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Father’s Day 2020: Trivia, Trifles and Things to Do in Santa Barbara


ather and son playing on the beach at the sunset time. Concept of Father's Day 2020.

What is the official flower of Father’s Day? As it is with Mother’s Day as well, roses are the official flower of Father’s Day 2020. Wear a red rose if your father is alive, or a white one to honor a father who is deceased. Roses are symbols of love, commitment, companionship, friendship, loyalty and fidelity – all qualities intimately tied to a person’s love for his or her own father and mother.

Through the decades, families have developed and honored their own ways to celebrate and, as with any official day of celebration, trivia has been born and thrived.

More Father’s Day Trivia

  • Father’s Day has been celebrated in the United States for more than 100 years.
  • Nearly 95 million Father’s Day cards were bought and delivered last year in the United States, making Father’s Day the fourth-largest card-sending occasion.
  • Today, some of the most popular Internet searches connected to the day include “Father’s day recipes”, “Father’s day poems”, and “Father’s day crafts.”
  • Neckties are an old standby and lead the list of Father’s Day gifts. 


Father’s Day 2020 will look a lot different thanks to social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give Dad his day. All it takes is a little planning to make Sunday, June 21 the best Father’s Day ever. Plus, here in Santa Barbara, there are so many things to do that it won’t be difficult to surprise him with a safe adventure.

Outside Adventure

There’s no shortage of creamy, sun-kissed beaches here. Within the city itself, you will find East Beach, West Beach, and Leadbetter Beach. All three of these beaches are broad, beautiful and family-friendly. You and your father can ride the waves, swim, kayak, windsurf, play beach volleyball, or just relax in the sun. 

Land adventures abound in Santa Barbara, too. Why not take in the beauty of the area’s picturesque landscapes and gardens by taking Dad on any of our many popular running trails. Our resort town boasts a variety of running terrain from sandy beaches to rugged mountains. You can also take Dad on one of the amazing hiking trails that surround the American Riviera. The Santa Ynez Mountains rise just behind the county’s coastal cities. This east-west range is part of Los Padres National Forest and forms a beautiful green backdrop for Santa Barbara.

Cheerful senior man and his adult son chatting and drinking coffee while taking a break after riding several miles on their bikes to celebrate Father's Day.

Bond With Dad During a Bike Ride

Bicycle riding in Santa Barbara is more popular today than ever. That’s because local bike shops are reporting that more people have been buying and repairing bicycles than ever during the stay-at-home order. In fact, since last March, shops have been inundated.

“We’re seeing pretty much everyone at this point, from hardcore cyclists to families, to a lot of older folks as well, coming in to get E-bikes (electric bikes) and that sort of thing,” said Matt Shearer, a salesperson at Bicycle Bob’s in Goleta. “We have 650 bikes on backorder and we’re running out of low- to mid-range-priced bicycles to sell. We’re hoping to get more of those in. The whole supply chain has been disrupted. We have a massive demand right now. It’s a new one for us.”

Riding with Dad is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while maintaining social distance. And just this month, PeopleforBikes, a national bike advocacy organization, ranked Santa Barbara as the third best city for bicycling in the country. The variety of cycling is what makes Santa Barbara a top choice for riders. We offer everything from general bicycle riding, to road biking, riding on bike paths, and even some cross country and mountain biking.

3 of My Favorite Santa Barbara Bike Trails

  • Stearns Wharf to Old Mission Santa Barbara
    Length: 3 miles one-way
    Trail Surfaces: asphalt and concrete
    Begin an unhurried Father’s Day ride at Stearns Wharf, heading up State Street. Make a right turn on E. Canon Perdido Street and cruise past the birthplace of Santa Barbara, El Presidio Historic Park. Continue bonding as you travel State Street toward Old Mission Santa Barbara.

Take a right turn on E. Micheltorena Street and take a moment to stop and marvel at the lush Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden. If you have young ones with you, let the kids loose on the wooden castle playground at Alameda Park. Head back to State Street where you and dad will continue riding away from the ocean until you reach E. Los Olivos Street where you will take a right turn. Look for The Mission on your left as you pass Mission Historic Park on your right.

  • Cabrillo Bike Path to Butterfly Beach
    Length: 4.6 miles one-way
    Trail surfaces: asphalt and concrete
    This is definitely the most popular bike path in Santa Barbara. The Cabrillo Bike Path runs from Leadbetter Beach to Butterfly Beach. Enjoy the long, paved and flat Cabrillo Bike Path, the perfect option for families and riders who want to take it easy. Stop along the way at Chase Palm Park for a Father’s Day Picnic to remember.

During most of the ride, the ocean will be on your right, so make sure to take deep breaths of the fresh sea salt air. You will pass the Andree Clark Bird Refuge approximately three miles into the ride so keep your eyes open for rare species. Make a right turn on Channel Drive and follow the road’s curves until you hit Fairway Road, where you will continue straight and return onto a bike path. As you round the last turn, Butterfly Beach will come into view on your right. Be sure to bring your camera as this ride is as picturesque as a postcard.

  • Downtown Sights
    Length: 3 miles one-way
    Trail Surfaces: asphalt and concrete
    Experience downtown Santa Barbara on two wheels by riding up State Street with this easy, family-friendly ride. Start at the Dolphin Fountain located at the foot of Stearns Wharf, then pedal up State Street past the AMTRAK Station and under the freeway. When you and Dad emerge on the other side, turn right on Haley Street. Make a left turn onto Santa Barbara Street just past Architect Jeff Shelton‘s signature creation, Vera Cruz.

