Top Things to Do and See in Burbank, California

In Burbank you can enjoy film studio tours or live recordings, all with the Verdugo mountains as a backdrop
In Burbank you can enjoy film studio tours or live recordings, all with the Verdugo mountains as a backdrop | © Chris Putnam / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Emma Murphy
18 August 2020

Burbank, California, has all the old-style Hollywood glamor you’d expect – but also many modern innovations. From film studios and live shows to nature and museums, there’s plenty here to keep you entertained. These are the great activities we recommend.

Chandler Bikeway

Hiking Trail
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In 2004, this disused railroad track was converted to a bike path, and you can walk, jog, run, skate or cycle along the 2mi (3.2km) trail and enjoy the scenic views. There are murals, sculptures and other art installations along the route, thanks to the Burbank Art in Public Spaces Program, which aims to bring art to the people. Once a month, the trail is visited by the Sidewalk Astronomers, a group dedicated to astronomy education. They bring their telescopes and teach people about the wonders of our galaxy and beyond.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

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BURBANK, California - August 11, 2018: The entrance to Warner Brothers Studio Tour with Bugs Bunny and Duffy Duck statues at the entrance, the popular
© Natalia Macheda / Alamy Stock Photo
This is one of the most-popular tours in Burbank, and it’s easy to see why. Within the Warner Brothers Studio, you’ll see back lots and sets from famous movies and television shows such as Casablanca (1942) and Friends. As the studio is constantly shooting, every tour is unique. One of the newest additions is an interactive soundstage — Stage 48: Script to Screen. Here, you’re able to immerse yourself in the process of creating your own show, do a screen test in Central Perk, design a costume for the next superhero epic or even take a whirl around Gotham in a Bat-pod. There’s also a museum with costumes, props and scripts from Warner Bros history. And, action!

Martial Arts History Museum

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The Martial Arts History Museum in Burbank
© Leigh Green / Alamy Stock Photo
Since the mid-1960s, martial arts movies have been Hollywood hits, so what better place to discover the history of the fighting style than the Martial Arts History Museum? The museum shows how Asian and American culture has blended in the past century; it starts from the birth of martial arts in eastern Asia, covering fighting styles as diverse as kung fu and kali. It boasts a media room with memorabilia from martial arts films, an exhibit on the history of anime and a scavenger hunt for younger visitors.

The Starlight Bowl

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The Starlight Bowl is a picturesque venue for live music, capturing the beauty and elegance of post-war American architecture with dramatic canyon views. There’s also a dedicated dance area if you’re feeling brave enough. On any given night, there can be 5,000 attendees: 3,000 seated and 2,000 on the lawn. It’s the perfect place to watch the sun go down and enjoy a great live show.

Wildwood Canyon Park

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Wildwood Canyon Park, Burbank, California, United States.
© Tibrina Hobson / Stockimo / Alamy Stock Photo
Wildwood Canyon Park offers some of the best scenery in Southern California; on a clear day, you can see as far as downtown LA. Sitting at the foot of the San Bernardino mountains, the canyon is sheltered by a canopy of oak trees. There are many leisure activities available within the park, including horseriding, hiking and biking. For horseriders, there are Hunt Ranch corrals and a horse staging area, while hikers have a system of steep mountain trails to navigate and an average trail length of 5mi (8km). There are also plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife, as the park is home to rare birds such as the sharp-shinned hawk and the rufous-crowned sparrow, as well as animals including the cactus deer mouse, gray fox and the western skink.

Watch a live recording

Amusement Park, Cinema
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If you want a unique experience while in Burbank, why not attend a live studio recording of your favorite show? There are late-night talk shows including Conan to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and tickets are available from sites including TVTix, TVTickets and On-Camera Audiences, that are usually free.

Burbank Philharmonic

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The Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra was set up in 1991 to provide quality music to local people, whether pop, classical, musical themes or big band. Designed to be accessible to the whole family, it covers anything from Beethoven to Berlin, Mozart to Michael Jackson and Chopin to Aaron Copland. Conductor maestro Steven Kerstein is credited with the diversity of performances. The orchestra also runs an instrument amnesty program, through which underprivileged students can receive instruments that have been donated to help them fulfil their potential.
These recommendations were updated on August 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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