West Hollywood, affectionately known as WeHo, is a city of less than four square miles completely surrounded by the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. Some icons that people associate with Hollywood, like the Sunset Strip, with its many live music clubs, are actually located in the city of West Hollywood.
The city was formed in 1984 from a previously unincorporated area of Los Angeles County adjacent to Hollywood, at the foot of the Hollywood Hills. It was the 84th of 88 cities incorporated in Los Angeles County, making it one of the youngest cities in the county. It is known for being the most gay-friendly city in the country, and therefore, has a high percentage of LGBT residents.
The gay club scene on Santa Monica Boulevard is in contrast to the grunge, punk, hip hop, rock n' roll scene on the Sunset Strip, but it all coexists in relative harmony in WeHo. The other dominant scene in West Hollywood is design. From interiors to fashion to fine art, this is the place to find it.
Listen to Music Along the Sunset Strip
The Sunset Strip is a rock n' roll Mecca where pilgrims come to pay homage to the famous names who got their start at the many live music clubs here. The not-quite-famous are still getting breaking out on this famous stretch of Sunset Blvd. Take in a live music performance, have a drink, or enjoy a meal at any of a number of landmark establishments.
Visit the Pacific Design Center
The massive blue-green and red structures at the corner of Melrose and San Vicente house the Pacific Design Center. In addition to the 130-plus showrooms for the interior design trade, there are public galleries you can visit at this iconic West Hollywood landmark, and even if you're not a designer, you can shop with the assistance of one of their on-site designers.
Check out Contemporary Art at MOCA
The main Museum of Contemporary Art is in downtown L.A., but MOCA has a branch at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. MOCA is dedicated to the collection, presentation, and interpretation of work produced since 1940. Unlike the main museum, the satellite in West Hollywood is free.
Shop at the West Hollywood Design District
The West Hollywood Design District is home to some of the most prestigious interior design shops in the world as well as big name and local fashion designers and fine and contemporary art galleries. It's a great place to shop for that unique accent piece or to outfit your summer palace. The WeHo Design District includes Melrose from La Cienega to Doheny and the parallel Beverly from San Vicente to Doheny as well as the north-south connector, Robertson between Melrose and Beverly, continuing south into Beverly Hills.
Party on Santa Monica Boulevard
The stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard through West Hollywood has the second-greatest density of gay bars, clubs and shops on the West Coast after San Francisco's Castro District. Any night of the week is party night on Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega and Doheny, with the greatest concentration between La Cienega and Robertson.
Visit the MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House
Behind a wall of hedges and trees, the Schindler House, by famed Vienna-born Modern architect Rudolph M. Schindler, sits between two apartment buildings on residential North King Road. The architect's 1922 home and studio is now home to the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, a progressive center for art and thought which hosts exhibits, lectures, concerts and other events that challenge conceptions of architectural use.
Relax at the West Hollywood Library
You don't necessarily think of a library as a tourist attraction, but the LEED-certified West Hollywood Library, which opened in 2011, is as much art space as a book repository. From the murals by famous artists that adorn the sides of the parking structure and entrance to the formed wood ceiling that adorns the entire second floor, there is eye candy wherever you look. It's also a great place to chill and take advantage of the free WiFi, with an excellent second-floor view of the Pacific Design Center.
Shop for Books
Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard is one of L.A.'s favorite independent bookshops, and one of the ones most likely to be hosting the latest celebrity author book signings. The store, which is more than 30 years old, stocks nearly 60,000 different titles.
Celebrity Watch at Sunset Plaza
Sunset Plaza is an exclusive shopping complex on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood that draws an A-list clientele to its designer boutiques and chic sidewalk cafes and restaurants. It is located on both sides of Sunset Boulevard between La Cienega and San Vicente at Sunset Plaza Drive. The numerous sidewalk restaurants, including Cravings, Le Petit Four, Sushiya, Chin Chin, and Le Clafoutis are great for people watching.
See a Play in West Hollywood
West Hollywood is filled with plenty of unique theatres and playhouses that showcase contemporary and original works. Whether you're interested in LGBT productions, multi-cultural performances, or watching actors learn their craft, you'll be delighted by the sheer number of options in West Hollywood. Favorites include the LGBT-friendly Celebration Theatre and the intimate Coast Playhouse.