About West Hollywood California
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 282 ft (86 m). Population 34,400 (2010).
Time zone: Pacific (MST): UTC minus 8 hours. Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7).
West Hollywood, also known as "The Creative City" is a relatively new city (it incorporated in 1984), located Route 66 in Los Angeles County in southern California. (Map of West Hollywood).
Sunset Strip in West Hollywood
The history of West Hollywood
People have lived here for the last ten thousand years. When Europeans reached the coastal area in 1542, the Cahuilla, Tongva and Chumash natives lived in the area.
The Spanish settled here, founding Los Angeles in 1781. It was at that time that a trail was built to link the new town with the Pacific Ocean, it ran through ranches like "La Brea" and "Plummer". This trail would later become "Sunset Strip".
Mexico inherited the area when it won its independence from Spain in 1821, but lost it to the U.S. after the 1846 - 1848 war. The new territory became part of the state of California in 1850.
As L.A. grew, founding its wealth on oil, the film making industry moved to the Hollywood foothills, from New York to take advantage of California's sunny weather.
West Hollywood began as a small railroad town named "Sherman" located west of the magnificent green garden that was Hollywood, home to Los Angeles' business men in the early 1900s.
Sherman was a small farming area in western Cahuenga Valley. It was located in the flat frost-free fields on the foothills of the Hollywood Hills. It had been founded by W.H. White. It was named after Moses Sherman who built the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, later absorbed by the Pacific Electric Railway tramline system.
It was the site of the railroad's yard and shops and was the home of many working-class people who, in the early 1900s, as the City of Los Angeles expanded to reach the Ocean, decided not to incorporate into the City of L.A.
Sherman was a free minded place where Prohibition was loosely enforced despite being part of Los Angeles County. The town adopted its name (West Hollywood) in 1925.
Casinos and clubs sprung up here along Sunset Strip, as gambling was illegal in Los Angeles City.
The 1939 "Guide to the Golden State" written by the WPA described what is now West Hollywod as follows:
"Farther west [of Hollywood] on Sunset Boulevard, toward Beverly Hills, is a section popularly known as "the Strip." Here are the Trocadero and other movie colony night spots, high-priced antique shops, salons, gift shops, restaurants hung with Venetian blinds, couturiers and modistes, theatrical agencies; most of them white-painted modified Georgian-Colonial buildings with green shutters. "
The Caltransmap of 1940 shows Beverly Hills and Hollywood, but apart from an indication that the area between them was not part of L.A., there is no name to mark the future West Hollywood. The map showed Route 66 ending on Lincoln Blvd. and Olympic Blvd., in Santa Monica.
The Sunset Strip remained a night-life hot spot gradually becaoming less seedy. Later, during the 1960s was the home to the music and recording industry.
Prompted by L.A.'s plans to deregulate rent controls, the locals -mostly renters- voted to incoporate as "City of West Hollywood" in 1984.
The Name, West Hollywood
Was the name used by a real estate development company in the 1920s which cashed in to the better known "Hollywood" adding "West" to the name, due to Sherman's location.
Route 66 in West Hollywood
Route 66 was established 1926 but ended in downtown Los Angeles until it was extended along Santa Monica Blvd. in 1936, to reach Santa Monica, passing through what is now West Hollywood.
Route 66 was aligned to the east along the "Hollywood Freeway" (in 1953) and starting in 1956 the Interstate highway system was built, this led to traffic moving away from Route 66 and its decomissioning in 1964 as a U.S. Highway in this area.
Where to Lodge in West Hollywood
Lodging in West Hollywood
>> Book your LUXURY Hotel in West Hollywood
More Lodging near West Hollywood along Route 66
Motels and Hotels close to West Hollywood, California
Heading West... Hotels & Motels in California...
- 10 miles Santa Monica
Heading East.... In California
>> Check out the RV campground near West Hollywood, in Pomona
Weather in West Hollywood
West Hollywood's climate is Subtropical & semi-arid. With hot dry summers and cool wet winters moderated by the closeness to the sea which reduces the swings in the day to night temperature.
January nights can be quite cool . Summers are hot and spring is warm while Fall is short, both cool and hot.
West Hollywood has some 295 sunny days each year.
The average high during summer (Jul) is 80°F (27°C); the summer average low is 62°F (17°C).
The winter (Jan) average high is 67°F (19°C) with an average low of 46°F (8°C) snow may fall on the San Gabriel mountains but snow is very uncommon in the city.
Rainfall averages 13 in. (333 mm) yearly, mostly between December and April. During the rest of the year less than 0.5 in. falls each month.
West Hollywood is located right beside the Pacific Ocean and well beyond the Rocky Montains (which are the western limit for tornados) so there is no risk of tornados in the city.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to West Hollywood
You can reach West Hollywood along old Route 66 or via Interstate 10, 15, 5, 215, 610, US 101 or state higways 110 and 134. All of them are freeways.
