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December 2009 Email this to a friend

Los Angeles

By Staff reports

Mickey's, Los Angeles

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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Los Angeles article click DailyXtraTravel

Forget all you've heard about Los Angeles being all about pretty people living pretty lives. The City of Angels is a must-see destination for gay travelers looking for fun in the sun.
Known as the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles is home to millions of people, from young Midwesterners just off the bus seeking fame and fortune in Hollywood's "dream factory" to business execs in the financial industry to grizzled natives just trying to get by. Like other major cities, it's a melting pot, with a vast array of ethnicities living in the many smaller neighborhoods that make up the city and one of the largest gay populations to be found in any major city. You'll find the primped and pretty boys of West Hollywood's Boys' Town, as well as the edgy hipsters who frequent the leather-Levi bars found in Silver Lake, plus just about everything in between.
No matter what you're looking to get into during your trip to Los Angeles, the city and its surrounding areas have got you covered. From historical tours through the downtown area and star tours through the Hollywood Hills to hot gay beaches and even hotter nightlife options, Los Angeles certainly earns its reputation, so prepare to be entertained.

Getting Here
From both Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank (BUR), you can grab a Super Shuttle for about $20 a person, catch the Metro, or simply hail a taxi.

Getting Around
Because the city is so spread out (it's more like a series of neighborhoods instead of a traditional city), getting around in LA almost requires a car. (The Missing Persons didn't sing "No one walks in LA" for nothing.) There are any number of car rental companies to choose from, but make sure you get one with a good navigational system so you can find your way around. If funds are short, then there's always the Los Angeles Metro system, which employs both buses and subways to cart folks around, plus a handy online site that lets you plan your trips accordingly. But be warned: The subway doesn't travel to many of the Westside locations, including the popular beaches (Venice, Santa Monica) or Boys' Town.

Neighborhoods
Los Angeles boasts a very diverse gay community, though there is a bit of an east-side vs west-side split between them.

WeHo (aka Boys' Town): One of the most pristine, well-kept and quaintest areas in the city, it's also one of the liveliest, with many well-known bars (Rage, Mickey's, the Abbey), restaurants (Hamburger Mary's, La Boheme) and gyms (24-Hour Fitness). It's also home to porn directrix Chi Chi LaRue's self-named vanity retail shop, as well as several cafes and coffee shops. Just watch out for gym bunnies crossing the street.

Silver Lake: Similar in vibe to San Francisco's Haight District, this trendy east-side neighborhood is home to LA's most popular leather/Levi/bear bars, Faultline and the Eagle, as well as two others (MJ's, Akbar) that cater to both hipster gay men and their best girlfriends. Funky, edgy and arty, Silver Lake is the antithesis of the more mainstream WeHo, with vegans and tattooed indie rockers aplenty, though you can always find a few boys from the West side venturing out for an exciting new adventure.

Local media

Check out Frontiers Magazine, a free gay biweekly with loads of features, news and listings for arts events catered to gay audiences.

Odyssey Magazine covers LA gay nightlife with all the upcoming club events and party calendars.

The more mainstream Weekly or City Beat for a bigger picture of what's going on in the city.

In Focus: Downtown LA heats up
Once thought of as a neighborhood that shut down after dark, Downtown is now a nightlife hub.

Though its skyline is instantly recognizable to filmgoers, it may come as a surprise to many to hear that Downtown Los Angeles (or DTLA, as it's known to most Angelenos) has until recently been thought of as dead.
But thanks to a renewed focus on loft living in the refurbished art-deco buildings, an extensive fashion and arts district and a burgeoning nightlife scene, DTLA is finally starting to come into its own.
Artistic-leaning gays might want to start at the Los Angeles Music Center, located in historic Bunker Hill. The Center is home to four major performance venues: the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theater, the Mark Taper Forum (where Angels in America had a successful pre-Broadway run) and the Walt Disney Concert Hall, home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
There are also a lot of museums in Bunker Hill, including the Museum of Contemporary Art. Meanwhile, the monthly Downtown Art Walk, held on the second Thursday of the month, attracts over 5,000 attendees to several galleries and studios over in the Historic Core area.

