Sunset Boulevard is a boulevard in the central and western part of Los Angeles, California, that stretches from the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades east to Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles. It is a major thoroughfare in the cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood (including a portion known as the Sunset Strip), as well as several districts in Los Angeles. Sunset Boulevard is one of the most important streets in Los Angeles, a 22-mile artery that runs through the heart of the Greater Los Angeles Area and crosses iconic attractions and famous neighborhoods.
One of the most iconic thoroughfares in the United States, Sunset Boulevard continues to live up to its legends. In the old days, it represented the classic and glamorous Hollywood lifestyle and became the setting of several famous films, including the obvious classic “Sunset Boulevard.” Today, the palm-lined street (which connects downtown LA to Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the Pacific Coast Highway) retains its cinematic appeal, and the Sunset Strip portion has become a popular nightlife spot.
Sunset Boulevard is a street where you can hunt for iconic objects. Signs, famous clubs, and characteristic attractions dot the route, making it a small road trip in its own right. A trip on Sunset Boulevard can take a few hours or days, since it passes almost every major tourist attraction in the city and each one requires time to be visited properly. for those visitors loved driving along this famous boulevard, adding that gorgeous sunsets can be enjoyed during late afternoon drives.
The most famous section of Sunset Boulevard is the Sunset Strip, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) stretch of Sunset Boulevard that passes through the city of West Hollywood, California. It extends from West Hollywood’s eastern border with the city of Los Angeles near Marmont Lane to its western border with Beverly Hills at Phyllis Street. The Sunset Strip is known for its boutiques, restaurants, rock clubs, and nightclubs, as well as its array of huge, colorful billboards.
The strip is also home to many classic music venues, including the Rainbow Bar & Grill and The Roxy Theatre. The clubs, bars and restaurants along Sunset Boulevard maintain varied hours, but the street itself is always free to visit and open 24 hours a day. For those without a car, the city’s No. 2/302 buses travels along much of the thoroughfare.
Previewing the data in advance and get to know the road better is recommended, vistors should get a sense of which areas it crosses and which attractions you should visit along the way. Like other parts of LA, this thoroughfare gets congested once rush hour hits, so plan accordingly. Appropriate planning and selection of attractions are necessary, because most of the main roads in Los Angeles are forbidden to park vehicles; on the other hand, walking thought entire journey will take too much time and is very physically demanding.
Approximately 22 miles (35 km) in length, the Sunset Boulevard roughly traces the arc of mountains that form part of the northern boundary of the Los Angeles Basin, following the path of a 1780s cattle trail from the Pueblo de Los Angeles to the ocean.Sunset Boulevard is at least four lanes wide along its entire route. Sunset is frequently congested with traffic loads beyond its design capacity.
In 1877, Harvey Henderson Wilcox, one of the earlier real estate owners from “back East”, decided to subdivide more than 20 acres (8.1 ha) of land (mostly orchards and vineyards) along Sunset Boulevard, including what is today Hollywood and Vine. In 1890, Belgian diplomat Victor Ponet bought 240 acres (97 ha) of the former Rancho La Brea land grant. His son-in-law, Francis S. Montgomery, inherited this property and created Sunset Plaza.
Sunset only extended from Hollywood in the west to Marion Avenue in the Echo Park district in the east. The Board of Public Works proposed to extend Sunset east to Main Street in the Plaza by routing the road over the existing section of Bellevue Avenue, but the plan was delayed until approximately 1904, due to active opposition by affected land owners. According to the 1910 Baist Real Estate Survey Atlas, Sunset Boulevard reached the Plaza by that time, but it did so by two short and narrow segments which were not aligned with each other and thus did not provide a proper thoroughfare to it.
In late 1912, several properties along the route were condemned so that the boulevard could be changed in both its width and its alignment. With these changes completed, Sunset Boulevard now reached North Main Street and continued as Marchessault along the northern end of the Plaza. This section, variously marked and signed as Marchessault Street or East Sunset Boulevard, remained open to traffic until the late 1960s or early 1970s.
In 1921 a westward expansion of Sunset began, extending the road from the then-current terminus at Sullivan Canyon toward the coast. This land, a portion of the original 1838 holdings of Francisco Marquez, stretched across a mesa and became known as the “Riviera section”. Will Rogers, who had bought much of this land as an investment, later donated it to the State of California creating Will Rogers State Historic Park. Circa 1931, Sunset was a paved road from Horn Avenue to Havenhurst Avenue.
