LA is so gay.
And that’s a very good thing.
The LGBT community’s influence is legendary in industries that made LA famous: film and television, music, fashion, art and design. A heritage of tolerance has made LA gay-friendly to the core and some of the city’s most high profile citizens are out and proud. Visitors see lesbian and gay people woven into the fabric of LA society in a way that few other cities can match, making every day in LA a little bit gay.
With a multitude of neighborhoods to choose from, Los Angeles, the second largest city in the US, offers a measure of diversity to be reckoned with, truly. While West Hollywood is nationally known as a great, gay Mecca, LA has a rich, deep LGBT history that extends to every corner of town.
- Silver Lake is LA’s original gay enclave, northwest of Downtown LA. Artists and trendsetters have long mixed with a substantial Latino population, and today the rolling hills are lined with pillbox-sized homes, vintage and eclectic shopping, hip clubs and eateries, and trendy, friendly bars. Known for the spectacular Sunset Junction Street fair every August, this area has much to offer the LGBT community from historic LGBT bars to legendary music venues like Spaceland and The Echo. Day or night, Silver Lake is never a bore.
- West Hollywood is the thumping heart of Southern California’s gay community. LA’s Gay Pride Parade and Festival take place here each June, and half a million people gather for the annual, much bedazzled, Carneval street parade at Halloween. The rest of the year, it’s busy day and night with cafés, gyms, restaurants, bars and dance clubs. It is a national phenomenon that so many gay establishments fill the streets of Weho and have flourished here for so long.
- Hollywood has the hand and footprints of Judy Garland and Rock Hudson, among others, in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Kodak Theatre (home of the Academy Awards® and part of the landmark Hollywood & Highland Center) and the Egyptian Theater (home to Outfest’s Wednesday night screenings of LGBT films and their annual LGBT Film Festival). Distinct among Hollywood’s Klieg lights is The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, featuring an extensive roster of community services and events. Melrose’s fleet of trendy shops will entice even the most disciplined shopper and then there’s Universal Studios Hollywood where so much movie magic happens. The entertainment in Hollywood is literally endless, as it is created and re-imagined every day.
- The Beaches are a mere stone’s throw away from all the action and that’s just one more thing that makes LA a dream come true. Whether soaking up sun with Venice’s quirky crowd or gulping fresh air at gay fave sand strip Will Roger’s State Beach, oft called “Ginger Rogers,” visitors can gaze at the ocean and glimpse bottlenose dolphins dipping through the waves. When darkness falls, a bottle of beer will suffice at Venice’s gay bar the Roosterfish while one decides where to dine, from a reliable slice at Abbot’s Pizza to fine dining at Hal’s or Axe.
- The Valley offers a little bit of everything. It plays home to more television and film sets than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Many visitors return to Universal Studios theme park again and again where Universal CityWalk provides a fantastic outdoor dining, shopping and entertainment experience, while the Warner Bros. Studio VIP Tour gives a behind-the-scenes perspective on the movie industry. A visit to foot- tapping set of The Ellen DeGeneres show is also not to be missed. And while the Sherman Oaks Galleria has been a favorite for generations, the super stylish new Americana at Brand, sister center to The Grove, offers a theater, live outdoor music, trolley rides and shopping for any wallet size from H&M to Tiffany and Co.
Activities and Attractions
Los Angeles presents the best of a big city and the great outdoors. From premier art museums, music, opera and nightlife to hiking, horseback riding and beaches, LA’s many promises glimmer all around. Behind the doors of some of LA’s most remarkable landmarks are the works, histories and contributions of gays and lesbians from every generation. From the urban streets of Downtown to the red carpets of Hollywood, every day in LA is cause for celebration.
Dining and Nightlife
Los Angeles helps define dining and nightlife for the world with audiences and contributors bearing more stripes than a zebra. From authentic ethnic cuisines to thoughtful, contemporary and often eco-friendly restaurants and from historic LGBT establishments to the hippest of nightclubs, LA has myriad options from which to choose.
Arts & Culture
Everything about LA is iconic, from Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts. Behind the doors of LA’s most remarkable landmarks are the works, histories and contributions of generations of gays and lesbians.
- The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, founded in 1971, was originally denied nonprofit status by the IRS, who argued its mission was “neither benevolent nor charitable,” since it served homosexuals. The center appealed and in 1974 became the first organization in the United States with the word “gay” in its title. A dream for many years, these buildings provide a place for the cultural and social contributions of LGBT people.
Outdoor Recreation and Active Pursuits
Los Angeles offers a multitude of outdoor activities to LGBT visitors. Land lovers can hike, bike, horseback ride in Griffith Park, play beach volleyball or hit Venice’s mini-tennis courts, skate park or outdoor roller-skating circle. The aqua inclined can explore all kinds of board sports, boating, and sport fishing, among other things.
- Will Roger’s State Beach aka “Ginger Rogers” is LA’s unofficial gay beach and it has plenty of sizzling sand to go with the gorgeous gym primed bodies of its visitors. Though quiet during weekdays, weekends at the seaside LGBT hot spot are packed with shirtless beach volleyball players, swimmers and voyeurs of all of the above. It’s been a go-to destination for LGBT beach lovers since the 1950’s, hence its nickname, “Ginger Rogers.”
Los Angeles is a spectacular spot for the whole family. Visitors traveling with children of all ages find plenty of fun to fill their days.
- Universal Studios, it simply can’t be missed. With rides and activities of all kinds, including the new 360 3D King Kong experience, it could take days to explore all the movie magic in that one place.
Where better to shop than where the trends are set? Los Angeles. Hollywood, Melrose, Rodeo Drive, Venice boutiques, Silver Lake vintage, The Grove, The American at Brand, simply put, visitors can shop for anything in LA. Vintage and funky, hip and contemporary can be found in Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Venice and Eagle Rock. It’s where costumers for period piece films find hidden gems and hipsters revitalize their wardrobes.
Find Gay Welcoming, TAG Approved® Hotels in Los Angeles
Los Angeles loves visitors of all kinds and TAG Approved® hotels and resorts can help point travelers in the right direction. TAG Approved® establishments make it their mission to offer an LGBT friendly experience for their guests as well as their staff.