Los Angeles Vacations – Is There Anything For Me in the Valley?

The San Fernando Valley is usually the recipient of jokes thanks to cliched movies like Valley girls. This district however houses many studios that have contributed to what Hollywood is today. Let us name them and what we can tour.

The Disney Studios are closed to the public as no guided tours are available. That does not stop us from driving by 500 S. Buena Vista, Burbank to see the giant figures of the 7 dwarfs or the Animation building that is shaped like the Sorcerers hat and the Mickey mouse heads on the fences.

If you want to be part of a studio audience then NBC television studios will be a hit for you. Call 818/840-3537 and you can have a shot at getting a ticket for one of their shows. The Tonight show, the Ellen DeGeneres show, Access Hollywood and many more. There are also tours that cost $8.50.

Universal Studios Hollywood may for some be over rated but I think it’s a good beginner’s introduction to what happens behind the scenes. Please start your day at Universal early as crowds pick up later in the day. Start with the tram tours then work your way to the other movie and television based park attractions like Terminator 2:3D, Jurassic Park: The Ride, Shrek 4-D and the warehouse fire in the movie back draft are just some of the rides you’ll enjoy.

The Warner Bros. Studios also have guided tours that discuss the behind the scenes activities during movies and television shows. They approach it more seriously though than Universal studios,the tour starts with a short documentary then ride through the sets of ER, Friends, Gilmore girls and a Rebel without a cause for starters. The current production offices of George Clooney and Clint Eastwood can be viewed from afar as well as the bungalows stars used to rest in between takes. Reservations are required for the tours, a week in advance to be safe. Regular tours are at $45 but they have a deluxe 5 hour tour for $150.

Aside from Studios is there anything else in the Valley? Oddly enough thrill seekers can definitely have fun here because Six Flags, Magic Mountain calls this home. Some of the biggest, scariest and fastest roller coasters the world over are here. Roller coaster rides like Scream that drops you 150 feet, Superman: The escape is a 41 story roller coaster, and Riddler’s Revenge is the world’s fastest, stand-up roller coaster all these have cemented Six flag’s in the thrill seekers places to go list. Weekends are peak days so printing your ticket online is a good time saving idea.

How about something to feed the mind? The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is also in the valley. At 40 Presidential drive Simi Valley, one can view the history of Ronald Reagan’s road to becoming president. From his days as an actor, to governor and ultimately his two terms as President of the United States. In a pavilion there is also the air force one plane that Ronald Reagan and several other presidents utilized. There are guided tours that cost just $12 and the museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lastly what would the valley be without shopping? A new outdoor complex near Glendale called Americana at Brand will whet any shopping palate. It offers 75 shops like Armani, BCBG, H&M and Ed Hardy are some of the examples. This mall is at 300 S. Brand boulevard. So the valley is not so much a place of leisure and shopping as much a place of work for many in the entertainment industry.