Map of Route 66 in West Hollywood
Map of West Hollywood and US Highway 66, California.
The map below shows the alignment of Route 66 near West Hollywood and the color key is for West Hollywood only. It is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)
Blue: The 1926 to 1931 alignment of Route 66 into downtown Los Angeles.
Orange: The 1931- 34 alignment along Mission St. and Pasadena Ave.
Green: The 1935 alignment through Eagle Rock.
Red: The 1936 - 39 alignment along N Figueroa St. -later named US 66 Alt.
Pale Blue: The 1936⁄1940 - 1964 Route 66 through Los Angeles via the Arroyo Seco Parkway and then (after 1949 along the Hollywood freeway and Santa Monica Blvd.) into West Hollywood.
Brown: The 1936 - 1949 alignment along Sunset Blvd.
See Route 66's alignment in California Map
Remove or restore State shading
Route 66's alignment in California: the Historic Route 66 through West Hollywood
Route 66 across California
U.S. Route 66 does not have any Byway or Historic designation in California despite having long sections of original roadbed between Needles and Santa Monica (like this one).
Click on the following link for an overview of Route 66 across the state of California.
Below you will find detailed information on Old Route 66 in West Hollywood
Sights and Attractions in West Hollywood, California
What to Do, Places to See
Home to the Sunset Strip
West Hollywood and its Route 66 attractions
West Hollywood is best known for Sunset Strip with its Night Clubs,
Luxury Hotels (which include
Historic Art Deco Sunset Tower) and Googie architecture like that at Mel's Drive-In.
Santa Monica Boulevard a.k.a Route 66 has its The West Hollywood Halloween Carnival (the largest in the U.S.), and icons such as Westlake Recording Studios, the Troubador Club, Holloway Motel and Barney's Beanery. Don't miss the La Brea Tar Pits
The Strip, is the name given to Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. It is only 1.5 miles long stretch of road (2.4 km) and runs from Havenhurst Dr. in the east to Sierra Drive in the west, where Beverly Hills begins.
It is well known for its shops and night life. Restaurant, nightclubs and boutiques with their multicolored signs of all sizes line the Strip.
There was a TV Series that ran from 1958 to 1964, "77 Sunset Strip", that was set on the Strip (but used a fictional address -77- which does not coincide with the street's numbers, which here are in the 7000-8000s).
Mel's Drive-In - Googie Architecture
Sunset Plaza, 8585 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
This iconic American Restaurant on the Strip is a great example of the "Space Age" Googie architecture. See the image below, with its slanted angular roof and its pointed neon sign.
Douglas Haskel coined the name in 1952 when he saw Googie's restaurant in West Hollywood -he was being pejorative (Googies stood at 8100 Sunset Strip, and was demolished in the 1980s.)
Googies was designed by John Lautner, a former student of Frank Lloyd for restaurateur Mort Burton in 1949.
This style, pronounced "gu:gi", it was a form of modern building design inspired in the Atomic and Space ages (think "The Jetsons"), with their geometric shapes, vast glass surfaces and symbolic motion designs (atoms, boomerangs, wing shapes, disks) with Space Age themes.
It appeared in California and was quite popular until the mid 1960s. Cafes, motels and service stations sported these modernistic designs.
Mel's Drive In on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, Googie architecture:
The Night Clubs on Sunset Strip
9009 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
Night Club that opened in 1973 and has had great stars play there (like Genesis with Peter Gabriel in the early 70s).
See its Street View.
8852 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
Iconic night club with live shows. (Street View).
Actor River Phoenix died here at age 23 of a drug overdose at approximately on Halloween night, 1993.
Whisky a Go Go
8901 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
A renowned nightsopt where rock bands play live. See its Street View above.
The Luxury Hotels in West Hollywood
West Hollywood has its share of luxury hotels, some of them dating back to the 1920s, and they have lodged Rock stars and Hollywood celebrities, below are some of them:
The Sunset Tower Credits
Sunset Tower Hotel
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
8358 Sunset Blvd.
This Art Deco building (also known as The Argyle and St. James' Club, rises 15 stories (195 ft. - 59.5 m) on Kings Rd. and Sunset Blvd.
It was designed by Leyland Bryant in opened in 1931. It was home to many Hollywood stars such as John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Errol Flynn and millionaire Howard Hughes.
It is a hotel (Sunset Tower Hotel) and a historic place since 1980.
8440 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
This recently remodelled boutique hotel was originally built in 1959 during the golden age of Hollywood.
8401 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood
You can Book a Room in the Andaz Hotel
This 4-star hotel belonging to Hyatt's Andaz brand was formerly the Hyatt on Sunset Blvd., was known as the "Riot House" because it was very popular among the rock and roll bands that played on the Strip. Robert Plant, Keith Richard and Jim Morrison stayed here.
The hotel was built in 1963 when it opened as Gene Autry's Hotel Continental.
