Covering just 1.9 square miles (five square kilometers), West Hollywood is definitely a small city. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do here. Instead, WeHo offers endless entertainment to discover and thriving communities to visit without having to travel far. It also means that seeing the entire city is a walkable endeavor, providing a cheap and sustainable way to get to know your surroundings with our West Hollywood walking tour. And with amazing weather to boot, hitting the streets on your own two feet has never looked more appealing. With this in mind, we’ve created just the guide to make sure you get the most out of your leisurely stroll throughout California’s most walkable city!
We’re no mind readers, but we figure you’ll want to start your day in a calm place with a good coffee. We suggest Scrumptious Cafe & Bakery, located at 1111 N Hayworth Ave., just off of the eastern end of Santa Monica Boulevard. You can grab a full breakfast here, or simply a pastry to go, but either way it’s a good place to fuel up.
From here, take a stroll down the historic Santa Monica Boulevard, better known as scenic Route 66, which has seen its fair share of screen time in pop-culture. Also along the boulevard are bronze plaques, which are part of the West Hollywood Memorial Walk commemorating the 1985 AIDS epidemic.
After a mile or so, you’ll come to the heart of the city, where Santa Monica intersects with San Vicente Boulevard. At this point, you have a few options as to how to spend the next couple of hours. For starters, there’s the 1.6-million-square-foot Pacific Design Center, which showcases West Hollywood’s knack for interior design. Within the center are stunning showrooms and exhibits that exemplify the talent in WeHo. If you’re feeling up to more art, right next to the multi-use facility is MOË Japanese Functional Art, a clean space adorned with pottery, paintings, and other Japanese crafts. But if the outdoors are calling, just cross San Vicente Boulevard and spend some time in West Hollywood Park, where you’ll also have a good view of the West Hollywood Library Murals, perfect for scheduling some rest into your tour.
Whether you’ve opted for the park, gallery, or design center (or all three), you won’t have to walk far for lunch. There are plenty of options, but if you head west on Melrose Avenue, you’ll stumble upon the Mexican haven Gracias Madre. This locale’s menu is entirely organic and vegan and surely won’t disappoint. After indulging indulging in a few tasty dishes on the rooftop patio (you can’t go wrong with the chimichanga, jackfruit tacos, or gorditas), it’s time to get back on the streets.
Turn right as you leave the restaurant and continue onto Melrose Avenue for a block until you come to Doheny Drive. You’ll want to make another right here and head north, passing the famous live-music venue the Troubadour, which opened in 1957 and has hosted artists such as Elton John, Van Morrison, and James Taylor over the years. A 15-minute jaunt up Doheny will bring you not only to Sunset Boulevard, but also close to another collection of entertainment establishments that have helped put West Hollywood on the map. Head east down the boulevard and you’ll quickly come to the Roxy Theatre (located at 9009 Sunset Blvd. and also known simply as “the Roxy”).
Today the Roxy functions as a nightclub, but back in the day, it hosted a number of legendary acts, including musical the Rocky Horror Picture Show, groups like the Ramones and Guns N Roses, and comedian Paul Reuben, who introduced his notorious Pee-wee Herman character there. Also along the Sunset Strip are Whisky A Go Go, a historic nightclub and live-music venue with a star-studded clientele, and the Viper Room — notoriously gritty and owned and operated by actor Johnny Depp up until 2004.
Back Down South
After all that walking, your appetite is surely roaring. State Social House is just a few doors down from the Viper Room at 8782 Sunset Blvd., and with one of the best happy hours in West Hollywood running from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, it could be the perfect stop during your walking tour. Following a good meal (and possibly a Moscow Mule or two), it’s time to pick your entertainment for the evening.
You can continue on Sunset Blvd, as the Comedy Store, Saddle Ranch Chop House, and the Den on Sunset are all within a mile’s walk. But another option is heading back near where you came, toward the Design District. To get back here, walk down Palm Avenue for half a mile until you reach Santa Monica Boulevard. A few blocks west take you to nightclubs such as Rage and the Abbey, both of which are world-famous gay bars known for their dancefloor fun.
What stop would you add to our West Hollywood walking tour? Let us know in the comments below!