The Sea View Inn, Manhattan Beach (3400 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach; 310-545-1504; $125+)
The Sea View is for those whose priorities are more beach-focused. The inn provides complimentary bikes, towels and boogie boards for guests. Located three miles from LAX, right beside the ocean and "downtown" Manhattan Beach. Cozy, lesbian-marketed and kid-friendly, Sea View Inn flies the rainbow flag and hosts many gay and lesbian visitors from around the world.
Secret Garden B+B (8039 Selma Ave; 323-656-3888; $145+)
This delightful camp paradise is one block from the Sunset 5 Mall (cinemas, caf?s, restaurants, occasional famous faces) on Sunset Boulevard. It's an opulent pink 1923 Spanish-style residence with five individually decorated rooms with private bath (access via shared hallways) and gated off-street parking. Dietary requirements inventively catered to. Smoke free. Wheelchair accessible.
Farmer's Daughter (115 South Fairfax Avenue; 323-937-3930 or 800-334-1658; $209+)
A funky, quirky 66-room boutique gem with 'Her' rooms, hypo-allergenic bedding, and (new in 2006) Tart Restaurant, a haven of fresh baked American fusion.
EAT Mark's (861 N. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-652-5252; $14-30) is West Hollywood's long-standing gay restaurant of choice. The d?cor is clean and spare, with oversize floral arrangements. The food is good, rather than great, but the atmosphere and eye candy are exceptional. Mondays' half-price food packs the place and Wednesdays' Voyeur women's nights are hot booking.
Ari Ya (formerly Murakami, 8730 Santa Monica Blvd; 310-854-6212; $18-25) has changed its name but not its great menu. In the heart of WeHo and frequented by k.d. lang, inexpensive daily specials tempt all in for lunch.
PLAY/MEET Caf?s Basix (8333 Santa Monica Boulevard; 323-848-2460; $8-16, breakfasts $5-9)
This semi open-air caf? draws a crowd for morning coffee. The gluten-intolerant should flock for their yummy cornmeal pecan hotcakes. Votive candles and a light, inexpensive menu make it a fine choice for a casual dinner as well, although the service is mediocre or worse at all hours.
The Palms (8572 Santa Monica Blvd; 310-652-6188)
A fun and friendly neighborhood bar for an older, dressed-down crowd, the long-running Palms is an institution in the L.A. lesbian scene. It attracts a crowd every night. Wednesdays and weekend nights are popular. Barbeques on the patio Sundays. Wheelchair accessible.
The Abbey (692 N Robertson Ave; 310-289-8410)
This laid-back hip lesbian and gay lounge encourages you to get horizontal -- king-sized divans at the back provide ample apr?s-dinner lounging room and the ideal place to get nice and relaxed with a cocktail (or coffee and dessert) and somebody appropriate. Or grab a table in the courtyard, amidst the statues, and watch the parade of well-coiffed Hollywood types. Great place to idle away afternoons or evenings. Breakfasts served from 8 a.m. ($6-16). Wheelchair accessible.
Normandie Room (8737 Santa Monica Blvd; 310-659-6204)
A classy, ambient bar in West Hollywood with friendly, attractive bartenders, strong drinks and great people-watching.. Predominantly lesbian. Wheelchair accessible.
Shotgun (Gauntlet II, 4219 Santa Monica Boulevard)
Women and transmen take over this dark leather lair on Wednesdays. All girl DJs rock the house.
Clubs Girl Bar (UltraSuede Lounge, 652 La Peer; 877-447-5252)
This is the largest women's club/lounge in the States and every Friday is home to a glamorous, youngish, well-dressed crowd. Hang out on comfy seats in their trellised bar or wade through hundreds of women in the cavernous dance area.
Truck Stop (here lounge, 696 N. Robertson Boulevard; 310-931-9221)
Friday's Truck Stop is a hot, sassy, glam start to the weekend. Eighties pop, rock, and dance get an upbeat crowd on their feet.
EXTRA Sex Pleasure Chest (7733 Santa Monica Boulevard; 323-650-1022)
This mixed straight/lesbian/gay erotic outlet is allegedly frequented by Madonna, but more popular with the straight crowd. Bright, comfortable and well-stocked with toys and cheesy gifts. Staff is friendly and helpful.
Stores A Different Light (8853 Santa Monica Boulevard; 310-854-6601)
This bookstore is an exceedingly popular, airy establishment open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. This could well be the country's premier gay bookstore. Book signings and readings are frequent, and their inventory is extensive.