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Surrounded by mountains, San Fernando gives its name to the valley that supposedly—if you wish to believe movies and throwaway journalism—originated the Valley Girl. But it is also rich in natural beauty and history; San Fernando Valley venues include the gorgeous Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana, one of the oldest buildings in California.
Bob Hope Airport is seven miles southeast of downtown San Fernando. It mainly serves West Coast destinations but does have direct flights to Denver and New York City's John F. Kennedy. The airport also has a direct train link (the only airport in the whole Los Angeles Metropolitan area to do so) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is approximately 35 miles to the south.
Hotel venues in the San Fernando Valley include the 474-room Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills, which, with 25,000 square feet of meeting space, is the largest hotel in town. The 267-room Airtel Plaza has 21,000 square feet of meeting space, and the 116-room Valley Inn & Conference Center features a 3,250-square-foot ballroom.
Unique venues in the San Fernando Valley include Middle Ranch Lodge on Little Tujunga Canyon Road, which is on the grounds of a 650-acre horse ranch and bordered to three sides by national forest. In the city's Granada Hills area is the equally sylvan Knollwood Country Club, which has an 18-hole golf course and acres of outdoor space for events in the Californian sunshine. The Northridge Plaza del Sol Performance Hall, in the Valley Performing Arts Center, is part of the campus of San Fernando's California State University and has 500 seats and all manner of state-of-the-art technical apparatus for events. Close to Van Nuys Airport is the Angeleno Banquet Hall, which has three ballrooms that can host a total of 300 guests. In West Hills is the Spanish Colonial-style Hidden Chateau & Gardens, perfect for an ultra-secretive product launch. It is huge and was originally built—by silent movie star, Francis Lederer, who lived to more than 100—as a stable for one horse, his wife's favorite. Attractive gardens surround it.
San Fernando's Odyssey Restaurant sits high above the city's valley and comes with jaw-dropping views and five Grecian-named dining spaces called Olympus, Atlantis, Garden, Athena and Apollo. In Van Nuys is 94th Aero Squadron, with a biplane outside. The L'Affair Cafe can host up to 50 persons. In the Brand Park area of San Fernando is sticky-fingers favorite, the Bear Pit BBQ, which has a history (but not always in the same spot) dating to the 1940s.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Approximate taxi fare: $75 USD
Los Angeles International Airport, commonly called "LAX," is the main airport serving the Los Angeles area. It is the fifth-busiest airport for passenger traffic in the world and third-busiest in the U.S. It operates as a main hub for United Airlines, a secondary hub for Delta, and is a main city for Southwest, Alaska, and American Airlines. LAX serves 69 international and 87 domestic destinations. All international arrivals and departures are serviced through the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
To get from the airport to a given destination, there are a number of options which include taxis, rental cars, door-to-door shuttle vans, long-distance vans, public buses, direct-to-airport buses and the Metro Rail Green Line (light rail). Taxis are a $42 flat fare from LAX to downtown L.A., about $35 to Hollywood, about $20 to Santa Monica, $25 to Beverly Hills, and from $45 to $60 to Pasadena and the Valley; all include a service charge of $2.50 and a $15 minimum fare for service starting at the airport. Two ride-share van companies serve the airport: SuperShuttle and PrimeTime Shuttle, and fares are typically $20-$55 per person depending on the destination. Many area hotels will provide complimentary shuttle service from the airport, so check this option before booking another service. There are 10 rental car companies with airport curbside drop-off and pick-up shuttles, and 30 other rental car companies that are accessible by placing a phone request for a pickup shuttle at the airport. The Metro Rail Green Line accesses the Metrolink and Amtrak system by a free shuttle and can take you as far north as Santa Barbara, as far east as San Bernardino and as far south as San Diego, and to many points in between. Public buses with service to the airport include the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus, the Torrance City Transit and the Culver City Bus Lines.
Bob Hope Airport (BUR)
Approximate taxi fare: $40 USD
Photo Credit: Richard Carroll
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