Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Studio City, CA

  • Published 2023/02/06

Since it’s one of the largest cities in the United States by population, it’s a no-brainer that Los Angeles’s community is so diverse.

The entire county of Los Angeles covers up to nine cities and more than a dozen communities, including the famous Studio City.

In terms of popularity, Studio City doesn’t entirely need too much introduction.

This community cuts above the rest mainly because you can virtually find everything you desire there.

Despite its tree-lined streets and quaint appeal, it has a very lively atmosphere from its world-famous attractions.

That is why Studio City is dubbed San Fernando Valley’s “Beverly Hills.”

The Ventura Boulevard, its main street, has top-notch restaurants, from classic fine-dining to hole-in-the-wall gems, small-plate spots, food trucks, and stylish fusion gastropubs.

If you’re into outdoor adventure, you can head to its parks in the Laurel Canyons, where you’ll be amazed at the panoramic view of the San Fernando Valley in the north and Hollywood in the south.

Studio City also boasts Universal City Studios, NBC, Warner Bros Studios, and CBS Studio Center.

Visiting Studio City gives you a unique but very enjoyable experience, plus you can further explore Los Angeles.

If you’re excited to head to this awesome place, here are the 15 best things to do in Studio City, California:

Have Extreme Fun at Universal Studios, Hollywood

Universal Studios, Hollywood main gate

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Of course, your visit to Studio City won’t be complete without heading to Universal Studios Hollywood.

It’s the best place to spend your entire day with your family and enjoy its themed areas filled with exciting activities.

Trolley tour at Universal Studios, Hollywood

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Don’t forget to visit the Hogwarts Castle and take photos with a life-sized mannequin of Marilyn Monroe.

The entire theme park also offers everyone exciting rides, entertaining attractions, and the very trendy Butterbeer from the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

You can also proceed to Jurassic World, where you’ll get up close with huge dinosaurs featured in the famous Steven Spielberg movie.

Jurassic Park at Universal Studios, Hollywood

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Stroll at the Wilacre Park

Over Santa Monica Mountains’ eastern side, Wilacre Park offers outdoor enthusiasts the best place for hiking and other outdoor activities.

This 128-acre park has access to the Betty B. Dearing Trail and Cross Mountain Park Trail system, which leads to Fry Canyon, Franklin Canyon Park, and Coldwater Canyon Park.

Wilacre Park’s ascend is not that difficult; hikers usually have an easy way to traverse its trails leading up to the top.

Once you reach the top of the park, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the entire Los Angeles area, San Fernando Valley, and Hollywood.

Tour the Warner Bros. Studio

Exterior of Warner Bros. Studio

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While visiting Studio City, you must maximize your time there by visiting its world-famous studios.

One of them is the Warner Bros. Studio, which offers you a lot of cool stuff to do inside.

It’s where you’ll find the iconic movies, characters, and superheroes that you only saw on cinema and television.

Water tower at Warner Bros. Studio

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Don’t miss visiting the back-lot sets of the films and shows, and its interactive video and sound stages will surely give you an exhilarating experience.

Once you’re done touring around, head to its stores that offer you a wide array of exclusive merchandise from your favorite TV shows and movies.

Daytime view of Warner Bros. Studio


Browse Beautiful Artworks at the Décor Art Galleries

The Décor Art Galleries was established in 1994 in Studio City, aiming to display the historic Hollywood photographs from the Bison Archives.

It has thousands of photographs that tell a different story of Hollywood’s glitz and glam will be seen in its galleries.

It boasts the best collection of historic photos of Hollywood featuring iconic celebrities, artists, musicians, and filmmakers.

It also features Studio City’s old architecture, attractions, and many behind-the-scene photographs, giving you the best chance to immerse yourself in Los Angeles’s past.

What’s more interesting is most of the collections there have been restored into high-resolution photos making it more interesting to see each.

Décor Art Galleries is located along the famous Ventura Boulevard.

Watch Exciting Performances at the Hollywood Bowl

Daytime view of Hollywood Bowl

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To wrap up your Studio City travel adventure, you should watch live performances at the famous Hollywood Bowl.

It’s one of the very rare quintessential experiences you should not miss.

Watch concerts, comedy shows, and even stage plays under the stars at this huge outdoor amphitheater located along Highland Avenue in the northern part of Los Angeles.

The stage of Hollywood Bowl

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This amphitheater has hosted world-class concerts from Prince, Barbara Streisand, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Monty Python, Maroon 5, and hundreds more.

This famous amphitheater has witnessed countless performances since it hosted its first concert in 1923.

Signage of Hollywood Bowl

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Get Your Caffeine Fix at the Aroma Café

Before starting your day in Studio City, you should get your caffeine fix first and foremost at the Aroma Café.

It’s one of the best coffee/pastry shops in Studio City that you should visit along Tujunga Avenue.

They are very popular for their freshly-baked pastries and pair it up with their artisanal coffees and teas on their picturesque garden patio or perhaps at their elegant reading room.

