Famous as a destination for the latest style and design trends, West Hollywood (or WeHo, if you’re in the know) is a haute hangout contained within the much larger boundaries of Los Angeles County. Art-and-culture devotees love its central location near the Miracle Mile museum district and Melrose Avenue’s upmarket shopping nexus. It’s also a highly walkable city with a great live music scene.
Explore the Design District
Design fans find their happy place in the West Hollywood Design District. Stroll along Melrose Avenue, Robertson Boulevard, and Beverly Boulevard to drop in on more than 200 fashion boutiques and galleries. For the hottest shoes, shop Christian Louboutin. For luxury consignment jewelry, browse The RealReal. For modernist furniture, head to Blu Dot. Melrose Avenue is anchored by the shiny blue-glass Pacific Design Center (nicknamed the “Blue Whale” for its immense size and vivid hue). The multi-level structure is crammed with more than 120 design showrooms and high-end home galleries. If you’re in the market for furnishings, fabrics, floor coverings, architectural products, wall coverings, or lighting, you’ve found the holy grail. Some showrooms are open to designers and architects only, but if you’re not in the business (or not traveling with someone who is), contact Pacific Design Services in advance to request admission. The center’s architecture, indoor art, and outdoor courtyards are also worth a look.
Browse Hamilton Selway
Across Melrose and closer to North San Vicente Boulevard, Hamilton Selway Gallery is one of the West Coast’s largest purveyors of pop and contemporary art. Collectors around the world shop here for works by Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Longo. Even if you’re not a buyer, visiting this gallery is like a museum trip. Kiss the afternoon good-bye while you stare at all the gorgeous colors and shapes.
Eat at EP & LP
Melrose’s galleries and shops are mixed in with buzzy dining hotspots like fun-and-flirty EP & LP, where Australian master chef Louis Tikaram cooks up Asian-Fijian-Vietnamese-Chinese fusion. Popular dishes include kung pao chicken, vegetable curry, and a delectable mango pudding. EP & LP’s rooftop bar is a West Hollywood standout—and rooftop bars are a thing here—with 6,000 square feet of dazzling city views, luxe daybeds, and warm fire pits. Try the signature cocktail, a zingy bourbon concoction called Where Love Lives.
Stay on the Sunset Strip
With so much to see and do, you’ll need to stay overnight, and it just so happens that two of the city’s most glamorous hotels are right here, on Sunset. The sleek Mondrian Los Angeles is a sought-after spot, with a minimalist lobby that looks straight out of Architectural Digest (picture 30-foot-tall mahogany doors and a Lucite indoor swing). Spacious guest rooms have city-view balconies, glittering chandeliers, and rain shower baths. Or, book a stay at Pendry West Hollywood, which takes up an entire block of this storied boulevard, and boasts a spectacular rooftop pool, a spa, and not one but two restaurants by Wolfgang Puck.
Play at Whisky a Go Go
While at the Mondrian, you’re within walking distance of rock-and-roll history. Founded in 1964 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, the Sunset Strip’s famous Whisky a Go Go is where Alice Cooper, The Doors, Van Halen, and KISS got their start. That wild era is long over, but you can still enjoy live music almost any night of the week at this 500-seat nightclub.