North Hollywood – also known as the NoHo district – is a vibrant community in the San Fernando Valley and a thriving suburb of Los Angeles. It’s mostly known for its laid back lifestyle and lively arts district home to about 20 theatres and an abundance of galleries and entertainment venues.
The other thing North Hollywood is known for is accessibility. The area is very easy to get around, and most things are an easy walk away.
In the morning, you could be in one part of North Hollywood having a coffee in a cute little café, and by afternoon, you could be in the bustling Arts District taking in a live performance, admiring local art, or enjoying cocktails or craft beer at one of the unique lounges.
A number of restaurants are located in North Hollywood, and shopping is available in the boutique shops of the arts district and various shopping centres, such as Laurel Canyon Oxnard Plaza, Valley Plaza, and NoHo Commons.
Throughout the year, many festivals take place, including the NoHo Cinefest, NoHo Music Festival, and the Vegan Street Fair.
Below are the 15 best things to do in and around North Hollywood, California.
1. Get Behind the Scenes at Warner Bros. Studio
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of your favourite television shows? At Warner Bros. Studio, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to work on a production set, and see some really cool memorabilia.
During a tour of this facility, which is one of the most widely-known production companies in the world, you’ll see the sets of some of your all-time favourite television shows like Friends and The Big Bang Theory.
As you make your way around the studio on a trolley, you’ll also see backlots, exhibits devoted to popular movies, displays of iconic items from various movie sets, a costume exhibit, and an elaborate soundstage.
You’ll hear about the history of television and movie production at the studio and learn about its technical capacities through the decades.
After your tour, you can have your picture taken on the set of the Big Bang Theory or Friends, enjoy a caffeinated beverage at the Central Perk-themed café, and browse a Hollywood-themed gift store.
2. Create A Unique Meal at Rodini Park
At Rodini Park in North Hollywood, you get to choose what you want on your plate. Pick an item from the menu, select your fillings, proteins, and toppings, and top it off with your favourite sauce.
The choices are endless because there are so many ways you can mix and match. The hardest thing about grabbing a meal here is deciding which delicious items you’ll add to your creation.
On the menu, you’ll also find a variety of pitas, salads, platters, soups and desserts. Main courses include slow-roasted chicken, Greek Mexican gyro, and pork shawarma.
Everything on the menu is fresh, homemade, and created with quality, healthy ingredients. You can also purchase freshly-baked goods at the on-site bakery.
3. See the Animals at The Los Angeles Zoo
A visit to the Los Angeles Zoo is the perfect outing for the whole family. Across 133 acres, you’ll see a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals, such as gorillas, koalas, and lions. Also on-site is a lovely botanical garden and a children’s carousel.
Educational talks are held throughout the day, and events – such as the LA Zoo Lights – take place throughout the year.
4. Get Outdoors at Wildwood Canyon Park
For a day of fun in a natural setting, head to Wildwood Canyon Park. This nature area is home to several hiking trails, where you can see stunning views and observe native wildflowers. The trails range from easy to difficult.
You’ll also find a wide field where you can have a picnic. Restrooms are available. The Burbank Nature Program hosts a variety of events in the park throughout the year.
5. Savour Local Craft Beer at Blue Palms Brewhouse
Visitors enjoy the ambience of a neighbourhood alehouse at Blue Palms Brewhouse. While you relax with some bar snacks – like pretzels and nachos – browse the drink menu to find the perfect complement to your food.
Blue Palms focuses on both tap and bottled beers, including a variety of stouts, pale ales, pilsners and ciders. The beer options are rotated frequently, but the selection always includes 24 in-house beers. You can request a mini-tasting, and all drinks are served in a suitable glass at just the right temperature.
6. Learn About Local Aviation History at the Burbank Aviation Museum
The area around North Hollywood has a long and interesting aviation history. The Burbank Aviation Museum highlights much of that history through exhibits featuring memorabilia and artefacts related to flight, including information about notable pilots and planes.
The grounds are home to a series of models representing notable aircraft, including the Challenger space shuttle. You’ll also get to admire the beautiful archway and dome.
7. See North Hollywood and Surrounding Areas From the Air with Helitours LA
One of the best ways to see all of Los Angeles and its suburbs is with a helicopter ride. Helitours LA offers the perfect, once-in-a-lifetime exclusive experience that will take you high above the area.
As you soar overhead, your pilot will point out all the significant landmarks, including the downtown area, the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory.
8. Savour Local Wine at Urban Press Winery
Traditionally, wineries and vineyards were popular attractions in Northern California, but for the last 20 years, Urban Press Winery in nearby Burbank has been making wine culture a thing in the Los Angeles area.
This winery started with a simple wine-making operation in a backyard garage and has since grown into a popular outlet for local wines.
There are many wines available to taste, and you can buy them by the bottle. Urban Press Winery also hosts a variety of events throughout the year.
9. Enjoy a Weird Night on the Town at the California Institute of Abnormal Arts
Weird? Strange? Unique? Fun? A night at the California Institute of Abnormal Arts could be any or all of these things, but it’ll undoubtedly be a night to remember.
This part nightclub – part museum features a vast collection of strange art and memorabilia, and an ambience made even more bizarre with blacklights and funhouse mirrors.
If you’re lucky enough to catch a show at this interesting venue, you can expect the entertainment to be just as strange as the decor. Think circus performers and musicians dressed in bizarre costumes.
10. Spend the Day in Griffith Park
Griffith Park is the place where Walt Disney got his inspiration to create a giant amusement park. It’s one of the biggest municipal parks in the country, and at 4,310 acres, there’s plenty to see and do.
Besides massive green spaces where you can enjoy some peace away from the city, Griffith Park also features the famed Hollywood sign, 53 acres of hiking and equestrian trails, the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, several playgrounds, a carousel with 68 handcrafted horses, and The Griffith Observatory, where you can see spectacular views of downtown LA.
11. Catch a Show at the Colony Theater
A trip to North Hollywood is not complete if you don’t catch at least one live theatre performance. The Colony Theater has been putting together top-quality shows for more than 40 years and is one of the most popular small venues in the area.
The best thing about this theatre is the cosy atmosphere and intimate seating. The plays feature talented local actors, and performances are scheduled frequently.
12. Visit the Martial Arts History Museum
Martial arts has a long history, and the Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank tells this history in a variety of ways suitable for all ages.
Learn about the history of martial arts in many Asian countries, including Thailand, China and Japan. Hear personal stories of people’s experiences with martial arts and the influence it’s had on the United States.
Some of the artefacts on display include anime prints and a headband featured in the Karate Kid movie.
13. Explore Warner Bros Ranch
Warner Bros Ranch in Burbank is an iconic space in American film history. Across this 40-acre piece of land are a number of renowned film and television sets from years gone by.
The house where the Waltons lived, the sets for Bewitched and The Partridge Family, and even the water fountain from the Friends opening credits are all here.
14. Laugh Until you Cry at the Flappers Comedy Club
For a fun and energetic evening on the town, head to Flappers Comedy Club and catch a show.
This lively venue has been hosting live comedy acts since 2000 and has grown into a venue that offers more than just quality entertainment.
Visitors also enjoy a variety of workshops throughout the year and a restaurant with a full menu.
Performances are held in three different areas of the property, including the bar, the main rooms, and the Yoo Hoo room.