From Downtown Los Angeles, the boulevard heads northwest, to Hollywood, through which it travels due west for several miles before it bends southwest towards the ocean. It passes through or near Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Holmby Hills. In Bel-Air, Sunset Boulevard runs along the northern boundary of UCLA’s Westwood campus. The boulevard continues through Brentwood to Pacific Palisades, where it terminates at the Pacific Coast Highway intersection.
In Silver Lake, the Sunset Junction sign identifies the intersection of 2 of the most important streets in Los Angeles, Santa Monica Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, which run parallel to each other for long stretches and then end up on Highway 1, the famous scenic road along the Pacific coast. The site is also known for the first protest march on American soil against repression of the gay community. The nearby Black Cat Tavern was in fact a gathering place for the gay community. This protest was echoed by the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Tiki-Ti (4427 Sunset Blvd)
This Polynesian-themed venue in Los Feliz is a must-see for those who love to go in search of special, out-of-the-ordinary locations. Here the 2 owners also work as bartenders, which apparently allowed the bar to get around the state laws on smoking ban on the premises. Tiki-Ti is distinguished by its long list of original drinks and for the unusual names of the drinks (if you’re undecided there’s a wheel you can spin and that way you leave the choice to chance), some of which make people go crazy.
Sunset Gower Studios (1438 N Gower St)
Dating back to 1912, Sunset Gower Studios has been the location of movies that have made the history of cinema (for example, Frank Capra’s films), television programs, and recent series (for example, Scandal). For some time during the 70s, it also served as a rehearsal venue for bands such as Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Eagles, and Elton John.
Hollywood Palladium (6215 Sunset Blvd)
The Hollywood Palladium, which has been referenced in various movies and used to record concerts by many famous bands (e.g. Keith Richards, Megadeth, and Bad Religion), is a historic venue in Los Angeles. It was built in 1940 in a modern Art Deco Streamline style and it was opened by none other than Frank Sinatra. Among the greatest musicians who have performed in this concert hall is The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Cinerama Dome (6360 Sunset Blvd)
Built in 1963, this historic dome-shaped movie theater not only revolutionized the design of movie theaters of the time but also brought significant technological advances, since it was among the first to use the Cinerama single-lens projection system. The dome-shaped building is a landmark in Hollywood and is often “decorated” as a theme to advertise the movies currently showing at the movie theater.
Amoeba Music (6400 Sunset Blvd)
Those who believe that traditional record stores are destined to disappear should come here and think again. The Amoeba Music chain was born in San Francisco, in Haight Ashbury, a hippie neighborhood, and then it expanded to Berkeley and Los Angeles. Good place for nostalgic and enjoy browsing dusty shelves in search of some rare records.
Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum (6616 Sunset Blvd)
This is a free and controversial museum commissioned by the Church of Scientology, the theme of which is a heavy allegation against psychiatry. The museum accuses psychiatry of being a profit-driven industry that often causes the deaths of its patients.
Crossroads of the World (6671 Sunset Blvd)
This is another historic building in Los Angeles, described by many as the first open-air shopping mall in the United States. It owes its striking appearance to the famous tower topped by a globe (also seen in Disneyland and Disneyworld parks) and to the shape of the building inspired by a transatlantic liner. Today, instead of the mall, it is an office complex with offices of businesses related to the entertainment industry.
The Walk of Fame in Hollywood (6901 Hollywood Blvd)
Probably nothing says Hollywood more than the star-studded sidewalks on Hollywood Boulevard. Here artists from American and international cinema as well as singers and other famous people are immortalized on both sides of the road for over a mile. There are also many other cinematic attractions.
Hollywood’s RockWalk (Guitar Center, 7425 Sunset Blvd)
There are plenty of iconic signs, historic clubs, boutiques, and restaurants full of personality on this section of Sunset Boulevard. You will be overwhelmed by the choices of places to visit, including hotels that have hosted stars of the entertainment world, such as the Chateau Marmont and the Sunset Tower, clubs frequented by great actors such as The Comedy Store, and others that have launched historic bands such as Whisky a Go Go and the Roxy Theatre.
Beverly Hills Hotel (9641 Sunset Blvd)
Opened in 1912, before the city of Beverly Hills was founded, the Beverly Hills Hotel is probably one of the most famous hotels in the world. The impressive number of celebrities it has hosted since it opened has made it a symbol of glamour and show business. Even the Eagles have paid tribute to it in their song Hotel California.
Founded in 1925, the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles is so large that it could be considered a small town. The campus has red brick buildings and beautiful tree-lined gardens, and unlike universities such as Harvard in Boston and Georgetown in Washington, which have Gothic architecture, the buildings here seem to have been inspired by the Romanesque style.
Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Dr)
The Getty Center is one of the most important museums in Los Angeles and houses the entire collection of tycoon Paul Getty. The collection begins with Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art and goes all the way to the 21st century, and it includes several Renaissance and Post-Impressionist works. The beautiful natural setting in which it is immersed completes the picture.
Will Rogers State Park (1421 Will Rogers State Park Rd)
Will Rogers was Hollywood’s highest-paid actor in the 1930s, which allowed him to buy 359 acres of land in the Pacific Palisades area and build his own ranch there. The property was donated to the State of California in 1944 and is now a nature park with many trails. Visitors have the opportunity to visit Will Rogers’ own ranch through free guided tours.
Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine (17190 Sunset Blvd)
10 acres of lush gardens, a temple, and an enchanting lake make up this site, created to nourish the spirit and encourage meditation, in honor of the precepts of Paramahansa Yogananda, Indian guru author of the best-selling book Autobiography of a Yogi, which has had a major impact on contemporary art and culture.
Will Rogers State Beach (17000 CA-1, Pacific Palisades)
The beautiful sandy expanse on the Pacific Ocean at Will Rogers State Beach is the worthy conclusion of a trip on Sunset Boulevard. Admission to the beach is free but there is a fee for parking. Just 10 minutes south of here there is the Santa Monica Pier, the famous pier with the amusement park on the ocean. This is where Sunset Boulevard ends and where you can start another magnificent road trip on the spectacular Highway 1, which runs along the Pacific and ends just beyond San Francisco.
Sunset Strip in West Hollywood
The Sunset Strip is known for its boutiques, restaurants, rock clubs, and nightclubs, as well as its array of huge, colorful billboards. The Sunset Strip portion of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood has been famous for its active nightlife since at least the 1950s.
Part of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood is also sometimes called “Guitar Row” due to the large number of guitar stores and music industry-related businesses, including the recording studios Sunset Sound Studios and United Western Recorders.
The portion of Sunset Boulevard that passes through Beverly Hills was once named Beverly Boulevard. The boulevard is commemorated in Billy Wilder’s film Sunset Boulevard (1950), the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical of the same name, and the 1950s television series 77 Sunset Strip.
Jan and Dean’s 1960s hit song “Dead Man’s Curve” refers to a section of the road near Bel Air estates just north of UCLA’s Drake Stadium where Jan Berry almost died in an automobile accident in 1966. The Buffalo Springfield song “For What It’s Worth” was written about a riot at Pandora’s Box, a Sunset Strip club, in 1966.
Metro Local lines 2 and 602 operate on Sunset Boulevard, with the former running through most of Sunset Boulevard between Downtown LA and UCLA, and the latter from UCLA west. The Metro B Line operates a subway station at Vermont Avenue.
At 4334 W. Sunset Boulevard lies the wall featured on the cover of the late singer-songwriter Elliott Smith’s 2000 album Figure 8. Since Smith’s death in 2003, the wall has become a memorial for the artist; fans have left many personal messages there over the years.
The Chateau Marmont is a hotel located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The hotel was designed by architects Arnold A. Weitzman and William Douglas Lee and completed in 1929. It was modeled loosely after the Château d’Amboise, a royal retreat in France’s Loire Valley.
The hotel is known as both a long- and short-term residence for celebrities – historically “populated by people either on their way up or on their way down” – as well as a home for New Yorkers in Hollywood. The hotel has 63 rooms, suites, cottages, and bungalows.
Throughout the years, Chateau Marmont has gained recognition. Anthony Bourdain, Tim Burton, Death Grips, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anthony Kiedis, Annie Leibovitz, Courtney Love, Jay McInerney, Helmut Newton, Dorothy Parker, Nicholas Ray, Terry Richardson, Quentin Tarantino, Hunter S. Thompson, and Bruce Weber, among others, have produced their works here.
Pink Taco is a restaurant chain in Los Angeles, California, with locations in West Hollywood on the Sunset Strip and in Century City, located on the premises of the Westfield Century City mall. It serves Mexican food.
The first Pink Taco restaurant was opened in 1999 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Paradise, Nevada. A second location in Scottsdale, Arizona met with controversy and remained open for less than three years, between 2006 and 2009. A third location opened on June 28, 2007 in Century City, Los Angeles, California. In 2018, a location opened up in Chicago’s Near North Side neighborhood.
