15 Best Things to Do in West Hollywood, CA

West Hollywood, CA
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Prepare for some high-energy nightlife if you want to make the most out of a visit to the city of West Hollywood in Los Angele County, California.

WeHo, as this city is fondly called, is fabled for its Sunset Strip, which hosts nightclubs, rock clubs, and restaurants.

The forerunner of these fun places were the bars and salons that proliferated in that stretch of Sunset Boulevard during the 1920s.

West Hollywood was then known as Sherman, founded in 1896 by Los Angeles Pacific Railroad partner Moses Sherman as a settlement for railroad workers.

Sherman henceforth developed a reputation as a liquor-friendly, less-restrictive place, particularly during the Prohibition years, thus molding West Hollywood’s lively character.

In 1925, Sherman was renamed West Hollywood based on the vote of residents who wanted to stress an affinity with their neighboring glamorous city—Hollywood.

Be that as it may, WeHo can boast a charming character of its own, which is evident in the following list of things to do in West Hollywood.

Book an Affordable Room at Sunset Strip

Scenic view of Sunset Strip
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Reasonably priced accommodations are available at West Hollywood’s vaunted Sunset Strip.

You can even have free breakfast if you stay at the Best Western Sunset Plaza hotel.

With a stay here, you are just steps away from all the fun that the Sunset Strip has to offer, including shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Exterior of Best Western Sunset Plaza hotel
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After a hearty breakfast amid the comfortable Mediterranean vibe of this hotel, you can go for a relaxing swim in its pool.

A similar pleasure at an affordable price can be also be had at the boutique hotel Grafton on Sunset.

The hotel provides funky leather seating and vintage pictures of Hollywood legends.

The other perks at Grafton on Sunset include a heated saltwater pool, a cocktail lounge with a guitar-shaped bar, and a free area shuttle service.

Watch a Movie at the Melrose Rooftop Theatre

This unique outdoor cinema is just next to the rooftop E.P. & L.P. restaurant.

It is also accessible via North La Cienega Boulevard in the cusp of West Hollywood's fashion and design district.

The Melrose Rooftop Theatre is screening new releases as well as cult classic movies.

To maximize the movie viewing experience for its guests, the cinema provides them with individual headsets that utilize wireless technology.

This way, the movie viewers can sit back, relax, and enjoy our Hollywood films while sipping a cocktail.

Enjoy a Laugh at Comedy Store

Exterior of Comedy Store
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You will have three separate stages to choose from in Comedy Store, which opened at its Sunset Boulevard location in 1972.

Established comedians, as well as emerging talents, perform at this venue founded by the late stand-up comic Sammy Shore.

Name sign of Comedy Store
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Sammy’s ex-wife, Mitzi, Shore began operating the club in 1973, and she bought its building in 1976.

Subsequently, she immediately renovated and expanded Comedy Store to include a main room with a 450-seat capacity.

Exterior of Comedy Store
Anne Czichos / Shutterstock.com

Visit Historic Plummer Park

This park on Santa Monica Boulevard provides a picnic space, tennis courts, and a play area with facilities, as well as a community center.

Its site was once part of a large ranch covering the areas bounded by present-day Santa Monica Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Gardner Street, and La Brea Avenue.

The early settlers and original owners of this ranch sold it to the Plummer family in 1877.

In 1870, the Plummers built on the current park site a house which was registered as a State Historical Landmark in 1935.

This historic home was relocated though to the Leonis Adobe grounds at Calabasas in 1983.

A farmers' market is held every Monday morning in the north parking lot of Plummer Park, reminiscent of the days when the Plummers family grew vegetables in the park’s site for sale to residents.

Browse the Décor and Artworks at West Hollywood Design District

Sign of West Hollywood Design District
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This upscale shopping district, located on the flanks of Melrose Avenue and Beverly Boulevard, is anchored on the Pacific Design Center (PDC).

The PDC takes pride in hosting West Coast's top decorating and furniture market.

It is a 1,600,000-square-foot multi-use facility for the design community, with showrooms, as well as public and private spaces.

