There aren’t many family trips I can take my teenage boys on where they aren’t rolling their eyes or in a boredom induced coma. In fairness to them, we have dragged them through places like the Hermitage Museum in Russia, a three hour Vatican Tour and a weekend in Bruges, Belgium, which they refer to as “the most boring city in the world.” I guess I can see where I may have lost some travel planning credibility through the years. It certainly came as no surprise when I announced I was booking a trip to LA this summer that the reply was, “We’ve done enough family vacations” and, “We’re not sightseeing are we?” Luckily for them, they have a mom who is super cool (they’ve never confirmed that) and managed to plan a trip that in their words “didn’t suck.” This is the highest praise a teenage boy’s mom can receive. Here are some of their top picks:
Up Close to the Hollywood Sign
Cool, right? We hired a driver to take us on a little known route that only the locals know about. We parked the car and took a short walk to a spot with a perfect view of this LA icon. There was limited complaining, they considered it cool enough to even take their phones out to Instagram/Snapchat it, and I think I even heard one mumble “cool,” but I could be wrong.
Warner Brother’s Studio Tour
Even though this would come under the category of “sightseeing” my kids really enjoyed seeing all the behind the scenes stuff from their favorite movies and TV shows. We saw the Friends actual set and learned a lot about the film industry. This one was a real crowd pleaser.
Peterson Museum is one of the world’s largest automotive museums. The museum has over 100 vehicles on display. We recognized many of them from movies and television. One of my sons even said this was his favorite excursion we did in LA.
If you’re not a teenage boy, then this won’t mean much to you but think teen boy’s version of Rodeo Drive. This street contains pop up shops featuring all their favorite brands like Huff, Supreme (Okay, I only know two). My boys loved being there in person and being able to buy a few things from what many consider to be the coolest street in LA. The only thing they found uncool about being on Fairfax was that they had to walk up and down this hip street with their parents in tow. As cool as we claim to be, a few of these edgy shops felt the need to alter the music selection when they saw my husband and I walk in. Most appeared to have a hard time finding a song that would meet parental approval, and one shop owner seemed to go through his entire playlist. Whatever last bits of street credit my husband and I were clinging to were left there on Fairfax that day.
My kids also enjoyed Santa Monica Pier (what’s not to love). They also enjoyed our quick stop on trendy Venice Beach, though by that time it was late in the day and we were reminded that they are moody teenagers by them asking, “Are we leaving soon?” as if I had brought them to a flea market. Along with these teen friendly sites, there’s always the usual standbys to entertain teens like bikini clad girls, endless sunshine and if all else fails, Pokémon Go.
You can get the full Hollywood starlet experience by booking a home exchange through International Vacation Home Exchange. IVHE offers many luxury homes throughout the Los Angeles area. Who knows, you might even end up next door to Pharrell making it the ultimate teen friendly trip and maybe even restoring a little street credit along the way.
Thank you to travel writer Lisa Medeiros. Follow her on Twitter @lisamedeiros_