Aroma Café’s menu offers you an extensive choice of delicious foods from breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

However, they’re popularly known in Studio City for their coffee that really is flavorful and aromatic and instantly awakens your senses.

Climb the Universal City Overlook

The view from Universal City Overlook

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This attraction in Studio City is situated on the northern portion of Mulholland Drive.

It’s one of the best places to view Los Angeles, Verdugo Hills, and San Fernando Valley.

Compared to Wilacre Park, the Universal City Overlook can be accessed by car, but you can certainly hike going to the place if you have extra energy.

The Universal City Overlook is accessed through Mulholland Drive.

This Studio City attraction got constructed in 1984 during the Summer Olympic Games concurrent with the Hollywood Bowl.

This site offers another wonderful bird’s eye view of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

Learn History at the Campo De Cahuenga

Facade of Campo De Cahuenga

cinmngrl, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Studio City is also home to historical sites aside from theme parks, huge studios, and upscale leisure establishments.

One of them is the Campo De Cahuenga.

This historical site is where the Treaty of Cahuenga happened in 1847 to formalize the agreement to end the Conquest of California between the Americans and Californios.

Like all great cities, Los Angeles has an interesting history.

However, it’s not as popular as others.

Ironically, this historical site is located along the intersection of Lankershim in Studio City, which makes it hidden to the public eye unless you ask local historians.

Nonetheless, it’s still a very interesting place to visit to learn some historical facts.

You’ll find the original treaty there inside a protective glass casing along with historical records of California and artifacts of Andres Pico and John C. Freemont.

Take Photos at the Iconic Universal Studios Globe

Daytime view of Universal Studios Globe

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Before entering Universal Studios Hollywood, you should not forget the mandatory photo opportunity at the iconic Universal Studios Globe outside this famous attraction.

Even if it’s cliche, taking photos of this famous structure outside Universal Studios proves that you’ve visited this world-famous studio/theme park.

So, never forget to seize the moment to strike your best pose at this iconic globe outside the entrance of the Universal Studios Hollywood.

People around the Universal Studios Globe

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Immerse with Locals at the Studio City Farmers Market

Tangerines for sale at Studio City Farmers Market

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Los Angeles locals flock to a place between Radford Avenue and Laurel Canyon Boulevard every Sunday morning to buy fresh produce at the Studio City Farmers Market.

It’s not just the best place in Studio City to buy fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, food ingredients, artisanal food, and handicrafts.

But it’s also the best place to rub elbows with locals while joining a charitable deed.

Spice blend for sale at Studio City Farmers Market

Josiah True /

The farmers market features more than 80 vendors composed of farmers, food artisans, handicraft makers, etc.

The farmer’s market is co-organized by the Studio City Residents Association and the Studio City Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

All of the farmers’ market’s proceeds are donated to their chosen charitable organizations.

Carrots for sale at Studio City Farmers Market

Josiah True /

Hike at the Scenic Coldwater Canyon Park

Hikers along Coldwater Canyon Park

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Coldwater Canyon Park in Studio City is the best place to take someone special on a romantic date during the weekends or perhaps go for a relaxing stroll.

It’s one of the trendiest spots in Los Angeles’s bustling urban atmosphere, which is why many locals love to go to this park that also offers scenic views of the city and its adjacent areas.

Coldwater Canyon Park is located along the famous Mulholland Drive, and it is one of the nearest outdoor spaces in the city that lets you immerse in nature to erase all the city-related stress.

Strolling at Coldwater Canyon Park

LI Cook /

Be One with Nature at the North Valleyheart Riverwalk

Suppose you’re seeking another natural attraction in Studio City.

In that case, you can head to this low-key but very beautiful spot in Studio City, the North Valleyheart Riverwalk, which has numerous convenient access points.

It offers everyone a wonderful dose of brimming greenery that perfectly complements the concrete jungle of Los Angeles.

It has several paths perfect for a hike highlighted with a calming solitude under the canopies of trees beside the river stream.

Many locals traverse the North Valleyheart Riverwalk because of its inviting and peaceful environment, so you shouldn’t miss going to this natural attraction in Studio City.

Escape the City Stress at the Fryman Canyon Loop

One of the best things about Studio City is its easy access to natural attractions in Los Angeles.

Even if Los Angeles’s south side enjoys the pristine beaches, its northern side is bountiful with greeneries, forested areas, and mountains that call for an outdoor adventure.

One of these natural attractions in Studio City to visit is the Fryman Canyon Loop.

It is a nice place for a quick hike, jog, or chill.

You’ll pass through California black walnut trees and Chaparral trees while traversing its spacious trail.

After reaching the top with an elevation of 450 feet, you’ll be treated with a captivating view of San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles.

Cruise along Ventura Boulevard

Cars along Ventura Boulevard

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If you’re looking for quality leisure time in Studio City, you should check out Ventura Boulevard, which spans about 13 miles to Woodland Hills.

