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Gay Los Angeles

Gay life in LA and West Hollywood


West Hollywood is like an autonomous gay city with Santa Monica Boulevard concentrating a large number of gay bars and clubs. You'll find other gay venues around L.A., especially in Silver Lake and the San Fernando Valley, but you can stay in West Hollywood for weeks and still not have gone into all of the area's gay and gay-friendly hotspots. After experiencing that gayborhood, many gay travelers leave the city and head to Palm Springs. It's a popular year-round destination with the sun shining almost every day, and home to major gay events such as the Pride weekend in November and the famous White Party. It is not a beach resort town or even a big city. It's located in the desert, with golf, tennis, and lounging by the pool of a hotel as the main activities. But to stay in the urban environment of Los Angeles, head to the places below, and look out for the city's Outfest film and cultural events when you're in town.



The Abbey
This is the gay café-restaurant-lounge. It offers both indoor and outdoor sitting space, where you can have a good mix of drinks, snacks, or a prolonged meal. Sometimes it seems that most of West Hollywood's gay community gathers here on a weekend night.

Eleven, Gay club in Los Angeles Eleven
You can combine fine dining and all-night dancing at this restaurant and club on Santa Monica Boulevard. It's a beautifully designed space with the club area hosting gay parties, and special nights of house music or going back in time to the mixes of the 80s and 90s.

Here Lounge
Pretty boys (and girls) fill this space created by the owners of the popular G Lounge in New York. This one's got a small dancefloor where the most stylish and well-dressed gay guys in L.A. go for good music and a more laid-back evening.

Akbar
Located in one of LA's gayest neighborhoods, this eclectic bar mostly draws gay guys but you may also find a smaller number of lesbians and a few straight people. It's a hip place with a décor showing Arabic influences, and a jukebox filled with both new and classic tunes. It's a good spot for a late afternoon cocktail mixed by friendly bartenders.

Fubar
The location on Santa Monica Boulevard helps attract a varied group of gay men to this popular bar. It offers different drink specials and hosts special events often accompanied by the sound of a guest DJ.

Jewel's Catch One
When it first opened in 1972, this was the United States' first black gay and lesbian disco. It now welcomes everyone as a multi-level club that has become so popular that it hosted Madonna's launch party for her Music album in 2000. On some nights it gets a large female crowd, and on any night you'll hear a mix of hip hop, house, and Latin music.

Circus Disco
This massive club has two levels and several distinct areas, including a VIP lounge. With a capacity to hold a couple thousand of people, it hosts raves and wild dance parties, with some nights dedicated to hip hop, others to electronica. Once a week there's a gay night, when it gets so crowded that you'll likely be fighting for space on the dancefloor.

East West Lounge
Looking for the perfect place for a drink? This lounge is specialized in cocktails using fresh fruit and puree, served in a classy space for a more upscale gay crowd. So expect higher-than-average prices and some events where you are only allowed in if you're part of its membership program.

Factory
Know all the lyrics to the pop princesses' and queen's hits? You'll love this place blasting Britney's, Christina's, and Madonna's well known tracks along with some 70s, 80s, and 90s tunes. Almost everyone here is gay and occasionally a pop celebrity (Jessica Simpson was one of them) pops in for a performance.

Club Spaceland
Attracting a mixed crown, this club hosts some of the city's edgiest events. For all that's coming up next, check the website.

RESTAURANTS


O-Bar
Set in a beautiful space, this bar and restaurant includes a garden where you can dine in style or drink a mojito surrounded by a chic crowd in their 20s and 30s.

Mark's Restaurant
Casual but elegant, this restaurant is good for a late morning brunch on Sundays, but it's also worth getting a table for dinner (the desserts are delicious) or go for its wide range of martinis and specialty cocktails.

LESBIANS


The Palms
Every night is ladies' night at this bar that's been a lesbian hangout for over three decades. It hosts weekly events and attracts a diverse group of girls who know there's no better place to be in West Hollywood.

SAUNA


North Hollywood Spa
There's a large Jacuzzi and a truly steamy steam room, but the best feature of this sauna is its garden sundeck with seating for 30.

GAY-FRIENDLY HOTELS


Sunset Tower
Beverly Hills Plaza

GAY-FRIENDLY HOSTELS


BANANA BUNGALOW WEST HOLLYWOOD

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