Spotlight on Los Angeles: West Hollywood City Guide

Dec 3, 2015
Resting equidistant from downtown and the Pacific Ocean lies the city of West Hollywood, which some Angelenos argue is the heart of Los Angeles. “WeHo” is home to many of Hollywood’s most acclaimed celebs, such as Johnny Depp and Katy Perry, and is well regarded for top-notch restaurants and a bustling nightlife scene. The city also has a rich history rooted in rock and roll, and film and television, built around California’s historic Route 66 on Santa Monica Boulevard. If you’re new to West Hollywood, we’ve listed fun ways to explore – plus, check out these holiday packages at the local hotels.

Cruise the Sunset Strip

The 2-mile stretch is one of LA’s most famous areas; it’s best known for its music scene in the 1960s and ’70s when bands like The Doors and Led Zeppelin took center stage at the strip’s many music venues. Originals include Whisky-a-Go-Go and The Viper Room.

Music lovers can admire rare rock-and-roll photography at a free exhibit at the iconic Andaz West Hollywood, which once played host to the legendary rockers that roamed the strip.

The strip also houses a slew of restaurants and alfresco dining options along Sunset Plaza. Check out Eveleigh for small plates in a garden-style setting or Pearl’s Liquor Bar for a speakeasy experience with a rooftop bar and handcrafted cocktails. One of this area’s hippest restaurants is BOA Steakhouse, offering what Sunset Magazine says is “quite simply one of the best steaks in America.” Katana is another chic dining spot that serves robatayaki-style Japanese cuisine with a sleek outdoor patio.

Visit the Farmers Market

Sitting adjacent to the Grove outdoor shopping center is LA’s Original Farmers Market, operating since 1934. The historic destination is composed of a collection of restaurants, shops and dozens of stalls that entice visitors with fresh produce, meats, delicacies and dishes from around the world. Take a tour and sample your way through the market with this Travelzoo offer, valid through March.

Wine and Dine

Hoping to spot a celebrity or two during your trip? Look no further than Craig’s, for classic American cuisine and mouthwatering martinis. The hot spot is a popular paparazzi hub, with photographers camped out nightly to snap Hollywood stars as they enter. Across the street, stop into Cecconi’s for elegant Italian with a great happy hour Tuesday-Saturday from 4-7 p.m. at their posh marble bar-top.

Farther down the road and across from the Pacific Design Center lies Zinque, a French wine bar known for a diverse selection of imported wines and a divine charcuterie board.

For rooftop views of the city, head up to E.P. & L.P., one of WeHo’s newest culinary installations. Offering creative Asian cuisine, the restaurant has one of the most stylish nightlife scenes and unique handcrafted cocktails.

West Hollywood also houses one of the most popular seafood restaurants in the city, Connie & Ted’s, consistently ranked among the top LA restaurants. Sit by the oyster bar to watch their chefs shuck seafood, and don’t forget to try the Maine lobster roll.

In a time crunch and need a bite that won’t break the bank? Kitchen 24 along Santa Monica Boulevard is open all hours of the day and serves up a large menu of globally inspired dishes.

Admire the Design Center

Photo from Flickr by Andy Li

Located on Melrose Avenue, the Pacific Design Center is one of the most beloved buildings in WeHo. Also called the “Blue Whale,” the tri-colored architectural landmark presents nearly 100 international design boutiques and showrooms. The 14-acre property is open Monday-Friday.

Design-lovers should also visit the Restoration Hardware gallery located across the street. The multi-level showroom is the largest is the nation and displays their outdoor collection on the rooftop, with great cityscape views.

Fashion aficionados fawn over the tucked-away Melrose Place, with shops like Vera Wang and Alexander McQueen tucked in between trendy coffee shops and salons.

Celebrate Equality

Snap a picture in front of WeHo’s colorful rainbow crosswalks, located at the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevard. A popular destination within the LGBT community, WeHo has long been known as one of America’s most accepting cities.

Check Out a Comedy Show

The best in comedy perform nightly at clubs across the city, including Laugh Factory and The Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip, and Hollywood Improv on Melrose Avenue. Don’t be surprised if a top comic stops by for an unannounced appearance during your show. With tickets starting at about $15, it’s a fun night out, just don’t forget about the two-item minimum that’s a mandatory purchase at most clubs.

For more ideas on fun activities across Los Angeles, click here.

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