11 things to do in Burbank
This 110-acre studio on the Valley-side of the Hollywood Hills has served as the home of Warner Bros. since 1928. Since then, the studio has hosted production on a seemingly endless list of iconic movies and TV shows, including Casablanca, Looney Tunes, Friends and Ellen. Today, you can tour the backlot and soundstages on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood.
The oldest surviving Bob’s Big Boy location, this 1949 spot's colossal neon sign and familiar, rotund Big Boy recall a time when roadside restaurants screamed at drivers for their attention. The parking lot might as well be a second dining room with car hop service on Saturday and Sunday nights as well as a classic car meet-up on Fridays. You'll find a real sense of pop culture history inside, with a designated booth that the Beatles once dined at and the knowledge that David Lynch neurotically came by every day at 2:30pm for seven years to slurp down a chocolate milkshake.
This ornate domed arch started out in 1924 as the grand entrance to the Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery, though noise from the neighboring airport (now Bob Hope Airport) ultimately redirected traffic to the other side of the cemetery. Since 1953, the portal has served as a mausoleum and memorial to early aviation pioneers, including a plaque dedicated to Amelia Earhart and a model of the Space Shuttle Columbia. You can catch a glimpse of the shrine from the dead end on Valhalla Drive, but you'll have to enter the cemetery from its Victory Boulevard gate for a closer look.
This extension of Griffith Park, just over the Burbank side of the river, serves as the equestrian epicenter of the city. You'll find a hoard of horse-centric businesses here, including boarding and training facilities, as well as horse rentals and trail rides ($25 per hour). Of course, since this is Los Angeles, the facility also doubles as a banquet hall and popular filming location.
The Burbank Farmers' Market may be on the smaller side, but quality still thrives here. Held in a sizeable parking lot at the corner of Glenoaks Boulevard and Olive Avenue, all of the produce offered is certified California grown. No need to worry about parking—street parking is plentiful, and you can always leave your car at the fire station on Orange Grove below Glenoaks Boulevard.
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In this converted Macaroni Grill in downtown Burbank, you can stop in any time of night, any day of the week (save for Mondays), and see comics at all levels, from celebrities to features and beginners. Unlike most clubs, parking is simple and free in a complex right next door.
Brush up on a bit of Burbank history at this compact museum complex. Start your visit at the Mentzer House, a charming 1887 Victorian home that was lifted out of its original home on the other side of the 5 and tucked away in this spot on Olive Avenue. Continue into the Gordon R. Howard Museum and you'll find Disney memorabilia, vintage automobiles, an old Bob's Big Boy statue and more, all courtesy of the Burbank Historical Society.
Wildwood Canyon—not to be confused with a park of the same name in Yucaipa—offers about two miles of trails through the Verdugo Mountains. Hikes through the lower portion of the park are peaceful, quiet and moderately strenuous at most. Intrepid explorers will want to set a course up the steep climb to the radio tower atop Verdugo Peak. The dirt trails connect with Wildwood Canyon Drive at four separate points, where you'll find restrooms and grassy spots to picnic.
Bring a blanket and a bottle of wine to this outdoor amphitheater tucked into the Verdugo foothills. You'll find mostly legacy acts and cover bands performing here, but that doesn't put any damper on the scenic spot's potential for summertime fun.
Typically tearing up railroad tracks is a sign of the continued dominance of the car, but the Chandler Bikeway is a welcome exception to the rule. These two miles of Chandler Boulevard, stretching from Mariposa Street to Clybourn Avenue, were converted into a paved bikeway and sidewalk in 2004. The odd sculptures and pieces of street art perk up the surroundings, but the real draw is the path's view of the Verdugo Mountains.
Especially popular if you’ve got a karate kid, this museum will be a hit with martial arts enthusiasts of all ages. Designed by artists from Walt Disney, Dreamworks and The Simpsons, the facility focuses on the history, art and culture of Asia and its significant impact on the western world. In addition to fun and fascinating artifacts, there’s a wealth of information about film stars and beloved cartoons. The museum also offers a scavenger hunt to help keep even the most restless rugrats engaged and entertained.