Carney’s is a hot dog and burger restaurant in a yellow Union Pacific rail car on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. It was brought to the site in the 1970s. A second Carney’s, also in train cars, is located on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City. Pulitzer-prize-winning LA restaurant critic Jonathan Gold put Carney’s on his list of 99 essential Los Angeles restaurants.
The Sunset Tower Hotel, previously known as The St. James’s Club and The Argyle, is a historic building and hotel located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, opened in 1931, it is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the Los Angeles area.
In its early years, it was the residence of many Hollywood celebrities, including John Wayne and Howard Hughes. After a period of decline in the early 1980s, the building was renovated and has been operated as a luxury hotel under the names The St. James’s Club, The Argyle, and most recently the Sunset Tower Hotel. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
Originally operated as a luxury apartment hotel, it was one of the first high-rise reinforced concrete buildings in California. The art deco Sunset Tower is considered one of the finest examples of the Streamline Moderne form of Art Deco architecture in Southern California. In their guide to Los Angeles architecture, David Gebhard and Robert Winter wrote that “this tower is a first class monument of the Zig Zag Moderne and as much an emblem of Hollywood as the Hollywood sign.” It is situated in a commanding location on the Sunset Strip with views of the city and is decorated with plaster friezes of plants, animals, zeppelins, legendary creatures and Adam and Eve.
The hotel has also appeared in several feature films, including The Italian Job, The Player, Strange Days, Get Shorty, and Freaky Friday (2003). In the television show Cannon, the titular character (portrayed by William Conrad) resided at the tower, and the building’s exterior was featured prominently throughout the series. The hotel is also used for exterior shots of LUX in the series Lucifer.
Andaz West Hollywood
The Andaz West Hollywood is a 239-room Hyatt hotel located at 8401 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, California (at Kings Road). The hotel was opened in 1963 by Gene Autry as Gene Autry’s Hotel Continental. Leased to Hyatt Hotels Corporation in 1966, it was renamed the Continental Hyatt House.
In the late 1960s and 1970s the hotel’s proximity to popular clubs such as the Whisky a Go Go made it the preferred Los Angeles accommodation for touring rock groups, notably English bands Led Zeppelin, The Who and the Rolling Stones. It was often referred to at the time as the Riot House, a play on the name Hyatt House.
The renovation was completed by New York-based architecture and interior design firm Janson Goldstein LLP and includes a hand-painted metal disk 11-foot sculpture by renowned New York-based artist Jacob Hashimoto. The balconies made famous by stories of rock stars throwing televisions from them are now glass-enclosed sunrooms that overlook Sunset Boulevard.
The Comedy Store
The Comedy Store is an American comedy club opened in April 1972. It is located in West Hollywood, California, at 8433 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip. An associated club is located in La Jolla, San Diego, California.
The Mondrian Hotel is a boutique hotel owned and/or operated by SBE Entertainment Group, located in West Hollywood, California. The structure was built in 1959 as an apartment building. It was later renovated and reopened in 1985 as the Le Mondrian by the L’Ermitage Hotel Group. The outside of Le Mondrian featured a commissioned work by Yaacov Agam entitled L’Hommage a Mondrian which covered the hotel’s 9 story exterior.
The SkyBar (or Skybar) is a bar and lounge inside the Mondrian Hotel, in Los Angeles, California. It was opened in December 1996 by Rande Gerber. It features an outdoor area with a pool overlooking West Hollywood, as well an indoor area with bar. It is known for being visited by celebrities.
SkyBar is used by William Gibson in his 2007 novel Spook Country as a meeting place between the protagonist Hollis Henry and her employer Hubertus Bigend. In Shakira’s 2010 song, “Men in This Town”, she mentions SkyBar: I went to look / From the Sky Bar to the Standard, nothing took.
Pink Dot is a quick delivery prepared-to-order grocery store based on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. The store has appeared in several movies and television shows, including HBO’s Entourage.
Fred Segal is a clothing and accessories retail store founded in West Hollywood, California. Its flagship store is on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Whisky a Go Go
The Whisky a Go Go is a nightclub in West Hollywood, California, United States. It is located at 8901 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip, corner North Clark Street, opposite North San Vicente Boulevard, northwest corner. The Whisky a Go Go was one of the places that popularized go-go dancing. Although the club was billed as a discothèque, suggesting that it offered only recorded music, the Whisky a Go Go opened with a live band, spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right of the stage.
