Adventurous dads with a penchant for travel might consider heading to one of these Southern California airports on Father's Day weekend. Not to fly, but to spend some time looking for exotic airplane tails or watching a giant Airbus A380 land.
Plane-spotting is fun and pretty much free. Just grab a camera and binoculars, plus any grandkids and other family members hanging about, and go scour the skies for interesting aircraft. Here are some good viewing spots:
Observation Deck at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): The airport will mark its 50th year with a free "Sunday Morning Coffee" from 8:30 to 11:30 at the Observation Deck atop the Theme Building. Plane-spotting from this 360-degree perch is like shooting fish in a barrel. The first 300 people who show up will receive a commemorative coin to mark the occasion. The observation area, accessed from the ground floor of the Theme Building, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for free. 1 World Way; (310) 646-5252.
Jim Clutter Park (aka Clutter's Park or Imperial Hill) in El Segundo: This small park, named for an El Segundo city councilman, faces runways in an area that veteran plane-spotters rave about online. The nearby In-N-Out Burger at 9149 S. Sepulveda Blvd. also has nice views, apparently, and might be a good stop for a nosh. East Imperial Avenue and Sheldon Street; (310) 524-2300.