar mansions.
Some notable celebrities living in Holmy Hills include Marlyn Monroe, Sonny and Cher, Burt Reynolds, and Adam Levine.
Beverly Hills Celebrity Homes Self Tour
The easiest way to get around these exclusive neighborhoods and set your sights on celebrity homes is to take a group tour. However, these trips are often overpriced, and the set itinerary means you don’t have the freedom to explore or roam around certain areas.
Although a self-tour requires a little more planning, it can be a more enjoyable and worthwhile experience.
Beverly Hills is probably the best place to start your trip, with Dean Martin’s old home being one of the first stops most people take. You can head north, deeper into the hills, or west toward Holmby Hills. Be sure to drive down Sunset Boulevard or Benedict Canyon Drive for an authentic L.A. experience.
You’ll close in on Bel Air by continuing west along Sunset Boulevard. On your way back, take the Bel Air road and bypass the Playboy Mansion and Spelling Manor.
The Hollywood Hills are around 6 miles in the opposite direction from Beverly Hills. After visiting the Hollywood sign, take the trip along Mulholland Drive, referencing your star map to identify celebrity homes.
While you’re on the road, consider stopping off at other historical landmarks in the L.A. area, including:
- The Dolby Theatre
- The TCL Chinese Theatre
- Rodeo Drive (for shopping)
- Sunset Strip
- Capitol Records
- Griffith Observatory
- Hollywood Wak of Fame
Living In California FAQs
Where do most celebrities live in California?
Perhaps the most celeb-related zip code in California belongs to Beverly Hills. The likes of Jack Nicholson, Jennifer Aniston, and Ellen Degeneres are based there. However, the list of celebs with Beverly Hills homes is virtually endless. Naturally, wealthy celebrities often have several homes. Other popular addresses in California include Malibu, Bel Air, and Hollywood.
Where in LA do most celebrities live?
The L.A. area encompasses a wide variety of lavish residential areas. Some of the most popular places celebrities live in greater L.A. include Malibu, the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Studio City, Los Feliz, Sherman Oaks, and Downtown L.A.
Do most celebrities live in California?
Many U.S.-based celebrities are based in California due to its proximity to the epicenter of the entertainment industry in Hollywood. In particular, actors and musicians tend to set up shop in California for many of the year. However, many celebrities have other homes around the world where they may spend time when they’re not working.