Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Burbank, CA

  • Published 2022/08/10

Burbank, also known as the Media Capital of the World, is situated at the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California.

Just a few miles away from LA, towards the northeast of Hollywood, Burbank is a hub for several well-known media and entertainment companies like Warner Bros. Studios and Walt Disney Studios.

The entertainment city of California bustles with loads of activities and a real glimpse of Tinseltown.

Burbank has a plethora of things to discover and experience.

There will never be a dull moment in this city.

Burbank has a lot to offer to its visitors, from famous studio tours and interesting museums to adventure parks and eccentric galleries and theaters.

Here are the best things to do in Burbank, California:

Discover Out-of-this-World Movie-Making Experiences

Exterior of Warner Bros Studios

Gerry Boughan /

The first and foremost thing to do when in Burbank is to visit Universal Studios and Warner Bros Studios.

The studio tours give visitors an exciting insight into the behind-the-scenes process of movie-making, and you get a chance to witness the most spectacular backlots of Hollywood.

Friends TV show studio at Warner Bros Studios tour

Krzysztof Stefaniak /

Witness actual filming sites and soundstages where shows and movies are shot.

Mind-blowing shows, rides, and adventures are abundant at these studios.

Film set at Warner Bros Studios tour

nito /

Learn the History of Martial Arts at the Martial Arts History Museum

Martial arts history museum in Burbank

NKreuzer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Established by Michael Matsuda, the Martial Arts Museum covers almost every type of martial art, like kung fu, judo, karate, and muay Thai.

The museum educates people on how each martial art developed in its parent country and how it spread across the world.

It also imparts information to its visitors on art, traditions, and culture.

At the same time, the museum focuses on how Asian culture and art became a part of America through martial arts.

This museum is the only one of its kind you’ll ever find, as it exhibits artifacts from movies like The Karate Kid and Revenge of the Ninja, among others.

It also houses props from all kinds of martial arts and has a section devoted to the history and development of anime.

So, if you have even a little bit of interest in martial arts, then this place should be part of your Burbank itinerary!

Experience the Life of Disney Princesses at The Walt Disney Studios

Exterior of Walt Disney Studios in Burbank

Kathy Hutchins /

The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank is something straight out of a dream. It is a paradise for kids as well as adults who grew up watching shows like Mickey Mouse and Pooh and Friends or animated movies like Peter Pan, Bambi, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book.

The sprawling Walt Disney Studios premises include a number of filming backlots, soundstages, and production facilities.

For starters, there’s the Michael D. Eisner Building, formerly known as the Team Disney Building, which houses the offices of the CEO, the executive chairman, and the board of directors.

Disney Legends Plaza is the central place for the Disney Legends award and commemorates its recipients.

The Frank G. Wells Building is dedicated to Frank G. Wells, who was the former president of the Walt Disney Company, while the Animation Building is where most of the animation work takes place and where most of the Disney characters were drawn.

The Roy O. Disney building is dedicated to the co-founder and elder brother of Walt Disney, Roy O. Disney.

Welcome sign of Walt Disney Studios

JHVEPhoto /

The Annette Funicello Stage (stage 1) is the oldest stage in The Walt Disney Studios and served as a repair center for army vehicles during World War II.

The Julie Andrews Stage (stage 2) is the second oldest soundstage, and Stage 3 was completed in 1953 and was designed specifically for the filming of the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Moreover, Stage 4 was made in 1958 for the shooting of Darby O’Gill and the Little People, and this soundstage was later divided into two parts and led to the formation of Stages 4 and 5.

Finally, Stages 6 and 7 are the latest stages of The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.

The studio complex also houses the Hyperion Bungalow, which was the home of the Disney Publicity and Comic Strip Departments.

The Main Theater, which has enough space to seat 419 people, is one of the original buildings of the Burbank premises and screens Disney shows for employees and guests.

Other buildings at The Walt Disney Studios include the Ink and Paint Building, Camera Building, Cutting Building, Shorts Building, Digital Studio Center, The Roy E. Disney Animation Building, and the Original Commissary.

Animation building at Walt Disney Studios

Coolcaesar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about Burbank’s Aviation History at the Burbank Aviation Museum

Aircraft sculpture at Burbank Aviation Museum

Kilmer Media /

The Burbank Aviation Museum, also known as the “Portal of Folded Wings,” is a non-profit institution that celebrates the rich local aviation history of Burbank.

It is located at the corner of the Valhalla Cemetery.

The museum’s primary point of interest is definitely its enormous and beautiful entryway, which features whimsical ornamentation and an expansive arch.

Beautiful dome of Burbank Aviation Museum's building

StacieStauffSmith Photos /

The outside of the museum displays airplanes that are the stars of aviation.

The model of the Challenger Space Shuttle is the highlight among all the exhibits featured in the museum.

Laugh Out Loud at the Flappers Comedy Club

Performance at Flappers Comedy Club

Catpiccatpic, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To tickle your funny bones, Burbank has a comedy club called the Flappers Comedy Club.

