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How to Have the Adam Sandler Vacation of Your Dreams

A definitive travel guide, culled from a decade’s worth of bad but well-located movies

(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)
(Getty Images/Ringer illustration)

It’s a wide world out there. From the 3,500-foot-deep canyons of Waimea, Hawaii, to the fertile plains of South Africa to the bustling borough of Manhattan, New York City, this spinning ball of rock that we call Earth offers an adventure around every corner. The flashing lights of Hollywood, the majestic antiquity of Puerto Rico’s capital city — no matter which direction your heart is being pulled, rest assured film and comedy star Adam Sandler has shot a movie there.

Mr. Sandler is not merely the provider of over 500 million hours of entertainment, according to Netflix’s mysterious viewing algorithms; he is also a modern-day explorer. Often known as the "James Bonds of Comedy," Sandler’s films are globe-trotting affairs that use moviemaking as an excuse to see the world and provide stunning scenery and glimpses at exotic locales. (Not to mention a hearty laugh or two!) Now, you can experience that jet-setting lifestyle. The Adam Sandler Travel Guide puts you in the actor’s iconic, years-old sneakers and XXL basketball shorts, using his exaggeratedly extravagant set locations as a map for adventure. Do you want to take the rom-com that is your life on safari? What about making a return trip to Hawaii, even if everyone in your family still remembers the first one? The Adam Sandler Travel Guide has trip ideas for everyone. So what’s stopping you? Go forth and live a Sandler life — the adventure starts below.

Los Angeles

(Netflix)
(Netflix)

Sandy Wexler, Sandler’s most recent film, takes us back to the L.A. of the 1990s: a time of Tower Records, comedy clubs, and sprawling hillside mansions. It’s Sandler’s first Los Angeles film since 2009’s Funny People.

What to Do: Make like longtime (and sad-sack) talent manager Sandy Wexler and scout for talent at The Comedy Store! Witness the growth of on-the-rise stars like Colin Quinn With a Wig, and Kevin James’s permed and racist ventriloquist. Alternatively, catch a very famous and (for now) terminally ill comedian at the same club.

(Netflix)
(Netflix)

Where to Stay: The house where they also shot Billy Madison, we’re pretty sure.

(Netflix)
(Netflix)

Know Before Visiting: Definitely visit Disneyland, but do so with the knowledge that Jennifer Hudson is probably not singing in a park theater performance of The Ugly Duckling every 12 minutes. (That feature was exclusive to Mr. Sandler’s film.) Also note that Wexler’s version of the Atkins diet — exclusively meat, eaten sloppily — should not be followed to the letter. It is more difficult than you would think to start your day in Los Angeles with a bodega coffee (there are no bodegas) and a copy of Variety (there are no newsstands), as seen in Sandy Wexler. Try Starbucks and the internet.

Interesting Fact: Wexler’s preferred driving range — Weddington Golf and Tennis, in the charmingly low-key San Fernando Valley — is often overrun by rude teens cutting class.

New York City

(Image Entertainment)
(Image Entertainment)

An essential stop on any Sandler swing, New York, N.Y., is home to several classics, like Mr. Deeds, Big Daddy, and, of course, The Cobbler.

What to Do: Visit the borough’s famed Chinatown, but skip the dim sum and the knock-off purse-shopping on Canal Street. Instead, head a few blocks north on Forsyth Street, where you’ll find a quaint shoe repair store that just might sell you a pair of oxfords that’ll allow you to inhabit the body of your dead father, so that your mother might get to dance with "him" one last time.

Where to Stay: The lofts of Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood are wonderfully hip, grandly spacious, and remarkably inexpensive — one needs only to be a tollbooth operator with supplementary income from a civil lawsuit to afford them.

Know Before Visiting: Though McDonald’s once served breakfast until only 10:30 a.m., that rule no longer exists; McDonald’s breakfast will be available to you all day long.

Interesting Facts: It is illegal to slam on your brakes in the middle of the Queensboro Bridge. There are thousands of food delivery men in the city of New York; only one of them will hang out with you after dropping off your order.

Hawaii

(Columbia Pictures)
(Columbia Pictures)

In 2011’s Just Go With It, Sandler returned to Hawaii, where he’d also filmed 2004’s 50 First Dates.

What to Do: Relax! You go to Hawaii to hit the reset button and also to pretend that your assistant is your soon-to-be ex-wife on a last-ditch family vacation because you met your current flame under the pretense that you, actually a single man, were in fact mid-divorce.

Where to Stay: Whichever fancy Maui resort you had the most rewards points at.

Know Before Visiting: You’re beautiful just the way you are! Do not get a makeover so that you will be believable as Adam Sandler’s former spouse. This lesson is both reprehensible and extremely unnecessary.

Interesting Fact: Nicole Kidman, Heidi Montag, and Dave Matthews (he of the Band) are in the film Just Go With It.

South African Safari

(Warner Bros. Pictures)
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Vacations masquerading as film shoots took a literal turn when Mr. Sandler took a vacation to South Africa to make Blended, a movie that is actually about a vacation, in 2014.

What to Do: Go on safari, of course! Now’s your chance to see giraffes, elephants, and ostriches in their natural habitat. (Something to keep in mind for parents of young children: The lions will eat the baby warthogs.)

Where to Stay: The Palace of the Lost City, a charming, accommodating hotel with an extensive in-house entertainment staff, led by the Old Spice guy. The cultural insensitivity may feel jarring; then again, you did sign up for the Adam Sandler experience.

Know Before Visiting: Do not ride the ostriches. Mr. Sandler rides the ostriches in Blended, but do not do this; the ostriches will eat your face.

Interesting Fact: According to a National Safety Transportation Board report in 2014, 3 million to 5 million people go parasailing every year, but only eight have died doing so since 2009.

The American Southwest

(Netflix)
(Netflix)

Sandler’s 2015 movie The Ridiculous 6 took him to the great Southwest — New Mexico, specifically. Let’s call this one an educational vacation.

What to (Not) Do: Ride horses, shoot guns, and drink plenty of whiskey in a way that is deeply offensive (and also not really funny) in 2017. This was a bad look.

Where to Stay: With Rapping Mark Twain.

Know Before Visiting: Good rule of thumb: You should not spend your time in the American Southwest propagating a racist and not-funny image of Native Americans.

Interesting Fact: Baseball was invented in New Mexico in the 1800s.

Puerto Rico

(Netflix)
(Netflix)

Perhaps desperate for some "bro time," Mr. Sandler and his longtime pal David Spade decamped to Puerto Rico for the rip-roaring 2016 film The Do-Over.

What to Do: Puerto Rico is the perfect place to get away — from your boring job, your annoying wife, the kids who don’t respect you. What we’re saying is Puerto Rico is an ideal place to relocate to after faking your death. Also, the water sports are amazing.

Where to Stay: Why not stick with the nautical theme and rent a boat (that is hopefully named "Happy Madison")? Just be forewarned that said boat will be rigged to explode as part of the plot to fake your death.

Know Before Visiting: In the 1987 court case Puerto Rico v. Branstad, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that U.S. extradition laws do extend to territories.

Interesting Fact: The Do-Over is secretly an extremely dark and sad film.