Los Angeles Gay Travel
Year-round sunshine, a huge gay population and famous gay bars make Los Angeles gay travel an easy choice. Read on for where to stay, the best gay bars, Los Angeles’ gay neighborhood & more.
The Gay Travel Experience: Los Angeles, California
Greater Los Angles is huge. There are tons of options for the gay traveler in Southern California, from chill days along the coast to the bustling LA gay nightlife.
Southern California is home to a massive gay community. Many gay celebrities naturally call Los Angeles home. While strolling through the LA gayborhood, its common to see adorable public displays of affection. Stylish gay men are everywhere!
Gay Los Angeles: Where to Stay
I’m sure you have a few questions about LA…What is the best area for gay travelers to stay in Los Angeles? What is the best beach town in LA? Where should you stay to be close to WeHo nightlife?
Location in Los Angeles is key, since heavy traffic can make travel times balloon. I’ll help you get oriented to make your Los Angeles gaycation perfect.
Best Los Angeles Neighborhoods for Gay Travelers
Where to Stay in WeHo (West Hollywood)
Santa Monica Boulevard has more of the Los Angeles “gay neighborhood” feel, while Melrose Avenue feels sort of like a neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City. Melrose Avenue is lined with hundreds of boutique shops and unique restaurants. I adore both!
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Where to Stay in Beverly Hills, California
For a portion of my visit in the LA area, I stayed at the SLS Hotel on the border of Beverly Hills and WeHo. This boutique luxury hotel was absolutely perfect, with a ton of eye-catching features like sliding mirror-walls in the rooms and provocative art in the hallways. The staff is friendly and they embody the chill California vibe. They have stellar breakfast options and a relaxing pool deck. I highly recommend!
Staying in Downtown LA
Los Angeles Experiences for the Gay Traveler
The Getty Museum is fantastic place to spend an afternoon. The space is enormous and there is so much to explore. I love the beautiful vistas from the wide-open terraces. Try to get there earlier in the day to avoid lines and/or waiting in the hot summer sun.
If you have rented a car and you love driving along winding roads, then Latigo Canyon is for you. An intensely scenic drive, Latigo Canyon Road hugs the mountainsides at a high elevation. You can see the beaches of Malibu and captivating vistas from these heights. It is quite a thrilling ride!
Visit Santa Monica
Abbott Kinney Boulevard
Abbott Kinney Boulevard is a beautiful street near Venice Beach to shop, grab snacks or have a classy early dinner! Local foodies love Abbott Kinney! They have a monthly event called “First Friday” where high-quality food trucks line the streets before sunset. Learn more about Abbott Kinney on their website.
Restaurants in Los Angeles
My top recommendation for Los Angeles restaurants is Auburn, located in the Melrose neighborhood. At Auburn you choose four, six or nine dishes from a selection of small plates. Everything is so perfectly crafted.
The brand-new Century City Mall is a beautiful complex to spend a relaxing evening with friends or by yourself. There are tons of restaurants and unique little shops amongst the big brands there. The mall has an Eataly, which is very popular with the locals for dinner.
Craving amazing soup dumplings in LA? Northern Café in Westwood has the best dumplings around. A casual Chinese place best for lunch or an early dinner, I promise you will not regret making a trip here. It is so delicious!
Plan Check Kitchen & Bar is perfect for a cocktail-filled brunch. Located in Sawtelle, Plan Check has indoor and outdoor seating, a ton of soul food and great service. They are known for their fried chicken! I really liked the spicy custom cocktails too.
Downtown LA Lunch Recommendations
Skyspace LA is a popular downtown LA small restaurant and bar with observation deck. Locals love to get some amazing photos on the glass slide with 360-degree views of the city. Buy your tickets online in advance.
Los Angeles Gay Travel: WeHo Brunch Spots
If you love people watching, a superb breakfast or lunch spot in West Hollywood is Kitchen 24. They have a cute and colorful outdoor seating area where you can watch the boys of WeHo stroll the sidewalks. This gay area of WeHo is great to spend a warm summer morning!
Los Angeles Gay Bars & Clubs
Gay Bars in WeHo: The Abbey & Micky’s
The Abbey is technically a gay bar; however, the crowd is very mixed. Many straight couples also hang out here, but the vibe is clearly tailored to the LGBT community. It is a wonderful and unique change to the typical gay bar. Also, both Chapel and The Abbey have large dance floors in the back!
Micky’s is my favorite gay bar in West Hollywood. They have an area to hang outside, plenty of room around the bar and a great space to dance in the back.
If you are visiting Micky’s during a holiday weekend when things are very crowded, the bar will have people form a line on the sidewalk. But, they interestingly won’t let anyone in that line enter the bar!
Gay Bars in WeHo: Flaming Saddles
Cocktail Lounges in LA
If you want specialty cocktails with a bit of a performance, head to The Bazaar by José Andrés, located in the SLS hotel. Most of their cocktails are made in front of you with a bit of a show!
Los Angeles Gay Travel Tips
Malibu Beaches: Be Careful
Using Lyft & Uber in Los Angeles
Gay Rights in California
In 2008, California courts struck down laws which had banned same-sex marriage in the state. Proposition 8 arose a few months later, a newly created and approved ban on same-sex marriage which received a high amount of media attention across the United States.