West Hollywood, or WeHo as it’s known to the locals, is one of those L.A. ‘hoods that always seems to be buzzing with fun things to do. Known for its diverse culture and situated halfway between the beach and Downtown, West Hollywood appeals to locals and tourists alike. Within its compact 1.9 square miles, there is lots to discover, from off-the-beaten-path theater and world-famous comedy to socializing on rooftop bars and more.
Below is a rundown of some of the best of the best things to do next time you’re exploring the neighborhood.
1. Drink at a Rooftop Bar
Perch upon a rooftop bar while sipping cocktails and admiring breathtaking views. Grab drinks at The Andaz’ Riot House rooftop bar known for its rock ‘n roll vibes. Go to the Mondrian SkyBar for some Hollywood glam. And IVORY on Sunset by Brian Malarkey delivers on good eats, crafty cocktails, and a killer view.
[RELATED: The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles]
2. Get a Ticket to Eclectic Stage Performances
The independent Coast Playhouse engages its audience with innovative plays and musicals in a 99-seat theater. From the Tony-nominated producers of Million Dollar Quartet, A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder, and Rock of Ages, Heartbreak Hotel is the newest musical to hit Coast. Other shows that have graced the Coast stage include The Penis Chronicles and No, I Won’t Take You To The Airport.
3. Indulge Your Inner Game of Thrones Nerd
The innovative MACHA Theatre Co. is offering Games of Thrones: The Musical in February 2017, from the same crew who created Lost: The Musical and Once Upon A Time: The Rock Opera. Established to bridge straight and gay communities of diverse backgrounds, the MACHA Theatre Co. showcases originality, creativity and often, sensuality. The $30 theater ticket is well worth it.
4. The Morrison Hotel Gallery at the Sunset Marquis Hotel
Where “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” is no stranger, Sunset Blvd. has its share of cool art venues, including the Morrison Hotel Gallery located in the lobby of Sunset Marquis Hotel. The gallery is home to hundreds of fine-art photography from world-class music and sports photographers, along with archives dating back to the 1940s. It’s a must for any music fan who wants an up-close and personal experience with images of music icons.
5. Visit a bookstore
Yes, a bookstore. Book Soup is truly one of the coolest traditional booksellers in L.A. Recognized for its astonishing floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, Book Soup has a rare book collection and sections devoted to art, culture, and photography. Check the Book Soup calendar — they host many book release events and readings by renowned authors.
6. Explore the West Hollywood Library
West Hollywood Library is a unique public space worth checking out. This public space includes a municipal art gallery, with rotating exhibitions which have featured original artworks from Jean Cocteau, Annie Liebowitz, and Clive Baker. All exhibits are free, and there is free validated parking in the structure.
7. See a Show at the Troubadour
At the legendary Troubadour club, the greatest of musicians have performed, including Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, James Taylor and Elton John, as well as more contemporary artists and bands like Prince, Coldplay, John Legend, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Still one of LA’s best destinations for live music to this day, you never know who may make a surprise appearance.
8. Get Your Laugh On at The Comedy Store and Laugh Factory
Since the early 70s, The Comedy Store has been a platform for emerging and established comedians. Check out its all-female produced The “C” Word Show with up-and-comers in the Belly Room, or national headliners in its Original and Main rooms. And Jamie Masada’s Laugh Factory continues to nurture new talent and welcome famous names like Tim Allen, Dave Chappelle and Whitney Cummings.
9. Visit the Pacific Design Center
The Pacific Design Center is a home-design mecca. Serving decorators, interior designer, architects, and consumers, this “campus” has more than 100 boutiques and showrooms dedicated to interior and exterior furnishings and accessories. Guests need to visit with an official designer, and PDC will happily set you up. Just call to make that happen.
10. View art at MOCA at the Pacific Design Center
Delve into the world of architecture and design at MOCA at the Pacific Design Center. At this, MOCA’s third location — the other two are in DTLA — admission is free, and the exhibits focus on some of the most cutting-edge art of our time.
11. Wine Tasting at V Wine Room
V Wine Room has a unique tasting room that offers exclusive wines and beers not otherwise sold in the area. V works with local boutique winemakers and handcrafted breweries from Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Guests can also grab small bites and shop for gifts.
12. Bottomless Brunch
Bottomless brunch is always an excellent WeHo weekend activity. A few destinations to brunch and booze at include Taste on Melrose, renowned for its mimosas and laid-back vibe; Bar10 and its excellent seasonal brunchy fare, and Terrine, which impresses with its casual brasserie ambience coupled with all-day rosé.
13. Put Some New Restaurants on Your Radar
New hot spots can be crowded, and if you want to eat at a reasonable hour, rezzies made in advance are recommended. Connie and Ted’s pays homage to New England seafood dishes like lobster rolls, fish stew and fish and chips (and so much more). At E.P. & L.P., chef Louis Tikaram’s culinary direction is an amalgamation of his Fijian-Chinese heritage, native Australian roots, and extensive travels throughout Southeast Asia. And Norah, where eclectic American fare is entirely “made from scratch,” offers a tasting menu and chef’s table.
14. Relax at a Park
West Hollywood Park and Plummer Park are clean and offer ample space for chilling, playing, and walking your pooch. A walking path that loops through both parks will net about five miles or 10,000 steps on your fitness app.
15. Check out the Hotel Marmont
Enjoy a taste of Hollywood by hanging out at the historical (it opened in 1929) celebrity haunt Chateau Marmont and Bar Marmont on the Strip. Yep, Jim Morrison took up residency for a bit in this landmark. Classic cocktails (pisco sour, sidecar and bellini) and the time-honored setting give you a glimpse of another era.
16. Happy Hour in WeHo
If you love happy hour, West Hollywood is calling your name. Monday to Friday, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., caviar lovers can delight in Petrossian’s signature small bites and a caviar martini made with Luksusowa vodka, Maurin vermouth, a caviar-stuffed olive and CaviarCube. Head over to Marvin, a French bistro on Beverly Boulevard., for happy hour featuring oysters, pomme frites, steak tartare, and jamon tomato toast in addition to wine and beer. Say yes to Fig & Olive’s Mediterranean-inspired apertivo happy hour specials, with wines by the glass, champagnes, classic cocktails, and fantastic crostini.
17. Visit the Veterans Memorial
Named after WWII Purple Heart recipient and former WeHo City Council member Sal Guarriello, the Veterans Memorial honors veterans in an urban setting featuring green space, a water feature, and laurel trees.
18. Explore the Schindler House
Built in 1922, the Schindler House is a local landmark. Designed by architect Rudolph M. Schindler, this stunning structure is known for its very modern take on home design. The Schindler House features an open floor plan and utilizes ahead of its time modern construction methods.
19. Go To Local Farmers Markets
Both the Helen Albert and Melrose Place Farmers’ Markets have a beautiful selection of local, organic farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, fresh fish, flowers and artisan goods. Helen Albert runs every Monday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., while the Melrose Place market is open on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
20. Do Something Kid-Friendly
West Hollywood is not just a playground for adults. Hang with your kids at Jessica Biel’s Au Fudge for playtime in its Creative Space (games, crafts, music,and learning activities in the $10-$25 range). Au Fudge also invites parents to hand over kids to the Au Fudge Au Pairs while they dine in the Au Fudge dining room. Put your cake decorator hat on at Duff’s Cake Mix for a drop-in to decorate cupcakes or a cake.