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L.A. County

Shop and gawk Rodeo Drive

 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
 (Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Why: In a world of conspicuous consumption, there is no place more conspicuous to do your consuming. 

What: The Rodeo Drive shopping experience — which became a globally recognized thing around the time Judith Krantz's book "Scruples" came out in 1978 — boils down to about three blocks. Start at Beverly Gardens Park, at Rodeo and South Santa Monica Boulevard. Next make your way southeast on Rodeo (say Ro-Day-O, as locals do), past Brighton and Dayton ways, to Wilshire Boulevard. This gives you a good look at Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Harry Winston, Burberry and their well-heeled neighbors. Near Brighton Way, look for the late designer Bijan's yellow Rolls-Royce convertible, semi-perpetually parked near the House of Bijan at 420 N. Rodeo Dr.

Do this and you'll wind up facing the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where Warren Beatty once lived and Esther Williams taught 14-year-old Elizabeth Taylor how to swim and Richard Gere brought Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman." 

Where: Beverly Gardens Park, at Rodeo and South Santa Monica, is 12 miles west of downtown L.A.

How much: Street parking is metered at $2 per hour, with multiple lots nearby. Bijan's Rolls is said to be worth $1.6 million. As for the goods in the shops, if you have to ask ...

Info: Rodeo Drive directory

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