Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in Universal City, CA

  • Published 2022/07/29

Universal City, California, is the ideal destination for a family vacation that is both close to home and adventure.

You can find Universal City in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.

Since the place is unincorporated, it has no mayor and municipal government; Los Angeles County runs the city.

This place gets its name from one of the world’s biggest and oldest film studios, Universal Studios Hollywood.

It also has a theme park with rides and attractions inspired by some of your favorite films and TV shows.

Discover the best things to do in Universal City, CA.

Walk like a Star at the Universal Studios Hollywood

Entrance to the Universal Studios Hollywood

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The famous Universal Studios theme park in Universal City has drawn thousands of tourists for many years.

Since 1964, the park has become the second most popular amusement park in the United States.

The iconic ball of Universal Studios Hollywood

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Movie and TV-themed rides and attractions abound at the theme park, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Transformers The Ride 3D, and Jurassic Park the Ride.

Universal Studios Hollywood also offers a wide variety of dining attractions.

These restaurants represent American, Italian, Chinese, and many other cuisines.

The Simpsons ride in Universal Studios Hollywood

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Feel the Magic at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Exterior of the magical castle at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter makes you feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Harry Potter.

Hogwarts express train in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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You can find this themed area dedicated to Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, just outside Los Angeles.

The Harry Potter media franchise is the inspiration for this ride, which incorporates motifs from the films and novel series by J. K. Rowling.

People touring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Warner Bros. gave Universal Creative the sole right to design the attraction.

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Harry Potter-themed land, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, opened to the public in 2016.

Butterbeer shop in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

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Stroll through the Universal CityWalk

Signage of Universal CityWalk with a cutout of Kingkong

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If you crave shopping and food, then take a stroll in an area that is safe, well-kept, and packed with activities.

If you don’t want to feel like you’re “wasting time” in the theme park, visit Universal CityWalk.

Vibrant neon signs along Universal CityWalk

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It is a bustling location, not just because it sits next to Universal Studios Hollywood.

Night scene at Universal CityWalk

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This three-block culinary and entertainment center is a terrific spot to spend the entire day or even just a few hours!

Interior of a restaurant at Universal CityWalk

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Other Things to Do Nearby

Take a Picture of the Hollywood Sign

Daytime view of the famous Hollywood Sign

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This tour offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get a bird’s-eye view of Universal City which most people never get the opportunity to do.

Start your adventure by checking in at Burbank Airport.

View from the Hollywood Sign

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You’ll spend the final 15 minutes of the aerial tour over the Hollywood Sign, Mulholland Drive, Laurel Canyon, and downtown Los Angeles.

From thousands of feet up, you can see celebrity residences, amazing views, and some of the most stunning homes in the U.S.

The Hollywood Sign itself is in Los Angeles, California, 21 minutes from Universal City.

Experience Fantasy at the DreamWorks Theatre

DreamWorks Theatre lit up during night

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The DreamWorks Theater is one of Universal City’s most popular attractions.

While you might enjoy sitting in a chair and watching a video, it doesn’t compare to a four-dimensional experience incorporating sounds and images.

The theater has themes based on well-known Dreamworks characters such as Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.

Their films use DreamWorks animation, the gold standard in visual effects.

Plan and buy your tickets in advance to prevent a sold-out event during peak hours.

You can find this place in North Hollywood, California, just seven minutes from Universal City.

Have Fun at Super Silly Fun Land

Entrance to the Super Silly Fun Land

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It’s good to wait until your nerves have subsided before returning to intense attractions in Universal City.

Amid California’s scorching summers, Super Silly Fun Land is a sprawling outdoor playground designed to entertain children of all ages.

Climbing, leaping, and sliding are just some of the activities available in the dry section of the park.

Splash pad in Super Silly Fun Land

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You may find a wide range of activities on the water-themed side of the park.

Parents can hang back in the seating area near the pool, so they can observe their children without getting wet.

This fun place is just a short drive from Universal Studios Hollywood, making it a convenient addition to any Hollywood vacation.

Minions castle in Super Silly Fun Land


Book a Ride at the Jurassic World – the Ride

Exterior of Jurassic World

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If you are in California and are passionate about prehistoric animals, you must go on the Jurassic World: The Ride in Universal City.

Because of its connection to the Jurassic World film series, this attraction is an excellent choice if you want to satisfy your curiosity about dinosaurs.

Water splashing on the riders in Jurassic World Ride

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The ride is pitch black, but it moves at breakneck speed.

Likewise, it features incredible special effects that give you the impression that you are entering the real Jurassic Park.

Since it is also a water coaster, you should expect to get wet.

People on Jurassic World's water coaster

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Drink and Relax at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood

Exterior of Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood

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Universal City is a great place to go if you want to enjoy a good evening with friends or family.

You’ll have a great time here because of the fantastic range of drinks.

It is ideal to start the evening with a pulled pork sandwich before moving on to the bomb tower, which is the most well-liked beverage.

The staff is quite friendly and will show you how to make the most of the various cocktails.

Huge guitar sculpture in front of Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood

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The meal menu has a wide selection of delectable burgers and other snacks in addition to these.

Because everyone is here for pleasure, it doesn’t matter whether you arrive alone.

You can choose a section of this café based on how you’re feeling or what you’re looking for.

Grab Lunch at Pink’s Hot Dog

Exterior of Pink's Hot Dog

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If you visit Universal City, take a trip to Pink’s Hot Dog.

This stand sells hot dogs and other hot meals, such as the popular nacho chill dog and cheeseburger.

Signage of Pink's Hot Dog

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Pink’s most well-known dish is the Mulholland Drive, served with grilled onions, mushrooms, and cheese.

Your kids might love their big and delectable turkey leg sandwich.

