With Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s crunch time for making plans. There are plenty of options around town for pops—from parks to bars to restaurants—but we know that not all South Florida dads are made the same. Whether your father is an outdoorsy fisherman or a geek at heart, he’s guaranteed to like one of these ideas.
1. For the dad who enjoys a fine meal:
There’s no time like summer to enjoy a quality meal outdoors. And in South Florida, al fresco dining is best appreciated on the water.
Our top picks for dining with a view include Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale, 50 Ocean in Delray Beach, and these 15 other waterfront restaurants located in Fort Lauderdale up to Boynton Beach.
Need more options? According to OpenTable users, these six local spots are among the top 100 al fresco dining restaurants in the nation:
Heck, might as well take the celebration to the water entirely with a Father’s Day brunch aboard a yacht. The Lady Windridge will depart from Fort Lauderdale and cruise the Intracoastal Waterway as the family enjoys a sweet and savory buffet, including a carving station and chocolate fondue.
Some restaurants are also offering Father’s Day specials. For example, Eau Palm Beach’s Temple Orange restaurant is hosting a Father’s Day “Drunch” from 12 pm. to 2:30 p.m. Families can also head to Café Boulud in Palm Beach for brunch and barbecue.
2. For the no-frills dad who’d rather go out for burgers and beer:
Not every dad needs a high-end meal to be happy. Take your father to a sports bar like Quarterdeck, Tarpon Bend in Fort Lauderdale, Boston’s on the Beach in Delray Beach, Grease Burger Bar in West Palm Beach, World of Beer in Coconut Creek (if beer and only beer will do), or Bru’s Room for a chill time.
For a special $19 burger-and-beer-flight deal, head to Tanzy at Mizner Park in Boca Raton. If the whole family wants to catch a movie at iPic afterward, make sure to post a photo on social media with the hashtags #howdoyouipic and #dadsdayout for the chance to win four premium plus movie tickets and a $250 gift card.
Or try these other restaurants that we think serve awesome burgers with their brews:
(Look out for the rest of Gold Coast magazine’s picks for South Florida’s reigning burgers in our summer issue out this July.)
3. For the dad who just wants to spend time with the family:
Why not try a picnic? We’ve got a list of 13 Broward and Palm Beach parks with picnic grounds that serve up a feast for the eyes, especially at sunrise or sunset. Favorites include Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, one of Broward County’s largest, and Okeeheelee Park in West Palm Beach, which also offers nature trails and bike paths.
If your dad is the type who would find the park’s nature trails more appealing than the picnic, you might want to jump ahead to our next idea.
4. For the dad who loves to get out and move:
Let dad take a walk on the wild side. Florida parks offer unique outdoor experiences, including wildlife watching, geo-cacheing and equestrian trails.
Take the path less traveled at any of our 11 outdoor favorites. Here are a few local recommendations according to activity:
5. For the dad who likes fishing:
Head over to a state park or local fishing pier, or take dad on a day trip to Jupiter or Stuart for a real fishing escape.
The Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, which underwent a $5 million remodel about two years ago, rents out fishing roads and sells bait and tackle. You can even schedule a group or private fishing lesson, in case dad needs a refresher.
Further north in Martin County, the piers at Jensen Beach Causeway or Stuart Causeway are great spots to hook a snook. Freshwater fishing at Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound and Indian Riverside Park’s 780-foot pier with boat slips are two other options.
6. For the dad who thinks he’s a golf pro:
There may be more than 1,000 golf courses in Florida, but we’ve got some great ones right here in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. Three that stick out include:
- PGA Village: Offering four courses, plus a short course for beginners, it was honored by Golf Digest magazine as one of the best public courses in Florida.
- Abacoa Golf Club: Enjoy greens with varying elevations, wetland areas that attract wildlife and a new outdoor bar at the clubhouse
- Martin Downs Golf Club: This semi-private course in Palm City offers various tee times, and it’s your best bet if dad wants some peace and quiet.
7. For the dad who just wants to unwind:
Get out of dad’s hair, and let him take a spa day. (Yes, men can enjoy spas, too.)
Peruse this list of the 10 best spas in South Florida, which includes the Waldorf Astoria Spa at the Boca Resort, the Seagate Spa in Delray Beach and The Spa at Lago Mar in Fort Lauderdale.
Or dad can always bro it up at ManKind—a spa for men—where all services come with a complimentary beverage (beer or wine). The establishment recommends its One of a Kind shave, which is great for men with sensitive skin. Alternatively, you can make dad a massage appointment (as long as mom is OK with the all-female spa staff) or let a real shoe-shine specialist spiff up his kicks.
8. For the dad who’s a total history buff:
There are countless museums across South Florida, but for the history buff on Father’s Day, we recommend touring a notable estate or other historical building. Open on Sundays, Stranahan House Museum was built by Fort Lauderdale pioneers in 1906, and it’s the oldest surviving structure in Broward County. Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, also in Fort Lauderdale, is a beautifully restored 1920 estate, the property features orchids and tropical gardens.
Martin County residents also haven plenty of options with museums in and around Stuart. The Navy SEAL Museum, for example, features a model replica of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. The Vero Beach Museum of Art, on the other hand, is the go-to place for the cultural arts on the Treasure Coast.
9. For the dad who’s a geek at heart:
A trip to the local comic book store will let your dad release his inner dork.
Tate’s Comics and More (the “more” being toys, videos and fun events) is a South Florida favorite. Owner Tate Ottati opened the shop as a 17-year-old more than two decades ago, and it has since grown to be a full-scale hobby shop, along with a satellite gaming-only location.
Both locations—the “main headquarters” in Lauderhill and the “North” store in Boynton Beach—are hosting a Family Outing on Father’s Day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dads get 20 percent off any one item of their choice. The store will have distractions for the kids, including a coloring table and complimentary snacks and juice boxes.