Top 12 Attractions in Glendale

Nestled in the foothills just north of downtown Los Angeles, Glendale offers visitors a mix of outdoor adventures, cultural sights, and unique shopping and dining. From museums and music venues to nature parks and historic architecture, Glendale has many attractions to add to your itinerary.

Forest Lawn Memorial ParkCemetery with art installations, museum, and unique memorials.
Griffith ParkLarge park with observatory, zoo, and various trails and museums.
The Americana at BrandOutdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex.
Museum of Neon ArtMuseum showcasing neon sign design and interactive exhibits.
Descanso GardensBotanical gardens with themed areas and special events.
Glendale GalleriaLarge shopping destination with a wide range of stores.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park MuseumMuseum with art, stained glass, and European treasures.
Alex TheatreHistoric theatre hosting various cultural events and tours.
Brand Park & LibraryPark with library, art center, and natural scenery.
Glendale Historical Society & ArchivesOffers tours of a historic house and exhibits on local history.
Deukmejian Wilderness ParkNature park with trails, wildlife, and picnic areas.
Downtown GlendaleHistoric downtown area with shops, dining, and cultural sites.

Here are the top 12 attractions and activities to enjoy during your time in Glendale, California.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Name and Location: Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, located at 1712 S Glendale Ave.

History and Significance: Opened in 1906, Forest Lawn Glendale is one of the first memorial parks in the US. Many celebrities are buried here.

What to Expect: Sprawling park with art museums, rolling hills, statues, fountains, and gravesites. Self-guided tour maps available.

Visitor Information: Open daily 8am-5pm. Free admission. Public events and programs offered regularly. Bus 201 stops nearby.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park is an iconic Southern California cemetery that is more like a museum and sprawling sculpture garden than a traditional graveyard. The park spans over 300 acres across several locations in Glendale, most notably Forest Lawn Glendale.

Here you can explore reproductions of classic art like Michelangelo’s David, the stained-glass Great Mausoleum, and the Museum of Special Effects demonstrating movie magic techniques. Unique memorials honor celebrities like Walt Disney and Elizabeth Taylor. With its vast grounds, art installations, and architecture, Forest Lawn Memorial Park makes for quite an unconventional sightseeing adventure.

Griffith Park

Name and Location: Griffith Park is a large urban park located in Los Angeles at 4730 Crystal Springs Dr.

History and Significance: Opened in 1898, Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the US with over 4,300 acres of land.

What to Expect: Hiking trails, gardens, an observatory, zoo, museums, playgrounds, and the Hollywood sign. Outdoor activities abound.

Visitor Information: Free admission. Open daily from 5am-10:30pm. Metered parking available. Explore by foot, bike, or car.

At over 4,300 acres, Griffith Park is one of the country’s largest municipal parks and an ideal place to hike, bike, or picnic in Glendale. Popular attractions within the park include the Griffith Observatory and its iconic views, the Los Angeles Zoo, Travel Town featuring vintage locomotives, and the Autry Museum of the American West.

The park has over 50 miles of trails for hiking and horseback riding, many featuring amazing city views along the way. From the iconic Hollywood sign to open green spaces and activities for all interests, Griffith Park has something for everyone.

The Americana at Brand

Name and Location: The Americana at Brand is an outdoor shopping and dining complex located in Glendale at 889 Americana Way.

History and Significance: Opened in 2008, it features retail stores, restaurants, entertainment, and residences all in one property.

What to Expect: Patios cafes, children’s play areas, dancing fountains, green space, and activities like ice skating in winter.

Visitor Information: Open daily, hours vary by store. Validated parking in garages. PET friendly. Glendale Beeline bus access.

The Americana at Brand is Glendale’s premier outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. Designed as a contemporary urban village, the Americana features a mix of major retail brands, boutiques, a movie theater, and diverse restaurant options.

On weekends, live music and dancing water fountains draw visitors to its Central Park-inspired public promenade. Other highlights include the colorful rows of CARousel Ranch horses and plenty of seating areas and fountains. The Americana at Brand is a stylish one-stop for an afternoon of retail therapy, people watching, and al fresco dining.

Museum of Neon Art

Name and Location: The Museum of Neon Art is located in Glendale at 216 S Brand Blvd.

History and Significance: Founded in 1981, this museum celebrates the art of neon sign design with restored signs and exhibits.

