Los Angeles is a city filled with dreams and opportunities! The city offers an unending choice of parties, dining and places to stay to suit all tastes and budgets! This is your gay Disneyland.
Our Insiders Guide to Gay Los Angeles!
The gay community’s influence in LA is legendary from film and television to music, fashion, art and design. 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. Some of the city’s most high profile citizens are out and proud. A heritage of tolerance has made LA gay-friendly to the core, making it one of our top destinations year after year.
- Los Angeles has three distinct gaybourhoods; the most famous is West Hollywood. WeHo makes the perfect base to explore Los Angeles. Close to the very best restaurants, it has a thriving gay scene, and it is also home to the best hotels.
- West Hollywood is a city-within-a-city, easily navigable on foot and busy every day, especially at weekends. Dance the night away at Micky’s or head to The Chapel at the Abbey for the latest in gay EDM.
- Gay WEHO or West Hollywood knows how to show people a good time. It’s part of the city’s history. State-of-the-art entertainment venues have flourished here since the Prohibition era, and today, WeHo ranks as one of the most fabulous places in the world for a night out.
- WeHo’s Gay Pride Parade and Festival occur here each June, and half a million people gather for the annual, much-bedazzled street parade Carnival at Halloween.
- The rest of the year, it’s busy day and night with cafés, gyms, restaurants, bars and dance clubs. It is truly a national phenomenon that so many gay establishments fill the streets of Weho and have been thriving there for so long.
- Silver Lake is a little more sleazy, a little edgier! The “East Side” is where you will find bearded hotties, sexy daddies and hungry hipsters mingling infamous bars such as The Eagle. Faultline and Akbar host regular theme nights, underwear parties and the famous Sunday beer bust.
- Downtown LA has undergone a resurgence of late. New hotels, restaurants, gay bars and museums pop up every month, and the scene constantly changes.
- Redline hosts some rather vicious drag acts! Downtown’s primary attraction is Precinct, a colossal space hosting weekend events bringing new life to what was once a forgotten district.
Plan your day in advance, LA traffic is notorious and even a short trip can wind up taking 30 mins to an hour.
Getting around WeHo is easy, complete with rainbow crosswalks and easy to reach bars & restaurants.
- Los Angeles is spread out across multiple neighbourhoods and cities within a city. Getting around in LA requires a car. Compare multiple rates and get the best deal now.
- West Hollywood is easy to get around on foot and is easily walkable. The gay bars and clubs are all located close to one another and the neighbourhood is home to some of the best hotels.
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 12 miles away from WeHo, while the much smaller and less busy Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) is about 11 miles from West Hollywood. Taxis and Uber are the fastest way to get to WeHo, and the journey time is 30 minutes approximately.
- 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.
- Getting around WeHO is easy. The city is easily walkable, and most of the venues, gay bars and restaurants are within easy walking distance.
Where to stay in Gay Los Angeles?
Most gay visitors tend to choose WeHo; however, Silver Lake and Downtown LA are also popular options.
Stay in West Hollywood, close to the city’s best gay nightlife options and home to fabulous rooftop pools.
Los Angeles boasts a very diverse gay community, though there is a bit of an east-side vs west-side split between them.
WeHo is of the most pristine, well-kept and quaintest areas in the city, it’s also one of the liveliest, with many well-known bars (Mickey’s, the Abbey), restaurants (Hamburger Mary’s, La Boheme) and gyms (Equinox West Hollywood). It’s also home to several cafes and coffee shops. Just watch out for gym bunnies crossing the street.
- 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.
- Sonder Beverly Terrace is located close to 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, and The Chamberlain are within easy walking distance of Santa Monica Boulevard.
Gay Map of LA
Gay Silver Lake Guide
Edgy vibe. Worth exploring!
Don’t miss the Sunday beer busts in the gardens of Silver Lake’s gay bars.
A hilly, eclectic, and historic neighbourhood 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.
LA’s original gay enclave is the Silver Lake neighbourhood, northwest of Downtown LA. Trendsetters have long mixed with a substantial Latino population, and today its rolling hills are lined with pillbox-sized homes, hip clubs and eateries, Salvadoran pupuserias and trendy, friendly bars.
From Los Feliz, down to Silver Lake, over to Echo Park, and now, even into the reaches of Koreatown, the hipster chic style has run rampant and transformed these once humble neighbourhoods into some of the city’s most sought after real estate.
