West Hollywood and Hollywood are at the center of Los Angeles’s nightlife scene. The Sunset Strip, which extends from Hollywood through West Hollywood and back, and Santa Monica Boulevard, which does the same, are packed with mostly famous (and notorious) comedy clubs, nightclubs, lounges, and movie theaters. And believe it or not, these busy boulevards are so diverse, that you will have no trouble fitting in somewhere – especially if you’re rocking the appropriate attire. On any given night you will find wannabe locals rubbing elbows with industry-types and celebrities crossing paths with wide-eyed tourists. Whether you feel like taking in a movie at the Kodak Theater or the over-the-top Archlight movie palace -- where you can reserve premium seats or bring a drink or two into designated “screening rooms,” or you just want to dance the night away at DJ AM’s coveted LAX Nightclub, L.A. has you covered.
Before you set out to paint the town red, there are a few things you should know about the L.A. nightlife scene. Los Angeles is a no-smoking city, so don’t attempt to light-up in any of the areas nightclubs, bars, or anywhere else for that matter – there’s even a $200 penalty for smoking in a hotel room!
Next, unlike Chicago or New York where da’ club isn’t really hoppin’ until well after midnight, many L.A. establishments actually close at midnight or shortly after – try 2 a.m.! So, keep in mind that you may have to get to your destination early if you want to log your usual four to five hours of partying. Arriving early is also a good idea if you’re planning to visit any one of L.A.’s most high profile (and selective) establishments. The big guy at the door may have mercy on you if the place isn’t packed yet.
And, finally, Los Angeles is the last place on earth where you should drink and drive. Of course, you should never drink and drive in general, but certainly not in a place where driving is the best way to get there and the potential to get into a car accident is higher than anywhere else in the on the map. If you happen to have one too many – just call a taxi. Los Angeles has nine taxi services listed here. Be sure to check for the official City of Los Angeles Taxicab Seal before entering any cab. If you don’t see the seal, don’t get in!
The following is a list of some of the top bars, nightclubs, comedy clubs, and live music venues in the Los Angeles area.
One tip - driving to the clubs can be a major hassle in this city! Use a limo.
So Cal Elite Limousine
The traffic sucks in LA, and it's a sprawling mess. You have to drive everywhere, unless of course you're smart and you use a limo to take to you and your crew to the bars and clubs.
L.A. Nightclubs/Dance Clubs
L.A. Live Music
Dublin’s Irish Whiskey Pub, 8240 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, 323.656.0100
The Beauty Bar
The Room5 Lounge
Rokbar, 1710 N. Las Palmas Avenue, 323.461.5600
Rainbow Bar & Grill
Ye Coach & Horses, 7617 W. Sunset Boulevard, 323.876.6900
M Bar and Restaurant
Silver Lake and Los Feliz
Big Foot Lodge, Silver Lake
Good Luck Bar, Los Feliz (great place to meet people) - 1514 Hilhurst Avenue, Los Feliz, 323.666.3524
4100, 4100 Sunset Boulevard, Silver Lake 323.666.4460
Silver Lake Lounge
Smog Cutter, 864 N. Virgil Avenue, Silver Lake 323.660.4626
L.A Comedy Clubs/Shows
L.A. Dance, Theater & Concerts
Want more information about what’s to see and do in L.A.? Then, pick up a copy of the LA Weekly -- L.A.’s largest and most popular free weekly featuring information about shopping, art, attractions, recreation, entertainment, film, music, dining, nightlife, and events in and around Los Angeles or grab a copy of The Weekly Time Out.
Another great place to find out about everything L.A. is the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times – L.A.’s only major metropolitan newspaper. Check out the Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal Blog for other ideas on attractions and things to do in and around L.A.
You can also find useful information about everything L.A. by visiting the following popular websites:
Excellent place to find out about events and tours around L.A. as well as information on dining, shopping, hotels, recreation, attractions, and nightlife.
Fodors.com or Frommers.com
Fodors.com and Frommers.com features summaries of places to shop, see, dine, dance, and sleep in and around L.A. If you want a quick list of the top spots in L.A., you’ll find it here!
Lonely Planet features background information and fast facts about L.A., as well as places to see, an image gallery, and travel tips.
Read reviews from people just like you that have been to the places you want to go. Expect to find raw reviews (and opinions) on just about everything from restaurants and nightlife to hotels, shopping, and attractions.