Santa Monica Blvd - Historic Route 66

West Hollywood has never been known for following trends. It's known for setting them, and nowhere else is this more apparent than on Santa Monica Blvd.

This eclectic thoroughfare connects the east side of Los Angeles with the Pacific Ocean, passing through Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City, West Los Angeles and ending in Santa Monica. And while this street goes through various personas as you head in either direction, nowhere is Route 66 more diverse, fun and pedestrian-friendly than the 1.9-mile stretch that runs through West Hollywood.

On Santa Monica Boulevard's eastern side, visitors can check out local favorite bars and restaurants such as Laurel Hardware, The Surly Goat, The Hudson, Salt's Cure and the James Beard Award-nominated "seafood shack," Connie and Ted's.

Heading west, you arrive in the heart of West Hollywood and discover unique celebrity-frequented restaurants, eclectic boutiques, coffee shops, gyms and bookstores. Noting the rainbow flags along The Boulevard, this area is where you see firsthand the guiding principle on which West Hollywood was built: the freedom to be yourself and to live life your own way. Santa Monica Boulevard is home to the most popular gay and lesbian scene in Los Angeles, with popular gay nightclubs like The Abbey, Here Lounge, Micky's, Gym Sports Bar and Fiesta Cantina (pictured above), all of which are bustling on any given evening.