Sunset Boulevard is the most famous boulevard in Los Angeles, and those who choose to explore it will get a good idea of what the city is all about. A portion of the boulevard that is known as the Sunset Strip is home to some of the most iconic LA establishments, including the renowned Comedy Store and the Sunset Tower Hotel, and posh neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills and Bel Air begin where the strip leaves off. Continuing in a westerly direction, Sunset Boulevard meets Highway 1 in coastal Malibu, which is also an enviable place for locals to live. First time visitors to LA are especially encouraged to drive from Hollywood to Malibu along this famed boulevard, as it offers a most comprehensive collection of major attractions and a look at some of the city's most exclusive neighborhoods.
Regardless of where you find yourself on Sunset Boulevard, you are never far from a landmark attraction or a posh neighborhood. The street starts in downtown Los Angeles at Figueroa Street, and some of the main attractions that can be found in this area include the Saharan Motor Hotel and the Hollywood RockWalk. The former has appeared in many a movie, so you might recognize it, while the latter is a hall of fame that honors more than 150 notable musicians. While visiting the RockWalk, you can check out the various handprints and signatures that were left behind by such artists as Chuck Berry and Santana.
Moving along in a westerly direction along Sunset Boulevard, you will eventually come across the famous Chateau Marmont. This exclusive hotel is not to be missed if you're interested in Sunset Boulevard history. It's the hotel where John Belushi died of a drug overdose in 1982, and it has hosted more than its share of other famous guests, including The Doors and Gram Parsons. For those who are interested in Sunset Boulevard history, it's also worth noting that the Chateau Marmont was where actors James Dean and Natalie Wood auditioned for the 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause. The director of the film, Nicholas Ray, used to have a bungalow here.
Not long after you pass the Chateau Marmont, you are officially on the Sunset Strip. In addition to the Comedy Store, this 1.75-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard also boasts the House of Blues, a famous historic hotel of its own, and some of the city's most recognizable nightlife hot spots. Many of the top comedians in the entertainment business got their start at the Comedy Store, and it's long been the best place in town to go for laughs. The House of Blues, in turn, is an excellent place to catch a concert. From time to time, big name acts play impromptu shows at the House of Blues, so you never know who might grace the stage.
The Sunset Tower Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in Los Angeles, and it can be found along the Sunset Strip. Some of Hollywood's most iconic actors once lived at the Sunset Tower Hotel, including Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne. When it comes to Sunset Boulevard history, those who are interested in famous entertainers will also want to check out some of the famous bars and clubs. The Skybar, the Viper Room, Whisky A Go-Go, and the Rainbow Bar & Grill can all be found on the Sunset Strip. The Skybar is one of the most exclusive bars in the city, while the Johnny Depp-owned Viper Room is where River Phoenix suffered a fatal overdose in 1993. As for the Whisky A Go-Go and the Rainbow Bar & Grill, they have hosted the likes of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, and many other notable performers between them.
Once you emerge from the strip and head farther west on Sunset Boulevard, you will encounter Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Brentwood and Pacific Palisades also figure among the exclusive neighborhoods along this less commercial stretch. Continue along even further west, and you will eventually come to Will Rogers State Beach. This is an excellent beach to relax on when the weather is nice, and as is true of so many California beaches, it is also a popular surf spot.
Many Los Angeles visitors choose to book a stay at one of the Sunset Boulevard hotels, and it's not hard to understand why. Few streets in the world offer this many renowned attractions, and no other street in LA is full of so many iconic landmarks. For those who like nightlife, the Sunset Strip hotels deserve extra attention. Some of the best luxury hotels in Los Angeles can be found along Sunset Boulevard, and they include the Chateau Marmont, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the Luxe Hotel, to name a few.