Lux Blue / shutterstock.com
Burbank, also known as the Media Capital of The World, is situated at the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, in California. Just a few miles away towards the northeast of Hollywood, this city is a hub for several well-known media and entertainment companies like the Warner Bros Studios and the Walt Disney Studios.
The entertainment city of California bustles with loads of activities and a real glimpse of the Tinseltown. Burbank has a plethora of things to discover and experience. There will never be a dull moment there.
From famous studio tours and interesting museums to adventure parks and eccentric galleries and theatres, Burbank has a lot to offer to its visitors. Here are 15 best things to do in Burbank that ought to be there in you travel itinerary.
Discover Out-of-the-world Movie Making Experiences
The first and foremost thing to do when in Burbank is to visit the Universal Studios and Warner Bros Studios. The studio tours give an exciting insight on behind-the-scenes process of movie making and you get a chance to witness the most spectacular famous backlots of Hollywood.
Witness actual filming and soundstages where shows and films are actually shot. Mind blowing shows, rides and adventures are in abundance for all.
Learn the History of Martial Arts at the Martial Arts History Museum
Established by Michael Matsuda, this museum covers almost every type of martial arts like kung fu, judo, karate, muay thai etc. and educates people on how each developed in its parent country and how it spread across the world.
The museum also imparts information to its visitors on art, traditions and culture; and also, on how through martial arts, Asian culture and art became a part of America. This museum is the only one of its kind you’ll ever find as it exhibits artefacts from movies like The Karate Kid, 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 of martial arts then this place should be on the top of your list!
Experience the Life of Disney Princesses at the Walt Disney Studios
The Disney Resort at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank is straight out of a dream. It is a paradise for kids as well as adults who have grown 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 the Team Disney- The Michael D. Eisner Building which houses the offices of the CEO, the executive chairman and the board of directors; Disney Legends Plaza which is the central place for the Disney Legends award and commemorates the recipients of the award; Frank G. Wells Building which dedicated to Frank G.
Wells who was the former president of the Walt Disney Company; the Animation Building where most the animation work takes place and where most of the Disney characters were drawn; the Roy O. Disney building dedicated to the co-founder and elder brother of Walt Disney, Roy O. Disney;
The Annette Funicello Stage (stage 1) which is the oldest stage in the Walt Disney Studios of Burbank and served as a repair centre for army vehicles during the World War II; The Julie Andrews Stage (stage 2) which is the second oldest soundstage; Stage 3 which was completed in 1953 was designed specifically for the filming of the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea;
Stage 4 was made in 1958 for the shooting of Darby O'Gill and the Little People and later this soundstage was divided into 2 parts and let to the formation of Stages 4 and 5; Stages 6 and 7 are the latest stages of the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank.
The Hyperion Bungalow which was the home of the Disney Publicity and Comic Strip Departments; and the Main Theater which has capacity of 419 people is one of the original buildings of the Burbank premises and screens Disney shows for employees and guests.
Other buildings here 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.
Know About Burbank’s Aviation History at the Burbank Aviation Museum
The Burbank Aviation Museum, aka the “Portal of Folded Wings”, is a non-profit institution that celebrates the rich local aviation history of Burbank. The museum is located at the corner of the Valhalla Cemetery.
The museum’s primary point of interest is definitely an enormous, delightfully beautified opening with whimsical ornamentation and an expansive arch. The outside of the museum displays airplanes which are the stars of aviation. The model of the ‘Challenger Space Shuttle’ is the highlight exhibit of all in the museum.
Laugh Out Load at the Flappers Comedy Club
To tickle your funny bones, Burbank even has a comedy club named the Flappers Comedy Club, which has been in existence since 2000 and hosts shows of new-age comedians, has good food to serve and organizes comedy classes too!
They also host their most awaited annual Burbank Comedy Festival in 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 a cherishable memory is all that is guaranteed at the Flappers Comedy Club.
Flip Through Burbank’s Pages of History at the Gordon R. Howard Museum
Apart from the Hollywood culture, Burbank has a lot to offer, especially to the history geeks, in terms of a rich history. The Victorian domestic that contains the exhibition hall was built in 1887, and inside the hall one can discover a plenty of captivating verifiable data and artifacts of the city.
These artifacts throw light on the previous inhabitants of Burbank, numerous of whom have been the inspiration behind the names of Burbank’s different roads and points of interest. The museum also houses mementos from Disney and a retro car specially arranged by the Burbank Historical Society.
