Things to do for Father’s Day in San Diego

Father’s Day is coming up! Dads are notoriously difficult to shop for. This year, try a different approach and take Dad out for an experience instead.  It’s been shown that experiences create stronger, more positive memories, and it leaves him with one less thing to slip into the Goodwill pile six months from now. Best yet, there are HUNDREDs of interesting and unique things to do in San Diego. This list only scratches the surface, but here are some fun things to do for Father’s Day in San Diego

Enjoy a Day on the Bay

If your dad is a military history buff, he’ll love the USS Midway Museum. You can experience what it’s like to actually live and work on a World War 2-era aircraft carrier. 

If more maritime stuff is his jam, a short walk up the Waterfront Embarcadero will take you to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. There you’ll find “the world’s finest collections of historic ships,” including the Star of India and others.  

If you want to make a night out of it, you can take Dad out for a quirky treat at Oslo Sardine Bar and head over to see a show at the brand new Rady Shell where Steve Martin and Martin Short are performing Father’s Day night. 

Go on the Water

Maybe all that time spent walking along San Diego Bay has inspired you to actually get out on the water.  A memorable Father’s Day in San Diego could can start with a harbor cruise that will show you some of the more noteworthy sights on the bay.  If you feel your sea legs are ready, you can book a whale-watching tour out into the Pacific Ocean.  You and Dad could even sign up for sailing lessons with Harbor Sailboats so one day you can do all these adventures on your own. 

Explore Balboa Park

You can never go wrong with a day in Balboa Park and there’s plenty there for Dad to geek out on. 

Maybe he’s a car guy, in which case he’ll love the San Diego Automotive Museum. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum is another less-heralded hidden gem of the park. If Dad appreciates arts and culture, take him to see the newly remodeled Mingei Museum or explore the San Diego Museum of Art

Round it all out with a beer and burger from Panama 66 and you’ve had a nice Father’s Day. 

Get Active

If Dad is the active outdoorsy type, your Father’s Day in San Diego can be all about hiking! Beat the crowds and take him for an early morning hike at Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve or the nearby (and significantly less crowded) Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. For East County folks there’s also Mission Trails Regional Park, with miles of trails for any skill level. 

If he’s craving adventure you could go parasailing from the Torrey Pines Gliderport or take a bike ride around the entire 24-mile Bayshore Bikeway

You could also hit up a popular bird-watching spot or take him on the Seven Bridges Walk through the Hillcrest, North Park, and Bankers Hill.

Get Out of Town

Maybe Dad needs a break from the hustle and bustle of city life! If that’s the case, Julian is a quick car ride away. The former mining town is now a quaint mountain attraction with wonderful apple pie

Or, take a trip up to Idyllwild to take in some pine-scented mountain air. Perhaps you’ll even meet their gregarious world-famous mayor himself, Mayor Max

Take Him Out to Eat

If Dad is a foodie, chances are there are a couple of restaurants he’d like to check out. But if you want to go someplace that’s guaranteed to have options for everyone, you could take the whole family to Liberty Public Market, which has dozens of eateries to choose from. If you like the public market model you could also check out Market on 8th in National City or the Sky Deck in Del Mar. 

Other food options could include heading to Old Town to enjoy Mexican food at the Fiesta de Reyes. Or if Dad likes Asian food, take him for a tour of the Convoy District and pick a spot neither of you has tried before. 

Do Typical Dad Stuff

Maybe your dad just likes classic “dad stuff.” 

The Padres will be out of town this Father’s Day but you could bring over a six-pack of local beers and steaks for grilling while you watch the game at home. San Diego also has a number of wonderful public and private golf courses to spend a day on. You can never go wrong with animal-themed attractions like the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, or Birch Aquarium at Scripps either.

Whatever you choose to do, we hope you have fun making new memories and enjoy your time together!

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