Your Destination Guide to Los Angeles

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San Fernando Valley

San Fernando Valley
San Fernando Valley

© Jeff Turner

The San Fernando Valley encompasses the northern portion of the City of Angels and the surrounding area. Images invoked when thinking about the San Fernando Valley: the 6.7-magnitude Northridge earthquake of 1994, the adult entertainment industry, and those snotty Valley Girl phrases. But there is much, much more to the Valley than that.

Movies played a major role in immortalizing the Valley's (arguably inaccurate) reputation as a suburban wasteland. The list of diverse films portraying the Valley includes iconic titles such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, Boogie Nights, Encino Man, and, of course, Valley Girl. In addition, many a pop musician has written songs about the Valley, and numerous entertainment studios are located here.

During the 1970s, the Valley served as the epicenter for the evolution, development, and production of the adult entertainment industry. This is still a major aspect of the local economy, but it would be unfair to solely equate the Valley with porn. There are many family-friendly attractions, such as Universal Studios and CityWalk, the Hollywood Bowl, the San Fernando Mission, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, and the NoHo Arts District.

Surrounding the Valley in most directions are various mountain ranges that provide a pretty backdrop as well as opportunities for outdoor activities. These include horseback riding at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and the plentiful choices afforded by the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area's numerous parks, golf courses, bike paths, hiking trails, tennis courts, dog park, wildlife preserve, and Lake Balboa.

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