Robert Arends

Fun East County Finds for Father’s Day Weekend

Father’s Day is just around the corner! If you’re just making plans and hankering for adventure, I’ve got a few fun ideas in San Diego’s wild and wonderful East County region:

Beer Pairing Dinner

Chef Jeremy to serve Beer Pairing Dinner fit for a king!

Chef Jeremy to serve Beer Pairing Dinner fit for a king!

Hop to it and take dad for out for a Beer Pairing Dinner at Jeremy’s on the Hill, located down the road from our famous Gold Rush mountain town of Julian. Partnering with Julian Brewing Company and Baileys BBQ Pit, Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Jeremy will serve a mouthwatering farm-to-table dinner dad won’t soon forget!

Where: Jeremy’s on the Hill – 4354 Highway 78 , Wynola, CA 92070
When: June 14, 2013
Reservations: 760.765.1587
Cost: $37 person/$68 for two

San Diego’s Gaudi – Hubbell/Ilan-Lael Open House

Architectural wonders at the Hubbell Open House

Architectural wonders at the Hubbell Open House

In nearby Santa Ysabel, famed architect/artist James Hubbell – “San Diego’s Gaudi” – opens up his fantastical art compound to the general public on Father’s Day, June 16. This 30th annual Open House sells out, so buy tix soon! This year, Hubbell debuts a new gallery building as dazzling as his art!

Where: 930 Orchard Lane, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
When: June 16, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Cost: $30-$75. Kids 12 and under – Free.
> Find out more about the Hubbell/Ilan-Lael Open House

Feed-a-Cat…a Big Cat!

Feed-a-cat at Lions, Tigers & Bears!

Feed-a-cat at Lions, Tigers & Bears!

Grrrrrreat! Does your dad love Animal Planet and Discovery Channel? In the rolling hills of Alpine, he can experience wildlife up close and Feed-a-Cat – as in a tiger, lion or leopard (his choice!) at Lions, Tigers & Bears, a big cat and exotic animal rescue sanctuary. I’ve done it once and Thrilling is an understatement! If you bring the kids, they must be 16 or older.

Where: Lions, Tigers & Bears
Cost: $75
Book by calling: 619-659-8078

Borrego Springs

Galleta Meadows' Giant Sloth in Borrego Springs!

Galleta Meadows’ Giant Sloth in Borrego Springs!

Borrego Springs, San Diego’s desert oasis, is piping hot right now but don’t let the triple digits deter you. Summer means NO crowds and hours of poolside respite. I suggest staying at the swanky new La Casa del Zorro Resort (casitas with spas!). On the edge of town, check out the wild Galleta Meadows sculpture garden (free viewing!), featuring a cuddly new Giant Sloth. Book an off-road adventure with California Overland to take dad and the whole family to Fonts Point, “California’s Grand Canyon” – a contender for Virtual Tourist’s 8th Wonder of the World!

Happy Father’s Day and I’ll see you in East County! 🙂

Brent Bernasconi

Top Things to Do in San Diego – 2013 Father’s Day Weekend Edition

Fireworks at Petco Park

This weekend is all about dads and granddads in San Diego. Show him how much you appreciate all he does by treating him to a beer tour of the 70+ breweries in the county, a round of golf at one of the region’s 90 courses, a relaxing day of fishing or one of these top things to do this Father’s Day weekend:

Padres Summer Sky Blast

Fireworks at Petco Park

Marvel at celebratory fireworks over Petco Park. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Padres.

Take dad out to the ball game, take him out to the crowds… Stick around after the San Diego Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks for great music and Petco Park’s biggest fireworks show.

Where: Petco Park – 100 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
When: June 15, 2013
First Pitch: 7:10 PM
Cost: $10-$119
> Find out more about the Padres Summer Sky Blast

Big Bite Bacon Fest

Big Bite Bacon Fest on Father's Day


Bacon, need I say more? This Father’s Day, the Del Mar arena will be transformed into a bacon paradise with unlimited samples from the best chefs and restaurants in San Diego. Local breweries will also be pouring beers hand selected to compliment the bacon goodness!

Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds – 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
When: June 16, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 8:30 PM
Cost: $55-$80
> Find out more about the Big Bite Bacon Fest

Father’s Day Sail on the Californian

Tall Ship Californian - Maritime Museum of San Diego

Take Dad on a high seas adventure cruise aboard the tall ship Californian this Father’s Day.

Treat dad like the captain he is with a sailing cruise aboard the Californian, the Official Tall Ship of the State of California. Before heading out, dad will enjoy beer and brats while the kids chow down on hot dogs, chips and soda. Once aboard, prepare to help haul a line and man the helm as the historic tall ship sails around the waters of San Diego.

Where: Maritime Museum of San Diego – 1492 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
When: June 15-16, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Cost: $45-$65
> Find out more about Father’s Day Sail on Californian

Father’s Day Beer & Champagne Brunch Cruise

Father's Day aboard a Hornblower Cruise

Treat dad and grandpa to a two-hour Father’s Day Beer and Champagne Brunch Cruise with a hearty buffet menu, over 50 battle ships, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, plus free-flowing beer and champagne all on a comfortable yacht!