Get started at Sunset Junction, where Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards meet Fountain Avenue.
Silver Lake Dining & Shopping
- Enjoy lunch or dinner at Café Stella, a sweet treat at Pazzo Gelato or a Cuban guava-cream cheese pastry from Café Tropical. Walk off that food coma in Griffith Park, the nation’s largest urban park. Work it off after. You can hike to the top of the world and take in spectacular views of the LA Basin and the stars above.
- If the shopping bug hits, browse Wacko for fun and funky gifts or Rough Trade for leather accessories.
Silver Lake Nightlife
- At night, Akbar is a friendly lounge of low-key cool. Predominantly gay but straight-friendly, it features Moroccan-inspired décor, a jukebox filled with oldies-but-coolies and a separate dance floor.
- Local leather bars The Eagle LA and The Faultline host a hardcore calendar of nightly events and famous weekend beer busts.
Gay Downtown LA (DTLA)
Hip, up and coming!
Downtown LA plays host to the Bearracuda and Megawoof Bear Circuit Events.
Once thought of as a neighbourhood that shut down after dark, Downtown is now a nightlife hub.
Evolving from its humble beginning as a tiny adobe settlement in 1781, Downtown Los Angeles has become a highly desirable global metropolis. Downtown LA has become a new “gayborhood” with stylish bars and excellent dining options, plus some great entertainment options.
Downtown Los Angeles Gay Bars
While divey Mexican gay bar the New Jalisco has been around for years, several new gay establishments have opened their doors over the past few years.
- Redline is named for the Metro line that runs through Downtown and the Red Car, the original light rail in L.A. Redline doubles as a low-key bar/restaurant and a crowded nightclub. By 10 pm, the tables are cleared, and the music turned up.
- As the most prominent gay establishment downtown, Precinct can get crowded, sometimes with a line around the corner. The influx of customers could be due to its popular themed nights and performers. The Boulet Brothers host Queen Kong every Friday, a drag night featuring some of the most popular talent. Themes rotate on Saturday nights and include bear and Latin nights.
- Precinct is just down the block from the Ace Hotel. The self-dubbed “rock and roll gay bar” serves as an excellent update for a turn-of-the-century building that once housed the Department of Corrections by going classic in decor—exposed brick, lots of black and a red arrow above the door to mark the spot.
- The expansive 8,500-square-foot second-floor space includes a bar, dance floor, performance space and its best feature—a wrap-around terrace with commanding views that feels more Bourbon Street than DTLA, and serves as the perfect place for a Sunday beer bust.
- New Jalisco, only four blocks from Precinct, is a dive bar in every sense of the term and is cash only. The drinks were pretty strong and perfect for our nightcap. While the New Jalisco may not be as fancy as the newer gay establishments, you can feel the history pulsing throughout the building.
Things to see and do Downtown
- The most significant draw in downtown Los Angeles is LA LIVE, a $2.5 billion entertainment and sports complex located in the South Park district of Downtown LA.
- The Target Terrace offers breathtaking skyline views. Often dubbed the “Times Square of the West,” check out some great attractions, including The GRAMMY Museum and much more. Popular restaurants include Katsuya, WP24 by Wolfgang Puck and Rock’n Fish.
- If you want to stay Downtown, then head to the longstanding classic, the historic Hotel Figueroa. “Hotel Fig”, as its affectionately known, has been an oasis in the centre of the vibrant Downtown Los Angeles community for almost 100 years.
- Dining Downtown is a foodie’s delight. There’s a menu for every taste, from imaginative bars and food trucks to exclusive pop-up experiences and iconic dining rooms. Classic dining spots include Bottega Louie, a fantastic brunch option, Border Grill for a modern take on Mexican and Grand Central Market for a sampling of the young upstart restaurateurs on the scene.
- Or, venture out to taste the best world cuisine in our neighbourhood eateries in Little Tokyo, Chinatown, Koreatown, and LA’s oldest settlement, Olvera Street (try the Churros!).
- From landmark masterpieces like the Walt Disney, Concert Hall to new additions such as The Broad museum, cultural attractions in Downtown are among the most renowned in the world. You’ll find attractions for every interest, whether art at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) or reliving history at Union Station.
Gay Friendly Restaurants
World Famous Dining Awaits. During peak season, some restaurants require reservations a week in advance, so plan accordingly.
