Destination Main Streets

Melrose Avenue (Los Angeles), California

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Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California's west side has long been ground zero for the city's alternative and counter-cultural scene. The area really came of age in the early 80's as L.A.'s punk and new wave mecca. This influx of creativity also made Melrose Avenue one of the city's most famous shopping districts. The styles range from hip and trendy to grunge, punk, and rock and roll. As a major thoroughfare in L.A., Melrose Avenue goes on for several miles. The focus on this page is the portion of Melrose from Fairfax Avenue to La Brea Avenue, which some refer to as Melrose Village. Depending on who you ask, others refer to the area as being part of Hollywood, West Hollywood, Fairfax, or Mid-City West.

If you continue further east or west you will still see many retail options. You'll just be in another part of town with a whole different scene. For example, closer to Melrose's western end where it intersects with Santa Monica Boulevard near Beverly Hills, the stores and styles become significantly more upscale. Other Main Street-style communities worth checking out in this part of Los Angeles are Robertson Boulevard, West Third Street, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica, including the Third Steet Promenade and Montana Avenue.

Photo Gallery

A busy street scene on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California.  Notice all the signage (and billboards)!
A busy street scene on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Notice all the signage (and billboards)!
Funky shops and boutiques line busy Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California.
Funky shops and boutiques line busy Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California.
Heavy traffic travels east and west on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California.
Heavy traffic travels east and west on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California.
We start our tour of Melrose Avenue on the 7300 block and head west from there.
We start our tour of Melrose Avenue on the 7300 block and head west from there.
A more suburban style shopping center with its own parking lot at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Fuller Avenue.
A more suburban style shopping center with its own parking lot at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Fuller Avenue.
Funky boutiques, salons, and tattoo parlors line the 7300 block of Melrose Avenue.
Funky boutiques, salons, and tattoo parlors line the 7300 block of Melrose Avenue.
Vintage and consignment clothing stores mix with cutting edge boutiques on Melrose Avenue.
Vintage and consignment clothing stores mix with cutting edge boutiques on Melrose Avenue.
More fashion boutiques and other shops on the 7400 block of Melrose Avenue.
More fashion boutiques and other shops on the 7400 block of Melrose Avenue.
Shop owners show off their merchandise on sidewalk displays along Melrose Avenue.
Shop owners show off their merchandise on sidewalk displays along Melrose Avenue.
New shops and cafes stand alongside long-time mainstays on Melrose Avenue.
New shops and cafes stand alongside long-time mainstays on Melrose Avenue.
Gritty, cutting-edge shops, cafes and other boutiques along the 7400 block of Melrose Avenue.
Gritty, cutting-edge shops, cafes and other boutiques along the 7400 block of Melrose Avenue.
Shop signs and even billboards advertise to the people walking (and driving) by on busy Melrose Avenue.
Shop signs and even billboards advertise to the people walking (and driving) by on busy Melrose Avenue.
More boutiques and billboards at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Vista Street.
More boutiques and billboards at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Vista Street.
A rare sight on Melrose Avenue at its intersection with Gardner Street--a tree covered sidewalk.
A rare sight on Melrose Avenue at its intersection with Gardner Street--a tree covered sidewalk.
More trendy boutiques, a head shop, and even the original location of Johnny Rockets on Melrose Avenue.
More trendy boutiques, a head shop, and even the original location of Johnny Rockets on Melrose Avenue.
More funky shops along the 7500 block of Melrose Avenue.
More funky shops along the 7500 block of Melrose Avenue.
Boutiques, wide sidewalks, and even mannequins can all be found along Melrose Avenue.
Boutiques, wide sidewalks, and even mannequins can all be found along Melrose Avenue.
A gritty street scene shows off Melrose Avenue's alternative side at its intersection with Sierra Bonita Avenue.
A gritty street scene shows off Melrose Avenue's alternative side at its intersection with Sierra Bonita Avenue.
Although Melrose Avenue is a busy part of town, you'll still find plenty of on-street parking.  Just don't forget to pay the meters.
Although Melrose Avenue is a busy part of town, you'll still find plenty of on-street parking. Just don't forget to pay the meters.
A new boutique stands in a recently redeveloped part of Melrose Avenue.
A new boutique stands in a recently redeveloped part of Melrose Avenue.
Hip boutiques and even a pet store along the 7500 block of Melrose Avenue.  The rental minivan was ours.
Hip boutiques and even a pet store along the 7500 block of Melrose Avenue. The rental minivan was ours.
If you want to live the rock and roll lifestyle, you can start by shopping at one of these boutiques on Melrose Avenue.
If you want to live the rock and roll lifestyle, you can start by shopping at one of these boutiques on Melrose Avenue.
On Melrose Avenue, you'll see a lot of variety from trendy boutiques to vintage stores.  There's even a toy store next door to a tattoo parlor.
On Melrose Avenue, you'll see a lot of variety from trendy boutiques to vintage stores. There's even a toy store next door to a tattoo parlor.
More funky shops at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Curson Avenue.
More funky shops at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Curson Avenue.
Trend-setting boutiques on the 7600 block of Melrose Avenue.
Trend-setting boutiques on the 7600 block of Melrose Avenue.
These mannequins should give you an idea of the kind of clothes (and accessories) you can purchase on Melrose Avenue.
These mannequins should give you an idea of the kind of clothes (and accessories) you can purchase on Melrose Avenue.
More shops and boutiques on Melrose Avenue.  You can even get your cards read.
More shops and boutiques on Melrose Avenue. You can even get your cards read.
Fashionable boutiques mix with Melrose Avenue's infamous graffiti.
Fashionable boutiques mix with Melrose Avenue's infamous graffiti.
This Starbucks with its outdoor patio used to be The Burger That Ate LA, a famous burger joint that has since closed.
This Starbucks with its outdoor patio used to be The Burger That Ate LA, a famous burger joint that has since closed.
We haven't seen too many chains on this part of Melrose Avenue, but here's an Urban Outfitters at the intersection of Melrose and Stanley Avenue.
We haven't seen too many chains on this part of Melrose Avenue, but here's an Urban Outfitters at the intersection of Melrose and Stanley Avenue.
Funky shops, record stores, tattoo parlors, and even a bench in the shade along the 7700 block of Melrose Avenue.
Funky shops, record stores, tattoo parlors, and even a bench in the shade along the 7700 block of Melrose Avenue.
Boutiques, salons, record shops, tattoo parlors and more billboards along Melrose Avenue.
Boutiques, salons, record shops, tattoo parlors and more billboards along Melrose Avenue.
You can get the latest fashions or visit a nail salon on Melrose Avenue.
You can get the latest fashions or visit a nail salon on Melrose Avenue.
Another one of the few chains on this stretch of Melrose Avenue, an American Apparel.
Another one of the few chains on this stretch of Melrose Avenue, an American Apparel.
A gritty street scene on Melrose Avenue across from Fairfax High School.  Sportie LA is one of Melrose Avenue's mainstays.
A gritty street scene on Melrose Avenue across from Fairfax High School. Sportie LA is one of Melrose Avenue's mainstays.

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