Guides and Tips

How to Keep The Party Going | A Guide to Universal CityWalk Hollywood

April 7, 2022

We’ve all been there. The sun is setting, your group is almost dry after going on Jurassic World – The Ride, and now you’re heading for the gates, not quite ready to call it a day. 

Luckily, after you’re done experiencing all the mischief, the magic, and the merriment at Universal Studios Hollywood, there are still plenty of things to do at Universal CityWalk

Here are just a few of my favorite things to experience in CityWalk before I officially make my way back to the parking garage.

Catch a Game at NBC Sports Grill & Brew

Burger with knife, hand pouring beer from draft

One of the newest restaurants in CityWalk is already a fan favorite and for good reason. Whether you want to saddle up to the bar to catch a couple of innings and enjoy a drink, or grab a table with the family to have a great dinner before you hit the road, NBC Sports Grill & Brew has something for everyone. The menu features delicious burgers and sandwiches (including vegan and gluten-free options), plus all the basics you could expect for the pickiest young ones. I’m on a mission to try everything on the menu, but I’ll be honest — I just keep going back to the Artisan Pretzel and Broccoli & Cheddar Mac ‘n’ Cheese.

Catch a movie at Universal Cinema

Universal Cinema Sign Hollywood

See movies where movies are made! It’s hard to leave Universal Studios Hollywood and not immediately want to watch a movie. After visiting active sets on the Studio Tour, seeing all the stunt work up close at WaterWorld, and coming face-to-face with some of your favorite characters in the different attractions, keeping the Hollywood vibes going just makes sense. So, grab a bucket of hot, fresh popcorn and a large drink before you head into one of the premium theaters at Universal Cinema, featuring unbelievably comfortable leather recliners, multi-dimensional Dolby Atmos audio technology, and crisp digital picture. Or, if you’re wanting an even more immersive experience, you can see whatever is playing in IMAX. Adults ages 21+ should also swing by the Director’s Lounge for a refreshing cocktail or an ice-cold beer, which you’re allowed to bring with you into select theaters! Cheers.

Do some souvenir shopping at the Universal Studios Store

Universal Store Facade and Billabong Store Facade in Hollywood

It happens to everyone — you see something you like in a gift shop, but you don’t want to carry it all day, or put it in a locker, so you decide you’ll get it on the way out. Then, you exit the theme park, do a final headcount before you make your way down CityWalk, and realize… you forgot to buy it. Fortunately, right outside the gates is the Universal Studios Store. You can pick up that shirt you wanted, a hat to go with it, and a keychain for your friend back home. I’m personally a big fan of the collectible drinkware.

Waste away at Margaritaville (in a good way)

Margaritas with straws in Hollywood

Even though Universal Studios Hollywood is located in the San Fernando Valley, we’ve got our own beach at the end of CityWalk in Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Sit the family down at a table shaped like a surfboard and enjoy some tasty appetizers and boat drinks while Jimmy’s music puts you in the right state of mind. You can usually find me here during Happy Hour, enjoying an ice-cold pint of Landshark Lager and a delicious Cheeseburger in Paradise at the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar.

PRO TIP: If you’re looking for dining experiences that are exclusively Universal, be sure to stop by Antojitos Cocina Mexicana and VIVO Italian Kitchen. Both are serving up delicious and flavorful dishes in phenomenal atmospheres.

Do some more shopping all over CityWalk

Dodgers store facade Hollywood

You got your souvenirs, but maybe you need a few other things while you’re here from your favorite brands. I get it. Swing by the Fossil store for a new watch (so you don’t almost miss the last showing of WaterWorld again), pick up another comfortable pair of sneakers at Shoe Palace for your next visit to the theme parks, or stop by Hot Topic, because you can never have too many band tees.

Go skydiving! (Kinda)

If Jurassic World – The Ride, King Kong 360 3-D, and Revenge of the Mummy – The Ride didn’t fill your exhilaration quota already, iFly is here to take you over the edge. Suit up and step into the vertical wind tunnel for an experience unlike anything you’ve done before (unless you’ve already gone skydiving in the past). Feel the rush of an intense free fall while staying less than 10 feet off the ground. And wave to all the other guests walking by!   

Get something sweet for the ride home at Voodoo Doughnut

Women perusing donuts at Voodoo Doughnut in Hollywood

If, like me, you just can’t get enough sweets, then you’ll definitely want to cap off your day with a big pink box from Voodoo Doughnut. You might still be digesting a Studio Scoop milkshake and a churro (or two) from the theme park but I believe there’s always room for an “ODB” (raised yeast doughnut topped with chocolate frosting, Oreo cookie crumbles, and peanut butter) or the iconic “Voodoo Doll” (with raspberry jelly). Might as well pick up a whole dozen so you don’t have to worry about breakfast tomorrow.

Your Universal Studios Hollywood experience is only complete with a Universal CityWalk grand finale. Share with us what your favorite spots are in the comments below!

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