My newfound passion for biking with my family has ignited a brand new love of Burbank. As we ride, we feel like part of the community, smelling yummy restaurant aromas, looking in store windows and saying hello to fellow Burbankians going about their day.
Adopting a biking lifestyle has resulted in expected benefits, such as improved health, however, a lot of the benefits have been unexpected. And most of them directly correlate to an improved connection and appreciation of our big, little town.
Less is More
To fill the day with fun, I used to pile activities one after the other. But the over-packed, shallow excursions have gone by the wayside since we took up family cycling. When we bike, this mama gets a workout on the way to and from our destination. In addition, the time spent traveling tics glorious, fulfilling minutes off the day. We also spend more time at each destination because we appreciate the time it took to travel there. It’s the difference between park dates being just a stop in your day verses a half-day family excursion. Less is more!
More Costs Less
What if I told you that as a result of biking, the kids and I are having more adventures but spending less money? Because we would rather bike than drive, we find ourselves seeking local Burbank-based activities instead of spending a hour+ in LA traffic. We experience the obvious saving on gas but local, bikable activities are usually much more affordable than the alternative options that we would have driven to.
Our Summer Bike Burbank Bucket List
Our Top 20 Bikeable Burbank Destinations
Getting started on biking more with your family is pretty easy. Take the plunge by committing to one bike-to activity a week! Below is our list of top 20 bikeable Burbank destinations for you to choose from. Most of them I do with my family on a regular basis but several of them were generated by local Burbank moms and are at the top of my own summer to do list!
Bike to Eat
This café was the first coffee shop we discovered upon moving to Burbank. I love that it’s a family establishment and the fact that I will inevitably run into somebody I know when I eat there. It has a bike rack right in front of the café and a well-stocked kids table that my children love. In fact, you will usually find me at this table, sitting on a chair meant for a toddler while eating my breakfast using my knees. On the occasions when I find myself eating there alone, I like to shop in the cute antique stores nearby afterwards. You would be shocked by what I can fit in a bike basket.
Located along the LA River in Frogtown, I have been told that this is a must see! Kids and adults alike have raved about this unique, bike-centric café. There is beautiful art, good food, alcohol for the mamas and they will even work on your bike when you are there!
I’m told the family owned business opened in the 50’s and its cool retro vibe does not seem to have changed since. This heavenly little maker of delicious treats is located right off the Chandler Bike Path. A quick right on Keystone of Chandler and you will quickly find yourself there. It’s a really fun treat for the kids but I probably bike there more often with my friends! A little unsolicited advice…ask for whatever is freshest. My smart friend did this the other day and it resulted in the best tasting donut that I have ever had!
Tony’s Darts Away I love Tony’s for the delicious sour beers, the yummy assortment of food (lots of vegan and vegetarian options) and the excellent bike rack directly in front of the patio. This is my bike destination of choice when I am riding with my lady friends on Thursday nights but its also a fun place to bike with our kids for an early dinner on the patio.
We like to bike to Pinocchio’s for the delicious gelato! They also have the best meat and cheese deli in town. Similar to Tony’s, they don’t have any bike racks, but they have a patio that you can chain your bikes to.
It’s not actually in Burbank, but it has the best coffee in life and their café by the North Hollywood Station Metro is a great place to take the kids. It’s also right off the Chandler Bike Path, so it’s very easy to bike to. It’s built inside a historic train depot and sits next to the old remaining tracks. It has fabulous outdoor seating that provides ample space for you to lock your bikes or even keep them near you while you eat.
I had no idea this family owned Argentine restaurant existed until a good friend brought their chocolate and banana empanadas to the hospital after the birth of my daughter. Located towards the east end of Magnolia Park, you can feast on any number of their freshly baked empanadas. My two favorites are the lentil and berry. Park your bikes in front and order your food to eat on the patio.
Bike to Activities
Did you know that Burbank has 18 public outdoor playgrounds? Neither did I until I spent an evening mapping them all. Burbank outdoor playgrounds are sprinkled around the city and are one of the easiest places to bike with your family. Ride up and spend a few hours with the kids and pack a picnic to fully embrace the summertime experience.
This is one of our all-time favorite bike rides with the kids. We like to pack a picnic and eat it on the field. Then we buy a bucket of carrots to feed the horses. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you might see a miniature pony crossing the street on Riverside.
There are three public libraries in our city. For those who know about them already, they are a treasure trove of free activities for you and the kids. Bike there just to enjoy the books or plan your ride out to participate in many of the activities on their calendars.
I first discovered a Little Free Library on a walk in my own neighborhood. They are built on the “give a book, return a book” honor system and they are an exciting outing for the kids. You can use the Little Free Library map to bike to one or more!
I don’t think there is anything more stereotypically summer than biking to swim at the local watering hole. Burbank has two public pools to choose from. Bike your kids, food and a lot of sunscreen to enjoy a full day of fun.
I am so excited to take my son bowling for the first time! We will be the family rocking the bumper lanes. However, if you have older kids or are looking for a throwback date night, bike there on a Friday or Saturday evening to experience “Cosmic Bowling.” They have a bar with a full menu so you can eat there too.
Right down the street from Pickwick Bowl is the ice rink and there is no better place to escape the summer the heat! We first took our son out on the ice when he was 3 years old using a Bobby Seal Skating Aid. Our daughter is too young to skate but she loves to watch everyone on the ice as well as walking around to meet all the kids suiting up in skates and hockey gear. Check out the website for their daily public skate hours.
I have yet to bike here with my own family but I am told that this brewery is a great ride and that the restaurant is kid friendly. They also allow dogs in the taproom making it a great destination for families wishing to involve their furry children in the adventure.
Attach a bike basket or a bike trailer and ride over to the Sunday Farmers market on Olive and Glenoaks. It’s a small market but we like to support our locally driven resources. And if you follow Walk Bike Burbank, you will be notified of their periodic free Bike Check event at the market. Either before or after picking up your organic produce, stop by their station and let the experts teach you how to maintain and repair your bike!
Bike to Adventure
The Chandler Bike Path runs all the way from Clybourn Blvd in North Hollywood to Mariposa St. in Burbank. It’s a fun, easy ride that is conveniently close to the great shops and restaurants in the Magnolia Park district! Even if you choose to stay on the path, you will enjoy the amazing murals as you approach North Hollywood as well as the adorable family-esc statues along the way.
Kids and adults are both fascinated by the planes taking off and landing at Burbank Airport. There are multiple viewing sites depending on your interests. I have heard that you get a great view from the parking garage and others have said they sit at Metro Link. The stretch of Vineland that sits under the flight path is an excellent place to ride by to get REALLY close. It’s not the best area to park your bike and hang out but it could be worth a ride by if you want to feel like you might touch the plane.
Enjoy a scenic ride along the LA River. You might want to drive to a starting point recommended on the map but once you are on the LA River bike bath, it is smooth sailing. The LA River has undergone an incredible transformation in the last decade. Efforts by concerned citizens and devoted organizations are restoring this priceless LA ecosystem back to health. There are over 300 species of birds that call the river home, making this ride particularly exciting for kids and families with an appreciation for nature.
If you are feeling super adventurous, ride the chandler bike path all the way into North Hollywood and take Metro. You can ride your bikes onto the train or hitch it to the front of the train if there isn’t room inside a cabin. Then take Metro to Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Olvera Street or any of the other fun locations in downtown LA.