Valley Glen is a city and suburb of about 59,000 people situated in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles in Los Angeles County.
This diverse and vibrant neighbourhood is known for its pleasant weather and its central location bordering the communities of North Hollywood, Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks.
Valley Glen hosts several wonderful restaurants, cafes, parks and shopping areas such as Burbank Kafco Plaza, Sherman Square, Victory Plaza and NOHO West.
Many exciting events and festivals take place in the area around Valley Glen including the Valley Glen Spring Festival
Below are 15 of the best things to do in and around Valley Glen, California.
1. Get Outside at Valley Glen Community Park
Upon arrival in Valley Glen, the best way to unwind after your trip is to kick back in a pretty outdoor space and get some fresh air. Valley Glen Community Park is the perfect place to do this.
On site, you’ll find plenty of open green space to relax in the sun. If you have children with you, they’ll love the play area that includes a sandbox, swings and slides.
There are picnic areas scattered around and you can stretch your legs on the walking trail that passes through areas scattered with mature maple and sycamore trees. A baseball field is also on site.
2. Learn About the History of the Area at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley
Valley Glen and the San Fernando Valley area have long and interesting histories that you can learn about at the Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
Since 2005, the museum has been acquiring, preserving and displaying items of historical significance to the area for residents and visitors alike to enjoy. In the on-site exhibits, you’ll see many fascinating artefacts, documents and artworks.
Some of the past exhibits have included sculptor Henry Wolf, The Hollywood Shorties and WWII History.
Museum tours and historic walking tours are offered by the museum and a number of events, including lectures and presentations, that take place throughout the year.
3. Check Out the Great Wall of Los Angeles
Public art is common in the greater Los Angeles area but the Great Wall of Los Angeles, only a few minutes away from Valley Glen in North Hollywood, is an absolute must-see.
This beautiful mural, which was completed in 1979 and is more than 2,700 feet long, is officially called The History of California due to its unique historical depiction of the region. It was designed by Judith Baca and was brought to life by more than 400 local youths and artists.
The finished project is a colourful, captivating work of art that remains today as one of the longest murals in the world.
4. Sample Local Craft Beer at the Brewyard Beer Company
Since 2015, Brewyard Beer Company in nearby Glendale has been producing California lagers with signature twists.
This microbrewery has a lovely taproom with an inviting atmosphere and open concept design. Here you can sample many of their brews that are made on site including Drums Please!, California Common Lager, Irish Red Common Lager and Black Sunrise Black Common Lager.
From time to time, food trucks are parked outside offering a variety of meals and snacks for hungry patrons. To add a bit of fun to your tasting experience, a variety of board games are available at the venue.
5. Spend an Afternoon Outdoors at Lake Balboa Park
Even in the midst of the urban sprawl, it’s not hard to find a peaceful, natural escape away from the crowds of the Greater Los Angeles Area.
The main attraction in this park is Lake Balboa around which a walking trail winds for 1.3 miles. As you explore the park, you’ll see some of the local wildlife including ducks, geese and rabbits.
Boats are permitted to traverse the lake’s serene shores while the park also boasts several lovely benches, picnic areas and a beautiful Japanese Garden.
6. Get a Better Look at the Night Sky at Griffith Observatory
Situated on Mount Hollywood with views of downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign, Griffith Observatory is a popular attraction in the area.
During the day, you can hike along a series of picturesque trails and enjoy the views they provide. Come nightfall, you can observe the breath-taking night sky at the observatory.
Inside the observatory, you can also explore a variety of impressive exhibits and visit the Samuel Oschin Planetarium. Once a month, the observatory hosts star parties that provide visitors with a chance to look through a variety of telescopes and learn about astronomy.
7. Dine on Healthy and Delicious Food at Lusy’s Mediterranean Cafe & Grill
Since 2006, Lusy’s Mediterranean Cafe & Grill has been serving delicious, healthy Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere where patrons are treated like family.
This eatery takes pride in the fact that they never use any pre-made or packaged ingredients in their meal preparation. Dishes are prepared using family recipes that were passed down to Chef Lusy and everything is made fresh each day.
Some of the delicious items you’ll find on the menu include a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, kebabs, falafel and tasty desserts. The chicken shawarma and gyros plates are just a few of the main courses available.
