10 Things to do in The San Fernando Valley CA – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Welcome to The San Fernando Valley, CA, a vibrant destination offering a plethora of exciting things to do for travelers of all interests. Nestled within Los Angeles County, this diverse region is a must-visit for those seeking a blend of urban attractions and natural beauty. From world-class shopping and dining to outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, The San Fernando Valley has something for everyone. Whether you’re a foodie, nature enthusiast, or history buff, this dynamic destination promises to captivate your senses and create lasting memories. Join us as we explore the top things to do in The San Fernando Valley and uncover the hidden gems that make this area a true gem in Southern California.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Universal Studios Hollywood:

Essential Information

– Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
– Fee: Starting at $109 for a one-day ticket
– Visit Duration: Full day
– Ideal for: Families, movie enthusiasts


Universal Studios Hollywood stands as a premier destination in The San Fernando Valley, CA, drawing in visitors from near and far. This iconic film studio and theme park offers an immersive experience that allows guests to step into the world of their favorite movies and TV shows. From thrilling rides like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to behind-the-scenes studio tours, there is something for everyone to enjoy at Universal Studios Hollywood.

One of the main reasons why Universal Studios Hollywood is a must-see place is its ability to bring the magic of Hollywood to life. Visitors have the chance to see how movie magic is made, explore iconic film sets, and even catch a glimpse of their favorite characters roaming the park. Whether you’re a fan of action-packed blockbusters or classic films, Universal Studios Hollywood offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the entertainment industry.

Overall, a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood promises a fun-filled day of excitement and entertainment for the whole family. With a mix of thrilling rides, live shows, and interactive experiences, this attraction truly captures the essence of Hollywood’s cinematic world.

Getty Center:

Essential Information

– Address: 1200 Getty Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
– Fee: Free admission, parking fee applies
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, history buffs, families


Perched atop a hill in The San Fernando Valley, the Getty Center is a cultural oasis that beckons visitors to explore its world-class art collection and stunning architecture. Boasting panoramic views of Los Angeles, this renowned museum offers a diverse range of exhibits spanning from ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces. Art aficionados will revel in the opportunity to admire works by renowned artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, and Rembrandt.

Beyond its impressive art collection, the Getty Center’s meticulously landscaped gardens provide a tranquil retreat for visitors seeking a moment of respite amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Whether you’re a history buff intrigued by ancient sculptures or a family looking for an enriching day out, the Getty Center promises a memorable experience that seamlessly blends art, culture, and natural beauty. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in this cultural gem that offers a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human creativity and expression.

Griffith Observatory:

Essential Information

– Address: 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Friday 12pm-10pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-10pm, Closed Mondays
– Fee: Free admission to the building and grounds, planetarium shows have a fee
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Families, astronomy enthusiasts, nature lovers


Griffith Observatory stands as a beacon of astronomical wonder in the San Fernando Valley, offering visitors a captivating journey through the cosmos. With its iconic Art Deco architecture and panoramic views of the Los Angeles skyline, this landmark is a must-see for both locals and tourists alike. The observatory’s state-of-the-art planetarium provides an immersive experience, showcasing celestial phenomena in vivid detail. Whether you’re gazing at the stars through a telescope or exploring interactive exhibits, Griffith Observatory promises a fascinating exploration of the universe right here on Earth. Don’t miss the chance to witness breathtaking sunsets and stargaze under the city lights at this renowned astronomical gem.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood:

Essential Information

– Address: 3400 Warner Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
– Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Tours run every 30 minutes)
– Fee: Starting at $69 per person
– Visit Duration: Approximately 3 hours
– Ideal for: Movie buffs, families, and pop culture enthusiasts


Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood offers a captivating behind-the-scenes look at the magic of filmmaking. As one of the oldest and most renowned studios in the entertainment industry, Warner Bros. has been the birthplace of countless iconic movies and TV shows. Visitors have the opportunity to explore working backlots, soundstages, and sets where legendary productions have come to life. From the famous Central Perk set from “Friends” to the enchanting world of Harry Potter, this tour provides a unique glimpse into the world of Hollywood. Whether you’re a film aficionado or simply curious about the inner workings of the silver screen, Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood is a must-see destination for an unforgettable experience in the heart of The San Fernando Valley, CA.