Watch Mesmerizing Performances at the Colony Theater
With a bequest of more than four decades, the Colony Theater is a prized possession for the people of Burbank. Owing to a large amount of talented actor there, the theater hosts brilliant shows and plays for its guests in a private setting.
This theater also organises special performances by eminent guests. The Colony Theater frequently witnesses special meetings, events and film screenings and is also known to have dedicated shows for children.
The Colony Theater’s brilliance was recognized by the Encyclopedia Britannica Almanac as they gave a position to company under the “25 Notable US Theater Companies”.
Get the Beautiful Bird’s Eye View of Burbank and Los Angeles With Orbic Air
When it comes to scenic beauty, Burbank is a treat! With Orbic Air you can get to enjoy the picturesque beauty of Burbank from a different point of view than the usual. The company owns many helicopters that can be used for aerial photography and videography, helicopter tours and trainings, and to charter air travel.
Orbic Air has its primary base at the Bob Hope Airport which is a central spot of most of their trips.
The tours offered by them include- landing on mountain tops, vineyard excursions, intimate lunches and dinners, and charter facilities for neighbouring cities like Los Angeles and for special concerts and sports events as well. Their air-only trips can have exclusively specialized themes like celebrity focus or a dusk mise en scène.
Go Hiking on the Verdugo Mountains
A refreshing change from the urban scene, the Verdugo Mountains, classified as a Significant Ecological Area is a must visit in Burbank. Spread over a sprawling area of 244 acres, the mountains are a reserve of exotic trees like oak, sycamores, big leaf maples among others. The natural springs and streams there only add more diversity to the bio reserve.
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 Verdugo Mountains is about.
Have Fun at the Columbia Ranch
If you’re a fan of the American Film Industry and love to know the little-known facts about it, then the Columbia Ranch is a must visit. Spread over 40 acres of land, the Columbia 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 Ranch includes the family house in the movie ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’, the home where the Walton family lived, the sets of ‘Bewitched’ and ‘The Partridge Family’.
Spend Some Time at the Griffith Park
Stretching over a massive area of 4,310 acres, the Griffith Park is the biggest recreational city park in the whole of United States. 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 breath-taking view of the Pacific Ocean, Hollywood and the Los Angeles downtown.
The park also includes the world-famous Hollywood sign and the Los Angeles zoo.
Apart from these attractions, the park also has numerous horse-riding trails and hiking trails for the adventure lovers.
Get Spooked by the Exhibits at Hyaena Gallery
The 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.
The Hyaena Gallery was started by Bill Shafer in 2005 and has gained huge popularity for featuring in shows like for Charlie Sheen in 2011 and for being the host of peculiar museum exhibits. The Gallery has also wan awards such as “Best Spooky Emporium” and “Best Dark Arts Gallery”.
Taste Exquisite Wines at the Urban Press Winery
Situated in the heart of Burbank, the Urban Press Winery is the best in the region with a cool and hippy atmosphere with a wide range of delicious wines and live music. The Urban Press Winery was founded 20 years ago and since then has earned a very respectable position as one of the best wine suppliers in the city.
From Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir, the Urban Press Winery has almost every kind of wine to offer to its customers. The place is perfect for a date with your special ones or for having a good time with your friends.
Enjoy good food from their special menu with the best of wines and live music every day to give you a wholesome experience to remember.
Ride a Bike on the Chandler Bikeway
The Chandler Bikeway is a serene bike trail starting from the North Hollywood Red Line and extending up to the Victory Boulevard in Burbank.
One will always find families having picnics, friends having a fun time, bikers on the way, joggers, and pet owners strolling with their pets. For those who love adventure, the bikeway connects to other bike trails throughout the city and even to the Los Angeles River Trail.
The Chandler Bikeway is filled with beautiful landscapes and myriad street art all along the way.
Get Clicked With Vibrant Murals
A lesser-known fact about Burbank is that it is filled with all kinds of spectacular murals especially in the downtown. Take a stroll in the Magnolia Park neighbourhood and see the beautiful street art in all kinds of colours and sizes.
Buy a cup of coffee at the North San Fernando Boulevard and enjoy it while you see the all kinds of vivid wall arts, and don’t forget to snap some ‘Gram worthy pictures to post!