A bottle of Macallan Single Malt, Yankees tickets, a slick new watch — all admirable Father’s Day gifts. But you can do better. Upgrade your gift-giving skills this year with these three badass, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that Pops will never forget.
IndyCar Experience (Indianapolis)
If Indianapolis is known for one thing, it’s racing. At the city’s legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it’s now possible to step out of the stands and behind the wheel of a legit IndyCar. The tandem Indy Racing Experience allows enthusiasts to step into a purpose-built, two-seater IndyCar with a well-known driver behind the wheel (Mario Andretti is a regular at the event). While the entire experience runs just two laps, the cars top out at 185 MPH, even in the turns. With the full-fledged Indy Racing Experience Driving Program, guests climb behind the wheel themselves for three full laps at up to 130 MPH. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to feeling like a fighter pilot without leaving the ground.
Lock & Load Machine Gun Experience (Miami)
Popping cans off the backyard fence with a .22 is one thing. But unloading hundreds of rounds in seconds is an entirely different experience. Miami’s Lock & Load Machine Gun Experience is one of few shooting ranges in the country where visitors can legally test-fire dozens of fully automatic weapons in a safe, controlled space. Their most popular packages allow gun enthusiasts to take aim with some of the most powerful handheld military weapons available. The aptly named Automatic Gratification Package is their flagship offering with up to 25 rounds each for ten different weapons, including a Tommy gun, AK47, and Glock 18 Submachine Gun. For those looking for a tamer experience, the range offers handgun, rifle, and shotgun packages as well.
Shark Diving (San Francisco)
Americans needn’t leave the country to experience some of the best shark diving in the world. Twenty-nine miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Farallon Islands are home to one of the largest, most consistent populations of Great White sharks in the United States. The islands are reachable on a 12-hour day trip from downtown San Francisco courtesy of Great White Adventures. Underwater enthusiasts suit up, step into a small cage, and drop to a depth of up to 40 feet. In the cold Pacific waters, the sharks are huge and predation events (sharks dining on marine mammals) are a regular occurrence. What’s more: the company limits each trip to only a dozen passengers and no scuba certification is required.