The Hamilton-Selway Fine Art is another must-visit in the West Hollywood Design District.

Exhibits by Andy Warhol and other famous artists have been featured in this contemporary and pop art dealer's gallery.

All told, more than 250 global creative leaders and visionaries are based in the West Hollywood Design District.

Shop and Dine at Sunset Plaza

This commercial hub has been located on Sunset Boulevard and a West Hollywood landmark for more than 90 years.

Sunset Plaza, bordered north by Holloway Drive, boasts more than 45 retail establishments and service providers, including boutique shops, restaurants, cafes, and salons.

For dining, one highly-rated choice is Bossa Nova Brazilian Cuisine Restaurant & Bar.

Coxinha, an appetizer prepared with shredded chicken stuffed in a fried mashed potato ball, is one must-try dish in this restaurant.

Western footwear, on the other hand, is the specialty of Sun Plaza’s Boot Star Los Angeles.

In this shoe store, you will find a range of urban-inspired designs not only in its boots but also in shirts, belts, and other leather goods.

Tour the Schindler House

Exterior of Schindler House
Codera23, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Built in 1922, this house is an architectural masterpiece that is also home to the MAK Center for Art and Architecture.

Located on North Kings Road, Schindler House is a study on communal living between two households.

The husband-and wife-team of Rudolph and Pauline designed this residence for sharing with the couple, Clyde and Marian Chace.

Glass windows of Schindler House
Allan Ferguson, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s quite an experience touring the rooms set for each of them so that they can express their individuality.

The same goes for visiting the Schindler’s communal gathering areas, outdoor sleeping porches on the roof, and shared kitchen.

Additionally, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture offers a year-round calendar of events and exhibitions at the Schindler House.

Unwind at E.P. & L.P.

This is a rooftop restaurant on North La Cienega Boulevard, offering splendid city views, especially at sunset.

E.P. & L.P. was established in 2015, with its name derived from “extended play and long play” characteristic of the 12-inch and 7-inch vinyl records.

Catering to Southeast Asian cuisine, this restaurant has a stylish ambiance and flaunts a fire pit, daybeds, and a lounge area.

E.P. & L.P. is a one-stop food-and-drink destination that is great for unwinding after a hectic day.

You can relax while sipping artisan cocktails and enjoying the scintillating 360-degree rooftop scenery.

For drinks, you can pick the “Where Love Lives” cocktail made with passion fruit, damiana, mezcal, lime, guava, Thai chili, and or “Bad Medicine,” which is a good drink.

Wax Nostalgic at Formosa Café

Exterior of Formosa Café
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Built in 1939, this vintage restaurant and watering hole on Sta. Monica Avenue serves Asian cuisine.

It evokes nostalgia with the large star-studded collection of old portraits from Hollywood’s golden era adorning its upper walls.

The likes of Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, James Dean, and Elvis Presley once frequented Formosa Café.

Neon name sign of Formosa Café
Elliott Cowand Jr / Shutterstock.com

Another standout patron of this iconic café was John Wayne, who was once caught in its kitchen making scrambled eggs following a late night of debauchery.

Historic but chic, Formosa Café retains its reputation as one of the best Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles.

Its patrons can pick seating in an old railroad dining car, the circular booths, or in the spacious rooftop bar.

Formosa Café’s menu picks include braised pork belly, cucumber salad, and Asian greens of seasonally changing veggies.

Neon sign of Formosa Café
Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock.com

Take Your Date to Catch LA

This restaurant on Melrose Avenue is the perfect place for dating couples, given the romantic city views it offers.

Catch LA features a rooftop space where there are covered as well as open spots for table seating.

The restaurant’s interior design sets the perfect ambiance for romantic dinners.

Verdant trees grow inside Catch LA’s space, and there are chandeliers dripping remarkable luminescence to the greeneries.

With this scintillating backdrop, you can enjoy a bottle of cold, crisp rosé and a trio of tartare for a truly memorable date.

Grab a Sushi at Ajisai

This sushi joint on Palm Avenue is simple, straightforward, and where the prices are quite reasonable.