Operating since 2000, the club hosts shows by new-age comedians, serves great food, and organizes comedy classes.

They also host the much-awaited annual Burbank Comedy Festival, during which fresh talented comedians entertain their audience and leave them in splits.

They also allow children in their family-friendly shows and have a special “two milk minimum menu” for the little ones.

In short, an evening at the Flappers Comedy Club is a perfect way to spend an evening with your family, friends, or partner.

Loads of hearty laughs, good food, and memories worth cherishing are all guaranteed at the Flappers Comedy Club.

Take a Walk through Burbank’s History at the Gordon R. Howard Museum

Apart from Hollywood culture, Burbank has a lot more to offer, especially to history geeks, thanks to the city’s rich history.

One such attraction would be the Gordon R. Howard Museum.

The Victorian home that contains the exhibition hall was built in 1887, and inside the hall, one can discover plenty of captivating verifiable data and artifacts of the city.

These artifacts shed light on the previous inhabitants of Burbank, many of whom have been the inspiration behind the names of Burbank’s different roads and points of interest.

The Gordon R. Howard also houses mementos from Disney and a retro car specially arranged by the Burbank Historical Society.

Watch Mesmerizing Performances at The Colony Theatre

With a bequest of more than four decades, The Colony Theatre is a prized possession for the people of Burbank.

Owing to its large number of talented actors, the theater hosts brilliant shows and plays for its guests in a private setting.

The theater also organizes special performances by eminent guests.

The Colony Theatre frequently witnesses special meetings, events, and film screenings and is also known to have dedicated shows for children.

Its brilliance was recognized by the Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac, as it provided The Colony Theatre a spot under their list of 25 Notable US Theater Companies.

Get a Beautiful Bird’s-Eye View of Burbank and Los Angeles with Orbic Air

When it comes to scenic beauty, Burbank is a visual treat.

With Orbic Air, you can get to enjoy Burbank’s picturesque sights from a different point of view than the usual.

The company owns many helicopters that can be used for aerial photography and videography, tours, and helicopter training.

The helicopters may also be utilized for chartered air travel.

Orbic Air has its primary base at Bob Hope Airport, which is the central spot of most of their trips.

The tours they have on offer include landing on mountain tops, vineyard excursions, intimate lunches, and dinners.

They also provide charter facilities for trips to neighboring cities like Los Angeles, special concerts, and sports events.

Orbic Air’s air-only trips can have exclusively specialized themes, such as celebrity focus or a dusk mise en scène.

Go Hiking on the Verdugo Mountains

Hiking trail in  Verdugo Mountains

Noah Sauve /

Offering a refreshing change from the urban scene, the Verdugo Mountains, classified as a Significant Ecological Area, are a must-visit in Burbank.

Spread over a sprawling area of 244 acres, the mountains are a reserve of exotic trees like oak, sycamores, and big leaf maples, among others.

The natural springs and streams there only add more diversity to the bio reserve.

Cliff trail at Verdugo Mountains

arsija /

The hiking trails passing through the Verdugo Mountains provide hikers an excellent opportunity to witness the panoramic scenery created by the mountain range.

A perfect day in nature’s bounty with many memories to take home is what the Verdugo Mountains are all about.

Have Fun at the Warner Bros. Ranch

The gate of Warner Bros. Ranch

Brenda Rocha – Blossom /

If you’re a fan of the American Film Industry and love to know the little-known facts about it, then the Warner Bros. Ranch (formerly known as the Columbia Ranch) is a must-visit.

Spread over 40 acres of land, the Warner Bros.Ranch Ranch is famous for housing some of the iconic sets of Hollywood.

The most famous set visited by tourists is the iconic fountain seen in the opening credits of the famous American sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

The other sets housed by the Warner Bros. Ranch include the family house in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the home where the Walton family lived, and the sets of Bewitched and The Partridge Family.

Get Spooked by the Exhibits at Hyaena Gallery

Hyaena Gallery in Burbank is known for an array of grotesque and unsophisticated art and displays.

The gallery is especially notable for its fixed exhibition of horror movie-related models and works of actual serial killers.

Hyaena Gallery was started by Bill Shafer in 2005 and has gained popularity for its Charlie Sheen exhibit in 2011, among other peculiar museum exhibits.

The gallery has also won awards, such as Best Spooky Emporium and Best Dark Arts Gallery.

Taste Exquisite Wines at Urban Press Winery

Situated in the heart of Burbank, Urban Press Winery is the best in the city.

It boasts a cool and hippy atmosphere, with a wide range of delicious wines and live music performances.

The concept of Urban Press Winery was born in 1998, and since then, it has earned a very respectable position as one of the best wine suppliers in the city.

From Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir, Urban Press Winery has almost every kind of wine to offer to its customers.

The place is perfect for a date with your special someone or for having a good time with your friends.

Enjoy the best wines, live music, and excellent food from their special menu for a wholesome experience to remember.

Ride a Bike on the Chandler Bikeway

Chandler Bikeway

Junkyardsparkle, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Chandler Bikeway is a serene bike trail starting from the North Hollywood Red Line and extending up to Victory Boulevard in Burbank.

One will always find bikers, joggers, families having picnics, friends having a fun time, and pet owners strolling with their pets along this bikeway.

For those who love adventure, the bikeway connects to other bike trails throughout the city, including the Los Angeles River Trail.

The Chandler Bikeway is filled with beautiful landscapes and myriad street art, which you can enjoy along the way.

Snap Photos of the City’s Vibrant Murals

A lesser-known fact about Burbank is that it is filled with all kinds of spectacular murals, especially in the downtown area.

Take a stroll around the Magnolia Park neighborhood and see beautiful street artworks in all kinds of colors and sizes.

Buy a cup of coffee at the North San Fernando Boulevard and enjoy it while you see all kinds of vivid wall arts—and don’t forget to snap some Instagram-worthy pictures to post on your social media accounts!

Laugh with Friends at Flappers Comedy Club

Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, California is a venue that combines entertainment, cuisine, and laughter all in one location.

This humorous enterprise has been operating since 2000 and combines top-notch comic shows, delectable cuisine, and instructive comedy workshops.

The Burbank Comedy Festival, which includes a full week of comedy acts, courses, industry conferences, and parties, was organized and presented by Flappers.

The club’s three areas, the bar, the main room, and the Yoo Hoo Room, all host acts on days when there is no festival.

Children are allowed to see family-friendly performances at Flappers, where they are offered treats from the restaurant’s food menu.

Enjoy a Performance at Starlight Bowl

The Starlight Bowl, Burbank’s best outdoor entertainment location, is tucked away in the Verdugo Mountains and has delighted generations of music lovers from Southern California.

The 1950-built Starlight Bowl still attracts well-known musicians and performers today.

The summer’s top-notch family entertainment complements the Starlight Bowl’s handy location, excellent sightlines, grassy picnic area, and comfy seating.

There are 3,000 covered seats and 2,000 grass areas at this amphitheater-style arena.

It welcomes families and young people in its pleasant picnic area and stadium seating, usually selling out its summer music seasons.

Have an Afternoon Picnic at Johnny Carson Park

Johnny Carson was a well-known figure who often appeared on Americans’ late-night television sets to present special guests and entertain people.

NBC Studios, where Carson taped The Tonight Show, is direct across from Johnny Carson Park, located at the intersection of Bob Hope Drive and Riverside Drive.

Among the city’s most attractive and famous parks, the park also boasts a well-kept river with craggy, rocky outcrops for tourists to explore.

It features a bronze plaque honoring its namesake.

One of the park’s most popular pastimes is picnicking and strolling, while younger visitors may play in the children’s play area.

Order a Drink at Palm Coffee Bar

In 2018, married couple Ben and Joanna Heart Milliken founded Burbank’s trendy Palm Coffee Bar.

The coffee shop, which features vibrant vacation-themed décor and serves inventive beverages, aims to offer a substitute for the neighborhood’s more established cafés.

Sandwich, baked goods, croissants, and vegan and gluten-free pastries are available in the cafe.

Equator Coffee beans are used to create beverages, which are included in classic favorites like cappuccinos or lattes with matcha blends.

A range of bottled health drinks, locally made kombucha and pressed juices are available to diners in addition to beverages.

Try Something New with Sunny Day Scoot

A spectacular way to race across Los Angeles on a distinctive city tour is with Sunny Day Scoot.

During a Sunny Day Scoot trip, tourists travel to several tourist locations by driving around the city’s road.

Using scoot’s triple wheels, al fresco scooters, it allows tour participants to travel in pairs and alternate driving at each stop.

A knowledgeable guide details some of LA’s most intriguing sights throughout these stops.

Sunny Day Scoot offers 60 minutes thrilling excursions, LED evening rides, and specialized romance bundles in addition to its tourist trips.

These packages include lunch, a private couples’ scooter ride, and a picture session.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Spend a Day Exploring the Vast Griffith Park

Hollywood sign at Griffith Park

trekandshoot /

Stretching over a massive area of 4,310 acres, Griffith Park is the biggest recreational city park in the United States.

It’s located in Los Angeles, just five minutes outside Burbank.

Owing to such a large space, the park has some of the best recreational facilities available, like the Griffith Observatory, which allows its visitors to get a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean, Hollywood, and Downtown Los Angeles.

Observatory at Griffith Park

Chris Moyer /

The park also comprises the world-famous Hollywood sign and the Los Angeles Zoo.

Apart from these attractions, the park also has numerous horseback riding trails and hiking trails for adventure lovers.

Hiking trails of Griffith Park

Radoslaw Lecyk /

Final Thoughts

Although Burbank is a city, many locals believe that several areas of the city have a more townlike vibe to people.

Due to its closeness to the hub of the film and television industries, Burbank, California, is a booming media center and next-door neighbor to Los Angeles.

As a result, Burbank has incorporated a significant amount of this culture inside the boundaries of its city.

There are a ton of dining, shopping, and entertainment options in Burbank.

Visit Burbank and participate in all the activities on the list of the best things to do in Burbank.

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