Donald Fagan had it right when he sang, “Drive west on Sunset to the sea…” in the famous Steely Dan tune Babylon Sisters. But only if a stay in West Hollywood is part of the journey. Officially founded in 1984 as the 84th city in Los Angeles County, West Hollywood is a young, vibrant community with a colorful and entertaining past. In WeHo, as the locals call it, you’ll find art, shopping, museums, music, dining and people watching at its absolute best.
Cruise The Sunset Strip
The Sunset Strip, bordered by Beverly Hills on the west and Hollywood on the east, is the most famous stretch of world famous Sunset Boulevard and has served as Hollywood’s “hot spot” since the roaring 1920s. Here you’ll find plenty of R&R – and honey, we don’t mean rest and relaxation. Get ready to rock out in some of LA’s most (in)famous clubs including Whiskey a Go Go, Viper Room, The Roxy Theater, Sunset Trocadero Lounge and House of Blues. Don’t miss the Sunset Strip Music Festival in late summer when the music history of The Sunset Strip is commemorated with a weekend-long celebration including performances on outdoor stages.
Stroll Santa Monica Boulevard
Let’s not forget Cheryl Crow’s fave, Santa Monica Boulevard. It runs nearly 2 square miles through the heart of West Hollywood and serves as Weho’s pedestrian and pet friendly “Main Street.” Hard to believe that it was once an industrial road noted mostly for film studios and the Los Angeles Pacific Railway, not to mention part of the original Route 66. Cruise fashion-forward boutiques, al fresca cafes and restaurants and stunning public art exhibits lining the famous boulevard. Nightlife on Santa Monica Boulevard is not to be missed. My fave? The legendary Troubadour where some of music’s most famous and talented performers cut their teeth. Get your fill of craft beer at The Hudson or Surly Goat. “Boys Town” hotspots include The Abbey and Micky’s.
Shop The Avenues & WeHo Design District
At the crossroads of Melrose Avenue, Beverly and Robertson Boulevards you’ll find The Avenues – WeHo’s art, fashion and design mecca chock full of boutiques, galleries and showrooms to leisurely explore. Spend the day perusing top names in fashion like Alberta Ferretti and Balenciaga, interior design at Phyllis Morris and Diva Group and fine art at Trigg Ison. This stylish section of WeHo is home to over 300 retail outlets so put your (trendy) walking shoes on and get ready to shop till you… spot a celebrity!
Sunset Plaza, a convenient collection of shops and cafes on Sunset Boulevard with free parking, is not to be missed. The trendy shopping area features free parking behind the stores for stars like Emma Roberts, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Eva Longoria, and Ali Larter just to name a few. So keep your peepers peeled! I’m also a big fan of trolling for funkier finds on Melrose Avenue. Take a coffee break between purchases at celebrity hot-spot and famed Entourage filming location, Urth Caffé on Melrose.
TIP: Got your pooch in tow? The Pacific Design Center on Melrose Avenue is a grassy haven for four-legged friends. Take a stroll with the dog, grab a latte at the café and check out all the galleries and design showrooms. Note the beautiful blue, red and green buildings that make for a striking backdrop for travel photos. If your pet is itching to run wild, head to William S. Hart Park, where hounds are free to run unharnessed.
Show Your Pride!
For LGBT visitors, WeHo is practically the friendliest place on Earth! With a population that is more than 30% gay it offers one of the world’s most thriving LGBT nightlife and cultural scenes. Santa Monica Boulevard is the hot spot with lots of dance clubs and welcoming neighborhood bars. The LA Pride Festival in June and Halloween Street Party in October are two of the best times to visit. The new West Hollywood Library is home to a vast collection of LGBT literature and history.
Luxuriate at Le Parc Suite
Ready for a respite? We’ve got you covered. Tuck into Le Parc Suite Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of WeHo within walking distance to most local attractions. Honestly, once you see the rooftop skydeck complete with heated pool, hot tub, cabanas and tennis court you’ll never want to leave. LocalGetaways guests get an exclusive deal with 50% off parking (that’s a $19 savings) and a complimentary glass of wine at check in.
So there you have it – your perfect WeHo weekend! Don’t forget sunglasses and SPF… your BFFs in Hollywood, honey. And if you’re looking for even more reasons to hit the area, click here and explore.