Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Laguna Beach, California, With Teenage Grandchildren 2022

Covid and Covid protocols caused us to cancel our second oldest grandson’s Bar Mitzvah trip to Israel three years in a row.  He and we gave up.  Instead, he asked for a trip to California with his close cousin, a year older than he.  Smart move and a win-win.  If you can travel with two teenagers together, the trip is outstanding.  They can do so many activities that we grandparents may not have the interest or stamina to do, and everyone is happy.

Remember, that you should bring powers of attorney/health care permission forms for the grandchildren, and we still needed proof of Covid-19 vaccinations.


Los Angeles is not what it used to be. We decided to arrive in Los Angeles and just stay long enough to do Universal VIP style.  It is hard to admit it is worth it.  A private guide for ten took the grandchildren on every ride, skipping lines, in about two hours. We grandparents enjoyed the cool California breezes at a covered area in the park as we waited for them.  The afternoon VIP studio tour was in an air-conditioned mini-bus and the teenagers got to walk real sets of movies while we grandparents mostly enjoyed the air conditioning.

In Los Angeles, we stayed at the West Hollywood Edition, West Hollywood, CA.  The location and hotel were fabulous.  We tried In and Out Burgers and found them inedible.


We always wanted to go to Palm Springs and the grandchildren wanted to hike Joshua Tree National Park so this stop was also a win-win.

We stayed at the Ritz Carlton Rancho Mirage, Rancho Mirage, Greater Palm Springs, CA. Again, it was a beautiful property. We had dinner at Mikado, a hibatchi grill restaurant, and the best one that any of us have been to, and our teenagers go to as many as they can.  It was at the Desert Springs JW Marriott, only about 15 minutes away, with a great 12,000 square foot entertainment arcade in which the grandchildren enjoyed a few hours after dinner.

We got a private guide for Joshua Tree National Park with Joshua Tree Excursions. / Joshua Tree, CA The customized hiking tour and guide were fabulous, a highlight for the grandchildren who raved about the hiking experiences.  We enjoyed the air conditioned Suburban and the road tour of the park.

We love mid-century modern design, for which Palm Springs is famous. Having educated our grandchildren on the style, a mid-century modern tour was a given. We took a wonderful customized tour with Kurt Cyr, Palm Springs Mod Squad. We adults loved seeing homes and neighborhoods of the Hollywood famous, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Clark Gable, Kirk Douglas, Mary Pickford, and so many more.  Our grandchildren say this was their least favorite part of the trip–they had no idea who most of the stars were!  It was so interesting to learn why the desert (not exciting) drew the most exciting stars. Kurt explained that the Hollywood studio contracts beginning in the 1920’s included a clause that the stars had to remain within 100 miles of the studios during filming, whether they were required on set or not, and guess the location that fit that bill.  When the contracts ended in the 1960s, so did the fascination with Palm Springs as a vacation location for the stars. Kurt recommended Lulu’s as the best place to eat and it had great food and people watching. Palm Springs, CA 


Laguna Niguel/Dana Point was a recommended stop by everyone, and we now know why. It was fabulous. We stayed at the beautiful Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel,Dana Point, CA. The location is on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean with great views. The restaurants in the town of Dana Point are delightful, and there are so many to choose from. Our favorites were: Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern and  Coastal Kitchen.

The grandchildren loved the two guided activities with La Vida Laguna, Laguna Beach, CA: (1) electric bike and back roads Laguna tour and (2) surf lessons. We enjoyed shopping for surf store custom t-shirts and sweatshirts (which are available on line for the surfers in your family or the teens who just like the designs) at these highly recommended Laguna Beach shops: Laguna Surf & Sport , Thalia Street Surf Shop , and Hobie Surf Shop .

On our way back to Los Angeles airport, taking the scenic beach route, we stopped at a few beach towns, and continued to shop along the way. Our teenagers preferred unique to the standard stores all over the United States, so we gladly indulged their search.  Huntington Beach was a surprise, “the surf capital of the United States” claim, it had great selection of surfing everything, surfboards, bikinis, and more. Venice Beach was downright scary and we left in less than five minutes.

What was wonderful was that we began exploring ideas for our next adventure with our teenage grandchildren, who are excited to travel with us again.

Life is good.



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