Skirball Cultural Center:

Essential Information

– Address: 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
– Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12pm-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm
– Fee: General Admission $15, Seniors (65 and over) $12, Full-Time Students with ID $10, Children under 12 FREE
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: History and culture enthusiasts, families, art lovers


The Skirball Cultural Center in The San Fernando Valley, CA, is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of history, art, and cultural experiences. With its thought-provoking exhibitions, engaging programs, and stunning architecture, the Skirball Cultural Center is a must-see place for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re interested in exploring Jewish heritage, discovering contemporary art, or simply immersing yourself in a rich tapestry of cultural diversity, this cultural hub has something for everyone.

One of the standout features of the Skirball Cultural Center is its commitment to fostering dialogue and understanding among people of all backgrounds. Through its dynamic exhibitions and educational initiatives, the center provides a platform for exploring important social issues and celebrating the diversity of human experience. From interactive multimedia displays to thoughtfully curated galleries, each visit to the Skirball Cultural Center offers a chance to engage with history and culture in a meaningful way.

In addition to its exhibitions, the Skirball Cultural Center also hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, including film screenings, live performances, and hands-on workshops. Whether you’re attending a lecture by a renowned scholar or participating in a family-friendly art activity, there’s always something exciting happening at the Skirball. So, if you’re looking for a place where art, history, and culture converge, be sure to add the Skirball Cultural Center to your list of must-visit attractions in The San Fernando Valley.

The Japanese Garden:

Essential Information

– Address: 6100 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
– Fee: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and children under 12
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, photography enthusiasts


The Japanese Garden in The San Fernando Valley, CA, is a serene oasis that offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its meticulously manicured gardens, tranquil ponds, and traditional Japanese architecture, this hidden gem is a must-see for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike. The garden provides a unique opportunity to experience the beauty and tranquility of Japanese culture right in the heart of Southern California. Whether you’re looking to unwind amidst lush greenery, capture stunning photos, or simply appreciate the artistry of Japanese landscaping, a visit to The Japanese Garden is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and inspired.

Lake Balboa Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 6300 Balboa Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91406
– Opening Hours: Daily from 5:00 am to 10:30 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, nature lovers, picnickers


Lake Balboa Park in The San Fernando Valley, CA is a must-see destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. With its expansive lake, lush greenery, and picturesque surroundings, this park offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls along the lakeside paths, have a picnic on the grassy lawns, or simply relax and unwind in nature’s embrace.

The park is a popular spot for families looking to spend quality time together, as well as nature enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the outdoors. Whether you’re looking to go for a jog, have a leisurely bike ride, or simply sit and enjoy the tranquil surroundings, Lake Balboa Park provides the perfect setting for a peaceful day out. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this hidden gem in The San Fernando Valley, where nature and tranquility come together to create a truly unforgettable experience.

The Nethercutt Collection:

Essential Information

– Address: 15200 Bledsoe St, Sylmar, CA 91342
– Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
– Fee: Free admission
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Car enthusiasts, history buffs, families


The Nethercutt Collection in the San Fernando Valley, CA, is a hidden gem for those with a passion for classic cars and vintage automobiles. This meticulously curated museum showcases a stunning array of rare and beautifully restored vehicles, offering visitors a glimpse into the golden age of automotive design and engineering. From elegant Rolls-Royces to sleek Duesenbergs, each car on display tells a story of innovation and craftsmanship that is sure to captivate enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Beyond the impressive car collection, The Nethercutt Collection also features a remarkable display of mechanical musical instruments, including player pianos and orchestrions. These intricate machines provide a fascinating look into the intersection of music and technology in the early 20th century. Whether you’re a history buff, a car aficionado, or simply looking for a unique cultural experience, a visit to The Nethercutt Collection is a must-do activity in the San Fernando Valley.

Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park:

Essential Information

– Address: 14201 Huston St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
– Opening Hours: 6:00 am – 10:00 pm
– Fee: Free
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Families, outdoor enthusiasts


Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park is a hidden gem in the San Fernando Valley, offering a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. This urban oasis is the perfect spot for families and outdoor enthusiasts looking to unwind and connect with nature. With its lush green spaces, picnic areas, and playgrounds, the park provides a serene setting for a leisurely day out.

One of the highlights of Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park is its scenic walking trails, ideal for a relaxing stroll or a brisk jog. The park also features sports facilities, including basketball courts and a baseball diamond, making it a popular spot for active visitors. Whether you’re looking to have a picnic with your loved ones or simply enjoy some fresh air, this park offers something for everyone.

