How to spend a day in West Hollywood, LA’s high-energy playground

It’s a novel factor to have the opportunity to describe a neighbourhood in Los Angeles as walkable. And whereas West Hollywood and its gaudy, huge principal streets flanked by cartoonishly skinny coco palms are nonetheless very a lot on-brand for LA, this nook of the sprawling Metropolis of Angels is definitely navigable on foot.

Usually referred to by its shortened title of WeHo, it’s house to a plethora of seductive arts and design shops lining Melrose Avenue, whereas the neon lights and rock ‘n’ roll hedonism of Sundown Boulevard are nonetheless as alluring as we speak as they have been in the Sixties. Sure, there’s Hollywood stardust right here, however this neighbourhood feels extra accessible than you may count on, with a pleasant variety of historic popular culture spots to discover. Simply keep in mind to keep cool if Al Pacino is sipping espresso on the desk subsequent to you.

Right here’s how to benefit from your time in West Hollywood.

Dawn over West Hollywood

(Getty Photographs/iStockphoto)


Rock Sundown Strip

Quick-walking and fast-talking, native Jon D’Amico is the gregarious host of the award-winning Rock ’n Walk Sunset Strip tours and there’s no higher means of getting to know WeHo’s star-studded previous. He leads a three-hour tour up and down the Sundown Strip, with spectacular entry to myriad landmarks and lesser-known curiosities. Anticipate wild rock tales, macabre vignettes and quirky information (he additionally takes all of the images you may want alongside the way in which).

Learn extra on US journey:

Take in a present

Is there wherever in the world with extra legendary phases inside a two-mile radius? The Troubadour is the place a younger Elton John obtained his huge American break, whereas bands are dramatically revealed from behind a curtain on the Viper Room’s intimate upstairs stage. Additional up the Sundown Strip, anybody who’s anybody has picked up the mic on the Comedy Store and large names nonetheless play virtually each night time, even when it’s simply a brief 10-minute set to polish their act.

The Troubadour has welcomed artists for greater than 65 years

(James March)

Hit the hills

LA’s hills tumble down onto West Hollywood and people snaking streets showcase some fabulous views throughout town, in addition to a number of iconic filming places. Bikes and Hikes presents a vary of excursions from its base on Santa Monica Boulevard, overlaying all the pieces from grandiose five-hour bike rides throughout LA to hikes up to the Griffith Observatory, itself a notable a part of motion pictures akin to La La Land and Insurgent With out a Trigger.

The view over LA from the Griffith Observatory

(James March)


Sundown Tower

Rising from the Sundown Strip like an Artwork deco marriage ceremony cake, the Sunset Tower’s entrance is unusually low-key and its elegant eating room is open to the general public all week (aside from Sunday nights). Sure, this might be a expensive expertise, however the sweeping cityscapes, tranquil ambiance and old-world walnut-panelled partitions are value it. Order the chic tuna tartare and undoubtedly ask for the total story of John Wayne’s penthouse right here, full with the balcony milking cow.

Tail O’ the Pup

Few cities do kitsch higher than LA. Apart from, who wouldn’t need to purchase a sizzling canine from a stand formed like an precise sizzling canine? Since 1946, this historic LA spot has lived a charmed life, disappearing and reappearing once more at a number of places, however Tail O’ the Pup is now settled on Santa Monica Boulevard. The “1976 pup” is their traditional canine with ketchup and home mustard, whereas the fiery “jalapeno pup” will boost a very reasonably priced Hollywood lunch.

Dan Tana’s

With its unassuming entrance, cosy household ambiance and crimson and white checked tablecloths, Dan Tana’s has been serving up a few of LA’s most interesting Italian consolation meals since 1964. It’s additionally been a favorite hang-out of the Hollywood glitterati through the years, perhaps as a result of they heard over the grapevine concerning the restaurant’s famously decadent cheese-drizzled rooster parmigiana.

