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Popular Festival & Events

The turnover among L.A.'s nightspots can be enough to make your head spin—it's almost as dizzying as the diversity that's available virtually every night of the week. Hollywood and West Hollywood, where hip-and-happening nightspots liberally dot Sunset and Hollywood boulevards, are the epicenter of L.A. nightlife and both buzz louder than ever.

The lines are as long as the skirts are short outside just about every club du jour citywide, although it's hard to keep track of places A-listers frequent. Indeed, competition has become so fierce—and nightclubbers so fickle—that remodeling and renaming former hot spots is de riguer these days.

Although the ultimate in velvet-roped vampiness and glamour used to be the Sunset Strip, in the past couple of years the glitz has definitely shifted to Hollywood Boulevard and its surrounding streets. Thanks to vibrant new drinking and dining spaces along Cahuenga, Las Palmas, and Ivar, Tinseltown finally feels like a lively—somewhat safe—area to stroll at night, a real barhopper zone.

That said, the Strip still has plenty going for it, too, with comedy clubs, hard-rock spots, and restaurants. West Hollywood's Santa Monica Boulevard bustles with gay and lesbian bars and clubs.

Also, after decades of neglect, downtown Los Angeles is enjoying a resurrection, with new pockets of nightlife emerging on a regular basis.

For less conspicuous—and congested—alternatives, check out the events in Downtown L.A.'s performance spaces and galleries. Silver Lake and Echo Park are best for boho bars and live music clubs.