What to Expect: The museum displays antique neon signs while also showcasing neon as an artistic medium. Gift shop onsite.

Visitor Information: Open W-Sat 12pm-7pm. Admission fee $10. Validated parking available.

The Museum of Neon Art (MONA) celebrates the visual history of neon sign design. Located in downtown Glendale’s arts district, MONA’s permanent collection includes vintage neon signs for establishments long gone as well as contemporary neon art pieces.

Interactive exhibits allow you to explore neon’s origins and the artistic processes behind it. For a uniquely retro, artsy experience tied directly to 20th century Americana, add the Museum of Neon Art to your Glendale itinerary.

Descanso Gardens

Name and Location: Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge.

History and Significance: These historic gardens opened in 1953 and span 150 acres. They are home to a botanical collection and nature habitats.

What to Expect: Blooming gardens, pine forests, nature trails, water features, bird-watching, and peaceful natural beauty across the property.

Visitor Information: Open daily 9am-5pm. Admission fee required. Onsite parking available. Accessible from Glendale by car.

Spanning over 150 acres, Descanso Gardens is a lush botanical oasis. As you wander its rambling paths and trails, you’ll discover picturesque spots like the Promenade Lawn, Lilac Garden, and Camellia Forest. Specialty gardens for roses, herbs, and Japanese maples dazzle visitors with color and scents.

Descanso’s Enchanted: Forest of Light event during winter evenings lets you experience a glowing nighttime wonderland. Perfect for garden lovers and photographers, Descanso is a living museum that delights the senses.

Glendale Galleria

Name and Location: Glendale Galleria is located at 100 W Broadway in Glendale, CA.

History and Significance: Opened in 1976, the Galleria is a major regional shopping center with over 200 stores across 1.6 million square feet.

What to Expect: Retail stores, restaurants, movie theater, indoor ice rink, and weekly farmer’s market. Mall amenities and seasonal decor.

Visitor Information: Open daily 10am-9pm, hours may vary. Parking in garages and lots. PET friendly. Accessible by bus.

The Glendale Galleria is one of Southern California’s most popular shopping destinations with nearly 200 stores, making it the ideal spot for an afternoon of browsing and retail therapy. Department store anchors like Macy’s, Nordstrom, JCPenney, and Target sit alongside specialty boutiques, apple, and dining options.

Fashionistas can browse brands like Louis Vuitton, lululemon, Michael Kors, and more. The Galleria frequently hosts fashion shows, pop-up shops, and seasonal events too. Whether you’re looking for designer labels or simple everyday essentials, the Glendale Galleria has it all.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park Museum

Name and Location: The museum is located within Forest Lawn Memorial Park at 1712 S Glendale Ave.

History and Significance: Founded in 1957, this museum exhibits art, artifacts, and rotating galleries related to life, death and immortality.

What to Expect: Permanent and temporary exhibits spanning many eras and cultures. Self-guided audio tours available. Gift shop onsite.

Visitor Information: Free with park admission, open daily 10am-5pm except major holidays. Guided tours available.

Located at Forest Lawn Glendale, this museum houses an impressive collection spanning fine art, stained glass, Americana, and even royal European treasures. Statues, paintings, and other works spread across different exhibit rooms.

Standout pieces include original stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany, an extensive collection of porcelain vases, and a massive stained-glass replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. With its broad, unique collection spanning centuries and continents, the Forest Lawn Museum merits a visit.

Alex Theatre

Name and Location: The Alex Theatre is located at 216 N Brand Blvd in Glendale, CA.

History and Significance: Built in 1925, this historic theater hosts film screenings and live performances in a lavish setting.

What to Expect: Ornate architecture and decor. Programming includes concerts, plays, stand-up comedy, talks, and classic movies.

Visitor Information: Showtimes and tickets found online. Validated parking behind theater. Tours available by appointment.

First opened in 1925, the Alex Theatre stands today as an historic and cultural landmark in Glendale. The theater’s distinct American-Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture makes it worth visiting on looks alone. But the Alex Theatre also hosts film premieres, plays, musical acts, orchestral performances, and other events year-round.

Tours are available for groups to explore the venue more in-depth. Whether catching a show or peeking into a bygone era, the Alex Theatre shines as both a vintage venue and modern entertainment destination.

