Los Angeles

The Sunset Strip

After decades of notoriety, The Sunset Strip continues to blaze its own path as a world-famous cultural landmark, setting trends in music, hotels, dining and shopping. This most famous stretch of Sunset Boulevard begins and ends in West Hollywood, and like the city it calls home, it is constantly breaking new ground and reinventing itself.

Though it's often portrayed in movies like "Sunset Boulevard, Almost Famous and Rock of Ages" visitors say that nothing compares to seeing The Sunset Strip up close and in person. Bordered on the west by Beverly Hills and on the east by Hollywood, this iconic stretch of Sunset Boulevard features an array of world-class hotels, nightclubs, restaurants shopping and spas.

Through the years, The Sunset Strip has seen it all, starting with the seedy glitz of the 1920s, when Prohibition fuelled the rise of nightclubs and speakeasies. Because West Hollywood was not yet an incorporated city, this strip of Sunset Boulevard was lightly policed, making The Strip the perfect playground for the rebellious denizens of early Hollywood. By the 1940s, swanky night clubs like Ciro's Trocadero and Mocambo reigned supreme, attracting A-list celebrity like MarilynMonroe along with less savoury characters like Bugsy Siegel, who called The Strip his stomping grounds.

In the 1960's, The Sunset Strip became the major gathering place for the counterculture movement in Los Angeles, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison were fixtures of The Strip and the surrounding West Hollywood landscape. The Whisky a Go Go introduced Go Go dancers to the U.Sand propelled The Doors, who at that time were the club's house-band, to fame and notoriety. The Strip continued to be a major focal point for the punk rock and New Wave scenes during the late 1970's, and it also became ground zero for the colourful glam metal scene, hosting bands like Mötley Crüe, Guns N'Roses, and Poisin throughout the 1980's.

Today, The Sunset Strip continues to launch new artists and attract crowds to legendary music venues like The Roxy theatre, Whisky a Go Go, House of Blues and The Viper room. Meanwhile, swank hotel bars such as Tower Bar at the Sunset Tower Hotel and Skybar at Mondrian boast some of the most popular and exclusive hideaways on The Strip.

The Strip isn't all nightlife though; daytime visitors will enjoy the high-end shopping and al fresco dining of Sunset Plaza and Sunset Millennium, two of the hottest places to "see and be seen" in Los Angeles. Experience these areas entirely on foot, taking in the fabulous So Cal sunshine, and see why visitors are drawn from around the world to this eclectic destination.

(This article has been reproduced from the West Hollywood Travel Guide as produced by weho visit west hollywood and designed by Pacific Design Centre)

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