West Hollywood is home to everything that travelers have come to love about Los Angeles. Thanks to its iconic neighborhoods, foodie scene, green spaces, and (of course) connection to the film industry, visitors are guaranteed leave WeHo feeling like a million bucks — but a memorable trip to West Hollywood can cost much, much less than that. Here’s how you can make the most of your getaway, no matter how large or small your budget.
As most globetrotters know, accommodation is usually one of the biggest expenses that comes with traveling. And like many other destinations, West Hollywood boasts its fair share of high-end boutique hotels, but the city offers centrally located, budget-friendly options, too.
For example, you can avoid breaking the bank by staying in the motel where Jim Morrison lived for two years. There are also several hostels in the area, although some of them are technically outside of West Hollywood. Check Hostelworld to find options located near Santa Monica Boulevard, the Sunset Strip, and Hollywood’s top attractions.
If you’re traveling in a group, you can book a room in a nicer hotel — which might come with a heated pool, rooftop lounge, fitness center, or tennis court — and split the cost between friends. (Just make sure that everyone will have a bed!) Some of the most popular options include the Chamberlain West Hollywood, Le Parc Suite Hotel, or the Montrose West Hollywood, but there are plenty of other choices, too.
Often called the most walkable city in California, West Hollywood — with a total area of just 1.9 square miles — is extremely pedestrian-friendly. It’s easy (and fun) to explore the city’s best sights on foot, but even if you need wheels to get around, you won’t have to shell out too much.
If you’d like to get some exercise while you’re on the go, you might want to check out WeHo Pedals. This bike-share program costs about $7 per hour and extends to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, letting cyclists pedal through WeHo and beyond. To avoid incurring an additional fee after you’re done, make sure that you return your bike to a designated rack within the official boundaries.
West Hollywood also offers a Cityline shuttle that runs Monday through Saturday, as well as a PickUp shuttle for nightly rides on weekends and holidays. Both buses are free, and some of the Cityline shuttles connect to the metro stop at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. Although the Hollywood and Highland stop is technically located outside of West Hollywood, the shuttle connection makes it that much easier to explore the rest of LA. Just hop on the red line, and get going.
Of course, you could also rely on a ride-sharing service to get around — and if you’re keen on driving, Los Angeles just so happens to be one of the cheapest places in the U.S. to rent a car. Just don’t forget that you’ll still have to pay for parking!
Food tends to be fairly pricey throughout greater Los Angeles, but we have a hunch that you won’t mind splurging on the occasional meal during your time in WeHo. After all, the city’s restaurants read like a foodie’s bucket list, and no city does brunch quite as well as this one. If possible, you might want to plan your budget around having at least one nice meal per day.
But even when you’re chowing down on inexpensive food, you’re in for a treat. Look around for food trucks, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and California-based fast food favorites — you’re bound to find something delicious.
Some of our favorite cheap eats include Carney’s Restaurant (a hot-dog-and-burger joint inside an old train car) and Tacos El Gavilan (a local chain with a location just outside of West Hollywood). If you’d like to mix up your options, you could also head to the Fairfax District, Thai Town, or Little Armenia — three ethnic neighborhoods that aren’t too far from WeHo.
Activities and Sightseeing
Fortunately, West Hollywood offers plenty to do, even for people on a budget. The city’s cheap (or free) activities include everything from relaxing in the park to hiking along scenic trails, scouting out locations from your favorite movies and TV shows, and exploring the city’s liveliest boulevards.
West Hollywood’s parks are peaceful havens that provide a chance to get away from the stresses of city life, and thanks to Southern California’s temperate climate, they stay sunny and green all year long. Some of our favorites include West Hollywood Park (a green space complete with basketball and tennis courts, dog parks, and a public pool), Kings Road Park (a well-shaded area with plenty of benches, fountains, and gravel pathways), and Plummer Park (a place that’s home to a farmer’s market on Mondays).
Runyon Canyon Park, in L.A.’s nearby Hollywood Hills neighborhood, is well worth a visit too. Most locals consider it the best hiking spot in the city, especially since the climb isn’t too steep and the views are fantastic. If you go, try to time your hike with sunrise or sunset, when the downtown skyline and the Pacific Ocean look their very best. Feel free to bring your pup, and keep an eye out for incognito celebrities!
Back in West Hollywood, you’ll want to spend some time exploring the city’s lifeblood: the Sunset Strip and Santa Monica Boulevard. Although most activities here will cost you (especially on the Strip), walking or driving the streets is an experience in and of itself. Remember to bring your wallet, just in case something catches your eye.
On the Strip, you’ll spot plenty of billboards for movies and TV shows that were filmed just around the corner, and you’ll also see neon signs and marquees advertising upcoming concerts and comedy shows. Everywhere you look, there’s evidence of West Hollywood’s significance to the entertainment industry, and the energy is palpable.
And while wandering up and down Santa Monica Boulevard is always interesting, there’s no better time to explore this vibrant street than after dark. The stretch between Larrabee Street and North Robertson Boulevard is especially lively, as it’s a major hub for L.A.’s LGBTQ nightlife. If you’re visiting around Pride or Halloween, you won’t want to miss it — but no matter when you’re in the area, make sure that you head to Pump, Flaming Saddles, or the Abbey.
It almost goes without saying, but these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. West Hollywood makes it easy to have fun on a budget, so look around and see what else you can do for cheap. Good luck!
Looking for a few more money-saving tips for your trip to Southern California? Check out our budget guide to greater Los Angeles.