Enjoy a light bite on the wraparound balcony at Rocco’s, or go for fine dining in one of the city’s world class restaurants.
Los Angeles is one of the most incredible places for food in America, primarily because of its endless variety of cuisines and astonishing produce, talented chefs, and keen restaurateurs that create quality dining experiences.
The best places to dine in West Hollywood
Perhaps more than any other LA neighbourhood, West Hollywood offers a wide range of dining options. From serious chef-driven restaurants to clever casual dining, WeHo will sate your appetite in style. You’ll see gays dining everywhere and a few eateries where they are the noticeable majority.
Treat Yourself! Catch LA
- An LA-scene extraordinaire. You may well find sidewalk paparazzi stalking celebrity guests and a concierge 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 brown tamarind 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) cheeses. Grab a glass of wine and stroll around.
A quick bite? – Standing Room
- The new brick-and-mortar incarnation of the gourmet fave, Korean-fusion burger stand 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 little for tables) are where food-lovers squeeze in for smashing, honest, Gallic-inspired grub, from a ridiculously light Boursin-stuffed omelette to a show stopping double cheeseburger served with a standout foie gras–infused red-wine bordelaise. Given its size, popularity and no-reservations policy, waits can belong. Your best bet is to head in between 3 pm and 6 pm or after 9 pm. Courteous staff and top-notch cocktails ease the pain if you have to wait.
- EP & LP West Hollywood Restaurant –Rooftop restaurant with multiple levels in the heart of West Hollywood. Comprised of their flagship modern Asian restaurant EP.
- Vito’s Pizza WeHo Restaurant – Traditional Italian Pizzeria restaurant is a must if you fancy a genuinely Italian night out.
- BOA Steakhouse restaurant LA – Artfully combines a bold, colourful environment with modern-day steakhouse fare. Steaks and chops
- Night + Market restaurant LA. – There is a reason the restaurant is always so busy, it’s probably the best Thai restaurant in town,
- Connie & Ted’s seafood restaurant LA. – Simply prepared fish and shellfish, inspired by the classic clam shacks, oyster bars, and fish houses that dot the New England Seaboard and the Western Coast.
- Eveleigh Restaurant LA – A little on the expensive side but worth the price, the menu offers something for everyone from oysters to lamb meatballs.
- Norah Restaurant West Hollywood – An eclectic American restaurant in the heart of West Hollywood offering delicious yet straightforward food
Los Angeles Gay Beaches.
A few beaches stand out as gay beaches in Southern California. They are spread along the coast from San Diego to the north of Los Angeles. Some of the beaches are pretty large, so we will try to direct you to the gay sections of the beaches.
WILL ROGERS GAY BEACH
Often lovingly referred to as “Ginger Rogers”, this beach is the only gay locale within the city limits (and accessible by public transportation: Santa Monica Blue Bus 9).
- The guys you’ll find there: A true cross-section of LA’s various LGBT scenes with a sprinkling of straight families that seem to be clueless to the location around them.
- What they’re wearing: Lycra/ spandex/ you-name-the-stretchy material swimming trunks often a size too small, board shorts, sometimes snazzy underwear.
- Pluses: It’s the closest gay beach, so you’ll see someone you know (is that a plus?): nearby snack bar, public restrooms and parking. Marix Tex Mex Playa is just across the PCH for “après-beach” margaritas (118 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica).
- Minuses: The water quality is not the best, but many beachgoers here only dip their toes in. Traffic and parking can sometimes be a pain.
- Directions: The gay section of Will Rogers is just off the Pacific Coast Highway near the intersection of West Channel Road. Parking is available on the ocean-side of the PCH ($10) or the street around the West Channel. Two pedestrian tunnels go under the PCH. The gay section is directly west of the parking lot and volleyball courts, around Lifeguard Station 18.
WEST STREET BEACH, LAGUNA BEACH
West Street Beach is the closest thing to a true gay beach in SoCal, but there will be some straights there. It’s a busy beach as the cove isn’t huge, and it draws people from all over Orange County. Clothing is required.
MTV did this beautiful beachside community a disservice with the disturbing reality show of the same name. Even so, it remains a great place to visit. Many LA gay guys trek here to see everyone they would otherwise see at the Abbey or Cherry Pop.
- The guys you’ll find there: Gym-bound bods from West Hollywood and Industry types.