Where: Hornblower Cruises & Events – 1800 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: June 16, 2013
Time: 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Cost: $42-$70
> Find out more about the Father’s Day Beer & Champagne Brunch Cruise

San Diego Father’s Day Fest and Walk

San Diego Father's Day Fest and Walk

The 3rd Annual San Diego Father’s Day Festival is an interactive experience that honors the relationship between dad, kids and our soldiers at rest. The festival features live music, interactive activities, and special performances.

Where: Nobel Park – 8810 Judicial Drive, San Diego, CA 92122
When: June 15, 2013
Time: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Cost: Free
> Find out more about the San Diego Father’s Day Fest and Walk

San Diego Oysterfest


A music festival, oyster festival and beer festival all rolled into one. This year’s San Diego Oysterfest will have a truly home town feel. Live music, food from some of San Diego’s top restaurants, beer from local breweries, cooking demos from San Diego celebrity chefs, shuck and suck competition, speed shucking competition and lots more.

Where: Embarcadero Marina Park North – 649 W Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101
When: June 15, 2013
Time: 11:00 AM to 7:30 PM
Cost: $25-$100
> Find out more about San Diego Oysterfest

Father’s Day Beer Train Tour

Father's Day Beer Train Tour

Treat dad to an afternoon full of beer, food and fun on a Beer Train Tour.

Give dad the gift that keeps chugging! Dad and your group will be treated to local craft beers, a behind the scenes tour of the brewery, as you “hop” on and off the Beer Train (3-4 stops along the way). There will even be beer tastings on the train.

When: Wednesday-Friday through June 30, 2013
Time: 11:15 AM to 4:45 PM
Cost: $82 (Does not include $12 train ticket)
> Find out more about the Father’s Day Beer Train Tour

> Discover more things to do this Father’s Day Weekend in San Diego

Know of any more great Father’s Day events in San Diego? Let everyone know in the comments below.


5 to Try for Father’s Day

1. Dad’s are free for Father’s Day Weekend at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Dads will receive free gallery admission on Saturday, June 18 or Sunday, June 19 with the purchase of one full-price gallery admission ticket on the same day. Be sure to check out the new “Geometry Playground” exhibition where they can play a whacky game of hopscotch.

2. Nothing is better than a little outdoor time with your dad. The San Diego Zoo invites dads and their kids ages four and older to spend the night at a special Father’s Day sleepover June 17th. Sleep among the animals complete with your own tent, buffet dinner, s’mores and a campfire.

3. Set sail aboard the Californian this weekend with the Maritime Museum. Upon disembarking, every dad will receive a gift and a photo to commemorate their special day. Advance ticketing for these special sailings are only available on the Maritime Museum of San Diego’s website.

4. Celebrate Father’s Day with Shamu at SeaWorld San Diego. Relax and be pampered while you dine poolside and experience the magical bond between our killer whales and their young. Seatings are at 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

5. Bring dad aboard a luxurious yacht for a special Father’s Day Prime Rib Dinner cruise with Flagship Cruises and Events. This 2-1/2 hour San Diego dinner cruise includes a three course meal featuring succulent tender slow roasted prime rib.


San Diego Golf: Give Dad His Day in the Sun

Sure, you can give dad another tie. But why not give this a try? Here are three San Diego County courses offering something special on Sunday for Father’s Day:

Cottonwood Golf Club
Fit in a round of golf either before or after a special Father’s Day brunch from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm that includes everything from scrambled eggs, country potatoes, buttermilk pancakes and fresh fruit to corn on the cob, BBQ chicken and ribs and carved Tri-Tip. The Ivanhoe Course, which measures nearly 7,000 yards, and The Lakes Course, which is just under 6,600 yards, are both challenging and enjoyable layouts. Although Ivanhoe is longer, it is easier to avoid trouble there than The Lakes, which lives up to its name with water coming into play at some point on more than half the holes. That includes the par-3 16th, which features an island green. The brunch is $19.99 for adults ($16.99 for seniors). Call 619-442-9891 (ext. 3) to make a reservation.

The Grand at Del Mar
Fathers staying at The Grand on Saturday or Sunday can take advantage of an offer to pay for 18 holes but play unlimited golf for the day. The special includes a custom club fitting and a complimentary logo golf hat. The Tom Fazio-designed course measures 7,160 yards at the tips and features rolling hills, lush surroundings and beautiful views, enough to make any golfer want to head right back out after putting out on the 18th. Or after a bite to eat, anyway. The Grand also will be featuring a three-course Sunday brunch ($45) from 10:00 am to 3:00 p.m. Room and golf reservations are available at 888-314-2030.

