5 things to do with Dad this Father’s Day in SLO County

If your dad is like my dad, it’s not about gifts — it’s about quality time. There are some great, dad-friendly events happening this weekend. But maybe you want to do something on your own schedule.

Here are five things to do with Dad this Father’s Day that are all about spending time with family — and that take advantage of San Luis Obispo County’s beautiful scenery and outdoor lifestyle.

1. Take him on a hike

Maybe your dad isn’t an avid hiker (mine certainly isn’t), or maybe he’s Mr. Outdoors. We found trails for every type of hiker for our list of the best hikes in SLO County.

My favorite hike with Dad is the Bluff Trail in Montaña de Oro State Park. It’s a nice walk with great views, and we love exploring the tide pools.

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Richard Ripperger, left, his father-in-law, Scott Sill, and son Noah, 2, from Bakersfield, scramble along the tide pools during low tide at Montaña de Oro in 2013. Joe Johnston

2. Crack open a cold one with the pops

Grab some brewskies, and maybe catch a live band. We recommend checking out ManRock in Grover Beach; SLO Brew’s The Rock, the brewery’s new taproom and grill near the San Luis Obispo airport; and BarrelHouse Brewing Co. in Paso Robles, which has a large beer garden.

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Katie, 2-year-old Julia, 4-year-old Lucas, 10-month-old Audrey, and Matt Walsh enjoy a meal and beverages at SLO Brew’s The Rock location near the San Luis Obispo County airport. David Middlecamp

3. Ziplining

For Extreme Dads, we recommend Margarita Adventures at Santa Margarita Ranch for six (six!) different ziplines. Soar over a valley crossing and a vineyard, and, as you come down off that adrenaline rush, learn about the ranch’s role as part of the California Missions Trail. Make sure you bring closed-toe shoes.

(There are also ziplines at Lopez Lake in South County.)

Tyson Armstrong of Cayucos runs to jump off the zipline platform as his kids, Cade Baker and Calianna Armstrong, watch. Laura Dickinson

4. Tour Hearst Castle

For a laid-back afternoon, the gorgeous, world-renowned Hearst Castle offers multiple tour options for a nice stroll and a bit of history. To buy tickets for a Hearst Castle tour, go to

For more history, travel a bit farther up the coast and stop by the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse.

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Hearst Castle. David Middlecamp

5. The beach!

You might have to search for a parking spot and fight some crowds, but it’s a great way to relax with Dad once you’ve got the beach towels down.

Bonus: If your dad is a golfer, you can play a few rounds at nearby courses such as the Avila Beach Golf Resort or the Morro Bay Golf Course before cooling off in the Pacific.

(And maybe volunteer to drive, so Dad doesn’t get stressed looking for parking.)

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Dave Fimbres plays in the sand with his children, Avila, 5, and son Rome, 3, right, all of San Luis Obispo, during a beach outing in February. Laura Dickinson

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF