Amidst the coastal communes of Los Angeles County, a raging debate concerning young debauch-seekers is heating up. Where is the best place to go out? Where are the best bars, best-looking people and most satisfying vibes? After a long week of work or school, the vibrant youth hunt for festive havens to host their late-night romps and revelry. In order for the young recruits to maintain sanity during the arduous workweek, the vice of the weekend must be adequate sustenance to guide them through.

So, where can this crucial dose of fun be administered?

Two of the most prominent nighttime playgrounds on the Westside are Santa Monica and Hermosa Beach. Each locale provides a different ambiance. Preserve your mental health through workweek toils by unveiling which one is right for you.



1. Quality of Nightlife - In Santa Monica, the people, the bars and the overall experiences to be had are not humble. People go out here to see and be seen. That applies to the standard of garb people sport and the attitudes as well. It is a tad higher class than most areas. You’re not dressing for Hollywood’s hottest clubs or the dive bar down the street; it’s a happy medium in the middle.

2. First Fridays - Now, First Fridays is primarily a Venice Beach event, but the crowds often seep north into Santa Monica. Every first Friday of the month, masses flock to Venice for food, art and booze. Many also herd towards Santa Monica for the exceptional bars during this time.

3. Dancing - More so than most coastal watering holes, Santa Monica features numerous spots to get your groove on. Dance the night away with old friends, new friends, random strangers or whatever floats your boat.


1. $$$ - The drinks are often not cheap, deals are scarce, and savings accounts are damned. If you don’t mind spending that cheddar, then this shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Crowds - Many of the bars are fairly small. They often get packed to capacity on a weekend night, making it difficult to order a drink, let alone move. Claustrophobics be advised.

3. Walking - The majority of the bars are spread out, so if you like to barhop, consider good shoes. The classy character beckons stilettos for women and dress shoes for men, but after a long night, a salty soak for those tender soles might be necessary.



1. Simplicity - Just like 2Pac says, in Hermosa, you “don’t gotta get all dressed up and be Hollywood.” In Hermosa, you don’t have to wear a three-piece suit or a flowing, floor-length dress. Nobody will mock you for wearing just a plain old tee or even cargo shorts, if that’s your style.

2. Concentrated Bar Scene - Most of the bars are located within a mile, or probably even less, of each other. Pier Avenue is a thriving central location with a variety of places for social lubrication. While the bars are close together, the layout of most Hermosa Beach bars offers plenty of room for mingling, including outdoor patios. The walls won’t be caving in on you here.

3. $ - Since the scene at Hermosa is a little less swanky than Santa Monica, you can find reasonably priced drinks. Average prices for average folk. Your eyes won’t boggle out of their sockets upon viewing your bar tab in Hermosa, at least not noticeably.


1. Crowd - With lower obligation for swagger, comes, well, lower levels of swagger. Hermosa can attract a less-desirable crowd than that of Santa Monica. A night out in Hermosa can be fueled with sloppy inebriation whereas Santa Monica might be tasteful tipsiness.

2. Location - For most who work or study in the epicenters of Los Angeles, the South Bay can be a trek. It isn’t as centrally located as Santa Monica. And God forbid hopping on the 405.

3. Standing and Drinking Atmosphere - Dancing isn’t as prevalent in Hermosa, but don’t be fooled, it is there. You can bust your moves in a few places, but most of the bars have a stagnant milieu of standing, mingling and heavy consumption.

Weekend warriors rejoice! A remedy of your choosing can medicate the hearty troubles of a week-long struggle. From Santa Monica to Hermosa Beach, there are suitable destinations for us all. Whether you’re attracted to high-class dance frenzies, or good ol’ cheap drinks and cheap fun, Los Angeles’ coastal region has an assortment of options. Nighttime on the Westside is like a choose-your-own-adventure but with dance floors and booze—now go fill in the blanks.