Another important part of DTLA's redevelopment has been the Fashion District, which spans over 90 blocks. Featured on the current season of Project Runway, the Fashion District is the hub of the apparel industry on the West Coast, and continues to lure both natives and tourists alike due to its funky curio shops, ethnic eateries and fashion bargains. And don't forget to check out the Old Bank District, where lovers of architecture will revel in the gloriously retro art-deco buildings that have been converted into lofts and offices. The Bradbury Building is especially noteworthy for its open courtyard and intricate wrought iron stairwells.
The increased traffic in the downtown area has brought many gays to the area. Falling somewhere in between the glitz and glam of Boys' Town and the self-conscious hipness of Silver Lake, DTLA is a haven for those looking for an alternative to the usual gay scene.

Top Experiences
Get a Tan, Hollywood-style: Wanna see where John Ritter fell off his bicycle while cruising chicks in the opening credits to Three's Company? Check out Venice's world-famous Muscle Beach, just miles from the Santa Monica Beach Pier (where much of The Lost Boys was filmed). There's also a quite popular gay beach (the Will Rogers Beach) just down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Ride a ride: Whether you're looking to scream your head off on rollercoaster or hobnob with cartoon characters, SoCal has got you covered. Six Flags, Knott's Berry Farm, Disney's California Adventure and, of course, Disney Land are all within 30 minutes of Los Angeles, and all or most have annual Gay Days.

Relive Hollywood history: If you're into movie and TV stars, then no trip to LA is complete without taking at least one Star Maps tour through the Hollywood Hills to see celebrity houses, and/or comparing your hand- and footprints to those of stars from the 1920s to the present in front of the world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre (6925 Hollywood Blvd) where you can also check out the Hollywood Wax Museum or the Hollywood Museum in the old Max Factor building.

See a show (or two): Stand out in front of Grauman's and you're bound to be handed a flyer for a free film screening or a television show taping. Both Ellen Degeneres and Jimmy Kimmell film their shows in Los Angeles, and there are plenty of sitcoms that still film in front of a live studio audience.

More Events and Places to Go

A highlight of WeHo's calendar is the night of October 31, when revelers don their most outrageous outfits for the annual Halloween and Costume Carnival. Over 400,000 participants throng Santa Monica Boulevard for food, merriment, contests, music and stage acts.

The Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards both in February, are cause for celebrations everywhere at this motion picture center-of-the-universe. Even those without invitations to the most exclusive parties can join in the fun at their local bars.

Fusion , set for March 12-13 2010, will showcase works by and about gay people of color. This is one of many Outfest events that include the LA gay film festival. See details below.

The annual Mammoth Gay Ski Week takes place March 17-21, 2010, an Elevation event from Tom Whitman Presents, with lots of partying off the slopes too.

Mark your calendar for Los Angeles Pride . Their 40th year celebrations, set for June 11, 12 and 13th 2010, will be quite the event.

Tinseltown couldn't be complete without an LA gay film festival, next scheduled for July 8-18, 2010. The sponsor Outfest also works for film preservation and hosts special events such as quarterly screenings at UCLA. Their regular Wednesdays screenings should return soon to the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Blvd).
See Outfest.org for upcoming lineups and dates, plus archives reaching back to 1995.

Founded in 1971, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center (1625 N Schrader Blvd), is the largest gay and lesbian organization in the world with several locations in the LA area. They host regular theater events and comedy nights too.

Bars and clubs, West Hollywood area
It's not surprising there are so many nightspots in this town; here's a sampling of some of the main highlights.

About a block long, Abbey (692 N Robertson), there are long weekends lines for this very gay coffeehouse, restaurant and full-service bar. But other times you'll find plenty of open-air seating, and cozy, curtained cabins that are great for making-out.

Sophisticated, relaxed, and celebrity-frequented, the East West Lounge (8851 Santa Monica Blvd), has margaritas, flavored martinis, liqueurs, fresh fruit drinks and tasty appetizers. Early evening Happy Hours are popular, and weekly regulars include Tuesday American Idol Shows, Wednesday nostalgic Dan-o-rama classic film clips, and live DJs all weekend.

Eleven Restaurant and Nightclub (8811 Santa Monica Blvd) is a gay friendly, superbly designed (note the million-dollar water fountain) former bank building dance club on two grand levels, with a big Friday night Jeffrey Sanker Fresh gay party.

