Gay LOS ANGELES Guide 2018

The City of Angels is a must-see destination for gay travellers looking for fun in the sun.

West Hollywood

Gay Los Angeles, including Boystown in West Hollywood (WEHO) is one of the top gay destinations in North America.

Los Angeles Gay Pride

LA is home to some of the top gay parties including a huge street parade, leather pride and the Masterbeat circuit parties.

Our Insiders Guide to Gay Los Angeles!

Known as the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is home to millions of people, from young Midwesterners just off the bus seeking fame and fortune in Hollywood’s “dream factory” to business execs in the financial industry to grizzled natives just trying to get by.

Like other major cities, it’s a melting pot, with a vast array of ethnicities living in the many smaller neighborhoods that make up the city and one of the largest gay populations to be found in any major city. You’ll find the primped and pretty boys of West Hollywood’s Boys’ Town, as well as the edgy hipsters who frequent the leather-Levi bars found in Silver Lake, plus just about everything in between.

No matter what you’re looking to get into during your trip to Los Angeles, the city and its surrounding areas have got you covered. From historical tours through the downtown area and star tours through the Hollywood Hills to hot gay beaches and even hotter nightlife options, Los Angeles certainly earns its reputation, so prepare to be entertained.

The gay community’s influence is legendary in industries that made LA famous: film and television, music, fashion, art and design. But lesbian and gay people are woven into the fabric of LA society in a way that few other cities can match, making their presence known in law, business, government and religion. A heritage of tolerance has made LA gay-friendly to the core; some of the city’s most high profile citizens are out and proud.

From West Hollywood to the San Fernando Valley, Silver Lake to the beaches, there’s plenty to text home about. Gay visitors will find hundreds of gay-specific sights, sounds, tastes and activities — and even more opportunities to make new friends. So put on your tank top and board shorts, your best accessories or swankiest shoes, or even sneakers or hiking boots, and join us on a spin through Gay LA.

The Chapel at the Abbey

LA and WeHo in particular, are constantly reinventing themselves. Gay guys have moved from the Abbey to “The Chapel”… away from the hen nights and to a bar just a little more gay!

Because the city is so spread out (it’s more like a series of neighborhoods instead of a traditional city), getting around in LA almost requires a car. There are any number of car rental companies to choose from, but make sure you get one with a good navigational system so you can find your way around. If funds are short, then there’s always the Los Angeles Metro system, which employs both buses and subways to cart folks around, plus a handy online site that lets you plan your trips accordingly. But be warned: The subway doesn’t travel to many of the Westside locations, including the popular beaches (Venice, Santa Monica) or Boys’ Town.

For a bit of WeHo’s colorful history check out the gay bus and walking tours from Out & About Tours, featuring Saturday and Sunday rambles around town. Bikes & Hikes is the queer-friendly way to tour the city by bike, with guided tours and bike rentals. Both depart from West Hollywood locations.

Getting Here

From both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank (BUR), you can grab a shuttle to the nearest station: the Metro Green Line LAX Station; and the MetroLink Burbank Bob Hope Airport Station on the Orange/Ventura County Line. Also there are various bus services, taxis and car rentals.

Amtrak inter-city passenger trains arrive at and depart from the main rail station, Union Station, just north of Downtown. MetroLink trains connect many cities across the region.

  • When to visit?

    West Hollywood is a sunny desert city that receives little rain and only limited humidity. There’s no bad time to visit, although late spring through summer sees the hottest and calmest days, which means the city’s notorious smog can be more stifling then. Winter is cooler and can even be quite rainy, producing occasional floods and mudslides in the hills but also fresher days.

    Average high-low temps are 68F/48F in Jan., 73F/54F in Apr., 88F/65F in July, and 79F/60F in Oct. Precipitation averages 3 to 4 inches/mo. Jan. to Mar., and inch or 2 in Nov. and Dec., and less than an inch at other times.

  • Where to Stay?