- What they’re wearing: Tight revealing swimsuits that were not truly designed for swimming.
- Pluses: The hottest guys around, but the policy here seems to be “look but don’t touch (or talk to).”
- Minuses: A bit of an insider scene and not super friendly. Parking can be a feat unto itself. Due to the ocean floor’s sharp drop off, the short pounding waves are not suitable for surfing/boogie-boarding, and it’s a bit like swimming in a washing machine (then again, these queens rarely get their hair wet…). There’s not much of a night scene since the closing of the Boom Boom Room, the only gay club in town.
- Take the 405 and 73 or the 5 to Irvine.
- Exit and take the 133 to Laguna Beach.
- Turn left onto the PCH in the town centre and continue through town to West Street.
- Park near the intersection and then walk down the stairs to the beach.
- The entrance to West Street Beach is a long stairway across from West Street on Coast Highway next to the “do not enter” signs of Bluff Drive. Parking spots are available along the highway near the West Street intersection.
SOUTH SANTA MONICA BEACH, SANTA MONICA
The portion of Santa Monica State Beach in front of Dorothy Green Park is a gay hangout, and it’s located near lifeguard tower 26. The best parking is in Public Parking Lot 5 South off Bernard Way. You’ll find more volleyball courts and another Perry’s Cafe, which also has rentals including bikes, tandems, surfboards, and beach chairs. Clothing is required.
- The local gay beach in Los Angeles is Dorothy Green Park Santa Monica Beach at Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica.
- This beach is one block away from the only gay bar near the beach, The Birdcage, located at 2640 Main Street, Santa Monica.
- The Birdcage operates a gay beach club each week during warm weather on the beach: The Beach Club — Look for the rainbow flags near the water at Lifeguard Tower #26 near where Ocean Park Blvd ends.
The beaches of Malibu are considered gay-friendly. Many of them are hidden in Malibu, but others are pretty popular. The best-known gay-friendly beaches in Malibu are Zuma, El Matador, La Piedra, and Surfrider Beach near the Malibu Pier. Clothing is required at all Malibu beaches.
El Matador (Part of Robert H. Meyer State Beach): Malibu, a hidden cove, is on the western outskirts of Malibu.
- Pluses: Beautiful isolated rocky cove with very few people.
- Minuses: Beautiful isolated rocky cove with very few people. Sometimes the beach and entrances to it disappear in the high tide.
- Directions: To get there, either
- 1. Take the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) through Malibu
- 2. The 101 through the Valley and then Malibu Canyon road down to the beach.
- Limited parking is available in a gravel parking lot (pay $8.00 at the kiosk) or park for free along the PCH/Route 1.
Marvel at Los Angeles’ Museum Row
- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art collections, 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.
- Enjoy the day at Disney and stay overnight at The Westin Anaheim Resort.
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 immortalised 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 famous pagoda’s star quality. It may not all be as glitzy as you imagined, but Hollywood still has its charms.
- Check out the top tours of Hollywood and book your ticket in advance.
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.
- Check out the top tours of Griffith Observatory.
Universal Studios Tour
- Get ready for the ultimate Hollywood movie experience! Go behind the scenes on the world famous Studio Tour to explore where Hollywood movies are made. Then, face action head-on in heart-pounding rides, shows and attractions that put you inside some of the world’s biggest movies.
- Be part of the battle as you embark on a mission to defend the Allspark from the evil clutches of the Decepticons© in TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3D. Join Gru and his minions on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, experience Fast & Furious Supercharged and now open, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™
- Book your ticket in advance.
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.
- The visual splendour of seasonally-changing gardens.
- Book a tour of the museum today.
You can add breathtaking views of the city and ocean on clear days to the list. A great time to visit is in the late afternoon after the crowds have thinned. Sunsets create remarkable alchemy of light and shadow and are especially magical in winter.
- West Hollywood is a sunny desert city with little rain or humidity. There’s no wrong time to visit, although late spring through summer sees the hottest and calmest days, and winter is cooler and can be pretty rainy.
- Average high-low temps are 68F/48F (20C/9C) in Jan., 73F/54F (23C/12C) in Apr., 88F/65F (31C/19C) in July, and 79F/60F (26C/16C) in Oct. Precipitation averages 3 to 4 inches/mo. Jan. to Mar., 1 inch or 2 in Nov. and Dec., and less than an inch at other times.
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