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DETAILS: Beverly Hills, 90210

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

GETTING THERE: Virgin America, United, American and Alaska Airlines offer nonstop service between the Washington area and Los Angeles. Round-trip fares start at about $325.

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WHERE TO STAY: Accommodations in this Zip code are very high-end. The Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd., 310-276-2251, http://www.thebeverlyhillshotel.com), a fantasy in pink, charges $485 and up for its custom-designed rooms. The hotel also includes the venerable Polo Lounge, a hangout of celebs and power players. Other hotels of this ilk include the Luxe Hotel Rodeo Drive (360 N. Rodeo Dr., 800-HOTEL-411, http://www.luxehotelrodeodrive.com; from $289) and the Beverly Hilton (9876 Wilshire Blvd., 310- 274-7777, http://www.beverlyhilton.com; from $250), site of many red-carpet events. I stayed at the Crescent (403 N. Crescent Dr., 310-247-0505, http://www.crescentbh.com), a boutique hotel of minimalist design near the action of Rodeo Drive and Beverly Road. Rates from $175.

WHERE TO EAT: Some of the hottest names in the restaurant biz reside in this Zip code. At Spago (176 N. Canon Dr., 310-385-0880), the Michelin two-star menu includes beet and goat cheese cake ($18), Cantonese-style roasted duck ($39) and ricotta gnocchi with a ragout of braised veal ($22). The open kitchen, and dining celebrities, add extra layers of entertainment. At Nate n' Al (414 N. Beverly Rd., 310-274-0101), eat breakfast alongside regular Larry King, who has a matzoh brei, a version of pan-fried matzoh, named after him. The deli includes such favorites as ham and eggs ($9.50), fried kippers with eggs and onions ($10.50) and cheese blintzes ($9.50). In Los Angeles, frozen yogurt is all the rage again. Try the green tea fro-yo at Pinkberry (9409 S. Santa Monica Blvd., 310-247-9709) or such gourmet flavors as pomegranate and dulce de leche (with flavored mochi, an Asian rice cake, on top) at Snola (244 N. Beverly Dr., 310-274-2435). Pair a seviche lobster roll ($22) or seafood fried rice ($28) with the original mai tai ($14) from Trader Vic's (310-276-6345) in the Beverly Hilton. The bar's founder supposedly invented this tropical rum cocktail.

WHAT TO DO: Shop Rodeo Drive, of course, or cruise it: The 40-minute Beverly Hills Trolley Tour (corner of Rodeo and Burton Way, http://www.beverlyhills.org/attractions/trolley.asp; $5) takes visitors around town and into the residential areas to see stars' homes. Watch your favorite TV shows (including "Beverly Hills, 90210") at the Paley Center for Media (465 N. Beverly Dr., 310-786-1000, http://www.mtr.org; $10 suggested donation), which contains a library of 140,000 radio and TV programs and commercials available for viewing or listening. On Saturday, the center holds a free preview party of "90210." RSVP required.

For a tranquil escape, head up into the hills to Gr e ystone Mansion and Park (905 Loma Vista Dr., 310-550-4654, http://www.greystonemansion.org; free) and wander around the stylized gardens. For less-manicured nature, Coldwater Canyon (12601 Mulholland Dr., 818-753-4600, http://www.treepeople.org) offers hiking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains and events organized by the TreePeople, such as art shows, yoga and full-moon hikes (next one, Sept. 15; $5). To see where the stars live, eat, shop, etc., pick up a Souvenir Star Map ( http://www.hotstarmaps.com; $10), which lists about 500 locations. Lindsay Blake's blog, I Am Not a Stalker ( http://www.iamnotastalker.wordpress.com), also highlights sites, including filming spots of "Beverly Hills, 90210." If you prefer to let someone else do the driving, take a Movie Stars Home Tour with Starline (800- 959-3131, http://www.starlinetours.com; from $34).

INFO: Beverly Hills Conference and Visitors Bureau, 800-345-2210, http://www.beverlyhillsbehere.com.

-- A.S.


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