Much like Wilshire Boulevard, Sunset stretches from Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. However, the personality of these two streets could not be any more different. Whereas Wilshire is full of culture and museums, Sunset is lined with nightclubs and multi-million dollar homes that give it a bit of a split personality. Sunset Boulevard has been immortalized in many Hollywood feature films as well as infamous incidents such as River Phoenix’s death in front of a popular night club, and Hugh Grant’s arrest for solicitation of a prostitute in 1995. With the rejuvenation of the Hollywood area the dark days of Sunset Boulevard are in the past, and now the famous street is enjoying a renaissance of sorts that continues today. The best place to start is always the beginning and that is in the heart of Los Angeles on the corner of Figueroa and Sunset.
Echo Park is the gateway to 22-mile long Sunset Boulevard. Within a few blocks is Dodger stadium, home to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball sports franchise. If you fortunate enough to get a ticket to a game, you will enjoy what has become a mandatory experience for any Los Angelino. That is of course eating a Dodger Dog while watching the game inside the beautiful Dodger stadium. Echo Parks’ neighbor to the west is Silverlake. Silverlake is an eclectic mix of young urban “hipsters” and long time residents comprised of mostly Asians and Latinos. This is a great place if you want to shop for trendy clothes drink at interesting coffee shops. Once outside the heart of Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard penetrates the world famous city of Hollywood.
It is here that the landscape dramatically changes to include many bars, nightclubs, tourist traps, guitar shops, and all of the interesting people that make Hollywood such a unique place to visit. During the day Sunset Boulevard is congested with heavy traffic and it makes travel somewhat difficult. The good part is that there is a lot to see while you are in your car. The best time to visit this portion of Sunset is at night when the street really comes alive. Some of the most famous clubs in the world are located on what is called the, “Sunset Strip” which starts on Fairfax and ends on Doheny. Amongst some of the more famous clubs include, “Whiskey-a-go-go”, “Viper Room”, “Key Club”, and the “Rainbow Room”. If you like live rock and roll music then you will be very happy at any of these locations. Once you pass a street by the name of Doheny, Sunset once again completely changes character.
With the bright lights past you heading west you enter into the super luxury of Beverly Hills. Multi-million dollar homes are the minimum in this neighborhood. Sunset takes a leisurely stroll through lush green lawns and portions of the city that you would never have imagined to be there. If you fancy a great meal I highly suggest stopping by the ultra-hip Polo Club inside the Beverly Hills Hotel off of Coldwater Canyon. Many celebrities stop by there and enjoy a club sandwich, so bring your cameras. Once past some of the highest property values in the country Sunset Boulevard winds itself through beautiful landscapes and twisty hills. You will eventually come across the world renowned University of California Los Angeles, otherwise known as UCLA. The school is nestled right in between Bel-Air and Beverly Hills. If you want to see what a world-class school looks like, this is the place to go. There is always something happening in this part of town which also includes Westwood Village.
Once past the UCLA campus you come across the “parking lot” that is the 405 freeway. This freeway is busy all day and I highly advise staying on Sunset and continuing west. The reward is passing through Pacific Palisades which is like Beverly Hills, but very near the Ocean. 22 miles after leaving Downtown Los Angeles Sunset Boulevard will lead you directly into the Pacific Ocean and everything that it has to offer. To the north is Malibu and the south is Santa Monica. Traveling on Sunset can take a whole day to travel through, but it shows you an amazing glimpse of Los Angeles life. Whether it be urban coffee shops, Hollywood nightlife, exquisite homes, or the beach…Sunset Boulevard will reward you with plenty of opportunities for excitement and adventure. (Henry)