The Sunset Strip has always been a carnival of sorts, attracting the loud and proud of every generation since the Swinging ’20’s. It overflows with legends, as many of the world’s biggest stars shone first along the Strip. And today, it remains the heartbeat of West Hollywood – a haven for foodies and fitness junkies, ravers and ragers, LGBTQ and creatives of all kinds. The free-flowing celebration hits a high note in the summertime, when the Strip turns up the volume on its already amped counterculture.
You’ll want to be part of this party. The entire 1.5-mile stretch of iconic hot spots is the place to be – and eat, and dance, and sing, and do whatever it is people do on inflatable pool swans – as Summer on Sunset turns into the quintessential summer bash. Here is where those California dreams of endless sunshine and celebration are everyday reality, except better, because you don’t need to be an A-lister to be on this list. Come as you are, party as you please.
Here, you’re the center of the spotlight, and by spotlight we mean that shining ball of fire in the sky. Spend your days poolside sipping cocktails to DJ-mixed beats and filling your Insta feed with FOMO-inducing pics. When the sun sets, grab the mic and channel you inner Jim Morrison or Janis Joplin at one of several cocktail-and-karaoke lounges on the Strip. Or, leave it to the actual rock stars playing iconic places like the Whisky a Go Go, Roxy Theatre, Viper Room and Sunset Marquis on the nightly.
Live @ Sunset Marquis Acoustic Concert Series | Long a home stage for some of the world’s top musicians and bands, the Sunset Marquis Hotel is continuing the tradition by showcasing the best upcoming acoustic acts on the scene. RSVP for one of the three dates this summer.
Blind Dragon “Sing or Die” Karaoke | Guests can imbibe in some liquid courage from a menu of exotic cocktails, then grab the mic and the songbook of more than 25,000 hits, rocking out in one of four private luxury karaoke suites.
Mondrian LA Skybar | There is no bad time to party here, with late-night DJs playing until 2 a.m. almost nightly, Friday “Just Ditch” poolside bashes beginning at 1 p.m. and Saturday Skybar Day Clubs going all summer. Guests should check the details and dress codes, as there’s truly something for everyone.
The Den on Sunset | No hump-day blues here, with “Wine Wednesdays” serving up $15 pinot grigio, cabernet or rosé, setting the perfect stage for weekly Rockstar Karaoke beginning at 10 p.m. On September 1 at 1 p.m., summer goes out with a bang at the infamous Backyard Bash, featuring Guns ‘N Roses’ Steven Adler, Hurricane, Pretty Boy Floyd, Motley Inc., Electric Hound, Angeles and Metal Knights.
Whisky a Go Go’s “Ultimate Jam Night” | Every Tuesday at 8 p.m., the stage is set for an array of musicians that will rock the house all night. There is no cover for age 21 and up, and only $10 for under 21.
Tributes to musical legends of the Strip | Some of the biggest bands to ever rock the Strip are still celebrated here, including Jim Morrison and The Doors (Peace Frog), Led Zeppelin (Zepparella) and Guns ‘N Roses.
Decades of delightful debauchery | Reliving the greatest moments, hits and artists of the ‘80’s, the Whisky a Go Go features “Fast Times” tribute shows with Rubix Kube L.A. every Monday, while The Roxy Theatre hosts a one-night “Saved by the ‘90’s” bash July 12.
Eat Your Heart Out
And since the rock-and-roll lifestyle can take a toll, we recommend you take a break for some seriously creative cuisine. You’ll find virtually every kind of menu along Sunset Boulevard, from brunch mimosa kits (yes, full kits) at Pearl’s Rooftop to Thai spice and Asian vibes at Night + Market, and comfort food into the wee hours at The Naughty Pig. Newly boasting Michelin clout in the guide’s 2019 California publication are al fresco farm-to-table Eveleigh; farmer’s market-inspired French restaurant Tesse; celebrity favorite Katana; and cozy Old Hollywood Tower Bar & Restaurant. Also on the must-try list for tastes of all kinds are Rock & Reilly’s, BOA, and ROKU.
Whether or not your plans involve sleeping, feel free to make yourself at home in the heart of the action at one of a dozen or so hotels poised along the Strip. Some are posh and modern, some ooze Old Hollywood glam, others are stylishly quirky destinations unto themselves. Find what fancies you and make it your home base for delightful summer debauchery. Sun, swim, stay and save in the laid-back California vibes of Mondrian LA; the oh-so-dramatic good life of the 1 Hotel; the art deco flair of the Sunset Tower; and uber-chic luxury of Andaz West Hollywood. Other hotels along the Sunset Strip include the Grafton, Sunset Marquis, The London West Hollywood, and The Standard.
Consider this your invite to the best bash of your summer. And while the party has already begun, you’re only fashionably late. Come join the celebration any time through September 3.
Featured image of Dave Navarro and Courtney Love performing at the 2019 Summer On Sunset kickoff concert courtesy Vivien Killilea.