Brand Park & Library

Name and Location: Brand Park and Brand Library are located at 1601 W Mountain St in Glendale.

History and Significance: Brand Park was donated to the city in 1920. The library was built in 1956 with a focus on art and music.

What to Expect: Park trails, gardens, library collections and programs, museum exhibits, music performances, and art classes.

Visitor Information: Free access. Park open daily 6am-10pm. Library hours vary. Parking lot onsite.

Nestled in the hills above downtown, Brand Park spans over 30 acres of green space perfect for picnicking, exploring, or simply appreciating nature. Its Brand Library & Art Center building features a public library along with rotating visual art exhibits.

Outdoors, you’ll find walking paths, lifeguard-patrolled swimming, playgrounds, and a shady pine grove. Adjacent Brand Park Mountain offers great city views from its trails. For family-friendly recreation close to central Glendale, Brand Park delivers.

Glendale Historical Society & Archives

Name and Location: The Glendale Historical Society Archives are located at 130 N Isabel St.

History and Significance: Founded in 1975, the archives document the history of Glendale through photos, newspapers, city records and artifacts.

What to Expect: Research library with Glendale historical collections. Exhibits and programs offered onsite. Gift shop available.

Visitor Information: Open Tu-Th 1pm-7pm, F-Sa 12pm-5pm. Free admission. Limited street parking.

The Glendale Historical Society operates two attractions: the Doctor’s House Museum and the Brand Library & Art Center Galleries. The Doctor’s House Museum lies in the Wagenhals Mansion, an impressive Craftsman and prairie architecture styled home now open for tours.

Period artifacts offer a glimpse into 1920s life and culture. Over at the Brand Library Galleries, the Glendale History Exhibit showcases local artifacts, photographs, artworks, and memorabilia spanning the 1800s through today. Together these exhibitions celebrate Glendale heritage.

Deukmejian Wilderness Park

Name and Location: Deukmejian Wilderness Park is located at 3429 Markridge Rd in Glendale.

History and Significance: Opened in 2013, this 709-acre park provides hiking opportunities with natural habitats and views.

What to Expect: Over 7 miles of trails ranging from easy to difficult through hills, canyons and streams. Picnic areas available.

Visitor Information: Open daily sunrise to sunset. Free entry and parking. Restrooms onsite. Leashed dogs permitted.

For those looking to explore nature by foot, bike, or horseback, Deukmejian Wilderness Park is just minutes from downtown but feels worlds away. Over 740 acres of canyon, chaparral, and oak woodlands make for beautiful, rugged scenery.

More than seven miles of multi-use trails range from easy to quite steep and challenging. Wildlife you may spot includes coyotes, bobcats, deer, and over 50 bird species. Picnic tables dot the park as well. Just remember to pack water and watch trail conditions to safely enjoy all that Deukmejian Park’s wilderness has to offer.

Downtown Glendale

Name and Location: Downtown Glendale centers around Brand Blvd between Broadway and Colorado in Glendale, CA.

History and Significance: Brand Boulevard has been Glendale’s main thoroughfare since the late 1800s. It offers shopping, dining, and entertainment.

What to Expect: Walkable downtown area with shops, restaurants, museums, a theater, farmer’s market and events throughout the year.

Visitor Information: Most activity is daytime and evenings, hours vary. Paid public parking in garages and lots. PET friendly.

Glendale’s downtown historic core centered on Brand Blvd makes for an enjoyable stroll. On weekends the Museum Arts District comes alive with dining patios, unique shops, and art galleries. The 1920s Alex Theatre anchors the district, across from Central Park and the Glendale Civic Auditorium.

Grab an iced coffee and admire the area’s historic architecture like the Security Trust & Savings Bank Building. With a blend of arts, culture, and walkable charm, downtown Glendale offers a lively urban oasis.


From the hiking trails of Griffith Park to shopping sprees at the Americana at Brand, Glendale packs in fantastic attractions. Nature lovers, history buffs, foodies, culture vultures – there is something for everyone’s interests.

Glendale delivers as both a walkable downtown hub yet is also ideally located near Los Angeles and Pasadena for easy access to broader SoCal adventures. Whether planning a day visit or longer stay, the top experiences in this guide provide a strong starting point to uncover all that Glendale has to offer.

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