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A high-style weekend getaway in West Hollywood

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From the air, Los Angeles only seems to sprawl forever. Within the endless urbanscape, you’ll find the neighborhoods, communities and districts that define the culture and life of a place. There’s Hollywood, of course, one of L.A.’s most famous districts. But arty West Hollywood — WeHo to locals — is a rarity, a city in the geographic heart of L.A. with its own government, city zip code and red hot identity. A haven for artists, designers and other creatives, WeHo offers a bustling, highly walkable downtown and a design district that’s THE spot to visit right now.
Contemplating a weekend getaway? You’ll want to head first for the epicenter of WeHo’s creative energy: The design district, where high-end art and fashion mix in the storefronts along Melrose Avenue and Robertson and Beverly Boulevards.
At one time, these high-end design spaces were reserved for members of the trade. Today, anyone can visit. Pop into the massive Pacific Design Center, where three geometrically striking, brightly colored buildings cover more than 1 million square feet. Inside, you’ll find designer showrooms, cafes and more. The Design District is known for its haute boutiques — Christian Louboutin and Stella McCartney, for example — and bold street art, as well.
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Be sure to stop at Restoration Hardware. Yes, you know all about that ubiquitous modern interior-design mecca, but this one is different. The RH flagship store on Melrose is a grand three-level showroom with a secret rooftop garden even some locals don’t know about. This vast park and conservatory setting offers soothing fountains, olive trees, a 40-foot communal table and cozy couches for lazing away a spring or summer day.
The rooftop garden at Restoration Hardware in West Hollywood offers soothing fountains, olive trees, a 40-foot communal table and cozy couches for lazing away a spring or summer day. (Restoration Hardware) 
A high-style stroll is always fun, but the best way to absorb a place is with a bird’s-eye view. The iconic Hollywood sign offers great views of WeHo down below. And the ideal way to get up to the sign — and take a jaunt around Griffith Park, Mount Hollywood and the Griffith Observatory, too — is with a sunset hike ($48) led by WeHo’s Bikes & Hikes LA. Come for the sights, stay for the spectacular sunset and glittering skyline views.
Besides, all that walking and hiking will make a splurge at chef Suzanne Goin’s acclaimed Lucques, one of the best restaurants in L.A., all the sweeter. And you’ll sleep better, too.
One of the Kimpton hotel group’s newest WeHo properties is La Peer, a polished, sleek space that feels appropriate to the neighborhood, with amenities that are very L.A., right down to the kombucha and cold brew on tap every morning. Wake up the next morning with a rooftop yoga session , a great way to start your second day. Then amble downstairs for some kombucha and the chance to chill poolside.

Today is all about relaxing, because tonight is all about the night life. So swim, lounge, stroll the design district some more — the Pacific Design Center, which is open weekdays only, is a five minute walk away, there’s the stunning LeClaireur furniture gallery, the new Nike Live store and more. Then take a nap or chill a bit, before boarding one of the city’s free nightlife trolleys.
The Sunset Trip runs on Sunset Boulevard between Doheny Drive and Fairfax Avenue every 15 minutes from 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. And the bright yellow The Pickup runs along Santa Monica Boulevard between Robertson Boulevard and La Brea Avenue from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and 2 to 10 p.m. Sundays.
For a taste of elevated cocktail culture, head for Employees Only, the West Coast offshoot of the New York City speakeasy named one of the world’s best bars by Spirited Awards, Tales of the Cocktail and Drinks International. Look for the red neon “Psychic” sign on an otherwise unmarked building, and head inside for a Billionaire Cocktail. Or dive a bit deeper into the speakeasy experience by booking a reservation at the New Orleans-inspired Henry’s Room, a second bar hidden inside.
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Then end your night at one of the legendary music venues on West Sunset Boulevard. History runs deep and the tunes rock hard at the Viper Room, the Roxy and Whiskey A Go Go. And just because it’s midnight doesn’t mean you have to call it a night. You’ve got the Sunset Trip to take you back.

IF YOU GO
Pacific Design Center: Open weekdays at 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; www.pacificdesigncenter.com. Learn more about WeHo’s design district at https://westhollywooddesigndistrict.com
Restoration Hardware: Open daily at 8564 Melrose Ave.; www.restorationhardware.com.
Bikes & Hikes LA : Hollywood Sign Tours are offered at 10 a.m. and sunset daily ($48). 8250 Santa Monica Blvd.; https://bikesandhikesla.com
Lucques: Open for lunch Tuesday-Saturday and dinner daily at 8474 Melrose Avenue. Reservations recommended; www.lucques.com.
La Peer Hotel: Rooms start at $413. 627 N. La Peer Drive; www.lapeerhotel.com
Trolleys: Find hours, routes and maps for the Sunset Trip at http://wehosunsettrip.com and The Pickup at https://wehopickup.com.
Employees Only: Open nightly for drinks and dinner at 7953 Santa Monica Blvd.; www.employeesonlyla.com.
Music venues: The Viper Room is at 8852 Sunset Blvd.; www.viperroom.com . Find the Roxy at 9009 Sunset Blvd.; www.theroxy.com , and Whiskey A Go Go at 8901 Sunset Blvd; www.whiskyagogo.com.

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