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Forget Hollywood. If you really want to get a glimpse of what Southern Californians call “the Industry” (that is, TV and movie-making magic), Burbank is the spot. Just over the hills from Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley, this sunny suburb offers more for family vacations than you might imagine.

LA’s best behind-the-scenes glimpse of how movies and TV are filmed is the Warner Bros. VIP studio tour. You’ll board a tram to visit actual working sound stages, then be wowed by a museum of movie props and memorabilia. Downtown Burbank is full of family-friendly restaurants, including a vintage 1949 Bob’s Big Boy drive-in restaurant, where candy-apple red classic and muscle cars often park outside.

Not far away is Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. Tweens and teens will get a kick out of thrill rides and special-effects shows, capped off by a brief tram tour of Universal’s studio backlot. Also close to Burbank, Studio City has a fashionable line-up of trendy boutiques and popular restaurants, including superstar sushi bars.