The Chateau Marmont. Credits
Chateau Marmont Hotel
8221 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood
Another classic, designed by William Douglas Lee in 1929. Studio Boss Harry Cohn once told a young William Holden "If you must get into trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont".
It is also known because Comic actor John Belushi died here in 1982, of a drug overdose, when he was 33 years old.
Sunset Marquis Hotel
1200 Alta Loma Rd, West Hollywood
This 4-star hotel has a rock 'n' roll history which includes the world famous 45-person Whisky Bar and the underground recording studio of NightBird.
Sights along Santa Monica Boulevard (Route 66)
Route 66 runs just south of Sunset Strip, along Santa Monica Boulevard, and it too has some icons of bygone days that are still alive and kicking today:
Westlake Recording Studios
7265 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
It was at Westlake Recording Studios that Michael Jackson recorded the albums "Thriller" in 1982 and "Bad" in 1987. Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder worke here as did Quincy Jones and Van Halen. Alanis Morrissette recorded her album "Jagged Little Pill" here.
The West Hollywood Halloween Carnival
The largest Halloween street party in the United States
This event takes place every year on October 31.is an event that takes place annually on October 31 from 6 to 11 PM.
It spans one mile -1.6 km- along Santa Monica Blvd. between La Cienaga Blvd. and Doheny. Partying continues in the bars (you can't consume alchol on the street). Admission is free and it is not suitable for pets or children (the crowd is nearly half a million partygoers). Don't forget your costume!
8465 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
A Classic that has stood on U.S. 66 since the 1940s. You can see how it has changed in the images below (www.hollowaymotel.com).
8447 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood
John "Barney" Anthony opened it in Berkeley in 1918 and moved it to warmer Hollywood in 1927 where it has stood on Route 66 since its realignment in the early 1930s. Travellers left their license plates after dinner as a gesture of their migration to California to start better lives. They mingled with motion picture writers, extras and stars like Jean Harlow, Bette Davis or Clark Gable and by rock stars like the Doors.
American food (pancakes, burgers, burritos, waffles and more) is served here.
Barney's Beanery in West Hollywood
9081 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood
The club opened in 1957 and has been the venue where Elton John, James Taylor and Tom Waits preformed when they began their careers. Find out more at their website.
Troubador Club on Route 66 in West Hollywood
Tours & Itineraries
Visit neighboring Hollywood just to the east of La Brea Ave. or drive on to visit a fossil site:
La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, a short 3 mile drive from West Hollywood (map with directions).
This is an Ice Age fossil site with a museum and recreated megafaunal animals. Open daily from 9:30AM to 5 PM.
The name "La Brea" is Spanish for "tar" or "asphalt", which surfaces here from the oil rich soil of Los Angeles. The sticky tar trapped animals such as birds, insects and small mammals and preserved their bones. Larger animals like herbivores and their predators were also caught in the sticky tar. Some couldn't escape and their remains make up the collection of the site, which has over 1 million bones belonging to animals dating back to the last Ice Age (11,000 to 50,000 years ago).
Learn more at their website: www.tarpits.org
Old Route 66 in West Hollywood, California
The map above shows the different alignments adopted by Route 66 through the urban sprawl of Los Angeles:
All colors mentioned below are shown in the Map above.
The 1926 to 1931 Alignment into Los Angeles is shown in Blue in the map. The 1931 to 1934 Variant is shown in the map in Orange as is the 1935 Alignment through Eagle Rock shown in Green line.
There was also the 1936-1939 Alignment (Later US 66 Alt.), shown in Red in the map.
The later alinments include the 1940 to 1964 Arroyo Seco Parkway to L.A. (Pale Blue).
1936: Route 66 extended from Los Angeles to to Santa Monica
This is the US 66 that passed through West Hollywood. It is also shown in Pale Blue, west of Los Angeles in the map above for the Hollywood Freeway and Santa Monica Blvd. segments and Brown for the 1936 - 1949 alignment along Sunset Blvd.
Santa Monica Blvd. 1936 - 1964
West Hollywood Route 66
This city is surrounded by Los Angeles, north, south and east, and to its west is Beverly Hills (City map). Route 66 ran from the eastern border with L.A. -halfway down the block between N. Sycamore Ave and N. La Brea Ave. on Santa Monica Blvd. all the way to N. Doheny Drive on the border with Beverly Hills, a total lenght of 2.9 miles (Map of US 66 in West Hollywood).
To its east is West Hollywood, and Los Angeles is to its west, south and north (City map). US 66 starts at N. Doheny Dr. on the border with West Hollywood and ends on Heath Ave. in the west; total length: 1.8 miles. This is Map of US 66 in Beverly Hills.
> > See the previous segment San Bernardino to Pasadena (east)
> > See this segment Pasadena to Los Angeles (west)
> > See this segment through Los Angeles, W. Hollywood and Beverly Hills (west)
> > See last segment End of Route 66 Santa Monica (west)
Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.
A Guide to the Golden State, by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration, Hastings House, New York, 1939.