Gay West Hollywood and Los Angeles: Gay travel guide to LA and WeHo
One of gay San Francisco’s favorite gay getaways when the cool summer weather gets to be too much is Los Angeles and West Hollywood. And gay nightlife fans will find plenty to keep them up in WeHo and LA.
Click here for a previously published story with information on gay-friendly hotel choices in West Hollywood and Los Angeles.
Click here for a slideshow of gay LA and WeHo, including photos of LA’s gay beach.
The biggest concentration of gay nightlife is in West Hollywood, but there’s plenty more LGBT options outside of WeHo. The LA area’s other gayborhood is Silver Lake, a section of Los Angeles east of Hollywood. Silver Lake was gay before West Hollywood. The Le Barcito bar (formerly the Black Cat) in Silver Lake is the site of pre-Stonewall gay rights demonstrations and is designated by the City of Los Angeles as an Historic Cultural Monument. MJ’s and Akbar are among the most popular gay night spots in Silver Lake
The gay nightclub center of West Hollywood is around the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevards. The mainstays include the Rage, the Abbey, Mickey’s, the Mother Lode, Trunks, Eleven, Here Lounge, Fiesta Cantina and East West Lounge.
Although like almost everywhere, the nightlife options for lesbians are not as plentiful as they are for gay men, there still are plenty of options. The Palms on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood is the Los Angeles’ area’s oldest lesbian bar.
The Here Lounge on Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of gay West Hollywood has women’s nights on both Thursday and Fridays. The Abbey is mostly gay men but it is gay, straight and lesbian mixed.
The Factory and the adjacent Ultra Suede nightclubs are gay WeHo’s biggest dance venues. The Factory is generally open on weekends only. Suede is open weekends and Wednesday nights. Suede has a “girls bar” night (girlbar.com) on Fridays.
The newest gay bar in West Hollywood opened in the fall of 2009. It is in the space occupied by the lesbian-popular Normandy Room. The new bar is called Gym Sports Bar. It is owned by the same people who own the Gym Sports Bar in New York City. It is mostly gay male, but like the Normandy it is very popular with gay women.
Jewel’s Catch One opened in 1972 and boasts that it was the nation’s first black gay and lesbian disco. It is in midtown LA in the Pico/Arlington area. The club attracts a diverse crowd and has a good reputation for its community and charitable work.
Club Tigerheat is the place to go for the 18+ crowd on Thursday nights in downtown Hollywood. It’s mostly gay but straight-friendly.