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Make Some Memories with Mother Daughter Trips

When the kids were little, family vacations came with more than a little stress. Snacks, activities, gear, sleep schedules…. It was, well, A LOT. Now that they’re teenagers, travel is much easier and a ton of fun.

My daughter is a senior in high school now, and we’ve been taking several mother-daughter trips the past few years to maximize our quality time before she heads off to full-fledged adulthood.

If you’re looking for ideas on where to go and what to do for a mother daughter trip of your own, here are a few highlights from our adventures.

California. Whether you’re road tripping to SoCal or flying up to the Bay area for a music festival, California is the perfect destination. Pick something your daughter is interested in and weave a trip around it! For us, it’s music. We have gone to see The 1975 (her favorite band) perform in San Diego and several bands we both love at the BottleRock music festival that takes place in Napa each May. Of course, the beach is also a draw, and we’ve enjoyed exploring Laguna Beach (also a mecca for art lovers), La Jolla, Los Angeles, and Del Mar. If you’re foodies, take advantage of all the juice and acai bars, incredible breakfast burritos, and fresh seafood. And if you’re into Asian food, don’t miss Din Tai Fung – our favorite spot for dumplings and more.

Flagstaff. Escape the summer heat and have a girls’ retreat with your daughter in the pines of Flagstaff. I recommend getting an Airbnb. We chose one in the heart of downtown, easy walking distance to Pizzicletta, Forêt, and our favorite Sunday Farmer’s Market. Take a gondola ride up the mountain at Snow Bowl, go for a hike, or catch the beautiful stars at Lowell Observatory. Our summer getaway was a bit of a workation for both of us. She got her summer reading done and I worked remotely – while we sipped coffee and nibbled cinnamon rolls at the many cool cafes in Flag.

New York. If eating, walking, and the arts are your thing, the two of you will love a trip to New York. I recommend going in fall when the weather and leaves are turning. See a Broadway show, visit the art and photography museums (MOMA! Guggenheim! The Met! Fotografskia!), indulge in a hamburger at Gramercy Tavern (the fall décor will make you swoon), chicken shawarma and dips at Shuka, or grab a sandwich from Court Street Grocers and people-watch in Washington Square Park. We stayed in the Flatiron District, which was a great central location. We also loved walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO and taking a ferry back, shopping and boba in Lolita, corn dogs in Koreatown, and of course soaking up the Central Park vibes. Joe’s Pizza next to the park has the real deal New York slice!

Getting away from the packed schedules of school, work, and extracurriculars has given us the time to get to know each other better. The exploration of new places (and figuring out public transportation!) builds confidence and independence for your young adult. And it lets you soak up your daughter as much as you can before you have to let her go.

Elaina Verhoff
Elaina Verhoff
Elaina Verhoff is a Phoenix freelance writer and the mother of two teenagers.



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