Factory (652 N LaPeer Dr) is a large, slickly designed weekend dance club with several areas, many moods, and fashionable people in their prime. Upstairs Ultra Suede (661 N Robertson Blvd) is a little edgier with Thursday Jock Strap body builders pumping iron, rough-housing oiled wrestlers, and sexy bartenders. Friday is women's night.

Fubar (7994 Santa Monica Blvd) is an offbeat neighborhood dance spot for 20-30 somethings with counter-attitude. Exhibitionists and voyeurs both have fun each Thursday with Big Fat Dick erotic photo posing contests, and trashy videos.

Gold Coast (8228 Santa Monica Blvd), a cheap drinks locals cruise joint, is charmingly oblivious to trendiness, with bartenders you can talk to and a wide cross-section of guys.

Hamburger Mary's (8288 Santa Monica Blvd) one of the gay diner-bars franchise, has big servings, popular all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesdays with Texas-size margaritas, Wednesday bingo and Thursday karaoke.

Here Lounge (696 N Robertson Blvd) is a phenomenon, with a cute and happy crowd inside this architectural delight. Usually mobbed, they're always packed for Saturday guys' nights with sexy dancers, and DJ Chi Chi LaRue. On Sunday the comedy, entertainment and go-go boys start early; doors open at 4pm.

Hyde Lounge (8029 W Sunset Blvd) has high covers, expensive drinks, a tiny space, and patrons define the word "attitude" --but occasionally there are celebrity sightings and the music isn't bad.

Micky's (8857 Santa Monica Blvd), the longtime gay WeHo icon, re-opened with fresh energey, body-beautiful dancers and bartenders, and hot guys packing two floors. Hot Rod Wednesdays are sexy, and shows, guests and events fill their week. Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch are served here.

Mother Lode (8944 Santa Monica Blvd) has no cover, cheap drinks, regular guys, a good age mix, no attitude, pool games, Boys on Parade male strippers, and they're chockablock Sunday for the "mother of all beer bashes."

The Palms (8572 Santa Monica Blvd) is a small, long-established local women's dance club.

Rage (8911 Santa Monica Blvd) is a two-level restaurant, daytime bar and nightclub with a young 18+ crowd, open daily. Popular events include: Latin Night Fuego, each Wednesday, and Game Boi with a young Asian crowd on Fridays. Their food is Mexican, such as carne asada, plus salads and burgers.

Trunks (8809 Santa Monica Blvd) a longstanding Boystown sports bar, has laid back patrons, pool and softball teams, a smoking area, friendly bartenders, and drinks at good prices.

Hollywood nightlife

Arena (6655 Santa Monica Blvd) dance club caters to a young 18+ next generation, multi-ethnic and all-gender crowd. Their popular Saturday Boyz Night has midnight shows. Wednesdays feature Hip Hop and Reggaeton. For Tuesdays' Avant Guard a dress code is enforced and roaming paparazzi take snapshots.

At Avalon (1735 Vine St) on Thursday nights Club Tigerheat is LA's latest big 18+ high energy gay dance frolic, until 3am with go-go dancers.

Circus Disco, (6655 Santa Monica Blvd, behind Arena) has Tuesday, Friday and Saturday gay Latino dancing on four floors, with top DJs, "Macho Man" exotic dancers, drag shows and contests.

Club Tempo (5520 Santa Monica Blvd) a gay dance and cruise club for Latinos and men who desire them, has drag shows, strippers and events all week long.

to the south of Hollywood, one of America's first African-American gay clubs Jewel's Catch One (4067 West Pico Blvd) has a diverse, multi-ethnic crowd. Events include Sunday drag shows, Saturday erotic dancers with Hip Hop, R&B and Old School, and Saturday and Monday alternative karaoke in the lower level. Das Bunker is the Friday "power noise" dance-your-ass-off night. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays are 18+ and there's a vegetarian internet cafe here too.

Downtown nightlife

Bordello (901 E First St) is part of the downtown LA renaissance; a nightclub, bar and restaurant with live jazz, blues, doo wop, cabaret and classic burlesque shows.

Coco Bongo (3311 S Main St) Latin dance club playing Cumbia, Merengue, Salsa, Spanish Rock and Hip Hop, with strippers, 18+ Wednesday nights, Women's Crush nights on Thursdays

Art Deco-period swanky, dress-code enforced, the Edison (108 W Second St) offers a smorgasbord of events, live music, premium beers, scotch, wine, snacks and big bites for a mixed crowd, in a restored former downtown power station.

