West Hollywood

Hollywood itself – the main drag –  is a bit of a tourist trap, if we’re being honest. The Walk of Fame really isn’t that cool, and it’s crowded and dirty. Plus, prices can be inflated, and you don’t really get a feel for the city. Instead of staying in Hollywood, we recommend staying in West Hollywood, which is a short walk away from all of the sights but has more of a residential feel to the neighborhood and is closer to some of the food, drinks, and other parts of LA that are highly popular.  

West Hollywood, located near Los Angeles, California, is also the best place to stay in LA for nightlife. Sunset Boulevard is home to some of the best clubs in the world, and Santa Monica Boulevard is home to a huge concentration of LGBTQ+ bars and clubs. West Hollywood is THE place to be after dark. Plus, it’s super central, particularly to the areas on the east side, but not too far away from places like Santa Monica. However, it is loud and boisterous, so if you’re looking for a quiet retreat, this ain’t it.

Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard is an iconic LA attraction. Celebrities such as Elton John, Bette Midler, and Stephen King have been sighted browsing the shelves. They don’t only sell books here; they also sell record players and a great selection of LPs. During the day, the Sunset Strip is full of popular stores. At night, the strip transforms into one of LA’s biggest nightlife hubs. If you are looking for a sophisticated night out, head to one of the hotel bars, such as the Tower Bar at Sunset Tower Hotel. For a trendy night out, head to one of the rock clubs like the Viper Room.

Most historical writings about West Hollywood begin in the late-18th century with European colonization when the Portuguese explorer João R. Cabrilho arrived offshore and claimed the already inhabited region for Spain. Around 5,000 of the indigenous inhabitants from the Tongva Indian tribe canoed out to greet the ship. The Tongva tribe was a nation of hunter-gatherers known for their reverence of dance and courage. By 1771, these native people had been severely ravaged by the diseases brought in by the Europeans from across wide oceans. 

In 1984, West Hollywood became one of the first pro-gay municipality regions in the country, with traditions and their recognition of acceptance recognized by locals and visitors. Approximately forty percent of the population identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and the city has become a leader of communities in showcasing how to protect and advocate for equal rights for the LGBT community. West Hollywood has become one of the world’s top gay vacation spots for LGBT travelers and is at the center of gay California nightlife, including spas, shopping and dining.

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