WEST HOLLYWOOD: THE OVERVIEW

Electric nightlife, extraordinary dining, eclectic shopping and exceptionally fine hotels, West Hollywood has the hottest collection of E-rated attractions around.

Home to the Sunset Strip, Melrose and the Avenues of Art and Design, Santa Monica Boulevard, Sunset Plaza and Pacific Design Center, and special events like June's Gay and Lesbian Pride Celebration and October's Halloween Carnaval, West Hollywood is known for its faces and places, things to do and things to see each and every day of the year.

Colorfully landscaped, its tree-shaded avenues and boulevards are lined with hundreds of trend-setting boutiques and specialty stores, art galleries and antique shops and interior design showrooms. Pacific Design Center, the West Coast's largest facility for residential and contract furnishings, hosts exhibitions, lectures and special events year 'round. Scattered throughout the city are scores of sidewalk cafes that take advantage of the views and Southern California's legendary sunshine. All invite the serious shopper and the curious browser to explore and enjoy.

Dining here, too, is an invitation to explore and enjoy. More than 120 restaurants, cafes and diners share the West Hollywood address. Many, like Mortons and Eclipse (names heard 'round the world as locations for post-Academy Awards parties each year), Le Dome, Spago and Le Colonial are known for celebrity clientele as well as cuisine. Some, like fenix at The Argyle and Diaghilev at the Wyndham Bel Age, have earned critics' raves for both cuisine and romantic ambience. Others, like Duke's on Sunset, Barney's Beanery, Formosa Cafe and Tail o' the Pup, are the stuff of Hollywood legend and lore. But whether you opt for exotic, ethnic or downhome fare, there is no better place to be for breakfast, lunch or dinner than West Hollywood.

At night the city moves to a different beat. On the Sunset Strip and throughout the city, such clubs as House of Blues, The Viper Room, Billboard Live, LunaPark, The Roxy and The Comedy Store present today - and tomorrow's - brightest stars. Around and about Santa Monica Boulevard, the heart of the area's lesbian and gay communities, The Fire House, Micky's, Axis and Rage are a few of the clubs that play the best dance music in town.

Pedestrian friendly and easily accessible are words often used to describe West Hollywood.

Hotels here are only blocks from the restaurants, clubs and other attractions that have earned the 1.9-square mile municipality its alias - The Creative City.

Its central location - between Beverly Hills and Hollywood on L.A.'s Westside, means such business centers as Culver City, Burbank and Century City, and attractions like the Petersen Automotive Museum, The Getty, Universal Studios Hollywood, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and historic downtown Los Angeles are only minutes away.

As the popular saying goes, West Hollywood: You're either in it. Or you're out of it.

Smitten with The Creative City, Marsha Sculatti is Director of Marketing for the West Hollywood Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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