Seven Grand (515 W Seventh St) is an upscale downtown pub with dress code.

Silver Lake Nightlife

Akbar (4356 Sunset Blvd) neighborhood oasis has a great jukebox, and attracts queer-thinking gentle folk of many sizes, shapes and proclivities. Weekly events include Tuesdasy stand up comedy, Wednesday CraftsNight, and Friday and Saturday dancing. Bears in Space is every 2nd Sunday.

The Eagle (4219 Santa Monica Blvd), LA's top leather, uniform and fetish cruise bar, has live DJs every night, pool tables, and an outdoor patio. Thursday wet shorts competitions. Friday night fetish and cigar socials, and Sunday Beer Busts are on their regular calendar. Saturdays feature hot stud podium dancers --arrive early to avoid the line.

Faultline (4216 Melrose Ave) is another leathermen's cruise bar with spacious patio and big Sunday crowds for the cheap beer. They also have Thursday Undy Nights, and Friday go-go men and vintage porn. Holiday parties, big cock contests, and deep throat competitions are some of their special nights.

Le Barcito (3903 Sunset Blvd) neighborhood gay Latino/Latina bar opens nightly from 6pm (Sundays at 5pm), with five nights of drag shows, Sunday beer busts, and lots of theme parties.

With Sunday BBQ beer busts, hot-tub boys, and gay porn specials, MJ's (2810 Hyperion Ave) specializes in attitude-free "industrial strength" dancing and cruising nightly from 4pm (2pm weekends). For Rim Job Tuesday they have long lines for the hottest dance in town with "slutty go-go boys" on stage and in the showers. Dancers are energetic, and approachable. They have dancers on Wednesdays and Fridays too. Club Nur is the Thursday middle-east night and on Saturdays there's country music line dancing early, followed by the Friction dance party.

The Other Side (2538 Hyperion Ave) casual piano bar has live cabaret entertainment and snack foods.

Spaceland (1717 Silver Lake Blvd) an Indie music concert venue, is known for breaking new acts, with suprise established artists too, and a mixed crowd.

Restaurants

Bossa Nova (685 N Robertson, WeHo), serves up meaty Brazilian treats and international cuisine.

Cafe D'etoile (8941-1/2 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo) serves good French and American food and wine, indoors or at patio seating.

Caffe Marco (1051 N Havenhurst Dr, WeHo) as busy as ever in their new location, has plenty of outdoor seating, coffee, snacks and free wi-fi.

Champagne French Bakery Cafe (8918 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo) serves breakfast, soups, sandwiches & salads, quiches and crepes; breads, cakes, cookies and pastries to delight any taste.

For a bit of formal elegance Falcon (7213 Sunset Blvd) is a chic Hollywood bar and restaurant with full meals and appetizer snacks, performances and live music.

It's a kicked-back atmosphere at Fiesta Cantina (8865 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo) beach bar and grill. This kitschy Mexican restaurant with a thatched hut facade attracts many gay boys and girlfriends.

Fresh all-natural home-style American food at reasonable prices, is served at the Flying Leap Cafe (2538 Hyperion, Silverlake). Their kitchen also supplies the nearby Mary's Metro Station with al fresco dining.

At the French Quarter Restaurant (7985 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo) there's good cruising as well as good food. Inside or out on their patio they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner; beer, wine, deserts and hot beverages.

Lola's (945 N Fairfax Ave, WeHo) martinis, cocktails, and eclectic comfort food for young, fashionable same-sex couples and groups, late into the night.

Marix (1108 N Flores St, WeHo) bar and Tex-Mex restaurant, has popular all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesdays with pitchers of Margaritas.

O-Bar (8279 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo) with lounge and heated patio has distinguished design but reasonable prices for their contemporary American cuisine. Full dinner service until 10pm is followed by lounge menu items until closing.

St. Felix (8945 Santa Monica Blvd, WeHo) is a classy, vibrant bar & restaurant with outdoor patio for good passers-by viewings. Tapas, steak skewers, Cuban tacos, ravioli; half-off happy hour prices 4-8pm.

Tango Grill (8807 Santa Monica Blvd), where the house specialty is Argentine beef, has great people watching entertainment at a prime West Hollywood intersection.

