Tired of giving dad ties and gadgets for Father’s Day? Take him on an incredible trip instead. The memories last long after the tie goes out of style.
Hit the Road in Style in Beverly Hills
For the ultimate in rad dad indulgence, how about taking a spin in a Cullinan, Rolls-Royce’s new SUV, while staying at the Peninsula Beverly Hills? The hotel started offering this option last month after a four-month redesign of all 195 guest rooms, including the 38 suites and 17 private villas.
Since this is smack in the heart of Beverly Hills, the rooftop pool and cafe are celebrity territory, so people watching (behind your coolest shades) is primo. Book a cabana, order the famous jalapeno margarita and settle in for a poolside foot massage. Now for the best part: put yourself behind the wheel of the $400,000 (starting price $325,000, but there are always extras), 17.5-foot-long luxury land yacht, the Cullinan, named for the largest diamond ever found.
Doors open with a push of a button to leather seats equipped with a massage feature, crystal decanters and a place to chill champagne in the back seat console, and to keep attention on the road, the navigation appears on the driver’s windshield. The suggested destination is Pismo Beach, one of the few beaches in the state where cars are allowed on the sand. For the two-hour trip up a scenic stretch of Highway 101, guests can choose their own route, depending on the amount of off-roading desired. Those who don’t like to backtrack can enjoy a tour and lavish lunch at Tolosa Winery in the Edna Valley, then hop on a flight from San Luis Obispo airport to LAX, where they’ll be picked up in a… Rolls-Royce.
While the electronically limited top speed is 155 miles per hour, the specialized foam in the front wheels and revolutionary body design ensures a velvet-smooth ride on any road.
This package can be customized and starts at $1,500 a day.
Meet the Brewmasters in Santa Cruz, California
Craft breweries have been bubbling up all over California this past decade, and while San Diego has been called the craft beer capital of America, another surf town has a scene to rival that one. Santa Cruz boasts over 20 breweries and taprooms, and that number is quickly growing.
For sampling those suds, there’s no better way than the Brew Cruz. The trip starts at the Dream Inn Hotel, where you, Dad and up to five other people get on a fully renovated 1964 split-window VW Bus and imbibe your way through town. Lovingly dubbed Slowboy, the vintage vehicle has modern Bluetooth stereo, a restored interior, and a knowledgeable, sober driver to guide the four-hour tour.
Passengers visit four featured breweries and receive a Brew Cruz coaster good for a discount on beer and a chance to meet the brewmasters at each stop. Destinations may include Humble Sea — ranked 12th among the nation’s 50 fastest-growing craft breweries by the Brewers Association — East Cliff Brewing, and New Bohemia Brewing Co., among others, plus a selection of taprooms.
For those still thirsty afterward, it’s happy hour at the Jack O’Neill Restaurant and Lounge, adjacent to the Dream Inn where you’re dropped off.
Explore the Santa Cruz Beer Trail responsibly and in style.
$45 per person for a public tour in the VW Bus, $75 per person for a private tour (8 people minimum) in a larger converted bus. Charters are also available.
All Aboard for a Journey Through the Canadian Rockies
Growing up, many of us imagined fantastic journeys — deep-sea submarines a la Jacques Cousteau, jeep safaris and grand train rides to remote locales where we’d see and experience rare and exotic things. Most of these dreams are inevitably abandoned with age, but some storybook trips do exist.
Enter the Rocky Mountaineer, a glass-top train voyage through the Canadian Rockies. Four different itineraries range from two to 21 days; the popular Journey through the Clouds is a four-day Vancouver-to-Jasper trip, and the four-day First Passage to the West goes between Vancouver and Banff or Lake Louise. Passengers ogle staggering scenery, dramatic waterfalls and bridges and creatures like grizzly bears, elk, eagles and bighorn sheep — moments for which the train slows to “Kodak speed” — all from a luxurious perch.
After a welcome-aboard toast with your host and trainmates, you can enjoy gourmet breakfasts and lunches, afternoon wine and cheese, and complimentary snacks and beverages throughout, including the bloody mary– like Caesar with clam juice, Canada’s national drink.