    Stay close to the heart of the gay action , parties and gay-friendly restaurants in West Hollywood. Hotels here are in high demand year-round, so book well in advance to make sure you get the best rate and the best location, especially during big gay events.

Booking.com

Where to stay in GAY LA? Close to West Hollywood of course!

Our top Hotel Recommendations in Los Angeles.

All of West Hollywood’s hotels are exceedingly gay friendly. Spend your afternoons beside a glamorous rooftop pool at The London West Hollywood, Andaz West Hollywood or Mondrian.

Ramada Plaza West Hollywood is located right in the heart of the action on Santa Monica Boulevard, buzzing with pedestrians, outdoor cafes, shops and bars. Spacious all-suite properties like the Petit Ermitage, Le Montrose Suite Hotel, Le Parc Suite Hotel and Chamberlain are within easy walking distance of Santa Monica Boulevard, as is the chic pied-a-terre Palihouse.

Same sex marriage is legal in California, and West Hollywood offers an array of options of places to get married, from hotel rooftops to intimate garden settings.

Viceroy L’Ermitage 5 Star

Beverly Hills



Booking.com

This 5-star hotel is located on a residential street in Beverly Hills, within walking distance of Rodeo Drive. The hotel offers a rooftop pool, spa services and spacious guest rooms. Free WiFi

Sunset Marquis Hotel 4 Star

Iconic Location



Booking.com

The Sunset Marquis Hotel Los Angeles is located in the heart of West Hollywood. Hidden away in a tree lined cul-de-sac, it is just steps from the famed sidewalks of the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.

Petit Ermitage 4 Star

Stunning Views



Booking.com

Featuring a private rooftop with stunning views of Los Angeles, a saltwater pool and comfortable indoor/outdoor seating, Each spacious suite at Petit Ermitage includes a flat-screen TV, free WiFi and iPod dock. All classically furnished rooms also include luxurious linens and goose down pillows.

Gay LA NEIGHBOURHOODS

Los Angeles boasts a very diverse gay community, though there is a bit of an east-side vs west-side split between them.

WeHo (aka Boys’ Town):

One of the most pristine, well-kept and quaintest areas in the city, it’s also one of the liveliest, with many well-known bars (Rage, Mickey’s, the Abbey), restaurants (Hamburger Mary’s, La Boheme) and gyms (24-Hour Fitness). It’s also home to several cafes and coffee shops. Just watch out for gym bunnies crossing the street.

Booking.com

Other neighborhoods in GAY LA?

Make sure you venture beyond WeHo and explore the other gay bars and clubs dotted across the city. Head to Silver Lake for a completely different gay experience where hipsters and leather guys mingle freely! Or explore the cutting edge restaurants and bars in the reinvigorated Downtown area!

SILVER LAKE GAY GUIDE

Silver Lake Gay Guide

Silver Lake

Edgy vibe. Worth exploring!

A hilly, eclectic, and historic neighborhood north of downtown, east of Hollywood, and south of Griffith Park, Silver Lake has long been at the core of LA’s gay rights movement.

HOLLYWOOD GUIDE

Hollywood Guide

Hollywood

Touristy but Iconic!

In Hollywood you can match your hand and footprints with Judy Garland’s or Rock Hudson’s in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, tour the Kodak Theatre next door (home of the Academy Awards® and part of the landmark Hollywood & Highland Center), or catch a flick at the Egyptian Theater, home to Outfest’s Wednesday night screenings of LGBT films and their annual Film Festival.

DOWNTOWN GUIDE

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown

Hip, up and coming!

Once thought of as a neighbourhood that shut down after dark, Downtown is now a nightlife hub.

LONG BEACH GUIDE

Long Beach Gay guide

Long Beach

Distinct and different gay scene

Take the freeway south from downtown LA for the coastal community of Long Beach. With their own distinct gay scenes of mostly small neighborhood bars, restaurants and shops.

ORANGE COUNTY GUIDE

Orange County Gay Guide

Orange County

Great beaches and Theme Parks!

Famous for its tourism, as the home of such attractions as Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as several beaches along its more than 40miles (64km) of coastline. It is also known for its affluence and political conservatism.

What to See & Do in LOS ANGELES

Hollywood celebrities are never far away in LA. To catch a glimpse of stardust, stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where more than 2,400 figures from the entertainment world are immortalized in pink terrazzo with symbolic gold lettering. If you’re a film buff, look out for the famous hand and footprints at the Chinese Theatre. Countless premieres and galas have passed through, adding to the renowned pagoda’s star quality. It may not all be as glitzy as you imagined, but Hollywood still has its charms.

Griffith-Observatory

Get killer views of the best of Hollywood and beyond at the Griffith Observatory.

The Getty Centre

In its billion-dollar, in-the-clouds perch, The Getty Centre is the place to catch the sunset!

Paramount-Pictures

Relive the magic of the silver screen and take a VIP tour of Paramount Studios!

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Get your celebrity fix on the Hollywood Walk of fame where grime and glamour collide!

Gay LA Guide – Sights worth seeing!

Marvel at Los Angeles’ Museum Row

The collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA, are housed in a vast 20-acre complex of buildings, expertly renovated in 2008 with more redesigns on the way. The focal point is the BP Grand Entrance, which includes the stunning installation of Chris Burden’s Urban Light. The Broad Contemporary Art Museum is home to a dazzling selection of modern works.

Get animated with Mickey and Minnie

You’re never too old for Disneyland. This legendary theme park is packed with cool things to do, spread over seven lands and the adjacent California Adventure. After brushing up on a few essential Disneyland tips, stroll down Main Street USA to experience turn-of-the 19th century America, head Westwards at Frontierland and tune into the music of New Orleans square, minus the floods and booze. Great rides include the stomach-churning Space Mountain and the epic Indiana Jones Adventure.

See the sights of Hollywood

Hollywood celebrities are never far away in LA. To catch a glimpse of stardust, stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where more than 2,400 figures from the entertainment world are immortalized in pink terrazzo with symbolic gold lettering. If you’re a film buff, look out for the famous hand and footprints at the Chinese Theatre. Countless premieres and galas have passed through, adding to the renowned pagoda’s star quality. It may not all be as glitzy as you imagined, but Hollywood still has its charms.

Go to the Griffith Observatory

Cross a ton of stuff off at the Griffith Observatory — you’ve got a killer view of the Hollywood sign, photos at one of the most iconic movie locations of all time, and… tons and tons of science. Boom.

Take a tour of Paramount Pictures

Studios come and go in Hollywood, but Paramount Pictures remains one of the most storied lots in the city. There are three tour varieties available, each running anywhere from two to four hours, with over a century of feature and TV history to explore. Whether you want the basics (the Studio Tour), the upgrade complete with gourmet lunch and hors d’oeuvres (the VIP Tour), or the nighttime treatment with secret passageways (the After Dark Tour), Paramount’s the place to get your Silver Screen history fix.

Hitch a ride on the tram to the Getty Centre

In its billion-dollar, in-the-clouds perch, high above the city grit and grime, the Getty Center presents triple delights: a stellar art collection (everything from medieval triptychs to baroque sculpture and impressionist brushstrokes), Richard Meier’s cutting-edge architecture, and the visual splendour of seasonally changing gardens. On clear days, you can add breath-taking views of the city and ocean to the list. A great time to visit is in the late afternoon after the crowds have thinned. Sunsets create a remarkable alchemy of light and shadow and are especially magical in winter.

Where to Shop in Gay LA

Our top picks for the best shopping experiences in Los Angeles

Rodeo Drive

Check out the hottest shops and the latest looks on Rodeo Drive… even if its just windowshopping!

Abbot Kinney Blvd

Head to Abbot Kinney Blvd for a true Los Angeles shopping experience.

