Stretching from Beverly Hills on the west to Hollywood on the east, the one-and-a-half-mile section of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood known as the "Sunset Strip" is one of the most decadent and storied streets in all of Los Angeles. Known as the place where bands such as The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Poison, Guns N' Roses and Van Halen once graced the stage, today the Strip is home to famous nightclubs, swanky hotels, trend-setting restaurants and upscale shopping. If you want to get a taste of the seedier side of Los Angeles and a palpable sense of its counterculture history, the Strip is where you should be.
Parking and public transportation on the Sunset Strip
Parking options are plentiful on the Sunset Strip, and rates will depend on ease of use. Street parking can be had if you can score a spot; otherwise, find a place in one of the two dozen or so lots on the Strip or valet at a venue that offers the service. Prices range from a few dollars to upwards of $30 for an evening out.
If you will be club hopping, public transportation is the best bet. Many Angelenos now use ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and the Metro Local Line 2 bus services the Sunset Strip.
Best and worst time to go to the Sunset Strip
To get the most authentic experience that hearkens back to the rock 'n' roll past of the Sunset Strip, it is best to visit when the hour is late and the lines are long. Headline acts at clubs may not take the stage until 11 p.m. or later, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. That being said, the Sunset Strip also offers a wide range of restaurants and boutiques to visit during the day. Plan your outing around 1 p.m. on a weekday and you may just spot a celebrity or two "taking lunch."
Admission to the Sunset Strip
Expect to pay a cover charge at most of the well-known clubs on the Sunset Strip, which can be up to $25 or more, depending on the event. While cruising up and down the strip will give you a taste of its charms for free, be aware there is a no-cruising law and those caught could be subject to citation.
Must see/do on the Sunset Strip
The Sunset Strip features some of the most famous clubs in the country and each has its own Hollywood tales of yore, so be sure to check out at least one of them, including The Viper Room, Whisky a Go Go, Bar Marmont, Skybar at Mondrian, House of Blues and The Comedy Store. During the day visit Sunset Plaza for alfresco dining and celebrity sightings or even brave a ride on the mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch.
Other places to visit near the Sunset Strip
If the clubs on the Strip leave you hungry for more, a quick trip down to The Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard should satisfy your appetite for live music and rock history. Beverly Hills lies just west of the Sunset Strip, and here you can get a break from the madness by admiring the large mansions and massive estates of the rich and famous. The next morning, walk off the previous evening's indulgences while taking in some excellent views of the city with a hike at Runyon Canyon Park.
Insider tip for visitors to the Sunset Strip
Need a little pick-me-up after a long night out? Mel's Diner on the Strip is open 24 hours and has free parking, so it's the perfect spot to order up some eggs and bacon into the wee hours.
Author's bio: Amy Clites is a Los Angeles writer, content creator and actor who spent her youth dreaming about performing on stage with a hair metal band on the Sunset Strip. She is also an avid gardener, cook, reader and traveler and writes regularly about these topics and more on her blog ZeitClites and on Twitter @AmyClites.