The club has been the launching pad for bands including The Stooges, Alice Cooper (who recorded a live album there in 1969), The Doors, Golden Earring, No Doubt, System of a Down, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Chicago, Germs, Buffalo Springfield, Steppenwolf, Van Halen, Johnny Rivers, X, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, KISS, Guns N’ Roses, Death, AC/DC, Linkin Park, Metallica and Mötley Crüe. The Whisky played an important role in many musical careers, especially for bands based in Southern California.
The Roxy Theatre is a nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, owned by Lou Adler and his son, Nic. There are also many well-known bands that have performed here, including The Roxy,Neil Young and the Santa Monica Flyers, Paul Reubens, Tom Eyen.
The small On the Rox bar above was a regular hangout for John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper and Keith Moon during Lennon’s “lost weekend” in 1973-74 and hosted parties arranged by Heidi Fleiss in the 1980s.
Rainbow Bar and Grill
The Rainbow Bar and Grill is a bar, restaurant and grocery store on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States, adjacent to the border of Beverly Hills, California. The bottom level of the building is the restaurant, The Rainbow Bar and Grill. Upstairs is an exclusive club called “Over the Rainbow”, which consists of a full bar, a dance floor, and a DJ booth. The restaurant is next to The Roxy Theatre and 1 OAK; formerly Gazzarri’s, Billboard Live, and The Key Club.
9200 Sunset (formerly Luckman Plaza) is a commercial office building at 9200 and 9220 Sunset Boulevard at the west end of the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. Designed by Charles Luckman, the project consists of two office buildings totaling 300,000 sq ft (28,000 m2) of office and restaurant space, which are connected by a central lobby.
The first building, originally constructed in 1964, is shaped like a triangle and is three stories tall. It once served as headquarters for Charles Luckman and Associates. The second building, which consists of 14 stories and fronts Sunset Boulevard, was completed as an office tower in 1971. Luckman later added a penthouse floor on top of the building, which served as his personal residence.
9200 Sunset is regarded as one of the “top entertainment office properties” in Los Angeles, and is home to many companies from the entertainment industry, including Ford Models, Abrams Artists, AtEntertainment and Media Talent Group, among others. Mosaic Los Angeles, Sotheby’s auction house and Comerica are also listed as tenants.
Soho House is a group of private members’ clubs originally aimed at those in the arts and media. The original location is at 40 Greek Street, Soho, London. The company now operates clubs, hotels and venues around the world, and in 2015 changed from SOHO House Group to Soho House & Co. Membership is selective and members are drawn mainly from the media, arts and fashion industries.
The first neighborhood crossed by Sunset Boulevard is not so famous, but it is more interesting than you might think. Echo Park is an ethnic neighborhood full of bars, vintage shops, hipsters, and also boasts some noteworthy parks, including the beautiful Echo Park Lake (from which the neighborhood takes its name) and Elysian Park, not far from the Dodger Stadium, the stadium of the Los Angeles baseball team.
This area shares many characteristics with Echo Park, starting with the fact that it owes its name to the lake located in the neighborhood (Silver Lake) and the many hipsters who frequent it. Here you’ll find excellent restaurants, cafes, and markets.
On the southern border of the massive Griffith Park is a residential neighborhood where many movie stars and some early movie studios (such as Disney) have taken residence. If you stroll through the streets of the neighborhood, you’ll notice a lot of fine architecture, including 2 houses by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
A multi-ethnic neighborhood with a concentration of Hispanic and Armenian communities and Thai Town, the only Thai community in America.
For many, just the thrill of being in this iconic neighborhood of American cinema already makes it worth a worth coming here. Sunset Boulevard runs parallel to Hollywood Boulevard, so if you want to see the famous Walk of Fame, you’ll have to make a little detour.
Located between Hollywood and Beverly Hills, West Hollywood is actually a small city, and its hub, at least in terms of nightlife, is Sunset Strip, which is a collection of historic clubs, boutiques, and countless other entertainment options.
This small city in Greater Los Angeles needs no introduction. Rodeo Drive captures the essence of this area for those with a large wallet. Many people visit Beverly Hills simply to browse around and see a lifestyle that’s far removed from their everyday life.
Sunset Boulevard runs along the southern boundary of this neighborhood known worldwide as the hill where famous people reside, Here you can go in search of unapproachable celebrities on a tour of the mansions.
Another neighborhood with many luxurious residences, which can proudly claim to have been home to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Richard Nixon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Arnold Schwarzenegger, etc…
This is yet another very rich residential area overlooking the sea that borders Santa Monica. The main attractions in this area are Will Rogers State Park, the Self Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, and Will Rogers State Beach.