Burbank, California, has humble origins, starting as the investment of a 19th-century dentist. Today, though, this city in the San Fernando Valley serves as home to most of America's major movie studios, and is a slightly sleepier alternative to the hustle and bustle of nearby Los Angeles. Looking forward to a little California dreaming? Read on to learn what a Burbank vacation might have in store for you.
Out and About in Burbank
After checking in to one of the hotels in Burbank, see if you can sit in on a television taping. Studios always need audiences, and tickets are usually free if you make arrangements online at least 30 days in advance. Swing by Pickwick Gardens to view some lovely flowers and take the kids to the on-site, NHL-sized ice rink or bowling alley. The Martial Arts History Museum explains how Asian combat practices chopped, kicked, and punched their way into the heart of America. If you're looking for a little classic Americana, stop at the Bob's Big Boy in Burbank, the oldest existing location of this iconic restaurant chain and a California Point of Historical Interest. Celebrities such as Drew Carey have even been known to stop by for a burger.
Eating and Drinking
Vacationing is hungry work, and most Burbank hotels offer food of some sort. But Burbank Media Center has a wide variety of eateries, including Mexican, Asian, American, and barbecue restaurants. Nearby Studio City boasts over 20 sushi bars within a two-block radius of Ventura Boulevard. If you want to wet your whistle, cruise down San Fernando Boulevard and take your pick from any number of worthy watering holes.
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Beverly Hills hotels are iconic, fabulous, and expensive, but they come with every wish granted and every whim appeased. Rumor has it that there are more four- and five-star hotels per capita in Beverly Hills than anywhere else in the world. The names are familiar because that’s where the rich and famous hang out: the Beverly Wilshire, the Beverly Hilton, The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Rooms at the Beverly Wilshire start at the mid-$600s and go up from there.
More affordable options can be found in Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Culver City, and Burbank. Most nationally recognized brands have a presence in these areas, offering nice accommodations at a reasonable rate. Prices throughout the Burbank and greater Los Angeles area tend to run above average, depending on the neighborhood. Careful if you’re choosing solely by price, as some neighborhoods are less than desirable. Use extra caution when traveling through South Central and East L.A., as well as the Oakwood area of Venice.