The Gay Guide to Los Angeles
Any gay guide to Los Angeles would no doubt include many communities spread throughout the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. There are major areas within the sprawling city of Los Angeles as well as many small to medium-sized communities outside the well touted gay Meccas.
The communities include Silver Lake, Hollywood, Santa Monica (including its gay famous Will Rogers State Beach) and Long Beach. Travelers to the area will find West Hollywood (called WeHo by some to mimic SoHo), the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach, and the shirt tails of Beverly Hills and Westwood to be trendy gay spots.
In the winter season there is a large gay community in Palm Springs to the east of the city along Interstate 10. There you can find gay exclusive hotels and clothing optional hotels with full services nearby or on-call. In the summer you will find a cooler and gay friendly community in Laguna Beach about 50 miles to the south of Los Angeles city limits. The region celebrates Gay Pride in May and June, and there is an OutFest and Lesbian Film Festival in mid-July.
For the high-end traveler a Winter trip to Palm Springs will certainly have everything you might desire. There are private homes for rent with special facilities that include well equipped playrooms and nightly in call service of your favorite flavor. For those traveling on a budget, there are affordable accommodations in West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Long Beach. Each of these cities also offers gay friendly housing rentals with beach side living available in Long Beach and Laguna Beach. For an interactive Gay Travel Blog try the one by Andrew Collins.
Like most everything in the multi county Los Angeles SMSA, the best gay bars and entertainment are often in places you need an automobile to access. If you are traveling, bring an international driver’s license that has a picture with your age or birth date plainly on its face. You will need it for access.
For those wanting bathhouses and sex clubs, the highest ratings go to the Flex in Silverlake, the LA Zone in Hollywood, and the MidTowne Spa in Downtown Los Angeles. If your place for a hook-up is the gym, try Burke Williams’ Body Wrap in West Hollywood or the City Spa on Pico Boulevard near the Mid-Wilshire corridor (any Taxi can find this one). Crunch in West Hollywood attracts a very young, tanned, and hard bodied crowd, and Gold’s Gym (only the one in) Hollywood on Cole Avenue is a Gay Bodybuilder’s spot where hook-ups can be made over the bench press area.
Among the five-star gay bars and restaurants to be seen in and hook-up are Abbey in West Hollywood, Akbar in Silverlake, the Area Lounge Bar (on alternate Sundays) in West Hollywood, the Arena in Hollywood (Saturdays are Boy’s Night), Jewel’s Catch One (underground gay club with mixed crowd) on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, Club Tempo in Hollywood (Latin Fever) and the Cobra country beer bar in North Hollywood (another Sunday special night place).
If you need sex toys in Los Angeles, there are many shops to recommend. The Pleasure Chest is near all the action on the edge of Beverly Hills on Santa Monica Boulevard. Syren on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles features a good selection of adult fashion and rubber items. JT’s Stockroom also has gear, but the biggest attraction is their furniture and purchasable vintage fetish photography. For those familiar with the huge gay Mr. S Leather Co & Fetters USA website and San Francisco Store, you only need to know that the Los Angeles store is on Melrose in Los Angeles near the El Camino Real.