Joe and I lived in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles before we hit the road full time. We still come back to spend time with family, catch up with friends and visit some of our favorite places. This is a list of our favorite Things to Do in Los Angeles, specially in “The Valley.”
Things to Do in Los Angeles
There’s a Doosy at the Nethercutt Museum
Ever heard of the expression “It’s a doosy?” It was born from the famous Duesenberg and you can see one up close at the Nettercut Museum in Sylmar. Sign up online for a guided tour to view all the classic cars and musical instruments in the collection. The best part is admission is free and it’s a living history museum, which means everything works.
The main exhibit also has a great collection of vehicles on display that rotate on a regular basis. On our most recently visit, the Tool Time van featured in the television show Home Improvement with Tim Allen was on display. While you’re there, be sure to check out the wall of fun car facts where you’ll learn most American car horns beep in the key of F.
Grab a Bite to Eat at San Carlo Italian Deli
San Carlo Deli in Chatsworth has been serving up delicious food for decades. Their sandwiches are made with rolls baked in house each morning. We usually end up with four small rolls and a focaccia to go. Tell them the Russos sent you and ask for a Panzarotti. You will not regret it! Watch the video.
Get In Touch With Your Inner Rock Climber
Royal Robbins, one of the world’s most influential rock climbers trained at Stoney Point in Chatsworth. If you’re wondering who Royal Robbins is, watch Valley Uprising, a riveting documentary about the history of rock climbing in Yosemite National Park.
Sample Seasonal Fruit at Encino Farmers Market
Etheridge farms sells the best seasonal fruit at the Encino Farmers Market every Sunday. Stop by their booth to sample the fruits, nuts and juices. My personal favorite are the jujubes, apples, peaches and persimmons. Be sure to ask for Gene when you visit and tell him the two kids traveling around in an RV sent you.
Rolls, Rolls, and More Rolls!
Sushi rolls that is! Hikari Sushi in Chatsworth has a good selection of rolls, sushi and other dishes that will keep you going back for more. Joe and I had our fill of rolls the last time we were in town. You can go for the all you can eat option like we did or order a la carte.
Hang Out with Gru, Homer and Harry Potter
Now, if you want to splurge, a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood is a must. Our favorite rides include Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, The Simpsons Ride, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.
Take a Bite of Real Sourdough Bread
On the hunt for a good loaf of traditional sourdough bread? Swing by Lodge Bread Company in Woodland Hills for a loaf of their California Heirloom made from locally sourced stone-milled red wheat. Be sure to check out their breads of the day which vary from cinnamon raisin to olive. They even offer bread samples so you can try before you buy.
Take a Hike Through the Canyons
This dog friendly trail through Fryman Canyon is ideal for an early morning hike. The trail head greets you with asphalt that quickly turns into a well maintained dirt trail leading into the hills. Bring plenty of water and sun protection.
Splurge on Single Malt Whisky
The £10 Bar is the spot for any scotch fan, especially a Macallan connoisseur. Expect to pay a hefty price for a pour, but the presentation and accompanying snacks make the experience extra special. When we were there in 2015, a dram of Sherry Oak 18 year old neat was $38. Now, it did arrive with a platter of the deliciously crispy bacon (still warm), masala seasoned pecans and 26 month aged gouda.
Experience an Omakase Meal
While you’re in Beverly Hills, make a reservation for Nozawa Bar where you’ll experience a well paced omakase sushi meal with Chef Osamu Fujita. This is for the serious sushi fan who appreciates a thoughtfully designed meal and the warm rice, lightly sauced fish that Chef Nozawa was known for.
Order a Double Dipped Sandwich
Skip Beverly Hills all to gather and head to Downtown Los Angeles for the famous sandwiches at Philippe the Original. All rolls are made fresh daily and available for a dunk or two in the house made beef jus. Go for the double dip! Joe’s favorite is the NY pastrami double dipped. The fatty and tender pastrami is all natural and shipped in from New York City.
Don’t Forget About Dim Sum!
There are a ton of places for dim sum in Los Angeles, but if you happen to be in Downtown, one option is Ocean Seafood in Chinatown. Watch the video below to get an idea of what to order at dim sum.
Expand Your Natural History Knowledge
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has a wide range of activities that will keep you busy all day. From the nature gardens to the special exhibits, there is something for everyone to enjoy. My favorite are the halls of different mammals as well as the hall of gemstones.
There are so many ways to spend your time in Los Angeles, I hope this gave you a few ideas for your trip.
Where to Stay in Los Angeles
We stayed in an RV at the Elks Lodge in Canoga Park, CA which has water and electric. If you’re not an Elks member, below are some more options.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 3, 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.