I only get to visit California once or twice a year and each time I go I try to find something new. I stayed in Burbank this time around and was amazed at all there is to do and see in the area. Besides being home to giant studios like Warner Bros. Studios and The Walt Disney Company, there are plenty of film locations that you can visit on your own.
You can walk the streets, dine at, or play at some of the same places your favorite movies and TV shows were filmed.
Burbank has it’s own airport which is where you ideally want to land. It’s one of those perfect, smaller super friendly airports that making traveling a joy. If you can’t get a flight into Burbank, LAX is just about a 30 minute drive.
The Safari Inn
My latest adventure had me staying at the Safari Inn. So you might be asking what’s so special about the Safari Inn? Well, first of all – most of you have probably seen the inside of the Safari and don’t even realize it!
The Safari Inn is one of Burbank’s most famous historical landmarks, and has been opened since 1955 (last renovated in 2018). The hotel still maintains its original retro decor.
It’s a spot where you can get a taste of Hollywood like it was in its glory days. The Safari Inn is one of Burbank’s best kept historical landmarks and the perfect blend of old Hollywood charm and modern amenities.
Throughout the entertainment industry, the Safari Inn is considered a preferred location for television and film. It has been used in True Romance, Coach Carter, Apollo 13, Six Feet Under, CSI, Desperate Housewives, and The Partridge Family. One of my all time favorites Monk filmed here as well. It also fronts as Florida in the The Right Stuff.
The Safari Inn lets you stay right in the middle of the movies!
The complimentary hotel shuttle will take you to the various studio lots for a tour or can pick you up/drop you off at the Burbank Airport. The rooms still feature a retro decor and they all come with complimentary wi-fi. Enjoy the outdoor pool before heading across the street to their restaurant, Olive’s Bistro and Lounge and you stay will be one to remember.
A little about Burbank
Burbank is home to so many different movie locations, if you’re a movie buff you won’t be disappointed in the area. Take a location tour and you’ll find The Smokehouse Restaurant from La La Land, the Burger King from Desperate Housewives, the mall from Gilmore Girls, and, Larry’s Chili Dog from The Office to name a few.
Taking a self-guided walking tour around the area you will be able to check out some of the locations from some of your favorite shows.
Burbank is split into four major neighborhoods: in Burbank.
- Downtown Burbank is full of shopping, bars, restaurants, and the largest AMC in the nation.
- Magnolia Park is a hip and quirky district where you can shop at boutiques and find small cafes and eateries.
- Media District is where the Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros studios are.
- Airport District is a convenient travel hub with plenty of shopping and conference hotels.
Burbank has its own airport, which is much easier to deal with than LAX. Burbank is a great place to stay if you’re planning on going the Universal Hollywood. It’s just down the street and you’ll be surrounded by a ton of great shopping and food.
Urban Press Winery
Urban Press Winery is a boutique winery bringing the craft of California wine-making to Los Angeles by way of their Tasting Room in Burbank’s downtown neighborhood.
Twenty years ago, in a Los Feliz garage Urban Press was born when Giovanni D’Andrea started making craft wines with a few friends. Using his wine making father’s advice, Giovanni quickly discovered a mastery making the wines that you can enjoy at the winery or take home to share with friends and family.
The winery offers a Tasting Room, a great menu of wood fired brick oven pizza and fully equipped kitchen offering , Pastas, Salads, Charcuterie boards, & desserts. The Brick Room offers live music while you sip and dine from an array of talented musicians Thursday through Saturday nights. The Mezz lets you escape from it all in the winery’s exclusive balcony overlooking the live entertainment or enjoy the outdoors of Le Deck where you can enjoy your wine and good food under the stars.
Sweet Treats at Porto’s
Each new place I visit I automatically look for a few sweet treats and found Burbank’s spot for sweets – Porto’s.
When Rosa and her family arrived in California from Cuba, they had only the clothes on their backs, a strong work ethic, Rosa’s exceptional baking skills, and a dream for a better life. Soon after, Rosa began baking and selling cakes to friends and family that had heard of her fabulous cakes back in Cuba. Within a couple of years, it was not uncommon to see a line of customers picking up cakes from Rosa’s small home.
Today, Porto’s is not only a bakery but also a cafe and caterer offering the finest quality made from ingredients from all over the world and has multiple locations throughout California.
The Studios and More
A trip to Burbank wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Warner Brothers Studio. You can take a guided tour of the production lot and get a behind the scenes look at the movies! The Warner Brothers Museum showcases costumes, props and scripts back into the history of Warner Brothers. What could be more fun than catching a live taping of one of your favorite shows like Ellen.
Also located in Burbank is the Walt Disney Studios, where you can learn all about the history and movies of the wonderful world of Disney.
The studio offers a guided tour that will fill you in on movie trivia. You can also opt for a private tour of the Walt Disney Archives if you are a serious fan. This will take you back to the beginning of Disney and all through the colorful history with period items like original songbooks, music sheets, and other memorabilia.
Universal Studios Hollywood offers the world famous studio tour along with rides and attractions similar to Universal Orlando.
The Burbank Aviation Museum was established in order to showcase the amazing history of aviation in the Burbank area You can take a walk through this aviation history on a tour of the museum. Highlights include pieces of memorabilia that were donated by former engineers, aircraft designers, and pilots. If you are an aviation buff, don’t miss this chance to learn all about the history of flight in Burbank.
If you love museums, the Gordon R. Howard Museum is a great place that is free to tour. The museum is run by the Burbank Historical Society and is full of period pieces from Disney as well as antique cars, statues, and vintage memorabilia from the Burbank area. This museum gives you a good look into how Burbank became the movie capital of the world.
The Martial Arts Museum is a super cool place for martial arts enthusiasts. The museum presents an incredible, concise history of martial arts. The museum is small, but it is filled with amazing information and has some really fun items from real life martial artists to ones in films, even martial arts in animation!
If you just want to spend some time walking and relaxing, the Johnny Carson Park in Burbank (on Bob Hope Drive) is one of the most picturesque green space in the city. The park is named after the famous host of The Tonight Show which was taped in Burbank for over forty years.
Why not take a trip to discover for yourself all the reasons to visit Burbank! It’s definitely a better way to LA!