sunset strip los angeles

Visit the Iconic Sunset Strip on Sunset Boulevard

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Worldly life, historic restaurants, elegant boutiques, nightclubs that have become legendary, and a very high probability of seeing Hollywood stars. These are the main features that distinguish the Sunset Strip from other streets in the world. It is a street with so many stories and anecdotes to tell that it has become an undisputed symbol of the city: in short, an unmissable destination during a Los Angeles trip.

You may ask what to do on Sunset Strip. So let’s take a closer look at this famous street and at some recommendations for those who plan to visit it.

Where is the Sunset Strip?

sunset boulevard

The Sunset Strip covers a 1.5-mile section of the famous Sunset Boulevard, the 22-mile artery that runs from inland Los Angeles (the Silver Lake area) to Highway 1, the scenic road on the Pacific Ocean.

The part of this great road that is commonly identified as the Sunset Strip lies between Sierra Drive (bordering Beverly Hills) and Crescent Heights Boulevard (bordering Hollywood).

Although it may not be as famous as the Las Vegas Strip, the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles is still one of the most iconic places in the city and is known worldwide for its tourist attractions and establishments that have become historically significant in the music and entertainment world.

This street began to make a name for itself in the 1920s, when many restaurants and nightclubs opened there, turning it into a hub of Los Angeles nightlife. The success it enjoyed is also due to its geographical location. Since it is outside the city limits of Los Angeles, the Sunset Strip was able to take advantage of a less rigid application of the (then restrictive) rules on gambling and alcohol distribution.

How to Get There

how to get to sunset stripThe Sunset Strip is located in West Hollywood, a city in Los Angeles. There are buses that pass through West Hollywood (Metro line 2), however, the easiest way to get to the Strip is by car. Below I would like to point out 2 of our articles that could be useful for you:

Where Can You Park? When You Visit the Sunset Strip?

Just like in the rest of the city (as I already explained in my article on where to park in Los Angeles), even in this area, finding free parking is not an easy task, so much so that often the clubs or restaurants on the Sunset Strip have their own parking lot with a valet to whom you have to give the car keys (valet parking).

Since these parking spaces are often far from cheap, it may be useful to know that there are some cheap solutions in the area, in some cases, there is even free parking for 1 or 2 hours. In the interactive map above I marked some of them based on information provided by West Hollywood’s website. I have also included prices and times that I was able to find (however, you should still check for yourself to make sure that the information is still the same).

How to Get Around the Strip

How to Get Around the StripSome people may be content to simply drive across the Sunset Strip. If you are coming from Hollywood, you will end up at the Beverly Hills sign, which marks the beginning of the new neighborhood. However, you can also opt for a more detailed exploration.

Once on the Sunset Strip, you can walk along the street and if you are in the area on a Friday or Saturday, you can also take advantage of a useful shuttle service called Sunset Trip. This is a free trolley offered by the city of West Hollywood that passes every 15 minutes. It makes numerous stops along the Strip and it is particularly convenient for getting around quickly.

Famous Places on the Sunset Strip

On the map above you will find the main points of interest along the route. Below I will describe the attractions, which will be divided into categories:

Famous Hotels

Chateau Marmont (8221 Sunset Blvd)

Chateau Marmont sunset strip“Touched by scandal and commemorated in literature.” This is how the Los Angeles Times described the Chateau Marmont, one of the most controversial and at the same time intriguing historic hotels in the city. Built in 1929, its design was inspired by the Château d’Amboise in France and it has been used as a set for many Hollywood films and has been referenced in famous songs and stories.

In addition to the many personalities who have stayed there (for example Francis Scott Fitzgerald and Johnny Depp), the hotel has gone into the news for some controversial events that occurred inside, such as Jim Morrison’s fall from the balcony of his room, and John Belushi‘s death caused by overdose. If you want to take a look at its interior without booking one of its expensive rooms, you can eat in the hotel’s elegant restaurant. While driving through the Sunset Strip, you may not notice it because it is at an elevated position on the hill.

Search for a room at Chateau Marmont

Sunset Tower Hotel (8358 Sunset Blvd)

Sunset strip hotelsThe Sunset Tower Hotel is the first skyscraper built on the Sunset Strip (13 floors) and is a fine example of Modern Art Deco Streamline architecture. In the ’30s, it became a destination for almost all Hollywood stars, including John Wayne, who is said to have kept a cow on his balcony so he could always have good fresh milk.

The pool on the terrace has been used for many films (such as Get Shorty and Strange Days), while the current Tower Bar & Restaurant was originally the apartment of mobster Bugsy Siegel.

Search for a room at the Sunset Tower Hotel

Andaz West Hollywood (8401 Sunset Blvd)

sunset strip hollywoodAndaz West Hollywood was renamed“The Riot House” because of the unruliness of the rock-and-roll bands that stayed there after performances on the Sunset Strip. Led Zeppelin, The Who, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Elton John, Thin Lizzy, and many others have passed through here. They are the protagonists of stories of smashed rooms, televisions, and guitars thrown out of windows and entrances in the lobby on a motorcycle.

This hotel has also been used by Hollywood directors for their films (for example Almost Famous, which not surprisingly tells the story of a fictional rock band from the 70s). In spite of its troubled history, today Andaz West Hollywood presents itself as one of the most elegant hotels with the best views of the area.

Search for a room at Andaz West Hollywood

Historic Venues

The Comedy Store (8433 Sunset Blvd)

sunset strip venuesThis is one of the most important comedy clubs in America, where comedians such as Jim Carrey, Robin Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, Michael Keaton, David Letterman, and many others have performed… the interesting thing is that it is not at all rare that the great actors who began their career here come back on this stage to perform, maybe without announcing it beforehand, so get ready for possible surprises!

However, the reputation of this place was already remarkable before it opened as The Comedy Store in 1972. Just think that here in 1964, when the place hosted the concerts of rock bands, The Byrds performed.

Fun fact: The Comedy Store is also famous for hosting the wedding reception between Liza Minelli and Jack Haley Jr. The street was blocked off for the event so that the many entertainment personalities who were invited could attend.

The Viper Room (8852 Sunset Blvd)

Sunset strip music venuesOpened in 1993, The Viper Room, owned for a while also by Johnny Depp, ended up suddenly in the eye of the storm due to the death of River Phoenix from overdose, which occurred the same year that it was inaugurated. This did not prevent it from becoming an important reference point for rock and metal band concerts, and at the same time a popular place for many VIPs (for example Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston).

Some noteworthy performances that will remain forever in the club’s history are Johnny Cash ‘s 1994 performance for his American Recordings album, which marked his artistic comeback, John Frusciante ‘s live performances in 1997, a time when his health was severely affected by drug abuse, and the opening concert, for which Johnny Depp invited Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Fun fact: Are you familiar with Counting Crows? Well, you’ll be interested to know that singer Adam Duritz worked here as a bartender to regain some contact with reality after the extraordinary success of the album August and Everything After.

Whisky a Go Go (8901 Sunset Blvd)

Whisky a Go Go los angelesLovers of rock and metal will stop in their tracks when they pass by this venue. In fact, it can be said that the rock scene in Los Angeles exploded thanks to the Whisky a Go Go that, in 2006, was included in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame. Would you like to hear some names of bands that performed here? Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, The Doors, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Guns N’ Roses, and AC/DC, but the list is so long that it’s much easier to say who didn’t get on this stage than the other way around.

Fun fact: It may surprise you to know that Whisky a Go Go was originally a disco, an extension of the first club with this name opened in Chicago, in turn inspired by a disco opened in France in the 40s. During its “disco” phase, Whisky a Go Go introduced suspended cages, later reused by dancers in many nightclubs.

The Roxy Theatre (9009 Sunset Blvd)

sunset strip clubsOpened in 1973, the Roxy Theater shares 2 things in common with Whisky a Go Go. Elmer Valentine was the co-founder of both of these establishments and both have had an incredible array of famous bands and artists perform on their respective stages. Compared to Whisky a Go Go, this venue boasts a more varied repertoire, ranging from rock bands like the Ramones and Genesis to jazz musicians like George Benson and The Crusaders, to prose comedies like The Rocky Horror Show.

