West Hollywood is at the cultural and geographical heart of the Los Angeles region, surrounded by must-see hotspots in every direction. The Oscars take place in the storied city each year, and West Hollywood serves as the host to all of the best pre-drinks, after-parties and celebrity stays. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opened in 2021 to celebrate film culture and history and is a must-see for visitors and film lovers alike. See below our guide to the museum and what else there is to see and do in the area.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, West Hollywood
The largest museum in the US dedicated to moviemaking, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is located in the heart of the entertainment industry. Just South of West Hollywood’s streets, the museum is open daily and explores the art, science and artists behind films. With stories of moviemakers, a unique simulation of the Oscars® Experience and ongoing screenings and programmes in their auditorium, the museum is an immersive Hollywood experience.
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The Oscars® Experience at the Academy Museum is a virtual awards ceremony for visitors to encounter the renowned awards at the Dolby Theatre. A recent addition to their exhibition lineup is ‘Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971’, open since the end of August. It displays works highlighting the crucial yet under-recognised history of African American filmmakers.
Museum ticket price: £20 for adults, free for children under 17. Oscar Experience tickets are £12 per person with a general admission ticket.
Where to stay in West Hollywood
Within a 10-minute drive of the museum you’ll find some of the best hotels in the state.
Chamberlain West Hollywood
Just off of Santa Monica Boulevard and moments from the Sunset Strip, stay at the Chamberlain for a home away from home in the glamorous city. Stylish and sophisticated with an old Hollywood feel, the hotel has 115 suites, a rooftop terrace and pool, and a restaurant.
A hotel embracing the art, colour and energy of the city, Le Parc offers comfortable suites for visitors as well as a fitness centre and Skydeck complete with a rooftop pool and tennis court.
An eclectic retreat from the bustling city, Petit Ermitage incorporates greenery, warm designs and luxury to create a unique stay. With 80 suites of which no two are exactly alike, the hotel offers a 24-hour private gym, a variety of guest services and a rooftop complete with a pool, a hummingbird and butterfly sanctuary garden, a restaurant and a fire deck.
Things to do in West Hollywood
As long as there has been a Los Angeles rock scene, there has been Whisky A Go-Go. It is one of the world’s most iconic music venues and ever since it opened on the Sunset Strip in 1964, it has played host to rock ‘n’ roll’s most important bands, from the Doors, Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin to today’s up and coming new artists. Today the bar is just as full of energy, with an array of events throughout the week and a classic diner menu.
This progressive city is renowned for its good times and nightlife, and gay bars are a huge part of that. Visit the likes of Hamburger Mary’s and Micky’s for drag shows, DJs, karaoke and extensive food and drink menus.
Walk the streets of West Hollywood for a boost of energy and creativity, as the sun shines down and murals decorate the walls. Visit Melrose Avenue for the iconic Paul Smith Pink Wall and ‘Wings’ by Colette Miller, while ‘I Ruv You’ by Ruben Rojas and SEL, the cool French Bulldog puppy, can be found on the side of VCA TEL Animal Hospital.
West Hollywood is renowned for having some of the best shopping around and it doesn’t disappoint. Head to the Design District, an upscale shopping district hosting over 200 global boutiques, furniture stores, galleries and restaurants. Enjoy browsing a number of the luxury boutiques such as Christian Louboutin, Rag & Bone and Maxfield to name a few. Another must visit is the car-free complex Row DTLA. Spread across 32 acres and six buildings it is home to well-known shops including; COAST by COAST, Brooklyn-born swimwear boutique, Jean-Pascal Florist, Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen, an LA-based men’s and women’s wear label and more. Look out for Bodega, Boston-based streetwear brand, which can be found hiding in a produce market. Step through an unassuming warehouse door and you’ll find a fruit-filled market, which leads to Bodega’s real entrance
Drinking and dining
The Butcher, Baker, Cappuccino Maker, also known as BBCM, is the perfect spot for those who love to people-watch, located in the Sunset Plaza shopping area of the Sunset Strip. Here visitors can sit outside and enjoy modern California cuisine with European influences, tempting fresh baked goods, specialty coffee beverages, craft cocktails and a comprehensive wine list.
For the vegans among us, Gracias Madre is a cool and vibrant vegan eatery that cannot be recommended enough. Enjoy kombucha cocktails and tasty bites from french toast to enchiladas.
Employees Only is an elevated neighbourhood cocktail bar and restaurant based in West Hollywood only from the outside it looks like a shop. The fake storefront leads to a quirky drinking den. Enter through the shop front and find yourself in a deco-inspired, wood-panelled dining room with a large curving bar. Listed as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars enjoy delicious cocktails filled with-house-made syrups, hand-squeezed juices, freshly puréed seasonal fruits and full pours of rare liquors.
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