For additional Los Angeles restaurants click here

Lodgings, West Hollywood

Next to the International House of Pancakes, Holloway Motel (8465 Santa Monica Blvd; 888-654-6400) gives a "good bang for your buck" with free cable TV, voicemail, continental breakfast and parking.

The Ramada Plaza West Hollywood (8585 Santa Monica Blvd; 800-845-8585) has Art Deco-style rooms and two-story loft deluxe suites; DSL, movies, refrigerators standard. 24-Hour Fitness, fine restaurants and outdoor heated pool at hand.

Chris, your host at the San Vicente Inn-Resort (845 North San Vicente Blvd; 310-854-6915) offers just the right mix of tropical calm with clothing-optional hedonism for an international mix of guests at the heart of WeHo. They have rooms and bungalows, a heated pool with 24-hour naked swimming, Jacuzzi, steam room, wi-fi, and a breakfast buffet; also apartments and budget rooms.

For more Los Angeles lodging options click here

Shopping, West Hollywood

665 Leather (8722 Santa Monica Blvd) is an adult leather retailer with ready-made and bespoke creations. A range of accessories from anal toys to whips, paddles and wrist-pads are also on offer.

A Different Light West Hollywood's gay bookstore until they closed recently, still sells from their website, and from their San Francisco store. See our SF listings).

Chi Chi LaRue's (8932 Santa Monica Blvd) is an upscale sex boutique with the entire Channel 1 catalog of over 2,000 titles and products; also DVDs, novelties, lubricants, condoms, apparel, cards, photo books and calendars.

Circus of Books (8230 Santa Monica Blvd) offers videos and literature tending toward the erotic. "Vaseline alley" at the back does get its share of action but police patrolling the area are never far away.

Greasy Co. (4228 Melrose Ave) vends uniform and fetish-inspired attire.

Retail bliss may be found next door to Faultline at Mr. S Leather (4232 Melrose Ave) boutique that turns leather fantasy into reality.

For an assorted selection of magazines, specialty items, gifts, leather goods, condoms, love toys and the like, the renowned Pleasure Chest (7733 Santa Monica Blvd) giant adult store has everything needed to tickle erotic fancies.

Rough Trade (3915 Sunset Blvd), quality vendor of leather wares, specializes in hard-to-find items.

"Not your daddy's leather" is their tagline at Steel Blue (8350 Santa Monica Blvd) West Hollywood's favorite leather-and-clothing boutique.

The friendly, no-attitude staff at Unicorn Books (8904 Santa Monica Blvd) makes buying mags, videos, erotica and accessories a breeze. They boast some 300 DVDs for under $20.

Bathhouses and sex clubs
The LA area boasts many facilities dedicated to carnal pleasures.

On three floors, the Hollywood Spa (1650 N Ivar Ave) is a large and glamorous pleasure palace oft' remembered for it's grand staircase. Their loyal clientele is an international medley and there's a nightly DJ and a new assortment of special rooms with two-way mirrors.

The North Hollywood Spa (5636 Vineland Ave) has fitness center, erotic-TV lounge, brand new rooms, cafe, and a sun deck, plus a free health clinic for counseling and testing.

The 1350 Club (510 W Anaheim St, Wilmington) the only men's "health club" in South Bay, draws a randy crowd all the time. Rooms go for half price on Wednesdays. Their outdoor garden and multi-channel videos add to the zip, and they have free sex counseling, and coming-out / self-esteem therapy too.

The stellar video lounge, exhibitionist room, performer's showroom, and deluxe sling room, and full pool all make the Midtowne Spa (615 S Kohler) a popular destination in the heart of downtown LA; with parking provided. On Tuesdays rooms are half-priced. Some of the specials include Monday strip shows at 8 pm, Sunday strip shows at 3 pm, and a JO show on Thursdays at 8 pm.

At Melrose Baths (7269 Melrose Ave), between Hollywood and West Hollywood, the Crowd-pleasers include half-price rooms on Mondays, locker deals from 9am to 9pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 5 to 11pm on Wednesdays. Confidential HIV and STD testing is available.

Open around-the-clock, the Flex Complex (4424 Melrose Ave) has a garden oasis with outdoor jacuzzi, sundeck and pool. Their many indoor booths facilitate passions of one kind, with videos to inflame them, while the gym with free weights and machines encourage other kinds of work-out. For relaxation they have full steam, and sauna facilities.

