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Bel-Air

The Sunset Strip
Bel-Air is a neighborhood in west Los Angeles, California, USA. The faux-gated community was founded by Alphonzo E. Bell, Sr. in 1923 and is part of the so-called "Golden Triangle" of Bel-Air, Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills. About 12 miles west of downtown, it includes some of the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains and borders the north side of UCLA. Of several entrances, there are two main ones: The East Gate at Beverly Glen and Sunset Boulevards, and the West Gate at Bellagio Drive and Sunset Boulevard, right before UCLA.

Residences in Bel-Air range from modest ranch and story and half configurations to mansions. Many homes in Bel-Air seem quite modest from the outside, often only six feet from the street, however they tend to have large grounds and an estate feeling. In general, the higher up the mountain, the smaller the building lot and more modest the homes; however those residences along roads such as Stradella Road have magnificent views of the Los Angeles basin and Catalina Island. The most desirable homes are right off the main entrances of Bel-Air and the country club entrance for these homes have both the views of the Bel-Air Country Club and the rest of Los Angeles. Lower Bel-Air homes can sell for over $20 million. Many families prefer lower Bel-Air because of its proximity to Sunset Boulevard, a major throughfare.

The quaint Hotel Bel-Air is home to many celebrity weddings. The hotel does not share the views most of the homes share, but it does have extensive gardens and keeps swans in its pond.

Catalina Island viewable from Bel-Air, CA

Popular television shows and movies have been filmed in Bel-Air, or are said to take place in the community. Exterior shots for the Beverly Hillbillies were shot in and around the 1938 French neoclassical-style mansion at 750 Bel Air Road, built by Lynn Atkinson (and later sold to hotelier Arnold Kirkeby after Atkinson's wife refused to move into a house she thought too ostentatious.) Exterior scenes from movies such as Get Shorty have also been filmed in the area. The popular television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was said to have taken place in the neighborhood, though in the show's canon Bel-Air seems to be an independent town rather than a neighborhood of Los Angeles.

President Ronald Reagan lived at 668 St. Cloud Road (formerly 666 St. Cloud Road) in Bel-Air from his retirement as President in 1989 until his death in 2004, and Nancy Reagan continues to live there. At her request, the Reagan's house number on St. Cloud Road was changed from 666 to 668, due to the negative Biblical/Satanic connotations of the number 666.

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