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10 California Trips for Every Type of Dad

10 California Trips for Every Type of Dad

Whether your dad is an adrenaline junkie or needs to hit reset, there's a Golden State trip to suit his style

Posted 4 years agoby Ann Marie Brown

This Sunday, June 16, is your chance to remind Dad why you’re his favorite child. Make your Father’s Day plans now—check out this list and choose a trip that best fits the man he is.

1. Fly-fishing Dad

At Lake Tahoe, help your dad fine-tune his four-count casting rhythm at The Resort at Squaw Creek’s fly-fishing center. Run by fly-fishing legend Matt Heron, the resort offers casting and fly tying classes for all ability levels, plus guided fishing trips on the Truckee River and equipment rentals for the do-it-yourselfer.

2. Bibliophile Dad

Take your book-loving dad on a tour of two of L.A.’s most iconic bookstores. The Last Bookstore’s sprawling 22,000-square-foot-space contains a maze-like warren of book tunnels, stacks of aging hardcovers arranged by color, and thousands of vinyl records. Leave breadcrumbs so you can find your way out, then book it to North Hollywood’s The Iliad Bookshop, where 150,000 tomes are stacked from floor to ceiling.

3. Speed-demon Dad

Indulge Dad’s need for horsepower at the Thermal Club, a private race track in Thermal, south of Palm Springs. Sign him up for a class at the on-site BMW Performance Center, and soon he’ll be zooming around banked turns and nailing the straightaways in a shiny M-series racing machine. One- and two-day classes are taught by professional race car drivers.

4. Star Wars–loving Dad

Does your Dad geek out over Jedi Knights, Wookiees, and droids with names that sound like Internet security passwords? Then take him to a planet far, far away (okay, it’s actually 14 acres inside Disneyland), so he can live out his Star Wars fantasy at Galaxy’s Edge, which opened on May 31. Dad will get a chance to build his own droid and light saber, pilot the Millennium Falcon (Han Solo’s ship, the fastest in the galaxy), and drink the infamous blue milk.

5. Stressed-out Dad

Got a type-A dad who needs to chill? Send him to Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga and treat him to a signature mud bath. He’ll get submerged to the neck in warm mud made from volcanic ash and peat, then left to bake. Afterward, he can swim a few laps in the Olympic-size mineral-water pool, then dine on the patio at Sam’s Social Club Restaurant.

6. Farm-to-fork Dad

If your dad has epicurean leanings, take him to dinner at the birthplace of California cuisine, Berkeley’s Chez Panisse. In 1971, founder Alice Waters was the first American chef to partner directly with farmers, ranchers, and other local purveyors to get the freshest and best ingredients. Today, chefs Amy Dencler and Jennifer Sherman continue her legacy. If Dad hasn’t eaten here since the 20th century, he should.

7. Adventurous Dad

Got a dad who loves an adrenaline rush? Help him embrace his inner daredevil by jumping out of an airplane 18,000 feet above Monterey Bay. In a tandem skydive with Skydive Monterey Bay, your dad will be strapped to a certified instructor as he freefalls at roughly 120 miles per hour. If he’s new to skydiving, give him this tip: The scariest part is before you jump.

8. Aviation-buff Dad

Take your father to Anaheim’s Flight Deck Simulation Center to experience the thrill of competing in air-to-air combat. The action happens in simulators, not actual airplanes, but the sensation of flying at 600 knots is astoundingly real. Dad will suit up in a genuine military-issue flight suit, attend ground school, then hop into one of Flight Deck’s eight F-16 fighter jet simulators to show off his best Top Gun maneuvers.

9. Nautical Dad

Give your father a sailor’s holiday in Santa Barbara. Center your trip around Santa Barbara Harbor, where dad can visit the Maritime Museum to learn about shipwrecks, whaling, commercial fishing, and oil exploration in the Santa Barbara Channel. Go for a cruise on the Double Dolphin, Santa Barbara Sailing Center’s colorful catamaran, or rent your own boat for the day. Cap off the day with a bivalve dinner at Brophy Brothers’ clam bar.

10. Crafty Dad

Let Dad express his artsy side with a day-trip to Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles. It’s like Etsy, if Etsy was inside a huge open-air warehouse with a brewery next door. Local artisans sell one-of-a-kind creations—lamps made from old musical instruments and airplane parts, dog dishes built on surfboards, and succulents arranged in driftwood and geodes. An adjacent warehouse houses Brouwerij West, where the beer taps flow and food trucks gather.

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