<< When you live in the Valley, you've gotta get creative

By Krissi Dukes, 17, El Camino Real HS
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If, like, someone was to, like, ask you what you thought of, like, the San Fernando Valley, what would come to mind? Malls?

Well, I’ve found some stuff to do there besides visiting tanning salons and highlighting your hair. You see, the San Fernando Valley isn’t just a valley culturally, it’s one geographically, too. That means mountains and foothills surround it.

There are tons of trails to hike and bike around. I recommend checking out Bell Canyon Park, located at Vanowen Street and Valley Circle Boulevard. There are plenty of things to do there. The adventurous can follow a trail that leads to a large cave. Wild brush and trees surround the place. It feels like you’re no longer in Los Angeles when you go there. In reality, you’re only 15 minutes away from civilization. Still, it’s a nice break.

Canoga Park’s Antique Row, 21500 Sherman Way, is an interesting section of town. It’s a strip of antique, thrift and book stores sprinkled around vintage clothing stores and cafes. Sherman Way is a great place for people into bargain buys and who want an alternative to shopping at malls.

If that’s not your thing, try stepping out of the mainstream movie bubble and visit Encino’s Laemmle Theatre, 17200 Ventura Blvd. The Laemmle specializes in slightly obscure films and foreign flicks. You can check the listings for all local Laemmle Theatres at www.laemmle.com.

For more information about stuff to do in the Valley, contact the San Fernando Valley Conference and Visitors Bureau, 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., Ste. 200, Sherman Oaks, 91403. You can check out their Web site at www.visitvalleyofthestars.org.