Slammer (3688 Beverly, near Vermont) with sister club in Fort Lauderdale, is a premier sex club. Gym nights are well attended every Tuesday. Those into watersports have their night every first and third Wednesday. Check out their earlybird specials on weekends.

Looking for sex clubs and backrooms? For a night of exploration and recreation in a steamy, ever-changing, hot and safe environment , the Zone (1037 N Sycamore Ave) is busy with hot studs every night of the week until dawn, and from 2pam Sundays.

Body beautiful

Gold's Gym (1020 N Cole Ave) has a vast array of machines and free-weights for work outs, toning and chiseling, plus tantalizing views of LA's most dedicated body-builders at work.

Loft Hair Lounge and Green Spa (110 N Doheny Dr, Beverly Hills) offers cuts, colors, and facials using all-organic products. Therapists give Swedish, hot stone, deep tissue or lomi lomi massages.

Going to the beach? Legends does guided bike tours of Santa Monica beaches, Venice and Huntington Beach, 90 minute to two hours for individuals or groups. Guides communicate by headset.
Will Rogers Beach, in Malibu, a few miles north of Santa Monica pier, is gay-active, especially at weekends.

Other Metro Los Angeles areas

North
The San Fernando Valley from Van Nuys through North Hollywood, has a cluster of bars and a bathhouse, making it worthwhile to trip north of the Hollywood Hills.

Bullet Bar (10522 Burbank Blvd) is the serious leather men's bar in the Valley.

C.Frenz (7026 Reseda Blvd) has a little of everything, including Sunday barbecues, drags show Wednesdays and Friday go-go boys.

At the the big gay Latin club in North Hollywood, Cobra (10937 Burbank) nights include drag shows, hip-hop, dance music and La Musica Latina, plus sexy Hot Papi go-go dancers.

Oil Can Harry's (11502 Ventura Blvd, Studio City), a mixed but mostly men's bar, has karaoke and Country music dancing most nights, but on Saturday there's disco music dancing.

East LA

Eastward out the Pomona Freeway, in Montebello, Chico (2915 W Beverly Blvd, at Garfield) sexy Latin club in East Los Angeles has hot shot boys and strippers, open nightly playing Musica Latina, Hip Hop, and Old School.

Venice Beach and SW

The Santa Monica Freeway westward takes you to Santa Monica, just south of which is Venice Beach. Roosterfish (1302 Abbot Kinney Blvd) is the only gay bar hereabouts; very neighborly for both locals and beach day-trippers, with stiff drinks, games, pool tables.

West on Freeway 91, as it becomes Artesia Boulevard there's Dolphin Bar (1995 Artesia Blvd), another unassuming local hangout that flies a rainbow flag above the front door.

Long Beach

Take the freeway south from downtown LA for the coastal community of Long Beach. With it's own distinct gay scene of mostly small neighborhood bars, restaurants and shops, it offers visitors a much more laid-back Southern Californian experience.

Long Beach Pride events will take place this year May 13-16, 2010 with a Sunday parade along Ocean Blvd. leaving Landero Ave. at 10:30am. Concerts in Bixby Park, an amateur drag show, a tea dance and a Pink Party at Promenade Sq. Park, are just some of what's planned.

Long Beach Bars

Gay owned and operated, Turret House (556 Chestnut Ave) is a pet-friendly Victorian with five themed home-like rooms, each with bath, fireplaces, DirecTV and DSL; plus expanded continental-breakfast buffets and free passes to nearby Gold's gym. It's an easy walk to the Convention Center, and Pine Avenue restaurants.

The Brit (1744 E Broadway), a neighborhood bar and grill with patio, attracts bears among their general mix.

Club Broadway (3348 E Broadway) is a long-time women's bar with busy pool tables.

Club Ripples (5101 E Ocean Blvd) called "the bar with the motion that rocks the ocean," is on two levels with dance floor and outdoor patio.

The Crest (5935 Cherry Ave) men's bar, open daily, has pool games, Undies Sundays with Barbecue, and leather Friday nights, with buzz cuts on alternate weeks (1st, 3rd & 5th Fridays).

Executive Suite (3428 E Pacific Coast Hwy) popular upscale dance bar. It's mostly women except on Thurdays, and (especially) on Fridays when it's full of guys, many from surrounding Orange County.

