Hidden Gems in West Hollywood

Schindler House


While West Hollywood flourishes as a tight-knit community and neighborhood, its official status goes beyond that as a city in its own right. Famous for passing legislation such as same-gender domestic partner benefits for city employees, and bans on fur sales and declawing of cats, West Hollywood represents not only much of LA’s entertainment history but also a beacon of social justice.

The legendary Sunset Strip has been undergoing a revival of sorts as the home of go-to music venues, and many of LA’s top destination restaurants lie within West Hollywood’s borders, but there are other spots that fly under the radar. Whether you're a longtime resident, or are visiting this bustling city beneath the hills for the first time, there's always something new to discover in WeHo. Take advantage of its rich, creative history and vibrant culture by going off the beaten path.

Book Soup | Instagram: Book Soup

Book Soup



The West Hollywood location of this independent bookstore - founded in 1975 by Glenn Goldman with the help of David Mackler - was carefully chosen because of the progressive nature of the thoughts and ideas embraced by the community, evident through the 1960’s. After a few threats to its survival due to struggles to run a profit, it was saved several times with the help of a couple of different publisher’s representatives and moved two stores down to its current, more spacious location. Vroman’s Bookstore, Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore, purchased it at the time of Mr. Goldman’s death in 2009, and Book Soup now hosts author readings on a daily basis.

Cerre

Cerre



This luxury, French-inspired storefront established in 2005 by Clayton and Flavie Webster carries their line of high-quality, carefully designed and crafted women’s wear. The boutique is a marvel to browse, with expertly curated vintage choices, ultra modern furnishings and the impeccable tailoring of Cerre’s line. You won’t find a better fit for that modern woman in your life, whether it’s that leather jacket with the perfect stitching or a handmade accessory furnishing that last, finishing touch.

Hamilton Selway Fine Art | Instagram: Hamilton Selway Fine Art

Hamilton Selway Fine Art



There’s a good reason as to why Hamilton Selway has been in existence for 15 years – they’re one of the largest dealers of Pop and Contemporary art on the West Coast, with an unusually huge inventory of curated artwork. Specializing and one of the largest providers of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Longo artworks, the gallery is a continued presence in West Hollywood and the Los Angeles pop art world at large.

Amy Winehouse, London, 2004 | Photo: Jake Chessum, Morrison Hotel Gallery

Morrison Hotel Gallery at Sunset Marquis



As the Los Angeles outpost of the Morrison Hotel Gallery, their location inside the Sunset Marquis’ lobby - across from Bar 1200 and above Nightbird recording studios - needs no explanation as to why it’s hidden. Its proximity to The Sunset Strip is only fitting, as the majority of works here are rock photography, forever cementing the rock star status of our favorite music icons. Celebrity portrait photographer Timothy White co-owns this location and curates the artwork, making this one of the most exciting hotel lobbies you’ll ever step into.

The Roxy

 |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

On the Rox - The Roxy



While The Roxy on The Sunset Strip is anything but hidden, its space upstairs, dubbed On the Rox, has its own programming for those who are in the mood for up-and-coming acts and a more intimate vibe. You wouldn't know that it was revamped back in 2003, but that's all in keeping with this little club, the entrance to which you'll find on the side.

“Black Cat demonstration”, c. 1967. @theadvocatemag | Photo: One Archives at the USC Libraries

ONE Archives Gallery & Museum



ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, founded in 1952, is the largest active LGBTQ organization in the United States as well as the largest repository of such materials in the world, making their gallery and museum on Robertson Boulevard a must-see in West Hollywood today. Though a $5 donation is suggested, a visit to the space is free. Rotating exhibits such as murals, installations and more keep every visit to the gallery refreshed. On display are few of the over two million items from the archives.

Petit Ermitage

Petit Ermitage



Many small hotels like to describe themselves as boutique, but Petit Ermitage is an enclave of charm, history and sophistication in a class all its own. Art and antique fixtures are displayed throughout the hotel for a unique, magical and luxurious feel. Its Rooftop Club Dining is situated near a heated, saltwater pool. The weekend Gypsy Brunch takes place in the Butterfly Bar and Garden, which is a registered hummingbird and butterfly sanctuary, and a movie is screened every Monday on their beautiful Firedeck. A unique experience awaits every visitor at the Petit Ermitage.

Mak Center For Art & Architecture at Schindler House

Mak Center For Art & Architecture at Schindler House



When this residential house was built by Vienna-born Rudolf Schindler back in1922 - inspired by a recent trip to Yosemite with his wife - it was extremely unconventional at the time for a place to live. In reality, it was meant to be a cooperative live-work space between two families, much like a camp site. Having been the residence of the Schindlers and then other creatives, it is now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays as an architectural center.

West Hollywood Library | Instagram: West Hollywood Library

West Hollywood Library



This beautiful library resides in the top two stories, connected by a centerpiece of a curving staircase of this three-story, Mid-Century revivalist architectural marvel. Splashes of color line the interior of the building, which also includes a coffee shop, bookstore, rooftop tennis courts and murals by street artists Shepard Fairey and Kenny Scharf.