In addition to those already mentioned, some of the great celebrities who have come here are John Lennon, Frank Zappa, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, and Neil Young, but also in this case, the list is quite lengthy.


sunset-plazaThere are plenty of shopping opportunities all along the Sunset Strip, but the area where all shopaholics head is Sunset Plaza (8623 Sunset Blvd), a stretch of the Strip filled with boutiques and cafes. If you are not in the shopping mood you can always sit down and have something to drink hoping to spot some VIPs going shopping…

Best Places to Eat on Sunset Strip

On a street like the Sunset Strip, places to eat abound and when there are too many choices, having some recommendations can always be useful.

Best Places to Eat on Sunset Strip

Saddle Ranch Chop House (8371 Sunset Blvd) is one of my favorite places both for the quality of the Tex-Mex cuisine with large portions served here, and for the atmosphere, which recreates the stereotypes of the Far West with live performances of country musicians and the mechanical bull that you can try to tame. To top it all off, if you have some space left, you can “facilitate digestion” with a lot of cotton candy.

sunset strip restaurantsThere are at least 2 reasons to go to the Rainbow Bar and Grill (9015 Sunset Blvd), which was also opened by the ubiquitous Elmer Valentine, and they are its history and atmosphere. Back in the days when it was called Villa Nova, Marilyn Monroe had her first date here with Joe DiMaggio, while Vincent Minnelli, who owned the place, proposed to Judy Garland here. But what the club is most proud of today is the fact that it is an important stage for rock bands and metal musicians (Motorhead’s Lemmy above all). Memorabilia, photos, and furniture turn this place into a small museum for rock lovers.

What to do on the Sunset Strip? Mel’s Drive-In (8585 Sunset Blvd) is a famous chain, also mentioned in some movies (e.g. Melrose Place and American Graffiti), which has left its mark on American popular culture, with its famous logo and 1950s atmosphere. Although the chain was born in San Francisco, the location in the Sunset Strip is still a good option, with good quality American food at affordable prices.

visit sunset strip

Another similar joint is Carney’s (8351 Sunset Blvd) which is famous for its eccentric sign and for the fact that it is located in an old Union Pacific locomotive. It’s a great place to have a burger!


sunset strip historyLet’s close with 2 curiosities. The Beatles lovers will be pleased to know that a short distance from the Sunset Strip, in the Hollywood Hills, there is the house (1567 Blue Jay Way) where George Harrison lived for a short time and where he wrote the song Blue Jay Way, drawing inspiration from the name of the street. If you try to look for the street and you don’t see the road sign don’t worry. Very often the street sign gets stolen by some out-of-control fans. It seems to be for this reason that the municipality had to put the name of the street directly on the sidewalk.

Instead on Sunset Boulevard, you could go in search of the Statue of Rocky and Bullwinkle (8775 Sunset Blvd). Until 2013, the statue remained in front of the headquarters of Jay Ward Productions, the company that created the famous moose and the equally famous squirrel. There have been many protests about the removal of the statue, some have even come to believe that it mysteriously disappeared. In any case, fans of these characters can breathe a sigh of relief, because it seems that soon the statue will be reinstalled in its original location. If you see it leave us a comment below.

Where to Stay?

The advantages of staying in a hotel on the Sunset Strip are the proximity to all kinds of services and the fact that many of these hotels often offer a pleasant view and a terrace with a swimming pool. As I already mentioned, there are some historic and charming hotels, but the hotel selection is much wider, as you can see in this list.

If you want to visit other attractions in Los Angeles, you can also inform yourself about other areas of the city, for example, by reading our guide to the best neighborhoods to stay in the city, which you can access by clicking on the button below:

Our tips on where to stay in Los Angeles

Our Tip:
Looking for accommodations for your trip from California to other parts of the Southwest? Read our guide that contains reviews of hotels and strategic tips for finding accommodations near major attractions: Where to Stay: Our Tips for the SouthWest Area

Warning: Operating hours can change and closures for extraordinary events can occur, so we strongly suggest to check the venues official websites.

lorenzo puliti
lorenzo puliti

I am fascinated by the wonders of the world I never tire of going in search of them.

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