Falcon (1435 E Broadway) is a small but busy neighborhood bar, typically on weekends, with a patio bar to escape the crush.

Flux (17817 Lakewood Blvd) is a neigborhood gay dance club just off 91 Freeway in Bellflower, with easy parking, good drinks prices, and no cover charge.

Hamburger Mary's (740 E Broadway) full-service restaurant and dance bar, has happy hours 4-8pm, Monday drag, a young 18+ crowd, Thursdays (and 1st, 3rd and 5th Saturday) Women's nights, and Friday Boybar for the guys with Hotbod cash prize contests.

Mineshaft (1720 E Broadway) is a longtime men's cruise bar with pool, games and patio.

Paradise Bar & Restaurant (1800 E Broadway) has women, men, karaoke, and drag, with special menus nightly including 2 for 1 Mondays budget night out , Baja Tuesdays for Mexican, plus a wide selection of weekend brunch choices, served 10am to 2pm.

Pistons (2020 E Artesia Blvd) leather/bear/cruise men's "wild-life refuge," with a full events calendar including third Friday Bad Boy nights for "hot daddies and willing boys."

John Schinnerer's Silver Fox (411 Redondo Ave) is an easygoing video bar of many years, thronged with sociable locals of all ages. They have popular Wednesday karaoke (singers get half-price drinks); Friday hors d'oeuvres and piano entertainment; outdoor smokers' patio, plus special theme parties, shows, and holidays events. A steadfast supporter of the local community for many years.

Sweetwater Saloon (1201 East Broadway) another neighborhood gay men's bar, has more of a mix than most, with patio.

Long Beach Restaurants

212 Degrees Bistro (2708 E 4th St) outdoor patio, latin menu with Puerto Rican flair, friendly gay staff.

Frenchy's Bistro (4137 E Anaheim St) superb French bistro cuisine with local influences, good wine selection, worth braving an unfashionable location.

Hamburger Mary's (740 E Broadway) full-service restaurant and dance bar, burgers, salads, sandwiches, deserts, every day lunch and brunch specials include all-you-can-eat, Sundays.

Open Sesame (5215 E 2nd St) Middle-East-Mediterranean grill to wake up the taste buds, with good beer selection, lunch, dinner and take-out.

Two Umbrellas Cafe (1538 E Broadway) Tom and Manny's gay-friendly place with hearty breakfasts. Friday and Saturday dinners include their notable BBQ ribs.

Utopia (445 E First St) good restaurant in the interesting East Village arts district, California eclectic cuisine. Reserve online for special evening four course wine tasting dinners.

Long Beach Shopping

Condom Revolution Store (3316 E Broadway) sells a wide variety of condoms, lubrication and sex toys.

The sex retail store Crypt , (1712 E Broadway) has adult DVD sales and rentals, club and casual wear, fetish and leather gear, toys and accessories, plus cards, books, magazines and books.

Hilo Clothing (2752 E Broadway) specializes in modern gay apparel and accessories, including it's own Hilo brand, plus other local and international designers.

Orange County

Club Bravo (1490 S Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim) has a gay Latin Saturday night with hot dancers and Mexican buffet.

Frat House (8112 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove) for 25 years a GLTB neighborhood bar in the County.

The Metro Q (19092 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach) gay bar and grill with sports on TV, pool games, women's Wednesday nights, 10am Sunday Champagne Brunches.

The Tin Lizzie (752 St. Clair, Costa Mesa) gay bar dating back to the '50s, with a lively atmosphere, pool games and a fine wine selection.

A bit of West Hollywood history

West Hollywood is one of the world's most notable gay villages. The now-famous Sunset Strip once connected the early Spanish settlement of El Pueblo de Los Angeles to coastal ranches along the Pacific. A century later the area was settled by workers in the railroad yards here a nonconformist and independent lot. By the 1920s night clubs and gambling joints sprang up in a town that was, and remains, outside Los Angeles city limits (and LA's historically more stringent regulations).

Proximity to the movie industry brought an influx of creative types, and in the '60s at safe distance from the LAPD gay life emerged from the shadows, as a part of West Hollywood's general countercultural ferment. The community coalesced around the Santa Monica Avenue strip, and that area remains central to this day. Gay people here comprise perhaps 40 percent of the population, and in 1985 voters here were the first in America to elect a gay-majority city council.

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