Things to do with teenagers in Los Angeles
Both laidback beach city and western cultural powerhouse, Los Angeles is a place of sunny boulevards, counterculture and sleek media factories, all set against the scenic backdrop of rolling mountains and the iconic Hollywood sign. Teenagers are sure to love the cool Californian atmosphere with this two-day itinerary, whether they’re breezing down Santa Monica Pier or shopping along Melrose Avenue.
Start the day with a surfing lesson from the Santa Monica Surf School, 20 minutes from Hotel Bel-Air or 15 minutes from The Beverly Hills Hotel by car.
Thousands of people visit the beaches of Los Angeles every year to experience the thrill of riding a Californian wave. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced surfer, the Santa Monica Surf School caters to all ages and abilities with their lessons and surf packages.
It’s just a 15-minute walk along the beach to the Santa Monica Pier.
Santa Monica Pier
Open year-round, the buzzing Santa Monica Pier has been an LA fixture for years, from locals fishing off it in the early 20th century to visitors today learning the art of trapeze at the on-site Trapeze School. With historical walking tours, an arcade, incredible views and plenty of great food to sample, teenagers will be kept well entertained at the Pier.
From the pier, take a taxi for the 15-minute journey to Scratch DJ Academy.
Scratch DJ Academy
Scratch DJ Academy is the perfect training ground for budding DJ’s and music producers. Developed by the legendary Jam Master Jay of Run DMC, the academy has taught more than 500,000 people over the years. Single lessons and longer courses are available for eager beginners and more experienced DJs alike.
Next, take a taxi for the 20-minute journey to the California Science Center.
California Science Center
Packed with exhibits, activities and awe-inspiring sights, the California Science Center has something for every visitor. Enjoy a movie on the seven-storey IMAX screen, visit the space shuttle Endeavour (which completed 25 missions into space), or just explore the enormous complex to see what catches your eye.
The final stop of the day is Melrose Avenue, 25 minutes away by car.
Shopping on Melrose Avenue
Melrose Avenue is a bustling hub of chic shops, restaurants, and bars. On Sundays, the street hosts a popular vintage flea market, the Melrose Trading Post, with a wide selection of local vendors. Every day of the week your teenagers can explore the permanent stores, including stylish boutiques from ALLSAINTS, Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, and more.
To get back to either hotel after shopping, take a 25-minute taxi ride.
For the first activity of the day, head to Universal Studios Hollywood, just half an hour from either hotel by car.
Universal Studios Hollywood
Perfect for movie buffs and thrill seekers alike, Universal Studios is the ultimate Hollywood experience. From exhilarating rides and tours of real working movie sets to great food and drink – including recreated dining from restaurants like The Simpson’s Krusty Burger – you could spend an entire day experiencing everything this theme park has to offer.
Then, take a 15-minute drive to Sunset Ranch Hollywood.
The Sunset Ranch Hollywood offers an array of horseback tours, including guided hour-long tours that take in some of the city’s top sights and two-hour evening trips to the peak of Mount Hollywood, where riders will enjoy 360-degree views of Los Angeles. The ranch also offers private lessons with Eric Ancker, one of the area’s most esteemed horsemen.
The TMZ Tour Center is then 20 minutes away from the ranch by car.
TMZ Celebrity Tour
For celebrity sightings and an introduction to some of the trendiest corners of LA, there are few tours with cooler credentials than the TMZ Celebrity Tour. The two-hour tour takes guests around the city, spotting celebrity houses and offering up some incredible Instagram opportunities.
Back on Hollywood Boulevard, drive for 40 minutes to Long Beach for a whale watching tour with Harbor Breeze Cruises.
Whale Watching with Harbor Breeze Cruises
In addition to exciting urban activities, LA also has some of the best whale watching in the world. From the Pacific Gray Whales – which travel along the coastline between December and April – to the huge influx of Blue Whales in the summer and autumn, whale watching is a popular LA pastime, best experienced on a dedicated tour with Harbor Breeze Cruises.
After the cruise, it’s a 50-minute drive to reach Pizza Romana for dinner.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.