Continue on Santa Barbara Street, where you’ll pass the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and Handlebar Coffee Roasters, a locally owned bicycle-themed coffee shop. If you and your Dad feel like it, stop for a cup of Joe. Then get going again by making a left onto E. Figueroa Street where you’ll see the Santa Barbara Courthouse, the place to turn right, back onto State Street.

When you hit E. Micheltorena Street, turn right to check out Alice Keck Park Memorial Garden and Alameda Park. Back on State Street, continue riding away from the ocean and make a right on E. Los Olivos Street. You and dad will ride past the landmark Old Mission Santa Barbara on your left. Finally, when E. Los Olivos Street turns into Mission Canyon Road, make a left onto Las Encias Road, and your next left onto Puesta Del Sol, where you’ll find the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

People in masks walking the new State Street Pedestrian Promenade.

Pedestrians walk down State Street’s Pedestrian Promenade. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Downtown’s New Pedestrian Promenade

Meet Dad and the entire family at State Street’s new Pedestrian Promenade for brunch, lunch or dinner. You’ll have your pick of popular eateries that have placed their tables outdoors on the sidewalk for social distancing. Since we began reopening from the COVID-19 shutdown, the city decided to transform State Street by closing it to traffic from Sola to Haley streets and allowing restaurants and other businesses to spill out into the street. So far, the move has received rave reviews. The Pedestrian Promenade is open daily 7 a.m-10 p.m. Masks are required.

And don’t forget the Funk Zone, another great venue for outdoor dining. Or, you can order your celebratory meal to go (including cocktails), and dine al fresco in one of our many beautiful parks or your own backyard.

Life at home image of Happy couple video calling friends and family using laptop. Man and woman online chatting cheering with wine in virtual celebration party of easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Virtual Celebrations

Instead of having a physical get together with your family at home, you can plan a virtual celebration to show your Dad how much he is loved and valued, even from afar. Thanks to a variety of video conferencing services like Zoom, FaceTime and Skype, smartphone apps, and interactive websites, it doesn’t take much effort to organize a virtual Father’s Day 2020 Celebration.

“New types of distanced and virtual celebrations are opening up the opportunity to get creative with your family,” says party planner Lisa Cokinos of B. Lee Events, “while still providing a level of intimacy despite the lack of physical presence.”

Dad will get to see your smiling face, which is probably the thing he wants most for Father’s Day, and you can still practice social distancing to ensure Dad (and the entire family) will stay safe and healthy. And not only do you have a variety of apps to choose from, but you can use those apps in a number of ways, so Dad’s special day doesn’t look, and feel, like a never-ending work meeting. Here are 7 ideas to consider:

  • Watch a movie or TV show together
    If there’s a movie or series that’s special to you and your dad, you can watch it together on Father’s Day 2020 without leaving your home. Extensions like Netflix Party and Metastream make it possible to sync up your streaming content so you and Dad can enjoy it together, even when you’re far apart. Don’t forget the popcorn!
  • Cook or bake something yummy together
    If Dad considers himself an excellent home chef, then a fun activity could be cooking a special meal together. There are a slew of cooking videos available online that you and Dad could follow along with virtually. Or, if you want something a bit more personal, chefs from around the world are offering virtual cooking classes online through Airbnb Experiences.

  • Takeout Dad’s favorite dinner
    If Dad’s not much of a cook, you can always turn to takeout. Schedule an order from his favorite local restaurant and have it dropped off at his home shortly before your scheduled video chat. Order a meal for yourself to be delivered at the same time. You may not be there in person, but you can still all sit down and break bread together.
  • Remember the past by looking through old pictures and videos together
    There’s nothing like a trip down memory lane. Before the big day, ask friends and family to send you digital copies of their favorite photos of or with Dad, then collect them all in a DropboxGoogle Photos, or other virtual file services. Send that file to Dad and tell him not to open until you are on the other line. During the video call, you can go through the photos and share your screen with everyone on the call as you look back through some of your best family memories and swap loving (read: embarrassing) stories.
  • Visit a museum
    If Dad is a history buff or art aficionado, try taking a trip to the museum for Father’s Day 2020. Several world-renowned museums including the Louvre, the Museum of Natural History, and the Getty Museum are offering virtual tours online. If he’s always got his eyes on the stars, you and your dad can explore NASA’s research centers or use The Space Center’s Houston app for a virtual experience he’ll enjoy.

  • Play games
    No matter what your father’s favorite game is, there’s probably an online version available. If not, you can all learn to play something new — Jackbox offers a number of fun online games that the whole family can get in on. Some online games will require everyone to be using the same website or app, so be sure to figure the details out beforehand so no one on the call is left out.
  • Watch a Livestream concert
    Dad might not be able to see his favorite band in person this year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t enjoy a concert this Father’s Day. Over the last several weeks, artists including Jon Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, and Brad Paisley have participated in Livestream concert events. It’s worth digging around to see if any of Dad’s favorite musicians will be performing over Father’s Day weekend.

Father’s Day 2020 may be different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be fun, especially for those lucky enough to live in Santa Barbara County. If you don’t but are wishing you did, give me a call or drop me an email and let’s talk. You can contact me at or by calling +1 (805) 886-9378. And whatever you decide to do, Happy Father’s Day!


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