Maderas Golf Club
Playing the Johnny Miller-designed course, which measures nearly 7,200 from the tips, is a reward in itself, but on Father’s Day there’s also a $25 gift card when dad and a guest play. A brunch ($32.95) with salads, a BBQ station and desserts is available from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm. If dad can’t make it to the course that day, then there’s the Ultimate Father’s Day gift package. It includes five one-on-one golf lessons with PGA pro John Darling, a custom driver fitting and a new TaylorMade R11 driver. Valued at $1,000, the package is priced at $499. Call the golf shop at 858-451-8100 for tee times or gifts.

Robert Arends

5 to Try: Magical Masterpieces of “San Diego’s Gaudi”

Ever wanted to know what it would be like to walk through the wondrous world of a Dr. Seuss book, with all of its quirky colorful shapes and landscapes? Well now you can at the Open House of the James Hubbell House and Studios in the East County community of Santa Ysabel (near Julian) on Father’s Day, June 19.

If you’re not familiar with Hubbell and his art or architectural creations, he is considered a “national treasure” known for his organic structures steeped in nature. The San Diego Union-Tribune even called Hubbell House & Studios one of the “Masterpieces in Our Midst.”

In addition to eight fantastical structures at his 40-acre artists complex, Hubbell has a few other stunning sculptural works sprinkled throughout San Diego County.

Following are five fun ones to try:

  1. Big/Main Studio at the Hubble House. Notice it’s resemblance to whale bones!

    Big Studio at Hubbell House and Studios.

  2. Boy’s House at Hubble House and Studios. This one is especially playful with its pools of colorful glass and mosaic tile flowing throughout.

    Boy's House, Hubbel House and Studios.

  3. Volcan Mountain Preserve entrance gate and sculpture in Julian. There’s something kind of sci-fi about this piece, like a space portal into nature!

    Beam me up, to Volcan Mountain!

  4. Sea Passage fountain and sculpture on Glorietta Bay in Coronado. This piece is very San Diego and fits perfectly with the beachy island vibe of Coronado.

    Hang 10 at Coronado's Sea Passage!

  5. Pacific Portal sculpture on Shelter Island, San Diego Bay. I collect seashells, and if I could I’d pocket this one! OK never mind, it’s kind of ginormous.

    Giant Pacific Portal seashell-like sculpture.

Oh, and for you history buffs, Hubbell did a life-size clay sculpture of Father Junipero Serra in front of Mission San Diego de Alcala – California’s first mission – in Mission Valley. Talk about prolific!

I’m checking out the Hubbell House & Studios open house on my way back from a weekend staycation in Borrego Springs – can’t wait! I’ll be sure to take lots of photos and share them with you later this month.

Katie S.

5 to Try: Father’s Day Edition

Need ideas for Father’s Day? Whether you’re looking for an aquatic adventure or a day exploring San Diego’s museums, we’ve got you covered.

1. Julian Gold Rush Days(6/19 – 6/20) – There’s gold in them hills! Celebrate the discovery of gold in this mountain town of Julian with two days of events including gold panning, living history demonstrations, gold mine tours, book signings, chili cook-off, children’s crafts, gold nugget scavenger hunt, face painting, old fashioned games, historic skits, and more. Dad will have a blast getting in touch with his inner mountanieer, and maybe go home with a little bit of gold in his pocket!

2. Beers and Brats Brunch Cruise (6/20) – What better way to spend father’s day than aboard a Harbor Excursion cruise with delicious food, spectacular water views and endless flowing beer? Make reservations to spend the day on the bay with with an all-you-can-eat buffet. We can promise your dad (and his stomach) will thank you!

3. Father’s Day Kayaking (6/18 – 6/20)- Dad’s paddle out for free during Father’s Day weekend. Choose to cruise out of either Hike Bike Kayak’s Mission Bay or La Jolla locations and get ready to see San Diego sea life up close and personal.

4. San Diego Padres vs. Baltimore Orioles (6/18 – 6/20) – What better way to bond than over America’s favorite pastime? Catch a Padres game at PETCO Park during their three-day series against the Baltimore Orioles. Afterwards, check out what’s going on in the Gaslamp District and grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant.

5. Free Day at the Fleet (6/19 – 6/20) Dads get free admission during Father’s Day weekend at the Fleet Science Center! Spend the day playing with the museum’s interactive exhibits and take the time to see the newest IMAX flick.


Father’s Day With a Beluga Whale

An unforgettable Father's Day with a Beluga Whale at SeaWorld.

A Fantastic Father's Day with a Beluga Whale at SeaWorld.

Father’s Day is coming up.  Are you looking for an unforgettable gift idea?

If you’re heading to San Diego, consider SeaWorld‘s Wild Arctic Interaction.

This amazing experience begins with a behind-the-scenes tour to meet SeaWorld’s enormous Pacific walruses, playful harbor seals and polar bears.  Then, Dad will wiggle into a wet suit and step into 55-degree, Arctic-like water to hang with the beluga whales. 

During the interaction, he’ll get to touch, feed and give the whale training hand signals that cue behaviors like showing off the birdlike vocalizations — that have earned the species the nickname “sea canary.”  Maybe, he’ll even get a kiss! 

The program costs $170 plus park admission and includes wet suits, booties, lockers, changing facilities and showers.  Advance registration is required.