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Los Angeles Nightlife: Places and Districts to Go Out in Los Angeles

The Bright Lights of Los Angeles

The reality of Los Angeles’ nightlife is rather different to preconceptions of a super-glamorous scene. Right across town, countless cafés, bars and clubs combine to provide a decadent, impossibly lively scene that’s accessible to all.

There are plenty of bars in Hollywood (out to the northwest of the Downtown area) on Hollywood Boulevard and, running parallel to it, on the ‘Sunset Strip’ of Sunset Boulevard. This is an area with a reputation stretching way back to the sixties and seventies, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Across town, the bars of Venice and South Bay look very tempting in the early evening after a day on the beach. A little to the north of Venice, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica has a rough, laidback charm that makes it stand out from the swankier, more studiously cool neighborhoods elsewhere in the city.

Los Angeles is also home to one of America’s largest gay and lesbian communities. While Santa Monica Boulevard and West Hollywood hold most of the city’s gay bars and clubs, recent years have seen a migration away from Downtown and out into the Broadway Corridor of Long Beach in the south.

As well as being the home of the city’s gay community, some of the best clubs in the city can also be found on Santa Monica Boulevard. With a scene as exciting – and wildly varied  – as LA, it’s a good idea to keep abreast of what’s on when by checking out LA Weekly’s listings.

And because of the proximity of some of the biggest record companies in the world, there are always plenty of live performances where young (and often very talented) wannabes attempt to catch the eye – or rather ear – of a producer. Older hands, too, like to come back and play where it all started.

Alternatively, travelers who enjoy comedy will find LA has a number of clubs that play host to some of the country’s top performers. There are a couple of places on Sunset Boulevard and (just to the south) on Melrose Avenue which are particularly renowned for showcasing up-and-coming talent and even launching some big stars.

The city of Los Angeles is, first and foremost, a vast pleasure dome of a place and having a good time is placed as a very top priority. So no matter what your idea of fun, you’ll almost certainly find it here… particularly after dark.