My totally awesome nineteen-year-old nephew was in town recently from North Carolina. To be honest, I didn’t know if he d even want to come out to San Francisco. He’s a country boy and a homebody and happy to be so, thanks. But when I offered up the trip as a graduation present, he seemed genuinely excited. So, I found some cheap flights, purchased a ticket and then proceeded to worry for two months about not being cool enough to entertain a teenager for four days. Luckily the worrying was for naught. He seemed to have a great time and wasn’t harmed in the process.
So, if you happen to be stumped for things to do with your own on-loan teenager in San Francisco, here’s what I discovered.
Male Teenagers Like:
- Amoeba (Located on Haight Street.)
- Haight Street in general (Especially stores that sell things with pot leaves on them.)
- Driving down Lombard Street and imagining what it’d be like to go down on a skateboard
- Walking around the Italian neighborhood of North Beach
- Paxton Gate (A strange brew of taxidermy store and garden center. they also sell loose teas.)
- Alcatraz (Reserve your tickets beforehand, least you find yourself coping with a disappointed teen.)
- Chinatown’s many stores and little old ladies who shove you out of the way
- Golden Gate Park for its impromptu swing dancing, roller disco, De Young Museum’s observation tower (skip the actual museum … BORING! The tower is free!), walking around Stow Lake looking for turtles, watching a musician perform underneath the giant windmill out by the ocean
- Sea Lions at Fisherman’s Wharf (They fight and smell bad. What’s not to like?)
- The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands (We were close enough to see people standing on top of the northern tower. Just glad he didn’t ask me to take him up there!)
- Little Nepal (This was the one “weird” restaurant we took him to and although he sited a blister on the roof of his mouth from the spiciness, overall it was a hit.)
- Hanging out with Aunt Betty’s two hot girlfriends and the always cool, Travel Boyfriend
- Marriott’s Rooftop Lounge for awesome views
- Pointing out every cool old car and motorcycle in SF (of which, I discovered, there are many)
Male Teenagers Don’t Like:
- Aunt Betty pointing out where she and Travel Boyfriend made out during first date (This is not a reflection on Washington Square Park itself.)
- SF Mime Troupe (Nephew decreed, “Nobody wants to hear about the war.” Don’t worry, I’m working on him.)
So, as you can see, even though experts may tell you differently, it really isn’t that hard to make a teenager happy. Especially in a city as amazing and diverse as San Francisco. Who knew?