People flock from all over the world to take in the glitz, glamor and history that is Hollywood. Indeed, some 41 million tourists visited Los Angeles in 2012 alone, many of these folks experiencing Tinsel Town for the very first time. And there is much to see and do. From Grauman’s Chinese Theater to the Hollywood sign, there is no shortage of landmarks in this global hot spot. But Hollywood proper is just the tip of the iceberg, touristically speaking. There is another equally worthwhile destination right next door to it: West Hollywood.
If Hollywood is the classy older gentleman, then West Hollywood is its posher, hipper younger brother. When the elite of Los Angeles decide to come out and play, it is usually along the famous boulevards that define this L.A. enclave. But West Hollywood is as much a community as it is a party destination, and therefore there is no shortage of culture. With that in mind, here are some of the top sights and activities on hand in West Hollywood.
Chateau Marmont – 8221 Sunset Blvd.
Those on the hunt for famous Wes Hollywood sights mustn’t pass up this iconic French-themed hotel. Sitting just above Sunset Blvd., the Chateau Marmont is positively brimming with history. Opened in the 1950s, everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Lindsay Lohan has passed through its hallowed bungalows. Grab a smart cocktail at the hotel bar and enjoy it by the pool for the ultimate L.A. chic experience.
Coast Playhouse – 8325 Santa Monica Blvd.
As mentioned above, West Hollywood isn’t all glistening cocktails and exclusive after parties; culture abounds as well. The cozy 99-seater Coast playhouse is a staple of the neighborhood and offers a number of performances year round geared towards a wide variety of audiences.
Pacific Design Center – 8687 Melrose Ave.
Driving down Melrose where it intersects with Santa Monica, it is difficult to miss this architectural treasure. The brainchild of famed architect Cesar Pelli, the PDC is the home base for Los Angeles’ interior design industry. The building is certainly worth a visit, as inside folks will find over 2,200 product lines in 130 showrooms.
Whiskey A Go-Go – 8901 Sunset Blvd.
If music history is on the agenda, West Hollywood’s most famous rock spot can’t be missed. Opened in 1964, the Whiskey has hosted some of rock’s biggest names, from The Doors to guns N’ Roses. A cultural landmark as much as any that has ever existed, the Whiskey A Go-Go became the first live music venue to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Troubador – 9081 Santa Monica Blvd.
The Whiskey may have the history, but some of rock’s biggest names pass through this cozy venue on a regular basis. As far as a place to see bands of all shapes and sizes that cater to all manner of audiences, the Troubador can’t be beat.
The above list should serve as a helpful entre into the world of WeHo. Those who do decide to visit this famed neighborhood would do well to take some time and walk its streets, because there are just as many hidden treasures off West Hollywood’s beaten path as there are on it.
Ivy Harriss writes for visitwesthollywood.com. Explore restaurants in West Hollywood on their comprehensive guide. Taste your way through West Hollywood and experience the best restaurants in LA.