West Hollywood

West Hollywood is known for its nightlife and West Hollywood clubs as well as for its colorful multi-ethnic population and traditions and its vibrant gay and celebrity culture. It has the laid back, tolerant, and cutting-edge flavor of Greenwich Village in New York City. Since it was incorporated in 1984, it has become a trendy community that has been undergoing a gentrification process similar to that of Tribeca and SoHo in New York City. It even has a similar moniker to the latter—WeHo. The community prides itself on its "village" ambiance, and one of the things to do in West Hollywood is simply stroll the streets, stopping for coffee at one of the sidewalk dining spots and browsing the many shops and boutiques.

Sitting in the shadow of the famous Hollywood sign (which is prominent in the hills just west of Griffith Observatory and Park), West Hollywood is located between Hollywood (to the east), Beverly Hills (to the west), and downtown Los Angeles (to the south). North are the Hollywood Hills that lead to the San Fernando Valley.

In addition to its diverse melting pot flavor, West Hollywood has become increasingly known as a gay-friendly community. One of the country's largest Halloween events is celebrated here, as well as one of the largest gay pride parades—the Christopher Street West Gay Pride Parade, held every June for 40 years and named for the historic Stonewall Rebellion on Christopher Street in New York City in 1969. Things to do in West Hollywood for gay culture include visiting some most popular gay and lesbian nightclubs in the world. Numerous other clubs and world-famous West Hollywood restaurants round out the best nightlife in all of Los Angeles.

A good portion of the famed Sunset Strip on Sunset Boulevard is located here, and it is dotted with West Hollywood clubs and restaurants, including the Laugh Factory, Whiskey A Go Go, the Comedy Store, House of Blues, Wolfgang Puck's Spago, the Rainbow Bar & Grill, and the original Dominick's (favorite hangout of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack). Other landmarks include Grauman's Chinese Theater and the elegant and historic Chateau Marmont Hotel. Hotels near the major West Hollywood clubs include the deluxe Mondrian, Sunset Tower, and Andaz. Some of the Sunset Strip area attractions blend into the neighboring Hollywood district such as Paramount Studios and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Some blend into neighboring Beverly Hills like the Roxy Theatre.

Other things to do in West Hollywood are shopping and more shopping. Numerous designer name boutiques, upscale retail shops, antique stores, and the celebrated Pacific Design Center (known for its exclusive furniture) are located here. Simply walking around the streets will reveal some stunning Spanish Revival and Art Deco architecture, including in some of the apartment buildings that are among the most prestigious addresses in Los Angeles and some of the historic luxury hotels. You can also find the Schindler House, said to be the first house built in the modern style and famous for what it doesn't have—no bedrooms, living room, or dining room. Today, it is one of the city's museums and open to the public for tours. Located in the hills just north of both Hollywood and West Hollywood is West Hollywood's Runyon Canyon Park. It provides 160 acres of wooded and rugged canyon land that is excellent for hiking, walking, and jogging, and is another example of the kinds of wilderness that exists in one of the largest cities in the world.

Image: visitwesthollywood.com

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