Many people think of Hollywood when they think of the American movie industry, but actually a lot of the action happens a little further away in neighboring Burbank.
Here you will find many ‘Hollywood’ production studios and movie lots, and the film industry has made Burbank its base since the 1920s.
Burbank is a city but many residents claim that many parts of it have more of a town-like feel to them.
If you are a movie buff, then know that both Disney and Warner Brothers have movie lots in Burbank, so if you want a real slice of American cinema then this is certainly the place to find it.
As well as its strong affiliation to the movies, Burbanks also has eating, shopping and entertainment options galore.
You will also find lively markets, leafy parks, and some fun walking trails that bisect the area.
Lets explore the best things to do in Burbank:
1. Magnolia Park
Magnolia Park can actually be a misleading name for this district that is actually based around the main artery of Magnolia Boulevard.
Less of a park area and more of a shopping area, Magnolia Park is known for its vintage clothing stores.
If you are a fan of old style movies and want some 1950s apparel of your own then you are sure to find it here.
As well as shopping there are also events held here throughout the year such as live music nights.
To add to this, there is also a strong browsing and cafe culture here and you can find quirky boutiques and coffee shops dotted around the neighborhood.
2. Flappers Comedy Club
For those looking for some laughs in Burbank, Flappers Comedy Club is the ideal spot to find them.
Many famous American comedians cut their teeth here, and there are over 40 standup comedy shows a week for you to choose from.
As well as a show, you can also have dinner or drinks and many of the comedians also work as writers for some of America’s most celebrated comedy shows such as Conan and Letterman.
As such, know that you are experiencing a little bit of comedy gold here.
Surprise guests also often drop by so you never quite know who will be in the house.
If you are travelling with children then there are also shows that are suitable for little ones called ‘Two Milk Kids’.
3. Burbank Farmer’s Market
The Los Angeles region is known for its farmer’s markets, but Burbank Farmer’s Market is said to be a cut above many of the other options that you will find in the wider area.
Nestled behind Burbank City Hall, the market could not be more centrally located, but still has a small town feel, and vendors here come from all over the area to sell their wares.
This means you can sample some of the best produce in the region from as far away as San Diego or San Francisco.
Baked goods from local bakeries in Burbank are also highly represented here and are said to be a highlight of the market.
4. Warner Brothers Studio
If you love films then you can’t come to Burbank without visiting the Warner Brothers Studio.
Here you can take a guided tour around the Warner Brothers production lot where you will get to go behind the scenes and learn all about the famous movies that have been produced and filmed here.
To that end, there is a special exhibition dedicated to one of the studio’s most famous franchises, the Batman movies.
Also part of the tour is the Warner Brothers Museum where you will find famous costumes, props, and scripts that go back through the history of Warner Brothers.
5. Brace Canyon Park
For a little adventure in the Burbank area come to Brace Canyon Park, one of the most exciting green spaces in the city.
Not just a park, this is also an activity center where you can enjoy outdoor pursuits as diverse as zip lining, tennis, and baseball.
The park is located in a residential park of Burbank where it enjoys fresh air from the nearby surrounding mountains and is also shaded by large trees that make it the perfect place to come if you want to cool off from the California heat.
If you are feeling lazy then there are also relaxation spots like picnic areas and grassy lawns.
6. Los Angeles Equestrian Center
The Los Angeles Equestrian Center is ideal for anyone who wants to experience Burbank from a different vantage point.
Here you can go on a horse riding expedition that you will take you around the local area, and you may find yourself in the middle of a movie shoot, as the center is located near to several of the studios on town.
If you prefer not to ride yourself, then the center also has a range of equestrian shows throughout the year.
7. Walt Disney Studios
Also located in Burbank is the Walt Disney Studios, where you can learn all about the history and movies of Disney.
The studios here also offer a guided tour that will fill you in on movie trivia and you can also opt for a private tour of the Walt Disney Archives if you are a serious fan.
This will take you back to the beginning of Disney’s establishment and through its colorful history with period items like original songbooks, music sheets, and other memorabilia.
This is not to be missed if you visit Burbank, particularly if you are travelling with youngsters who love the Disney movies.
8. Starlight Bowl
Less well known than its famous cousin, the Hollywood Bowl, Starlight Bowl in Burbank is the place to come for a less crowded and more intimate concert experience.
If you happen to be here during the summer months then you won’t be disappointed as the Starlight Bowl is known for its summer music concerts including a large party for the 4th of July every year.
Every year big name performers also come here over the summer so check the local listings to see what or who is on when you are in town.
9. Woodbury University Nan Rae Gallery
Art lovers should not miss the chance to check out this quirky gallery in Burbank.
The gallery is dedicated to showcasing works of art that run from highly experimental contemporary art pieces to classic traditional works, which is what makes this such an interesting place to visit.
Part of Woodbury University, the exhibitions are made up of a range of student’s works as well as rotating galleries that also feature pieces from featured and guest artists from around the region.
10. Chandler Bikeway
A bikeway may not sound like the most interesting place to come on a trip to Burbank, but there is a reason that Chandler Bikeway is so well loved by residents.
The trail here used to be a railway line in the days of old until it was made over into its present state, and now you can stroll, jog, or bike along the area to take in some of the local scenery.
In addition to the local flora and fauna that surrounds you, you will also get a chance to see art installations along the trail that are the work of local artists, as well as a series of colorful murals.
There are even astronomy classes that are held here monthly if you come at the right time.
11. The Batcade
If you want some exercise as well as the chance to try your hand at an all-American sport then head to the Batcade.
Here you will find one of the premier batting cage facilities in this part of California, and you can spend the afternoon practicing your swing and hitting some balls around.
The batting cages cater to all levels of experience and you can either choose slow pitch or fast pitch depending on how brave you feel.
12. Burbank Town Center
For some top quality shopping in Burbank head to Burbank Town Center where you will find everything you need.
There are malls here as well as movie theaters if you are feeling inspired after a studio tour and want to catch an afternoon show.
As if that wasn’t enough, there is also a bungee jump area so if you are feeling adventurous you can scale the heights of the bungee tower before taking the plunge.
There is also a strong cafe culture in Burbank which is also located in the town center around Angeleno Street.
13. Burbank Aviation Museum
The Burbank Aviation Museum is also known by its local nickname ‘The Portal of Folded Wings’. The museum was first established in order to showcase the amazing history of aviation in the Burbank area, and to that end you can take a walk through this history on a tour of the museum.
Highlights to be found here come in the form of pieces of memorabilia that were donated by former engineers, aircraft designers, and pilots.
If you are an aviation buff then don’t miss this chance to learn all about the history of flight in Burbank.
14. Johnny Carson Park
This park is named after the famous host of The Tonight Show which was taped in Burbank for over forty years at the NBC lot.
As the park also sits on Bob Hope Drive, know that you are in the middle of the land of the movies here.
The park is said to be one of the most picturesque green spaces in the entire city, and there is also a well maintained river here with rugged rocky outcrops for visitors to enjoy.
Common activities at the park include picnicking and walking and there is also a children’s area for younger visitors.
15. Gordon R. Howard Museum
For those interested in a little bit of the history of Burbank, the Gordon R. Howard Museum is a great place to start, and is also free to tour.
Run by the Burbank Historical Society, this former home is packed full of period pieces from Disney as well as antique cars, statues, and vintage memorabilia from the Burbank area.
A tour here will take you on a journey that explains how Burbank evolved from a sleepy town to becoming the movie capital of the world.