Out & Proud: Exploring Santa Monica Boulevard

West Hollywood does more than welcome the LGBTQ+ community—it celebrates them.

West Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard is one of the most vibrant stretches of street on the West Coast. With its own singular identity and vivacious main street character, the Boulevard is known for inclusivity and a fierce, out-and-proud attitude.

Along the historic Route 66, this boulevard includes a Russian sector, with Russian bakeries, grocery stores, and restaurants; Midtown, great for cocktail lounges, gourmet restaurants, and shops catering to creatives; and the so-called “Boys’ Town,” home of LGBTQ nightclubs, restaurants, and club wear. Stock up on the best in fashion, novelty gifts, and sex toys before a wild night on the town.


Brick & Mortar

Brick & Mortar
An urban men’s boutique, offering trendy fashion, one-of-a-kind jewelry, home accessories and gifts.

Out of the Closet Thrift Store
Second-hand clothing store with profits going to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.


Connie & Ted’s

Connie & Ted’s
Amazing fresh seafood!

Fiesta Cantina
Tasty way to start your evening on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Fresh Corn Grill
Enjoy casual alfresco dining with lots of food (& budget) options.

Norah Restaurant
Comfy and stylish with innovative menus.

Saint Felix
Great happy hour with craft cocktails and sliders (ahi and kobe)!

Traktir Restaurant
Authentic Russian fare in a casual environment. Try the homemade lemon or raspberry-infused vodka.

Drink, Dance, Listen & Watch

The Abbey

The Abbey
Continually on “Best Gay Bar” lists, this West Hollywood institution is owned by activist/philanthropist David Cooley, who also owns The Chapel bar next door. Everyone welcome.

The Bayou
Let it all hang out at this Mardi Gras-themed bar, serving Cajun pub food, cocktails, Jell-o syringes and bottomless bloody marys and mimosas for Sunday brunch. As they say in The Big Easy, laissez les bon temps roulez (let the good times roll)!

Two stories of fun, this nightclub has an always-rowdy lineup of events on its calendar. Food is served every night until 9 p.m., and the bar is open until 4 a.m. on weekends.

This iconic venue has launched many superstar careers—for serious music fans.

Be Naughty

Circus of Books

Circus of Books (formerly Chi Chi LaRue’s)
This novelty store in the Boystown/Rainbow District has serious history. It first opened as Book Circus in 1960 and long served as a fixture of the local gay community, eventually switching its name to Circus of Books in 1980. It now has two WeHo locations on Santa Monica Boulevard, selling everything from sex toys to DVDs and apparel.

The Pleasure Chest
No judgments at this adult toy store. Make life a little sexier!

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