Sylmar can be traced all the way back to the 18th century when the San Fernando Mission was founded. Sylvan olive orchards were grown in the 1890s and soon a hospital and public schools were built.
Today, it is a diverse neighborhood amidst the bustling city we call Los Angeles. Come take a break from the fast pace of downtown LA and soak up some scenery and culture in Sylmar!
Where exactly is Sylmar, CA? How far is it from major cities?
Sylmar is the most northern neighborhood in LA, located in southwest California.
It takes five hours and 40 minutes to drive from Sylmar to San Francisco via I-5 N.
It takes two hours and 15 minutes to drive from Sylmar to San Diego via I-5 S.
Things to do in Sylmar, CA
1. Take aim the Angeles Shooting Range
Awarded one of the best gun ranges in California, Angels Shooting Range shouldn’t be passed up! But hurry up, it’s first come first serve.
Head on over to their Pro Shop to register before you shoot. You’ll be able to find ammo for rifles, pistols, and shotguns- and all the most popular gauges and calibers at that. If you’re looking for a rare caliber, call in ahead of time to double check!
Enjoy their picnic area to take a break from all the fun you’re having hitting bullseyes.
12651 Little Tujunga Canyon Rd, Sylmar, CA 91342
2. Check out all the cool cars at the Nethercutt Museum
The Nethercutt Museum sure is spectacular, with more than 250 American and European automobiles restored to like brand-spanking-new. And not just that- there’s also a huge collection of antique furniture and rare mechanical musical instruments!
The founder spent his whole life building this deeply important historic collection. Every single car on display is completely drivable!
15151 Bledsoe St, Sylmar, CA 91342
3. Visit the Ararat-Eskijian Museum
The AEM is proudly the single Armenian museum on the west coast. It uplifts Armenian culture both from across the globe and their indigenous homeland.
The museum houses over 6,000 primary and secondary sources regarding Armenian studies in three different research libraries, all available to visitors.
The Sheen Memorial Chapel resembles ancient Armenian churches.
The Aurora Mardiganian Memorial Garden pays homage to Aurora Mardiganian, an Armenian survivor known worldwide.
4. Enjoy the fresh air at Veterans Memorial Community Regional Park
The Veterans Memorial Community Regional Park is nearly 100 acres and contains rolling hills, lush picnic areas, a huge pavilion, places to camp, and a community rec building.
The park is located on the original site of the Veterans Hospital. After getting damaged in an earthquake, the land was given to LA County, which decided to create a park.
Enjoy BBQs, disc golf, hiking, and more!
13000 Sayre St, Sylmar, CA 91342
5. Enjoy the outdoors at El Cariso Community Regional Park
El Cariso Park is a memorial for the men who were killed in the Loop Fire of 1966.
Now, this gorgeous nearly-100-acre park is well loved by its community. It has everything ranging from tennis courts to picnic areas to a swimming pool.
The park’s showstopper is its 15,000 square foot community center and gym.
13100 Hubbard St, Sylmar, CA 91342
6. Hike Veterans Park May Canyon Ridge Loop
The Veterans Park May Canyon Ridge Loop is quite the challenge, taking about four and a half hours to complete. It’s a very popular trail- especially for trail running- but if you go during a quieter time of day you can still find some peace.
Beware of the route you choose! Although they all lead to the peak, some may induce more adrenaline than others as you look down at how far you’ve climbed.
Be sure to pack a wind breaker because with 2,100 feet in elevation gain, you’re going to be exposed and chilly at the summit. But expect crystal-clear views of the valleys, ocean, and desert. Well worth it!
7. Hike Oak Springs Trail
Oak Springs Trail is a stunning out and back trail, roughly 4 ½ miles long. It’s known to be a challenge and takes almost three hours to finish on average.
Although it’s a highly populated trail, you’ll be able to enjoy some solitude if you go during off-hours. Feel free to bring your pup, just keep him on a leash!
There’s a steady incline all the way up and a steady decline all the way back down. Being so exposed, we recommend avoiding the mid-day sun with this one!
8. Take a scenic drive on Little Tujunga Canyon Road
Little Tujunga Canyon Road is the ultimate of ultimates for those who like to cruise.
You’ll make your way up the road to the peak of the mountain curve by curve, feeling pure bliss and awe that nature is capable of creating such beautiful things.
Expect to see massive amounts of motorcycles on the weekends. If you own a bike and you live near Little Tujunga, it’s how you spend your weekend.
As you approach the road and see the mountain pass from the distance, you’ll think to yourself: “I really get to drive on that?!”
And indeed you do.
9. Take a trip back in time at Mission San Fernando Rey de España
San Fernando Rey de España is a beautiful church to visit for some quiet reflection.
The Convento was built in 1822, serving as the guest house and padre’s quarters. All of the church and display rooms can be accessed via the central quadrangle besides the Convento.
The church’s pulpit, reredos, and altar are all from- wait for it – 1687 and first lived in Spain.
Enjoy two huge gardens that house important historical sculptures and are beautifully landscaped and maintained.
If nothing else, visit the Convento and leave ample room to adventure through its multiple rooms.
Pay a lot of attention to the display map at the entrance. Lots of people miss things their first time around because they don’t know what they’re looking for!
For the best view of the church, head to the west garden.
Check out Brand Park (aka Mission Park) right across the street.
15151 San Fernando Mission Blvd, Mission Hills, CA 91345
10. Can you escape THE BASEMENT?
THE BASEMENT features four terrifying escape rooms: The Basement, The Elevator Shaft, The Study, and The Courtyard. Let’s go through each one briefly.
The Basement: You’ve been kidnapped by a cannibal serial killer. He’s created an escape game to let people go who are worthy of it. It’s considered a funnel puzzle, meaning you find clues as you go that ultimately all come together for your escape.
Scare factor: Moderate
The Elevator Shaft: A man named John was asked to make some sinister changes to an elevator shaft, so he left behind a way to escape for anyone who found themselves unfortunate enough to be stuck inside. This is the most technically advanced room and is impressively realistic.
Scare factor: Mild
No live performer
The Study: You’ve made it to the serial killer’s private study. He’s incredibly unhappy and you will discover more about him than you wish you had. Solve event and theatrical puzzles with a high level of interaction in order to escape.
Scare factor: Moderate
The Courtyard: You’re so close to escaping the serial killer’s home- only a tall wooden fence is stopping you. You’re also trying to save someone else as you escape. It is their most ambitious room, and is another funnel puzzle that requires several different paths to be followed in order to escape.
Scare factor: Mild
If you’re really feeling ambitious, go for their Dead and Breakfast, where you get to spend all day on all four puzzles, following the entire plotline with no time restraints.
12909 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342
11. Get some tasty craft beer at San Fernando Brewing Company
Visit the San Fernando Brewing Company to enjoy an authentic beer tasting room. Food trucks are always lined up, and you’re also welcome to have things delivered there!
Check their events calendar so you can plan accordingly in case something strikes your fancy!
425 Park Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340
12. Unleash your childlike wonder at Discovery Cube Los Angeles
For over 35 years, The Discovery Cube has offered hands-on science education to challenge and empower kids. They have four main goals:
Early childhood education
Keeping these goals in mind, there are carefully-curated exhibits and experiments for kids to discover and try their hands at! And honestly, the parents will have just as much fun- if not more.
11800 Foothill Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342