Dialog Cafe

Brunch is sacred in LA and Dialog Cafe is the proper altar from which to worship. Not solely is the meals exceptionally properly ready (there’s a cause for the common line outdoors), however its Sundown Boulevard road nook location can be a perfect spot to people-watch whereas listening in on salacious Hollywood tales on the desk subsequent to you. The English breakfast muffin is so good, there’s no disgrace in ordering two.


The Rainbow Bar and Grill

Regardless of being a favorite rock ‘n’ roll hangout of everybody from John Lennon to Weapons ‘n’ Roses, it’s Motörhead’s late Lemmy Kilmister who’s most related to the Rainbow, such was his love of taking part in the barside video poker machine whereas nursing a number of Jack Daniel’s and cokes; he even has his personal statue there now. Contained in the Rainbow’s low-lit lounge there’s previous memorabilia and tons of of band images scattered across the partitions, so seize a JD and coke and take all of it in.

The Bayou

Practically 40 per cent of WeHo’s inhabitants identifies as LGBT+ and the neighbourhood fizzes with queer nightlife each week between Robertson and La Cienega on Santa Monica Boulevard. Compact however able to making loads of noise, New Orleans Mardi Gras-themed The Bayou is a great spot to begin (particularly with $2 blissful hour beers from 4pm to 8pm).

Roger Room

Tucked away close to music and comedy membership Largo on La Cienega Boulevard, the Roger Room is a low-key bar that’s excellent for a pre- or post-show drink. Not solely do they serve a few of WeHo’s most interesting cocktails, they’ve additionally obtained a unusual affection for absinthe and even have a complete part of the menu devoted to inventive concoctions utilizing the inexperienced fairy.

Barney’s Beanery

An enormous slice of old style Americana, Barney’s Beanery has been round for over 100 years and its inside is a wild American fever dream. Suppose neon indicators, rainbow-striped cubicles, historic license plates above the bar, hanging flags, scuffed pool tables, bleeping Pac-Man machines and who is aware of what else. The absurd variety of TVs right here additionally makes it a advantageous spot for a Sunday afternoon sports activities escape.


Thriller Pier and E book Soup

Dealing solely in first editions, Mystery Pier is a quiet family-run guide retailer in a inexperienced cottage that includes some somewhat eye-popping titles, together with the primary separate printings of Shakespeare’s performs and Nineteen Thirties editions of Hemingway classics. Extra standard titles and big-name writer talks are discovered subsequent door on the charming Book Soup.

Melrose Buying and selling Put up

Acquired a free Sunday and house in your baggage? The Melrose Trading Post takes place each weekend at Fairfax Excessive College and is a breezy out of doors market, promoting all the pieces from artisan pottery to classic postcards. It’s additionally a good spot for LA- or California-themed paintings to take house.

Leica Retailer

The Leica Store’s ethereal minimalist house is looking heaven. Celebrating all issues pictures by way of espresso desk books, retro cameras and glossy luggage, the shop’s upstairs gallery options a espresso bar, out of doors terrace and revolving collections of labor by the likes of Martin Parr.


Petit Ermitage

Lose hours on the rooftop of Petit Ermitage

(Go to WeHo)

Masked by lush foliage on a quiet facet road off Santa Monica Boulevard, the Petit Ermitage is a plush escape from the Hollywood buzz, with the pièce de résistance being its personal French Riviera-themed rooftop. Every of the 80 suites is fashionable and ethereal, however the rooftop is the place to be. With its heated pool, orange and white striped beds, light jazz soundtrack, blinking fairy lights and central fireplace pit, this dreamy house will fill you with lofty LA goals earlier than the night time is out.

Ramada Plaza

With a few of the world’s most well-known accommodations in one neighbourhood, funds accommodations aren’t straightforward to discover, however the Ramada Plaza is sweet worth. Sat on the location of the previous Tropicana Motel (the place The Doorways’ Jim Morrison as soon as lived), the Ramada is well-located on Santa Monica Boulevard, and its sensible rooms and secluded swimming pool are greater than sufficient for a few nights.

Getting there

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, United and Delta all supply direct flights from London Heathrow to LA.

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