The Ultimate First-Timer’s Guide to West Hollywood
From street-level art to rooftop bars, here’s everything you need to do on your first visit to West Hollywood.
Celeb-favorite hotels, Michelin-rated restaurants, legendary nightlife, next-level shopping — West Hollywood packs a lot into its 1.9 square miles. Yes, this creative oasis in the heart of Los Angeles is the perfect home base for exploring the city. But there’s so much to do within WeHo city limits, you may have to save the rest of L.A. for another trip.
If you’re visiting West Hollywood for the first time, put on your walking shoes (yes, walking — WeHo is one of the most walkable places in Southern California!) and follow this guide to L.A.’s coolest neighborhood.
1. Check into one of our iconic hotels
West Hollywood’s hotels have it all — luxurious accommodations, bold design, impeccable service, unrivaled people-watching. They’re some of the best places in the city to see and be seen, from the stylish pools to the starry rooftop bars (more on that below). Whether you’re looking for a weekend crash pad (try the Andaz West Hollywood, known as the “Riot House” when bands like Led Zeppelin partied there in the 1970s) or a place you’ll never want to check out of (the Michelin-rated West Hollywood EDITION, among others), Los Angeles is truly your oyster when you stay at one of WeHo’s iconic hotels.
2. See stars – Michelin and celebrities alike – at one of L.A.’s best restaurants
You’ll need to take an elevator ride to access some of West Hollywood’s hottest addresses — our iconic rooftops. Up here, the cocktails are great, the pools are cool and the views are endless. Whatever your style, there’s a rooftop for you—from the bohemian sofas and fire pits of the Petit Ermitage to the amazing cocktails of E.P. & L.P. to the epic L.A. skyline vistas of, well, just about all of them. You can even soak up Old Hollywood history at hotspots like Formosa Café, a onetime hangout of Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra.
4. Experience the legendary nightlife of the Sunset Strip and beyond
Since the 1920s, The Sunset Strip has pushed boundaries, literally. Because it was outside Los Angeles city limits in an unincorporated part of Los Angeles County, it fell under the jurisdiction of the County Sheriff’s Department, which was more lenient than the LAPD. Follow tradition and take a walk on the wild side. The Strip’sclubs still draw top performers and the restaurants are worthy of any A-lister.
Running parallel to Sunset Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard is the hub of L.A.’sLGBTQ+ community, and has a colorful, energetic nightlife and bar scene. Head to The Abbey, Micky’s or Lance Bass’s Heart WeHo to dance it up until the wee hours.
5. Explore cutting-edge art and design
If you’re a fan of design, décor and all things shopping, then West Hollywood’s Design District is the place for you. The anchor of the Design District is the Pacific Design Center (PDC), a 1.6-million-square-foot campus. PDC boasts about 100 showrooms selling furnishings and decorating wares. (Admission policies vary, so call in advance if you want to visit specific showrooms.) Need a few new items for your wardrobe? The district is also home to many innovative fashion designers, trendy shops and one-of-a-kind concept stores.
If it’s art you love, make a point of visiting the city’s diverse roster of art galleries. Once you’re feeling inspired, create your own images against the unforgettable Instagram-worthy backdrops of West Hollywood’s murals and street art.
6. Get pampered like a celebrity
Next: Explore the best of L.A., right in West Hollywood’s backyard
West Hollywood is super-centrally located. It’s about 10 miles to places like Venice and Santa Monica, home to golden beaches and the world-famous Santa Monica Pier. Tinseltown icons like the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Dolby Theatre (home to the Oscars) are just over 2 miles away, while the trendy restaurants and venues of Downtown L.A. are only 9 miles away. So, get out and explore — if you can tear yourself away from the hotel pool.