There may be no greater concentration of the young, hip, and beautiful than in the bars and clubs of this infamous stretch of roadway. The 1.6-mile strip of Sunset Boulevard is situated in the lively city of West Hollywood and upholds its reputation as a nightlife hotspot.
From the heights of swank hotel rooftops like the Mondrian’s SkyBar and the Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel, to the glam-grunge of rock clubs like The Viper Room and Whisky a Go Go, there’s a setting to suit your style and mood. In addition to clubs with music ranging from indie singer/songwriters to major headliners, there are iconic comedy clubs such as The Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store. Or head to The Roxy—where Rocky Horror Picture Show premiered in 1974—for live music in an intimate, 500-capacity venue.
Grab a fireside cocktail at The Den or pair a hand-selected Irish whiskey with sliders at Rock and Reilly’s Irish Pub before or after a show. Hotels aren’t just for sleeping—popular venues like Bar Marmont (at Chateau Marmont) and the super-secret Mmhmm cocktail bar at The Standard are sleek spots to see and be seen.
The Sunset Strip isn’t just rock and roll. Spend the afternoon shopping at Sunset Plaza, which contains more than 20 stores, like Armani Exchange and H&M. Book lovers, don’t miss the iconic Book Soup, L.A.’s largest independent book store, with floor-to-ceiling shelves that contain more than 60,000 titles, many of which are limited edition. The store hosts frequent author readings, so check its calendar to meet your favourite novelist or hear from up-and-comers.
West Hollywood has been dubbed “The Creative City,” and for good reason. Bordering Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, WeHo is located in the heart of Los Angeles. It’s easily accessible from anywhere in the city, and the area has plenty to see and do packed into 1.9 square miles.
In the West Hollywood Design District, fashion and the arts rule. This trendsetting area includes intimate galleries and the massive Pacific Design Center, a decorator’s dream, located on Melrose Avenue. More interior design showrooms line Beverly Boulevard, while the highest of high-end boutiques can be found on the ever-stylish Robertson Boulevard. Keep your eyes out for spendy celebrities dipping in and out of shops and head to the fabled Sunset Strip to experience the allure of world-famous music venues, hotels, and nightclubs. Stop in at The Viper Room or The Roxy, where such legends as Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen have recorded live albums.
Santa Monica Boulevard, the center of WeHo’s LGBTQ+ community, is packed with bars, clubs, and award-winning restaurants. Dance your heart out at Revolver Video Bar, get a fancy cocktail at The Abbey, or enjoy hipster comfort food in Laurel Hardware.
But West Hollywood isn’t all about flash. Tucked away on a quiet side street, there’s an icon of modern architecture: the Schindler House at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture. Tour the stylish structure, which was completed in 1922 and is an early example of California’s indoor-outdoor style of architecture. Another low-key but worthwhile WeHo find is the beloved Book Soup bookstore, with readings and signings by top writers from around the world.