The train’s outdoor viewing platform is a great place to get some air and unobstructed photos. Choose between two levels of service for your trip: Both GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf are stellar, the main difference being a separate downstairs dining room versus meal service at your window-side seat.
Four new GoldLeaf Service railcars will be offered on Western Canadian Rockies routes this season. Engineered and built by the Swiss company Stadler in Germany, they include several trip-enhancing features: upper-level windows are dimmable to moderate the intensity of sunlight (similar to technology on luxury yachts and business jets). Another improvement: the seats are composite-leather and heated, reclinable without bothering the person behind you and can be turned 180 degrees to face your neighbors. Three additional new cars will join the fleet in 2020 to mark Rocky Mountaineer’s 30th anniversary.
A two-day rail trip between Vancouver and Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper (or reverse) starts at $1,247 per person.
Brave the Rapids in Boise
Boise is a city on the rise. Downtown bustles with two thriving farmers’ markets, an abundance of farm-totable restaurants and wineries that bring new energy to the Pacific Northwest scene. Plus, the whitewater rafting Idaho is known for is something every adventurer should experience. The Riverside Hotel on the Boise River greenbelt is steps from downtown.
Ride with a local driver from Idaho Town Car for the 45-minute trip to the Payette River, where Cascade Kayak and Raft provides equipment and a whitewater guide. The half-day “Splash” is ideal for first-timers and travelers wanting to catch some rays as they paddle. The full-day “Escape” includes lunch and a wild ride through 11 miles of class II and III rapids. For a chill drink before dinner, head to Meriwether Cider House: with 10 hard ciders on tap, including one that’s ginned up with hops, it is easy to stay awhile. A block away, Saint Lawrence Gridiron delivers on its promise to explore the roots of American cuisine. The grilled bison is grass-fed meat at its best, and the baked cod with trout roe sauce speaks to the region’s abundant freshwater fish and Basque heritage.
Dig into Boise’s past with a walking tour of downtown or explore Basque history at the Basque Museum and Cultural Center. Keep the Basque vibe going with lunch at Bar Gernika. The restaurant’s famous beef tongue is only available Saturdays, but the lamb grinder is a worthy alternative. Bike back to the hotel to hear a band playing on the hotel’s poolside deck, head over to the nearby Boise Whitewater Park to improve your rapids skills, or try your hand at the hotel’s own petanque court. Next door, the Telaya Wine Company offers tours of the immaculate wine cellar and tastes of syrahs, cabernet sauvignons and viogniers sourced from Idaho and Washington vineyards. For dinner, the vegan eats at Juniper might be the best in town (try the lentil beet burger), or sample Idaho standards like blackened trout reimagined with saffron curry and pea shoots or local Snake River Farms beef medallions with farro risotto. It’s a worthy finish to a weekend exploring the Boise scene.
Spotting wildlife along the Boise River; sipping excellent wine at Telaya Winery.
Suites at the Riverside Hotel start at $170; $278 for a river view room. A half-day on the Payette with Cascade Kayak and Raft runs $45 for adults and $30 for ages 5 to 12. A full day runs $85 or $60 for youth 12 and under with lunch included. Rent gear to paddle the Boise Whitewater
Park at Idaho River Sports. Bike rentals for touring the Boise Greenbelt are available at the Riverside Hotel.
Take a Bay Area Road Trip
Nothing says Dad more than “road trip.” For an awesome Bay Area day trip, hit the open road on Highway 101. Drive north from San Francisco or Marin County through to Petaluma for a stop at Brewster’s Beer Garden. Go for the all-day smoked hog with Carolina “wet mop” sauce and wash it down with an Anne Marie’s Amber from Iron Springs. Head west through tiny Tomales and stop to admire the awesome coastal views before dropping down to Dillon Beach Resort. The brand-new Coastal Kitchen is open, but if the weather calls for a picnic, source your vittles, including canned cocktails, from the resort adjacent Dillon Beach General Store. Then head to the mile-long stretch of beach for some shoreside aaaahs.
The stellar views over the Pacific Ocean and Tomales Bay, with as many oysters as you can eat.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine.
Donate in Dad’s Name
Another great gift idea? Make a donation in dad’s name to his favorite nonprofit, or consider supporting one of our 2019 Philanthropy Awards winners.