Where do you start an epic family adventure in California? LUXE publisher George Coyle, his wife Chelsea, son Austin and daughter Olivia began their deluxe tour in a city that typifies California cool: West Hollywood.
Bordering Beverly Hills and at the heart of the legendary Los Angeles region, West Hollywood has all kinds of buzz and sparkle. Famous for celebrity sightings, excellent dining, stylish shopping and a dynamic arts and culture scene, it’s also known for the latest in wellness offerings and its signature hip-glam vibe. Just 4.9 square kilometres in size, WeHo is wonderfully walkable and there are three main districts to explore. The illustrious Sunset Strip is the 2.4-kilometre stretch of Sunset Boulevard that, today, is a go-to spot for nightlife, music, live entertainment, dining and swanky shopping.
Part of historic Route 66, Santa Monica Boulevard is the centre of L.A.’s LGBTQ community and also a vibrant, eclectic neighbourhood that is welcoming to everyone. Finally, the Design District is celebrated as a trend-setting destination for design, fashion, art, food, drink, beauty and fitness.
With attractions to see in all directions, West Hollywood is not only an amazing spot to visit, it’s also a place to linger, thanks to its upscale accommodation options. George and his family stayed at The London West Hollywood at Beverly Hills, thelondonwesthollywood.com, an award-winning, modern luxury hotel with 226 spacious suites, a rooftop pool and a 110-seat state-of-the-art screening room. “It’s an amazing location in the heart of West Hollywood,” George notes. Complimentary breakfast, a fitness centre, a special children’s menu and salon pampering options for both adults and children add to the appeal.
One of the highlights of the Cali trip for this family was their private hike to the Hollywood sign with Bikes and Hikes LA Tours, bikesandhikesla.com. “It was spectacular,” George says, calling it a “must do” activity. The Original Hollywood Sign Hike, at 6.4 kilometres (10,000 steps!), is a three-hour escapade that takes you directly below and behind the iconic sign for the ultimate Instagram pics. Not only will you get a bird’s eye view of Hollywood’s Universal Studios, Warner Brothers and Disney, you’ll also get the inside scoop about Hollywood and its history, courtesy of an expert guide.
If you’re a film buff, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, academymuseum.org, is another sure-to-please attraction. Devoted to the world of cinema, its exhibitions and different offerings tell stories about movie-making in the past, present and future. Don’t miss its Oscars® Experience, a simulation that puts you on the stage of the Dolby Theatre on Oscar night for your very own Hollywood moment.
The foodie moments in West Hollywood are worth a nod too. The Coyles tucked into a quintessential Cali-hip lunch at The Butcher’s Daughter, thebutchersdaughter.com. This popular vegetarian restaurant, café and juice bar dishes everything from Truffle Egg Toast and Surfer’s Burrito to Stone Oven Pizzas such as Lemon and Rosemary or Pesto, Kale and Calabrian Chile. “It’s a unique spot for healthy eats,” George says. And a kids’ menu ensures the youngsters will be happy too.
The foodie pleasures continue at another star attraction on the West Hollywood dining scene: Cecconi’s, cecconiswesthollywood.com. A modern Italian restaurant on Melrose, this chic dining room serves handmade pasta, seafood and fare from Italy. From the classic bites such as meatballs and tomato sauce or calamari fritti to more the novel offerings such as orecchiette with kale pesto, vegan parmesan, chili flakes and broccolini or the shrimp with squid ink risotto and Calabrian chili, both the food and the service are fantastic, George reports. “Highly recommended.”