A blogger’s guide to Los Angeles Hollywood and Burbank area including what to do, where to eat, and where to stay.
Don’t tell Hollywood, but Burbank is the REAL media capital of the world. Located at the heart of the L.A. metropolitan area, Burbank is the home to Warner Bros., Disney, and countless filming locations. If you’ve watched the Ellen Show, La La Land, Batman Returns, Top Gun, or He’s Just Not That Into You — you’ve probably already caught a glimpse of Burbank!
A ten minute drive from Universal Studios, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory and beyond, the city of Burbank has even more to offer on its own.
As you plan your next trip to the City of Angels, consider why Burbank is the REAL epic-center of all-things Los Angeles entertainment.
In this post:
– What I love about Burbank vs Hollywood
– Where to eat and vintage shops in Burbank
– Tips for doing the hike to the Hollywood sign
– Where to go horse-back riding in Los Angeles
– Where to stay in Burbank
– Popular tourist attractions / studio tours in Burbank
Here’s to why you too should stay in Burbank…
1. More locals, less tourists.
You’ll love Burbank, and not just because it’s the only part of LA that actually has free parking — but because its where small-town love meets big-city attractions.
As a former Angeleno myself, one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from people who have visited Los Angeles, is the traffic, the shallow people and the aggressive crowds… clearly, these are the travelers that didn’t stay in Burbank!
While tourists hit Hollywood, media flocks to the city of Burbank. You can get anywhere in 15 minutes, but dodge the mayhem when you get back to Burbank — where the people are kind and “everyone knows everyone.”
Olive & Thyme Burbank, Gourmet Cafe
Getting lunch with a friend from UCLA, Melanie, who works in Burbank.
IF you want to stay down the street from big night clubs or the beach, other parts of Los Angeles may suit you better. However, if you’re running around with kids, have a work trip and/or want easy access to go DO things in LA, Burbank is just the spot for you!
2. Burbank boasts vintage shops and family-owned restaurants.
Magnolia Park, Burbank
You’ve probably heard of Porto’s Bakery, a national attraction for Cuban sandwiches, guava-cheese rolls and cafe cortado. Not only does is live up to its Yelp hype (over 6,000 reviews), there are plenty of other amazing mom-and-pop bites in Magnolia Park and Downtown Burbank.
A look at a box of Porto’s yum yums.
Tinhorn Flats is a Western billiard bar all about the beer. The owner says that he has visitors from the entertainment biz at the Burbank location all of the time, but never at the Hollywood & Highland spot — because let’s be honest, most locals are trying to dodge tourists. This further proves that Burbank is the real media capital.
Other recommended stops in Magnolia Park:
Consider Lilly’s Cafe, a trendy mom-and-pop meets earth cafe that’s been in business for nineteen years without any advertising.
Alternatively, Great Grill, a classic 50s American diner — records on the ceiling and all — is great for a burger and fries.
Also, “movie world” is a real thing! You’ll find VHRs, books, posters, magnet and all the novelties of classic films.
Other recommended stops:
- Urban Press Winery
- Marche Wine Bar
- During the weekends catch street performers as the shopping center comes to life.
3. Burbank is Ten Minutes from the Hollywood Sign Hike
The hikes to the Hollywood sign are a ten minute drive from Burbank, and an iconic experience for locals and tourists a-like.
Read: Step-by-Step Directions to the Hollywood Sign Hike
4. Go Horse-Back Riding from Burbank to Griffith Park
With perfect Southern California weather, why wouldn’t you want a lookout of the city over a stallion?
Horse-back riding can be as cheap as $25 for an hour, $60 for sunset and $100 to the Hollywood sign.
We booked just past the LA Equestrian Center at Rocken Stables, now known as LA Horse Rentals.
The two-hour sunset tour took us through shaded groves, tunnels and skyline views of Los Angeles… on MOVIE horses! Yep, we rode some celebrity horses #FunnyCuzItsTrue
We also saw a deer! It’s probably not a normal thing to do, but I wish I would have brought some head phones to listen to some tunes for parts of the ride. It’s just very relaxing and music was playing in my head anyways.
5. Take on traditional tourist attractions too.
Consider these popular entertainment experiences:
- Universal Studios
- Warner Brothers Studio Tour
- Watch a LIVE filming of the Ellen Show, 2 Broke Girls, or the Big Bang Theory
- Hike in the Verdugo Mountains
- Bike Magnolia’s bike-path
- Hollywood Walk-Of-Fame
- Griffith Observatory
- LA Zoo
Where to Stay in Burbank
I stayed at the boutique Hotel Amarano in Burbank and booked via Visit Burbank.
This is the hotel where many of the guest stars for the Ellen Show and Conan stay. It’s basically where celebrities go to dodge tourists.
Visit Burbank is running a promotion right now where they send you a $50 gift card when you book a hotel in Burbank.
The hotel has Hollywood-themed details.
And great food!
What would you add to this trip to Burbank?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Visit Burbank. The opinions and text are all mine.
This looks like a wonderful place with delicious food. How funny that there is a Hollywood sign there as well!
Oh, Burbank is right next to Hollywood — same sign! But thanks for reading :)
We moved from Idaho to Nashville to Atlanta to Burbank and I have to say, I LOVE BURBANK! It’s central to everything. It has all the big city amenities but feels like a small town. Film is everywhere here, but it’s not always obvious. Many production companies have little to no signage. I call it the Mayberry of Los Angeles. I’m grateful and proud to be a Burbankian.
This is the best travel tips I ever read. I love traveling too