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For all of the bachelor party perks of Vegas (warm weather, outdoor pools, entertainment, clubs, and food and drinks), but without the neon lights and casino-lined Strip, look no further than Los Angeles, California. L.A. is really your one-stop bachelor party destination, as it features many things you don’t even get in a place like Vegas, such as miles of coastline, numerous professional sports teams and accessible outdoor activities.
First things first, where you stay in Los Angeles should be directly influenced by where you plan on spending most of your time. If planning a bachelor weekend filled with Hollywood attractions, bars and clubs, then stay in Hollywood or West Hollywood, while if you’re planning a beach weekend, stay in Santa Monica.
Many of the most famous, and best, hotels in Los Angeles are in Hollywood, such as the W Hollywood, Loews Hollywood and the Hollywood Roosevelt, which was the location of the first Academy Awards in 1929. In Santa Monica, you have a number of highrise hotels that overlook the Pacific Ocean including Shutters on the Beach, Hotel Casa del Mar, Loews Santa Monica, JW Marriot and the Viceroy.
For something just off the water, but a little bit more budget-friendly, there’s the boutique Palihouse Santa Monica and the Hotel Erwin, located in nearby Venice, which is known for its rooftop lounge.
For a more sports-themed bachelor party weekend, there are great hotels in downtown Los Angeles that are convenient to the Staples Center (and easily accessible to Dodger Stadium), such as the JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE and Ace Hotel. If you really want to throw down, Beverly Hills features many of the best luxury hotels in Los Angeles, such as the Four Seasons, Beverly Wilshire (home to the “Pretty Woman Suite”) and Montage.
Similarly, where you eat in L.A. depends on where you’re staying and spending most of your time, since there are so many great options in every neighborhood. Many of the most popular meals in Los Angeles can be found in Beverly Hills, including Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, Curtis Stone’s Maude and The Bazaar by José Andrés.
If you’re staying in Hollywood, however, most of your best food options will be in nearby West Hollywood, such as The Church Key (featured on Bravo’s Best New Restaurants), Lucques, BOA Steakhouse, Nobu (which also has a great beachfront Malibu location) and Oliver’s Prime Steakhouse.
In Santa Monica, the restaurants range from two-star Michelin-rated Mélisse to contemporary Mexican (and a great tequila selection) at Mercado to the most renowned gourmet burger in L.A., Father’s Office.
Other great L.A. restaurants include Bestia in the Art’s District, Faith & Flower in downtown Los Angeles, and Providence and Petit Trois in Hollywood.
Day drinking in Los Angeles first begins at any number of the breweries scattered around the city, many of which have outdoor patios, or at least are open-air, such as Angel City and Arts District Brewing, both within a block of one another in the Art’s District.
In Glendale, there’s longtime Los Angeles brewery Golden Road, while the South Bay features many of L.A.’s best breweries, such as The Dudes, Strand Brewing and Monkish Brewing Company.
For wine lovers, worth the drive is Malibu Wines, which has a selection of local wine, but is best known for its weekend ambiance, which includes a large outdoor area and live music.
In West Hollywood, you have great outdoor patios like AOC Wine Bar and EB’s and 326 Farmers Market Bars at The Grove, both of which are great people-watching bars.
Meanwhile, for good rooftop bars, head to the beach at sunset, where you have spots like the Hotel Shangri-La and Hotel Erwin. While Los Angeles can’t compete with Vegas’ day clubs, there are a number of summer pool parties, including The Standard in downtown Los Angeles and the W Hollywood.
Los Angeles has every type of bar you can think of, such as Santa Monica’s Harvelle’s blues club, Venice’s Del Monte Speakeasy, Silver Lake’s Tiki-Ti tiki bar, and Koreatown’s Blipsy barcade. Los Angeles has a great selection of speakeasy bars, including Varnish (considered one of the top cocktail programs) and Jackalope (Japanese whiskey bar) in downtown Los Angeles, the Blind Barber (part barbershop, part cocktail lounge) in Culver City and Good Times at Davey Wayne’s in Hollywood.
Being L.A., you still won’t find any shortage of dive bars, including King Eddy (prohibition-era bar) in downtown Los Angeles, Hinano’s in Venice, Smog Cutter in Hollywood and the Roost near Los Feliz.
While you can find many great restaurants, bars, and hotels in every Los Angeles neighborhood, you’ll find the highest concentration of nightclubs in Downtown and Hollywood. In Hollywood you have everything from famous nightclubs like The Roxbury (yes, that Roxbury) to classy spots like Boulevard3, which also has an outdoor bar.
In downtown Los Angeles you have The Lash, which is less Hollywood nightclub and more casual dance club with great deejays. Similarly, many of the adult clubs are also concentrated in Hollywood, including Cheetahs and Crazy Girls. An L.A. institution is Jumbo’s Clown Room, which is part burlesque and part bikini bar. For something classier, there’s The Edison, which is a steam-punk nightclub, where burlesque, speakeasy and nightclub vibes all converge.
Your options are really endless for things to do. Nearly every weekend of the year features professional sports options, such as the Lakers, Clippers and Kings at the Staples Center, Dodgers at Dodger Stadium or for football, check out the Chargers or Rams. Similarly, the climate is conducive year-round for beach days, as well as half-day and day hikes, with places like Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon mere miles from Hollywood.
For a less traditional bachelor party weekend, Los Angeles is convenient to a number of theme parks, including Six Flags and Universal Studios, both located just north of Hollywood and Disneyland, located an hour south in Anaheim.