Top Attractions

Welcome to Gay West Hollywood

West Hollywood

Santa Monica Boulevard leads you into West Hollywood, the thumping heart of Southern California’s gay community. LA’s Gay Pride Parade and Festival takes place here each June, and half a million people gather for the annual, much bedazzled, street parade Carneval at Halloween. The rest of the year, it’s busy day and night with cafés, gyms, restaurants, bars and dance clubs. It is truly a national phenomenon that so many gay establishments fill the streets of Weho and have been thriving there for so long.

A classic evening in gay WeHo might start over margaritas at Marix Tex-Mex Cafe, barely more than a covered patio but always a party. For something fancier, try upscale Cal-American selections at Mark’s Restaurant. 

Then amble down Santa Monica Boulevard to swizzle a dirty martini at Club 11. For fabulous mod interiors, check out East/West, O-Bar and Here. Dance fanatics head to Rage, Micky’s or The Factory. Meanwhile, the lineup at intimate Fubar might include karaoke, drag or hip-hop. Ladies will find a stop at The Palms or a Thursday night at Here well in order. 

The Abbey

You can always opt for the old favorite, drag queen bingo at Hamburger Mary’s. The crowd skews a bit older at Trunks sports bar, while Gold Coast or the Mother Lode are always reliable. Then there’s the Abbey, a rainbow world unto itself. It started as a simple coffee shop and has grown into an empire, sporting a Goth-gone-wild style as well as indoor and outdoor private cabanas. 

Low key more your taste? Try coffee at Café Marco or fashionable frozen yogurt (yes, fashionable frozen yogurt) at Pinkberry. A Different Light bookstore is an GLBT landmark, and if your shopping tendencies lean toward all things fashion, you can marvel at the design and clothing boutiques around the Pacific Design Center or the Beverly Center, as well as LA’s most famous shopping streets (Melrose Avenue, Beverly Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard). To browse a little history, visit the One Institute Gallery and Museum

Rickys

North of Santa Monica Boulevard, the clubs and eateries of the Sunset Strip set the bar for the world. Koi, the House of Blues, and the Mondrian and Standard Hotels are good places to start. South of the boulevard, try exotic pizzettes at Taste, all-American fare lovingly prepared at Toast, or hearty baked goods, soups and salads at Doughboys. Spago and Ivy are culinary institutions on the celebrity circuit, while Sona and Simon LA are upscale newcomers.

Rodeo Drive

Although many people believe it's just a neighbourhood of Los Angeles, the bustling community of West Hollywood is actually its own incorporated city, and has among the highest percentages of gay residents and gay-owned businesses of any place in the USA. With its wealth of trendy shops, galleries, restaurants, and nightclubs - plus a nice variety of upscale accommodations and an attractive setting at the base of the Hollywood Hills, this vibrant city makes for a highly enjoyable weekend getaway.

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