Top 10 Things to Do in West Hollywood

Pacific Design Center
••• Pacific Design Center. Kayte Deioma
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    Visiting West Hollywood, CA

    Beckley's Boutique on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood
    ••• Beckley's Boutique on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood. Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    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...MORE it.

    Here are the top things to do in the City of West Hollywood

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    The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood

    The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA
    ••• The Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, CA. Kayte Deioma

    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. Learn about the history and significance of the businesses here today in my Guide to the Sunset Strip.

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    Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood

    Pacific Design Center
    ••• Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    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+ 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.

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    MOCA in West Hollywood

    MOCA at the Pacific Design Center
    ••• MOCA at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Photo © 2012 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    The main Museum of Contemporary Art is in Downtown LA, 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.

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    The West Hollywood Design District

    Philip Lim Showroom in the West Hollywood Design District
    ••• Philip Lim Showroom in the West Hollywood Design District. Kayte Deioma

    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. The neighboring La Cienega Design District crosses the West Hollywood - LA border.

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    Santa Monica Boulevard

    Trunks in West Hollywood
    ••• Trunks gay bar on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    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, according to TripSavvy's Andrew Collins. Any night of the week is party night on Santa Monica Blvd between La Cienega and Doheny, with the greatest concentration between LA Cienega and Robertson.

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    The MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House

    MAK Center at the Schindler House
    ••• MAK Center at the Schindler House in West Hollywood. Photo by Ana María León via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2-0

    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.
    Mak Center at the Schindler House
    835 N. Kings Road
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    www.makcenter.org

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    West Hollywood Library

    West Hollywood Library Wood Ceiling
    ••• West Hollywood Library Wood Ceiling. Kayte Deioma

    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 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 2nd-floor view of the Pacific Design Center.

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    Book Soup in West Hollywood

    Book Soup in West Hollywood
    ••• Book Soup in West Hollywood. Photo © 2015 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard is one of LA's favorite independent book shops, and one of the ones most likely to be hosting the latest celebrity author book signings.
    Book Soup
    8818 Sunset Blvd
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    www.booksoup.com

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    Sunset Plaza in West Hollywood

    Sunset Plaza is an exclusive shopping and dining complex in West Hollywood, CA
    ••• Sunset Plaza is an exclusive shopping and dining complex in West Hollywood, CA. Photo © 2015 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

    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.

    Parking is free in the lot on the south side of the street, but be sure to move your car if you leave the shopping center. They're very serious about parking only being for customers, and signs on the sidewalk let you know when you're crossing out of Sunset Plaza.

    Sunset Plaza
    8600-8700 Sunset Boulevard
    West Hollywood, CA 90069

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    See a Play in West Hollywood

    The Actor's Studio in West Hollywood
    ••• The Actor's Studio in West Hollywood. Kayte Deioma

    Actors Circle Theatre
    47-seat theatre presents contemporary and original works
    7313 Santa Monica Boulevard
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    www.actorscircle.com

    Celebration Theatre (LGBT productions)
    "presenting innovative, provocative and relevant work that examines the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer experience."
    7051 Santa Monica Blvd.
    West Hollywood, CA 90038
    www.celebrationtheatre.com

    Coast Playhouse
    "Ninety-nine seat theatre presenting contemporary as well as classic plays and musicals."
    8325 Santa Monica Boulevard
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    www.coastplayhouse.org

    MACHA Theatre Co. (Mujeres [Women] Advancing, Culture, History & Art)
    (Formerly the Globe Playhouse)
    "to build social, cultural, and artistic bridges between the straight an gay communities of various ethnicities"
    1107 N. Kings Rd.
    West Hollywood, CA 90069
    www.machatheatre.org

    Lee Strasburg Theatre Institute
    Acting school with 4 small theatres that present public productions.
    7936 Santa Monica Boulevard
    West...MORE Hollywood, CA 90069
    www.strasberg.com

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