Its sushi offerings are supplemented by a wide choice of cooked Japanese dishes, plus beer and sake.

Aside from its salmon rolls, one of the bestsellers of Ajisai is its spicy tuna on crispy fried rice cakes, fused masterfully.

These items are prepared with the finest Japanese ingredients, flavored by Ajisai’s secret recipes, and presented in the “Sushi on Fire” style.

Ajisai’s affordable bento boxes are in demand, especially during lunchtime.

Swing It at Whisky a Go Go

Exterior of Whisky a Go Go
Whaleseye / Shutterstock.com

Located on Sunset Boulevard, Whisky a Go Go lays claim as the First Real American Discothèque.

Live rock bands and other similar acts propelled this venerable nightspot’s rise to fame that was built in a compact, no-nonsense setting.

The Whisky, as this club is affectionately called, contributed to boosting the careers of many of America’s bands like The Doors, Chicago, Led Zeppelin, KISS, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, and Metallica.

Side exterior of Whisky a Go Go
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Alice Cooper notably recorded a live album at Whisky a Go Go in 1969.

Go-go dancing earned following in its heydays, with the beat that The Whisky a Go Go has injected into the clubbing scene.

This arose mainly from the club arranging to have a female DJ play records in-between bands’ sets so that the club’s patrons would have uninterrupted dancing.

Sign of Whisky a Go Go
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Enjoy the “Happy Hour” at Beaches WeHo

Drinks at a reduced “Happy Hour” pricing come in two waves at Beaches WeHo, an LGBTQ-focused hybrid lounge and restaurant on Sta. Monica Boulevard.

The first installment is at 2:00–7:00 p.m. with pricing below the regular level for frozen cocktails and Beaches WeHo’s Boilermaker, a pairing of a shot and a beer.

The next Happy Hour dose comes from 10:00 p.m. to 12 midnight, when all double drinks are charged as singles.

Beaches WeHo provides a two-story space with VIP seating and two full bars.

Its main room is full of energy, equipped with a high-end sound system and lighting, plus a DJ booth with cutting-edge mixers and a projection system.

Beaches WeHo struts a design paying homage to the 1980s Miami disco scene.

Its food menu features a one-of-a-kind California Cuban cuisine that further helps draw patrons to Beaches WeHo.

Try on the Streetwear at Maxfield

This luxury boutique on Melrose Avenue, as a purveyor of top-tier luxury brands, has ventured on punky streetwear as well.

Historically, Maxfield caters to many celebrities, fashion fanatics, and their ilk, so it’s a given that it’d expand to a current craze.

Maxfield thus hosts a rotating series of exhibitions and installations, featuring designers like Alessandro Michele (Gucci), Virgil Abloh (Off-White), Jerry Lorenzo (Fear of God), among others.

These presentations bring to life the creative visions of the designers in the most imaginative of environments.

This, in turn, affords shoppers and fashion fans the chance to interact with their favorite brands on a deeper level.

The unique experience Maxfield offers has turned it into one of West Hollywood’s most iconic boutiques, where vintage furniture and books are also for sale.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Have a Short Game at Heroes Golf Course

This well-established public golf course is located on Wilshire Boulevard, Brentwood, in the city of Los Angeles, only about eight miles to the west of West Hollywood.

A nine-hole layout, the Heroes Golf Course was established in 1946 by the nearby Hillcrest Country Club as a salute to returning World War II soldiers.

Play in this short layout is par 27 over 1,144 yards from the longest tees of this course which has a 27.1 course rating and an 82 slope rating.

Open whole year-round, the Heroes Golf Course provides players with a clubhouse with a master view deck, snack bar, golf TV, and a charming pro shop housed in a Quonset hut.

Players can sharpen their game in this course with the assistance of resident PGA pro golf instructors.

Final Thoughts

The city of West Hollywood can hold its own as a travel destination, even amid other points of interest in its neighboring Los Angeles City and Hollywood.

From its Sunset Strip alone, West Hollywood already provides plenty of exciting things to do that should keep visitors flowing to its fold.

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