8. Play a Round of Golf at DeBell Golf Course
With pretty scenery, a peaceful atmosphere, top-quality facilities and some of the best golf in the area, you couldn’t ask for much more. At DeBell Golf Course in nearby Burbank, you’ll enjoy a relaxing and challenging day on the greens.
This 18-hole, par-71 course is situated in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains and features a driving range, putting green and golf shop. Also on site is a 9-hole par-3 course and a 9-hole disc golf course. Lessons are available to aspiring golfers and those eager to enhance their skills.
The Hilltop Restaurant and Bar serves traditional American dishes at breakfast and lunch and features stunning views of the course and surrounding valley.
9. Visit the Valley Relics Museum
At the Valley Relics Museum in nearby Lake Balboa, the history of the San Fernando Valley has been carefully collected, preserved and showcased for all to explore.
A number of exhibits are on site showcasing many historical items including poignant documents, photos, school yearbooks, books, artworks, vintage neon signs, clothes and even old cars.
Also on site is a retro arcade where you can actually play some of the games that were popular in years gone by. Guided tours are available and many exciting events take place at the museum throughout the year.
10. Check Out the Sherman Oaks Farmers Market
Open-air farmers’ markets are a staple in the region and the Sherman Oaks Farmers’ Market is a popular option near Valley Glen.
As you browse the market, you’ll find a wide variety of local items including fresh produce, handcrafted jewellery, artworks, crafts, homemade dressings and seasonings, ice cream and much more.
11. See Unique Exhibits at The Museum of Neon Art
The Museum of Neon Art in nearby Glendale is a unique and fun attraction that has one of the biggest collections of neon art in the world.
For decades, the museum has been displaying electric media and neon signs, some of which have historical and pop culture significance such as the infamous sign from the Brown Derby.
As you explore the museum, you’ll learn about the interesting techniques used to create this type of art as well as the history behind it. Some of the displays rotate throughout the year so there are always new items to see.
Throughout the week, neon cruise bus tours are available and during one of these tours, you’ll see many of the epic neon signs that currently adorn various businesses around the area.
12. Unwind at Balanced Body Spa
Situated in nearby North Hollywood, Balanced Body Spa is the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate your body before continuing your explorations of Valley Glen and the surrounding area.
The atmosphere is relaxing and the staff is expertly trained to ensure you have the ultimate pampering experience.
Some of the treatments available include facials, body wraps, foot reflexology and various massages including deep tissue, Swedish and hot stone massages.
13. Enjoy Live Performances at The Alex Theatre
The Alex Theatre in nearby Glendale is a well-known landmark in Los Angeles County and it’s been in operation since the mid-1920s. This beautifully constructed performance arts venue was once known for its film premiers but today it’s known for its world-class live performances.
Throughout the year, over 250 live shows are showcased at the theatre including theatrical performances, dance recitals, concerts, comedy acts and TV and film award ceremonies.
The Glendale Youth Orchestra, The Musical Theatre Guild and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra are just some of the organizations that have performed at the theatre. In addition, the Alex Society regularly hosts classic film viewings.
Tours of the theatre, including the backstage area, are available upon request.
14. Explore the Wilderness of Mount Gleason
Situated in the San Gabriel Mountains in Glendale, Mount Gleason is a pristine and beautiful wilderness area where visitors can participate in a wide range of outdoor activities.
A series of hiking trails wind through this nature area including the 16-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Each trail eventually leads to the summit of the mountain. As you explore the area, you’ll see stunning views, wildlife and plant life while passing through unique ecosystems.
If one day in the park is not enough, there are several campgrounds on site including Lightning Point and Messenger Flats.
15. Spend a Day at Brand Park
With so much to do at Brand Park, it’s hard to know where to begin. Rain or shine, this 31-acre complex situated at the base of the Verdugo Mountains in Glendale offers many things to see and do for all ages.
On-site there are art galleries, sculpture areas and a library. The Whispering Pine Tea House and Friendship Garden is a great place to relax with a hot beverage and some sweet treats.
The Doctor’s House Museum is where you can tour a historic house that was once the home of actress Nell Shipman. Also on site are basketball courts, baseball fields, playgrounds and a series of hiking and cycling trails.