If there's one thing that puts Burbank on the map today, it's production and media facilities. Burbank is called the "Media Capital of the World" for the large number of world-renowned media companies headquartered in Burbank. Among the big names are Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Warner Bros, and Walt Disney. While these facilities are some of the city's biggest attractions, it's also a scenic place with spectacular recreational areas and plenty of fun things to do.
Burbank: Built by "Pride, People, and Progress"
Burbank was established in 1867 by a successful and ambitious dentist named David Burbank. Burbank, originally from New Hampshire, was also an entrepreneur and a sheep farmer. Burbank purchased over 4,600 acres of land to start his West Coast sheep farming operations, which in turn gave rise to the city's foundation. The land was also the site for the city's first (and largest) working ranch, which was called Rancho Providencia. The ranch was important initially for its agricultural production and later for its role as an essential military battle site where Mexican leader Pio Pico overthrew California's governor. Interestingly, artifacts from the battle (mostly cannonballs and other weapons) were found at the site years later after it became the site of the Warner Bros studio. Meanwhile, David Burbank turned the ranch into a highly successful sheep farming operation and used the proceeds to fund real estate investments in Los Angeles.
Although Burbank began as a one man show, it did not stay that way for long. By the late 1800s a railroad ran through town, and with it came more economic development and more residents. Chief among the newcomers was James J. Jeffries, a boxing champion who accumulated large volumes of land in town. Jeffries also turned to sheep farming for supplemental income. For him too, the practice was quite lucrative. A third prominent landowner to arrive was Joseph Fawkes, a prosperous farmer. Along with buying land in Burbank, Fawkes established the city's first trolley called the "Aerial Swallow." However, the trolley only lasted one run before falling apart.
Sight-seeing in Burbank
Over the years, Burbank's primarily agricultural landscape has given way to a more urban setting and a larger population. These changes have also given residents and visitors more things to do.
One of the biggest draws to Burbank are its production companies. One of the most famous is the Warner Bros Studio, where people can take tours to get a behind-the-scenes look at how their favorite Hollywood movies and television shows are made. Another main attraction is Universal Studios, which features exhibits dedicated to many contemporary films like Harry Potter. At the Sony Pictures studio center, visitors can go on a walking tour that provides a detailed look inside Sony's world-renowned production facility. At the Paramount Studio site, visitors can check out over 100 years' worth of film-making history in Hollywood.
Jay Leno's Garage
With a visit to Jay Leno's garage, you'll get to see one of the nation's best collections of motorcycles and cars. The garage named the "Big Dog" garage by Leno, features classic and contemporary sports cars and memorabilia. Reservations must be made ahead of time to schedule an appointment for touring the Big Dog Garage.
Bob Hope Airport
Another exciting attraction in Burbank and one of its most mysterious is the Bob Hope Airport. This airport is the launch site of several stealth aircraft, collectively called the "Skunk Works," that were devised for spy and covert military operations.
Wildwood Canyon Park
While Burbank offers some exciting modern-day attractions, some residents and visitors prefer to relax and get away from it all. If rest and relaxation is your mantra, Wildwood Canyon Park is the place to visit. Wildwood Canyon Park contains miles' worth of hiking and mountain biking trails. Stunning views and challenging terrain are some of its notable features.
If shopping is more your scene, there's a place for that in Burbank, too. Located downtown, Magnolia Park is a vibrant retail district with an eclectic combination of vintage clothing and homemade goods. There are also shops selling contemporary and name-brand apparel as well. The shopping plaza offers both indoor and outdoor stores.
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