Cool Tips and Tricks for a Weekend Stay in Gay LA
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Los Angeles is known as the City of Angels for a reason. The city is filled with beautiful people and home to the most enchanting industries: entertainment, fashion, and nightlife. Los Angeles is the ultimate playground, from trendy dining hotspots to gorgeous nightlife venues—the city explorer’s dream come true.
Most visitors to Los Angeles will land at LAX airport on the outside of the city. You’re going to need a car to get around LA. It’s unavoidable. Los Angeles is a driving city, unless you plan on staying in the same general area the entire time or taking a lot of taxis or Ubers. When you’re planning your budget for LA, you’ll want to factor in the cost of the rental car and the cost of gas, tolls, and parking around the city.
Los Angeles has some of the most incredible accommodations in the world. If you’re interested in being closer to LGBTQ+ nightlife, you’ll want to stay in the West Hollywood or Silver Lake areas. West Hollywood has more polished clubs in its gayborhood and Silver Lake has distinct hipster vibes.
Many of the hotels in Los Angeles, like the Beverly Hills Hotel or the Hotel Roosevelt, are steeped in celebrity legend. Beverly Hills Hotel is a favorite of celebrities and Instagrammers and the Roosevelt is the former home of Marilyn Monroe. Check out all the LGBTQ-friendly hotel options in Los Angeles on the IGLTA website.
Foods & Drinks to Try
Los Angeles is the city of a million restaurant options. Even the most avid foodies will be pleased with the offers. Stop by celebrity hotspot The Nice Guy for a posh, see and be seen experience. Try the corn and lobster mezzaluna for an upgraded twist on a home-cooking classic. If you prefer something with a bit less paparazzi flash, head to Mid-city’s Badmaash. They focus on hip, modern twists on classic Indian food with super cool vibes. Try the Spicy Mango Pork Belly for a sweet and spicy Indian kick.
A great date night option is Hollywood’s APL Steakhouse. The modern steakhouse has a downstairs dry-aging room, hand-forged knives and upscale ambiance. The menu focuses on red meat, but also offers French classics, pasta and seafood along with a great wine list.
For our vegan friends, Gracias Madre in West Hollywood delivers Instagram-worthy ambiance with incredibly delicious vegan Mexican food.
What to See
There are so many things to see and do in Los Angeles that it’s hard to narrow it down. Start your adventures at The LA County Museum of Art better known as LACMA. The museum isn’t your average art museum. LACMA is leading the industry by mixing traditional art with new media installations readymade for your social media channels. Make sure you stop for a photo with the Urban Lights sculpture by Chris Burden at the front of the museum. Check out the Contemporary Art collection with pieces from LGBTQ+ artists like Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol and Catherine Opie.
For a little bit of a Hollywood glamour, head to Paramount studios for a behind-the-scenes tour of the studios. Let your inner fan girl go wild while learning about some of the movie magic that brings your favorite stories to life.
For a little bit of fun and fitness, hike your way to the Hollywood sign. It’s about a 3-mile hike and requires moderate physical fitness. You can also drive your car up the mountain, park, and hike the rest of the way to the top to get that classic LA photo opp.
Los Angeles is arguably one of the most LGBTQ-friendly destinations in the world. The city of West Hollywood, while technically a separate entity to Los Angeles— is one of the oldest gayborhoods. It’s so gay the police cars are powder blue and have rainbow stickers on them. You’ll find LGBTQ+ events, parties and friendly experiences all over Los Angeles. If you can only head to one bar during your time there, make it The Abbey in West Hollywood. It’s a queer cultural institution that caters to the entire community and gives back through their philanthropic endeavors every year.
Click here to view all IGLTA members and travel opportunities in Los Angeles.
Meg Cale is an LGBTQ+ travel advocate and community educator. Meg and her wife Lindsay run the number one lesbian travel blog, DopesontheRoad.com. Meg’s LGBTQ+ subject matter expertise has been featured in the New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Go Magazine, Out Traveler, Gay Star News, Buzzfeed, Matador Network, Elite Daily, Korea Observer, and India's The Quint. Her passion lives at the intersection of travel, queer culture, and new media. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter @MegCale. Photo credits: Discover Los Angeles