In conclusion, Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Park is a must-see destination for those seeking a tranquil escape in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. So next time you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and experience the beauty and serenity this park has to offer.

Hansen Dam Recreation Area:

Essential Information

– Address: 11770 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
– Opening Hours: Daily from 6:30 am to sunset
– Fee: Free entry, parking fee may apply
– Visit Duration: 2-4 hours
– Ideal for: Families, outdoor enthusiasts, picnickers


The Hansen Dam Recreation Area in The San Fernando Valley, CA, is a must-see destination for those seeking outdoor adventure and relaxation. With its sprawling green spaces, serene lake, and picturesque views of the surrounding mountains, this recreational area offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a leisurely picnic with your family, go for a refreshing swim in the lake, or engage in various water sports activities, Hansen Dam has something for everyone.

Visitors can explore the numerous hiking and biking trails that wind through the park, providing ample opportunities to soak in the natural beauty of the area. The park is also a popular spot for birdwatching, with a diverse array of bird species calling it home. For those looking to cool off on a hot day, the lake offers a refreshing respite, perfect for swimming, fishing, or simply lounging by the water’s edge.

Overall, Hansen Dam Recreation Area is a hidden gem in The San Fernando Valley, offering a peaceful retreat where visitors can reconnect with nature and create lasting memories with their loved ones. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick escape or a traveler seeking a tranquil oasis, this recreational area is sure to leave you rejuvenated and inspired.

Food and Cuisine

Pastrami Sandwich

Why is it so special:

The Pastrami Sandwich is a classic deli favorite that originated in New York but has found a special place in the hearts of San Fernando Valley locals. This sandwich features thinly sliced, juicy pastrami piled high on rye bread with mustard and pickles. The smoky, savory flavor of the pastrami combined with the tangy mustard and crunchy pickles creates a mouthwatering experience that is hard to resist. The history of this dish dates back to Jewish immigrants who brought their traditional recipes to America, making it a beloved comfort food for many.

Where to Try It:

For an authentic Pastrami Sandwich experience, head to The Hat in Simi Valley or Brent’s Deli in Northridge. These local delis are known for their generous portions and delicious pastrami sandwiches that will leave you craving for more.

Birria Tacos

Why is it so special:

Birria Tacos have been gaining popularity in the San Fernando Valley for their rich and flavorful taste. This traditional Mexican dish features tender, slow-cooked meat (usually beef or goat) that is seasoned with a blend of spices and served in a warm corn tortilla. The meat is often accompanied by a side of consomé, a savory broth that adds an extra depth of flavor to the dish. The combination of tender meat, aromatic spices, and comforting broth makes Birria Tacos a must-try for food enthusiasts.

Where to Try It:

To savor delicious Birria Tacos, visit Birrieria San Marcos in Pacoima or Birrieria Chalio in Van Nuys. These local eateries are known for their authentic Mexican flavors and expertly prepared Birria Tacos that will transport your taste buds to Mexico.

Events and Festivals

Valley Greek Festival

The Valley Greek Festival is a vibrant celebration of Greek culture, featuring traditional music, dance performances, and delicious Greek cuisine. Visitors can enjoy browsing through the marketplace filled with unique crafts and souvenirs. This family-friendly event also offers activities for children, making it a fun outing for all ages.

Valley Cultural Center’s Concerts on the Green

Concerts on the Green is a popular summer music series organized by the Valley Cultural Center. Held at the beautiful Warner Park in Woodland Hills, this event features a lineup of talented musicians performing a variety of genres, from rock and jazz to classical and pop. Attendees can bring blankets and picnic baskets to enjoy a relaxing evening under the stars.

Los Angeles Ultimate Women’s Expo

The Los Angeles Ultimate Women’s Expo is a premier event that celebrates and empowers women through inspiring keynote speakers, beauty and wellness workshops, and shopping opportunities. Visitors can explore the latest trends in fashion, health, and lifestyle while indulging in spa treatments and gourmet food samples. This expo offers a unique experience for women looking to connect, learn, and be inspired.

Interesting Facts

– The San Fernando Valley is home to the oldest operating film studio in Hollywood, the Universal Studios, which was founded in 1912.
– The valley is known for its diverse agricultural history and was once a major hub for citrus production, earning it the nickname “The Valley of the Heart’s Delight.”
– The iconic rock band The Doors formed in the San Fernando Valley in 1965, with members Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, and Robby Krieger all hailing from the area.

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