Hiking Through Beverly Hills History! Legendary “Pickfair” Estate! Elvis! My “Social Distancing Hiking” Adventure!

A Beverly Hills 90210 Sunrise!

Good morning from Beverly Hills!

Here is the view east from the top of Beverly Hills, which I took one morning while on a walk.

As we are all living in some way in our “new normal”, outdoor time consists of walks near our house, which leads my wife and I to the top of Beverly Hills and offers spectacular views of Los Angeles below us:

We live approximately two miles north of the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, which is on the equally iconic Sunset Boulevard:

One way we like to get our exercise is to walk all the way down and then back up to the top of our piece of the Beverly Hills mountains.

Those two miles are all uphill, and the walk up is a great way to get exercise – and see a few iconic mansions as well!

Behold Pickfair!

Pickfair is an iconic 18-acre estate just north of Sunset Boulevard, originally designed by architect Horatio Cogswell – and was home to Actor Douglas Fairbanks in 1918, who lived there with his wife, the legendary Actress Mary Pickford.

Coined “Pickfair” by the press, it became one of the most celebrated houses in the world. Life Magazine described Pickfair as:

“a gathering place only slightly less important than the White House… and much more fun.”

And when you are climbing the hills of Beverly, you reach a flat spot where Pickfair sits!

Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks lived her a long long time ago, but it is still as iconic as ever!

In 1988, Pia Zadora, a little-known Actress and her husband at the time, Meshulam Riklis, bought the home for $7 million. Two years later, Miss Zadora revealed that instead of renovating Pickfair, she had it razed and constructed this “Venetian style palazzo” in its place.

It’s impossible to get a wide shot of the entire property, so I decided to walk down the street and let you see it that way:

This is the view from the northern driveway, and there is a second house to the right that is on the property as well.

A piece of property at the very southern end was sold several years ago and another house was built there…

After soaking in Pickfair, time to head back up hill.

Continuing to hike north of Pickfair, we next came across Elvis Presley’s former wife, Priscilla’s house!

This is the giant mirror across from the entrance, so cars can safely back out of the estate – Priscilla has lived here for a long time! The house itself is behind the massive gate.

Continuing to walk up the hill, the entire western side of Los Angeles lies to the left of me as I pass houses where Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Janet Leigh used to live, and then an empty lot where a house once stood belonging to Elizabeth Taylor!

Just like much of the US, people in Beverly Hills have been asked to stay home except for essential trips out, leading to someone putting this on a local work of art:

It’s the “new normal” to be sure – here’s a look at the eerily quiet business district of Beverly Hills 90210:


I mentioned that “Psycho” Star Janet Leigh lived very close to my house until her death, and her classic thriller was one of my Alfred Hitchcock “Hitch Hikes”:

I do a hike then watch a classic Hitchcock thriller…for this one, my wife and I had an encounter with a rattlesnake…you can see how it turned out here:


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Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, nature, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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25 replies

  1. From Fairbanks and Pickford to Pia Zadora… there is something wrong with that picture! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been going on 2-3 mile daily walks, but yours are far more fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for that, John. Shame that Zadora was allowed to demolish that original house.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your views are spectacular John

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have some lovely sites to see along the way! We still need our fresh air and exercise. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A lovely tour, John and thats quite a trek up that hill…someone had a sense of humour…Stay safe and well 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great pictures, John. I am glad you can still get your exercise and find lots of fun places to post about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robbie – hope all is well with you and your family during this!


      • Hi John, South Africa is doing a countrywide lock down starting tomorrow at 12am. It is for 21 days and they have the army everywhere to make sure people comply. We are only allowed out for food and medicine. I have already been home for 2 weeks due to the home schooling and all of us being really sick with a chest infection. Another 3 weeks sounds like great fun, but there you go, that is life.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hang in there Robbie, I hope you all get together quickly! We’ve been on lockdown for the past 10 days…not so bad, just want it to work!


  8. I recall walking out of a Pia Zadora movie, for good reason. Now I resume my anger at the loss of $5 AND Pickfair!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Directly across from Pickfair stands the house where Sammy Davis, Jr. lived – and died.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a fun tour through Beverly Hills John! I didn’t realize the Pickfair mansion wasn’t the original. Surprised it was torn down.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Priscilla Presley’s Beverly Hills Estate Is For Sale! Here’s A Tour! Live Like Elvis Presley’s Ex-Wife! – johnrieber
  2. Celebrating Hollywood With THREE Classic Musso & Frank Dishes! My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge Includes ONE Ice Cold Martini! – johnrieber

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