Crispy fries should go well with various other dishes.

For a truly memorable experience, make a beeline for this location and enjoy some of the most creative cuisine and cocktails.

People inside Pink's Hot Dog restuarant

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Meet New Friends at the Rendition Room

The Rendition Room is a great spot to catch up with friends over food and drink.

Bacon, pizza, and salads are all on the menu.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the cannolis.

This bar’s extensive selection of bourbon, gin, and wine has made it a local favorite.

The Rendition Room is also perfect for weddings, anniversaries, and birthday celebrations.

The friendly staff here can assist you in planning your next big event.

You can find the Rendition Room in Studio City, California, nine minutes from Universal City.

Grab Dinner at the Wolfgang Puck Bistro

Exterior of Wolfgang Puck Bistro

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Universal City is a great place to visit any time of year.

There are plenty of options if you’re looking for something to do.

Restaurant goers will love Wolfgang Puck Bistro, which offers a wide range of fast food options and dishes.

The restaurant prepares each meal how Puck himself would have prepared them.

At Wolfgang, you’ll find a wide variety of fast food created with the utmost care and authenticity.

Choose from plenty of burgers and pizzas, among other tasty selections.

If you have any questions or problems with your meal plan, the staff would be happy to help you.

You can try their pizza with sausage, sun-dried tomatoes, and cheese.

Likewise, you can try the creamy tortilla soup at your leisure.

The date pancake is one of the best desserts on the menu, but there are plenty of other options.

Get Lifted at iFLY Indoor Skydiving

A person indoor skydiving in IFly

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Have you ever dreamed of flying?

If yes, signing up for iFly in Universal City is your best option.

You will enter a wind tunnel once you have mustered up the last bit of courage.

A column of air will lift you into the air and let you fly!

The activity is highly safe thanks to the most seasoned company and cutting-edge technology.

You can guarantee the safety of your family.

You don’t require any prior experience because training sessions help you prepare for the ride.

They will help you understand what you need to do and how to use the provided equipment.

If skydiving scares you, this place might be the right attraction for you.

After all, you don’t need to jump from thousands of feet in the air.

You won’t fall from that height, either.

The entire first-flight experience lasts around an hour, and each flight lasts about 60 seconds.

Take Another Ride at the Revenge of the Mummy

Exterior of Revenge of the Mummy- The Ride

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You should take this ride if you’re seeking a roller coaster at Universal City.

When you’re finished with Revenge of the Mummy, you’ll wish there was more to come.

Imhotep wants your eternal soul and has cursed you, so the storyline is intriguing.

Interior of Revenge of the Mummy- The Ride


The ride also lets you feel the horror of trying to flee without losing your soul.

The numerous drops, quick movements, and dark bends make this ride thrilling.

You’ll get the impression that Imhotep himself is after you!

A man dressed like a character from Mummy at Revenge of the Mummy ride in Universal Studio

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Join the Fast & Furious Studio Tour

A vehicle on the grounds of Fast & Furious Studio

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Visit the Fast & Furious Studio at Universal City if you are a fan of the Fast & Furious film franchise.

You should also go there if you want to immerse yourself in an action movie experience.

This is one of the few studios still operating; it offers tours of the rear lot.

You can also find film sets from classic movies and sets from recent television shows and blockbuster movies.

Fast attack vehicle at Fast & Furious Studio

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During the trip, you will get the opportunity to see how various studios use special effects, such as sudden floods and flames.

The entrance into the studio’s garage at the end of the tour is easily the highlight of the experience.

The garage becomes a full-ride experience, during which you will meet stars from the Fast and Furious franchise.

Plymouth barracuda vehicle at Fast & Furious Studio

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Buy a Souvenir at the Universal Studio Store

Signage of Universal Studio Store

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The Universal Studio Store is the go-to destination for grabbing any products associated with Universal Studios.

This one-of-a-kind company sells a wide variety of goods.

It also offers customers the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind products unavailable anywhere else.

Simpson sipper at Universal Studio Store

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You are welcome to browse the hotel’s gift shop for various items, including clothing, toys and games, souvenirs, and more.

It is not difficult to find the store because it is at the intersection of Universal City Walk and Universal Studios Hollywood.

You can find it in North Hollywood, California, 12 minutes from Universal City.

In addition, it is open all day, every day, so go there at any time that works best with your schedule.

Minion pastries at Universal Studio Store

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Treat Yourself at Prosecco Trattoria

At Prosecco Trattoria, you’ll discover an excellent mix of food, wine, and service in one convenient location.

The restaurant serves Italian cuisine and has a comprehensive wine list for its patrons.

The wait staff is kind and helpful, and the quality of the cuisine is exceptional.

The restaurant boasts a warm and welcoming ambiance, stunning interior design, and delectable fare that will leave you wanting more.

This is a lovely alternative if you are looking for a place where you and your family or friends can spend time together.

Find this restaurant in Toluca Lake, California, seven minutes from Universal City.

Stop by at Kwik-E-Mart

If you are a fan of The Simpsons, there is no getting around the fact that you need to stop by the Kwik-e-Mart while you are in Universal City.

Even if you have no intention of making any purchases, you should still go in just to get the whole experience.

They have a lot of Simpsons merch you will want to add to your collection if you buy it from them.

In addition, they have a basketball shooting area styled after The Simpsons that you can use to play in the store.

You will have the impression that you are a participant in the show.

Final Thoughts

The Universal City is the best place to experience becoming a kid again.

It’s the perfect place to do everything you loved as a kid but never had the chance to do.

You can ride your first roller coaster, fly high on the swings, and even splash in a giant kiddie pool.

This is where you’ll find yourself at home again, even if you’re an adult!

Book your trip today!

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