The entire stretch of Ventura Boulevard has hundreds of restaurants from ethnic cuisines, fine-dining, casual, food trucks, fast food, hole-in-the-wall, gastropubs to fusion.

There are also dozens of specialty shops, mainstream brands, art galleries, and historically significant establishments.

Shops along Ventura Boulevard

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Dine at the Asenebo, famous for its Japanese cuisines such as sushi and sashimi, or try the American bistro vibes at Firefly.

You can also eat at Laurel Tavern, famous for its steaks, burgers, and comfort food.

You can also visit these popular shops on Ventura Boulevard; Fountains Garden Art at the End of the Road, Voyage & Cie, Soto, Iguana Vintage Clothing, Mulberry Row, Freakbeat Records, Blush Boutique, and Norman’s Rare Guitars.

Unwind at the Black-Market Liquor Bar

With the emergence of dozens of restaurants and gastropubs across Studio City, there’s a certain difficulty for many to figure out a small plate menu with another.

Thus, Black Market Liquor Bar offers a different way to serve its guests with its fantastic drinks and food that rivals other top-notch restaurants in the city.

This pub/restaurant offers a low-key façade and a cave-like interior that is cozy enough to make you feel comfortable.

This restaurant along Ventura Boulevard is known for its refreshing cocktails, spirits, wines, and a nice collection of whiskeys and rums.

It has a delicious menu to pair with its drinks from chef Antonia Lofaso.

Aim for a Strike at Pinz Bowling Kitchen + Bar

Pinz Bowling Kitchen + Bar has been a popular attraction in Studio City since 1958.

It is a cheerful, welcoming, mid-century modern setting for socializing and entertainment among friends and family.

Check out the contemporary and traditional specialties menu after bowling a perfect round on the lanes.

Pinz Bowling goes above and beyond to create the occasion ideal for you and your budget, whether it’s a kid’s birthday party, a romantic evening for two, a business event, or a celebrity-studded charity benefit.

Take the children in for an enjoyable day of bowling and a snack in the afternoon.

Relax at Candle Spa

Candle Spa, a massage and wellness facility in Studio City, is a sanctuary of serenity and relaxation.

They want to provide you with the best spa experience possible and a moment of peace from the chaos of everyday life.

Candle Spa takes great pleasure in their professionalism and work hard to ensure that consumers are happy while doing business with them.

Come check out the different massages and revitalizing therapies available, including Swedish, Thai, combination, aromatherapy, and more.

Learn more about Candle Spa’s advantages for your health by paying a visit now!

Shop at Restrained Whimsy

Restrained Whimsy signifies a setting where play and logic are welcomed, celebrated, and valued.

It was started in 2015 as a goal for a joint project between Brian and Scott.

Restrained Whimsy’s only logical location was Studio City, where they had thrived for the previous 20 years.

Browse through hundreds of products, including crystals, bath & body items, clothing, and more.

They have you covered for everything from spas to epicure, children to home decor, and always delicious chocolates.

With all the numerous artisan options they have in store, let them put together the ideal gift box for you.

Experience Nightlife at BLVD Hotel & Spa

The BLVD Hotel & Spa in Studio City, close to Universal Studios Hollywood, is where your journey begins.

They combine intimate appeal with individualized customer service, a wide range of facilities, and a mixture of modern design and efficiency.

No need to leave the BLVD Hotel & Spa to experience Hollywood’s nightlife.

Large luxurious couches and good lighting give The Backdrop Lounge a modern lounge feels.

Allow skilled mixologists to serve you a range of premium beverages that are named for some of the neighborhood’s most famous streets.

Each room has intricate amenities and was specifically created with Hollywood in mind, making it the ideal spot for both pleasure and business tourists.

Enjoy and pamper yourself with a massage at the VIYA Spa in the hotel.

Order a Tasty Burger at Mister O’s

Mister O’s is named in honor of Jordan Ostrow; the cozy area is a restaurant and lounge with a mid-century design aesthetic.

It has a terrific mood, a welcoming setting, and fantastic cocktails in Studio City.

Buy a drink, whether red wine, draft beer, cocktails, or sparkling, and grab a seat to start your evening.

Look at the seasonal menu and try the renowned Mr. O’s Burger.

American cheese, pickled Fresno, caramelized onion, grilled green onion, garlic aioli, and potato bread make up Mr. O’s Burger.

On Saturdays and Sundays, brunch is available from 12 to 5 p.m.

Sample a breakfast burrito, mushroom omelets, pancakes, and other items.

Final Thoughts

Studio City is more than just a district in Los Angeles; it has a vibrant community that thrives in the entertainment and film industry.

It’s completely a must-visit place when you’re in Los Angeles.

Despite having many names like “Beverly Hills of San Fernando Valley” to “Jewel of the Valley,” but one thing’s for sure: this community has truly lived up to these names.

There are tons of hidden gems waiting for you there, but the 15 best things to do listed above is surely an awesome start for your travel adventure there.

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