The Farmers Market

Combine the best shopping and dining at the original Farmer’s Market.

The Beverly Center

The Beverly Center has undergone complete refurbishment an is a Mecca for shopaholics!

Where to Shop?

Shop in style on Rodeo Drive

Many people dream of being Julia Roberts shopping on Rodeo Drive, but few can afford to buy from the array of high-end designers seen in the film Pretty Woman. So window-shopping is the order of the day. Along the $200-million ersatz European cobbled walkway Two Rodeo, browsing tourists mingle with serious spenders. A hop away is Anderson Court, which is the only shopping mall designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Stock up on new threads and fresh produce

For chic clothes and delicious food, the place to go shopping is the junction of 3rd Street and Fairfax Avenue. Here, you’ll find The Grove, an open-air mall where you can browse through about 50 top-brand stores. Adjacent, you’ll find the Original Farmers Market. Set up in 1934, it’s expanded from selling fresh produce to offering an international culinary experience from a vast range of stalls.

Beach Side Shopping?

Abbot Kinney Blvd has become one of LA’s top shopping destinations. Bargains are few and far between here, but there’s a lot of tantalising stuff – clothing, gifts, accessories and more. As rents have risen here, there has been spill over to surrounding streets. Along the Venice Boardwalk, shops and stalls sell everything from tourist tat to the famous gym shirts!

A mix of everything? – The Beverly Center

The Rodeo Drive of shopping malls, the Beverly Center is one of America’s great malls with all the high-end superstars,Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Burberry — plus more familiar department stores (including a dedicated Macy’s Men’s Store) and an impressive food court.

Eating out in Gay LA

Check out our top “gay friendly” dining options in Los Angeles, from tasty snacks to fine dining to remember!

Catch LA

Treat yourself at CATCH LA

The Standing Room

Discover the world famous Korean-fusion burger !

Dining Eataly LA

Spend the whole afternoon at Eataly LA

Petit Trois

Petit Trois, fine French cuisine in the heart of LA

Where to Eat?

Treat Yourself! Catch LA

An LA-scene extraordinaire. You may well find sidewalk paparazzi stalking celebrity guests and a doorman to check your reservation, but all that’s forgotten once you’re up in this 3rd-floor rooftop restaurant/bar above WeHo. The Pacific Rim–inspired menu features super-creative cocktails and shared dishes such as truffle sashimi, black-cod lettuce wraps, and scallop and cauliflower with tamarind brown butter.

Spend the afternoon! – Eataly LA

Opened in 2017, LA’s branch of this multistory Italian megamarket and restaurant hall is so big that it offers maps at the entrance. Stall after stall sells top-notch Italian delicacies – from coffee to cannoli, fresh pizza to pasta, packaged foods to pastries – and counters proffer gorgeous produce, meats, fish, salumi (cured meats) and cheeses. Grab a glass of wine and stroll around.

A quick bite? – Standing Room

New brick-and-mortar incarnation of the gourmet fave, Korean-fusion burger stand that started in Redondo Beach. It’s a hipster-cool spot for the Cash burger (shishito pepper, bacon, American and cheddar cheeses, crispy onion strings, Korean aioli, hoisin barbecue), the gooey, massive Napoleon and adventurous plate meals. On Saturdays and Sundays, it does a Hawaiian-inflected brunch!

Something French? – Petit Trois

Good things come in small packages…like tiny, no-reservations Petit Trois! Owned by acclaimed TV chef Ludovic Lefebvre, its two long counters (the place is too small for tables) are where food-lovers squeeze in for smashing, honest, Gallic-inspired grub, from a ridiculously light Boursin-stuffed omelette to a showstopping double cheeseburger served with a standout foie gras–infused red-wine bordelaise. Given its size, popularity and no-reservations policy, waits can be long. Your best bet is to head in between 3pm and 6pm or after 9pm. If you do have to wait, affable staff and top-notch cocktails ease the pain.

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