For this Father’s Day, forgo the gifts. Instead, give your dad the gift of your time. Whether it’s spending the day at his favorite golf course or fueling his fixation for rare cars, we’ve rounded up nine ideas for fun California outings that will make dad feel extra special this Father’s Day.
FOR THE AUTO AFICIONADO
Treat your auto-appreciatin’ dad to a day that celebrates his need for speed. In Southern California, L.A.’s newly revamped and expanded Petersen Automotive Museum will get his adrenaline pumping, thanks to 22 new galleries including the Microsoft/Forza Motorsport room with 10 driving simulators featuring racetracks around the world. When you finally arrive at the “Artistry of the Automobile” exhibit on the first floor or, which Executive Director Terry Karges calls “a rolling sculpture on podiums” — dad will be in car heaven. Afterwards, you might stop by the Rodeo Drive Car Show, which takes place every Father’s Day. The 2016 theme is “Supercars…the Fast Lane.” If you happen to be on the Central Coast this Father’s Day, the Classic at Pismo Beach is a must- see; you’ll get to ogle over the hottest classic cars from all over the State of California and as far away as Alaska and Australia. In Sacramento, there’s also the California Automobile Museum — which will offer all-day free admission and free rides in classic cars to the marina and back for dads. Down south in San Diego, Belmont Park is hosting their free third annual Car Show on Sunday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
FOR THE OUTDOORSMAN
If your dad is more like “Papa Nature,” take him camping, glamping or on a hike this Father’s Day. Luckily our state is teeming with outdoorsy options. There’s no better camping experience than in Yosemite National Park. Take dad hiking among the awe-inspiring waterfalls, deep valleys, grand meadows and ancient giant sequoias (hey, you might even run into President Obama!). Fish at Tuolumne or the Merced River. Or, treat dad to one of the best glamping experiences in the state at El Capitan Canyon, a half-hour northwest of Santa Barbara (just don’t tell him it’s called “glamping”). The ultra private setting has more than 100 cabins and safari tents, and is surrounded on three sides by the oceanfront and backcountry of El Capitan State Beach. For day outings, pack up a picnic lunch and SPF and head up to the foothills for a hike. In Santa Cruz, there’s the Wilder Ranch Coast Nature Walks, where you can explore he plants, animals, and geology of the spectacular coastal bluffs with dad. Or, try the next best thing: a dose of nature during a guided walk in a beautiful garden setting — like the Filoli Garden in Woodside or the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena.
FOR THE YACHTSMAN
Does dad feel more at home on the open sea? Rent a sailboat for the afternoon and pack a picnic lunch. As an alternative, you could always take him to the Queen Mary Champagne Sunday Brunch in Long Beach. Featuring 50 unique dishes from around the globe served in the Grand Salon and featuring live entertainment, it will be a a day to remember aboard one the grandest and most historic ocean liners in the world that carried Hollywood celebrities like Bob Hope and Clark Gable, royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and dignitaries like Winston Churchill. In Nor Cal, give dad the gift of relaxation, beer and awesome views of San Francisco Bay aboard a Father’s Day Beer Brunch or Beer Lunch Cruise. Sacramento also has its own river cruise for Dad’s Day.
FOR THE SPORTS FAN
For some dads, their idea of a perfect day is watching the game. Does your Pops bleed Dodger Blue? Nab some last-minute tickets and watch the team take on the Brewers on Sunday. For a real California rivalry though, it’s all about the Oakland A’s vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at the Oakland Coliseum. Other sporty options for dad? The Father’s Day Volleyball Tournament in Manhattan Beach.
FOR THE BEER OR WHISKEY SNOB
Do you consider your dad a discerning diner, you know the kind that uses phrases like “flavor profile” and “notes of vanilla”? Does he scoff at anything other than craft beer and artisanal whiskey? Let dad bask in his own spirits snobbery for his special day. In So Cal, The Langham Huntington, Pasadena is hosting a Whiskey and Cigars Tasting Brunch; there’s also “Drams for Dads,” a special buffet brunch and Scotch tasting at the Santa Anita Race Track and a Beer & Food Walking Tour in La Jolla for discovering the hidden breweries of San Diego. In Nor Cal, try the Father’s Day Beer Train in Sacramento on Saturday — which will feature tastings from Northern California brewing companies — or take pop to a Father’s Day Whiskey Class at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. If wine is more your dad’s fancy, take a day trip to either Napa or Sonoma. The Napa Wine Train is always a fun excursion, and great way to see and imbibe your way through the gorgeous vineyard-lined hills.
FOR THE GOLFER
Of course, California has no shortage of amazing golf courses for dad to choose from — but why not treat him to the ultimate day on the green? Pebble Beach is home to world-class courses, such as the Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay and more. (Just make sure to reserve your tee off time early — others may have the same idea!) If you’re down south and can brave the June heat, take dad to Palm Springs for the day. He’ll have over 100 courses to choose from, including the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA West, the Pete Dye-designed PGA West – TPC Stadium Course, Indian Wells Golf Resort (home of the 2008 Skins Game) and La Quinta Resort – Dunes course (home to the California State Open and PGA Tour Qualifying School). Too hot in the desert? Cool off on the coast at Rancho Palos Verdes’ gorgeous Terranea course.
FOR THE ARTSY DAD
Not all dads dig baseball and beer — some of them prefer cultural and arts pursuits. In L.A., head to the Miracle Mile on Father’s Day and spend the day at LACMA and its fully immersive Rain Room (advance tickets required). The Getty is another favorite; their Degas exhibit and “In Focus: Electric!” show are not to be missed. Up north, ask dad what he thinks about the interactive-technology-meets-art-viewing experience at the newly revamped and re-opened San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
FOR THE CYCLIST
Take dad on a biking tour of your favorite city hotspots. There’s nothing like seeing your town from the vantage point of your wheels. Other more organized biking excursions for serious cyclists exist, such as “Cycle the Sierras” (June 18-22, 2016). The San Francisco Zoo is hosting a more leisurely docent-led bike tour (“Father’s Day Bike About at the SF Zoo“) of the zoo from 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Advance registration is required.)
FOR THE FLIGHT FAN
Does dad get excited by supersonic Tomcats or MiG –15s? Take him to the Open Cockpit Day at the Oakland Aviation Museum or the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force museum in Camarillo, between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. If you’re traveling along the central coast, you might also catch a glimpse of the vintage warbirds at the Hollister Air Show on Sunday (tickets are only $15).