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Unveiling the Magic of WeHo: A LGBTQ+ Guide to West Hollywood, California

Fondly dubbed WeHo, West Hollywood is more than a mere 1.9 square miles; it's a pulsating heartbeat of LGBTQ life nestled in the greater metropolitan Los Angeles area.

Think of it as the Castro to San Francisco or Boystown to Chicago — a designated city since 1984, now home to over 36,000 vibrant souls. WeHo proudly stands as one of the nation's most prominent "gayborhoods," weaving a historical tapestry with iconic LGBTQ nightlife and contemporary additions.

weho west hollywood lgbtq, pride parade

Daylight Delights in the Queer Oasis

Beyond the glittering nightlife along Santa Monica Boulevard, affectionately known as Boys Town, WeHo offers an abundance of daytime culture. The Visit West Hollywood guide spills the tea on attractions and sub-districts. For the culture vultures, the Pacific Design Center (PDC) beckons with vibrant showrooms, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) showcases the west coast's largest art collection, featuring groundbreaking exhibitions. Don't miss the iconic portrait of Barack Obama by openly gay artist Kehinde Wiley and Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald, on display until January 2, 2022.

For a touch of LGBTQ history and culture, step into Chi Chi LaRue's Circus, a reincarnation of the legendary Circus of Books. This vibrant space, curated by drag queen and filmmaker Chi Chi LaRue, offers adult delights, accessories, and an array of coffee-table tomes.

Ole Henriksen Spa, founded by the openly gay skincare guru Ole Henriksen, is a discreet haven for skin and body pampering. Boasting a star-studded clientele since the '70s, the spa remains a cozy oasis on Sunset Boulevard, offering a rejuvenating experience with Henriksen's premium product line.

Dive into the Night

As the sun sets, WeHo transforms into a kaleidoscope of LGBTQ bars and clubs. The Abbey, an institution celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2021, is a multifaceted venue encompassing a restaurant, bar, and the adjacent 5,500 square foot bar, The Chapel. Famous for being a community hub, The Abbey hosts meetings, activism, and lively mixers.

Lance Bass, former N'Sync member, is set to unveil the USA's largest gay megaclub on Santa Monica Boulevard, revamping the space formerly occupied by the iconic Rage. Bass is also the visionary behind Rocco's WeHo, a gay sports bar and restaurant narrating the LGBTQ history on the West Coast through illustrations and artifacts.

Gym, WeHo's first gay sports bar, found a new home on Santa Monica Blvd in spring 2021. This revamped space now boasts a full kitchen, offering delectable food to complement its drinks. Stache, another anticipated addition in 2021, promises a vibrant experience with a dance floor, stage, and a restaurant serving 100 percent plant-based food.

For diverse experiences, WeHo offers venues like Beaches, with its '80s Miami disco vibe, and Mother Lode, an enduring favorite known for its drinks and provocative "The Hole" Tuesdays. Dive into the edgier atmosphere of Fubar, featuring cheap strong drinks, drag shows, and an in-your-face DJ experience.

Feast for the Palate

WeHo's culinary scene caters to foodies with a mix of healthy options and decadent California fare. Celebrity hotspot PUMP, opened by reality star Lisa Vanderpump, offers upscale yet casual international cuisine, while Tom Tom Bar, with its steampunk flair, showcases craft cocktails like the Matcha Butcha.

For a taste of vegan delights, Crossroads Kitchen, helmed by openly gay executive chef Scot Jones, serves Mediterranean-influenced vegan cuisine. Enjoy rooftop dining at Catch L.A., indulge in Norah's vegan-friendly international flavors, or savor Thai street food at Night+Market.

weho west hollywood lgbtq, sunset boulevard

Where Dreams Unwind

In WeHo, accommodation choices span from historic charm to contemporary chic, offering a perfect post-exploration refuge.

WeHo's closure of the iconic Standard Hotel on Sunset Boulevard in early 2021 has paved the way for other enchanting accommodations. The sustainability-forward luxury brand 1 Hotel opened its West Coast flagship in 2019, offering an eco-conscious retreat with a rooftop pool, cocktail lounge, and Chef Chris Crary's SoCal fare at 1 Kitchen.

Kimpton La Peer, situated in WeHo's Design District, is a designer haven with custom decor and a rooftop pool. The 79-suite Petit Ermitage, nestled off the bustling boulevards, embodies an artsy, bohemian vibe with a heated saltwater rooftop pool and a private dining area surrounded by nature.

As the sun dips below the Hollywood Hills, WeHo invites LGBTQ travelers to immerse themselves in a tapestry of culture, nightlife, culinary delights, and enchanting stays. Unveil the magic of WeHo, where every moment is an opportunity to embrace the vibrant spirit of LGBTQ life in California's heart.

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