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 short list of our favorite Things to Do in Los Angeles, specially in “The Valley.” Some of the activities are off the beaten path and budget friendly. If your travels brings you to the San Fernando Valley, I hope you’ll check out a few of these spots!

Things to Do in Los Angeles – San Fernando Valley Edition

Things to Do in Los Angeles San Fernando Valley


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.

Nethercutt Museum Duesenberg

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.

San Carlo Italian Deli chatsworth

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.

Etheridge Organic Farms

Enjoy the Parks

After the market, head to Balboa Park for a stroll around Balboa Lake. Quite a bit of filming takes place at this park so don’t be surprised if you show up and see large production trucks parked nearby. If you’re traveling with a dog, Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park is only a block away. There is plenty of room for your pup to run around in.

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.

Indulge in a Loaf 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.

Where to Stay in San Fernando Valley

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.

Find a Campground Through AllStays. Quick and easy way to find RV parks and campgrounds near you. Read our AllStays Review.

Free RV Stay with Harvest Hosts. Members have access to over 700 host locations including vineyards, farms and museum. Read our Harvest Hosts Review. Use our referral link to receive 15% discount.

Rent an RV with Outdoorsy. Choose from small travel trailers and camper vans to large Class A motorhomes. Read about our Campervan Hawaii Experience.

Book a Place Through Airbnb. Our preferred option for affordable lodging when RVing isn’t available. Use our referral link to receive a credit towards your first booking.

Book a Room through If you’re in an RV, be sure to call about parking options. We’ve never had an issue parking a Class B RV at a hotel.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 3, 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.