Webster’s Dictionary defines Father’s Day as “a day on which fathers are honored with a gift.” Wow, inspiring stuff, right? Come on, Webs. The real meaning of Father’s Day isn’t to “honor dad with a gift.” It’s to hold space to share time and make memories together with your dad. And what gift could be more meaningful than spending more quality time with dad after Father’s Day?
If you want to make dad feel extra loved this year, plan a trip with him! Here are our top Father’s Day trip ideas to help get you going.
Why Dad will love it: Denver will take your breath away—and not just because it’s a mile up in elevation. As one America’s most picturesque cities, Denver sets all the attractions of a bustling city against a magnificent Rocky Mountain backdrop. You get to use the big city as a basecamp for some of the States’ best outdoor adventures. You and dad are only a short drive away from Boulder or Colorado Springs, where you can have your pick of fishing trips, rafting trips, 4×4 tours, rock climbing and other outdoor fun. End a long day of adventures by exploring one of the world’s best food and beer cities, where mad-scientist microbrewers turn Rocky Mountain water into craft brews.
- The Flatirons (Boulder): The five rock formations that make up this landmark are nearly 300 million years old and contain diverse trails that’ll captivate even the most outdoorsy dads.
- Mockery Brewing (Denver): This Brewery in the River North Art District plays loose with the rules of brewing beer on a never-ending quest to discover the next perfect pint.
Stay at: Right in the heart of downtown at Warwick Denver.
#2: Sip Your Way Through the Vineyards of Napa Valley
Why Dad will love it: Got a gourmand father who watches Travel Channel solely for the food and wine shows? California Wine Country is the best Father’s Day Trip for you. Obviously, “drinking good wine” is the destination here. However, the journey (literally, how you get around the valley) is also something to savor. There are a few ways to explore: rent e-bikes and travel at your own pace; grab tickets to the Napa Valley Open Air Wine Trolley Tour; or—our favorite option—let the wind flit through your hair while riding sidecar on a retro motorcycle tour (more below). No matter how you and your father get around, the options for sampling new wines while taking in stunning views are practically endless.
- The Montoliva Vineyard & Winery: Take pops on a sun-gilded tour of the vineyard, complete with a tasting and an insightful lesson of the traditional Italian methods used in making Montoliva’s award-winning varietals.
- Napa Valley Wine-Tasting Side Car Tours: Upgrade your sidecar motorcycle trip to make pit stops for tastings at two wineries.
Stay at: A Top-Secret Napa Hotel right near downtown.
#3: Bask in the Cool Shadows of America’s Most Marvelous Skyscrapers in Chicago
Why Dad will love it: Look: I’m biased. I’m on my second decade living in Chicago. But I still get chills when I crest over the Skyway after a weekend away, and see Chicago’s skyline on the shore of Lake Michigan like the colossal crown of some ancient god-king. You appreciate the magnificence of those buildings even more standing in their shadows, hearing about their history. No doubt, few fathers can resist geeking out like a 12-year-old during a Chicago architecture tour, be it by boat, foot, bus or plane. In addition to the architectural marvels, Chicago is also one of America’s top food, live music, drinking and comedy cities. With something for any dad to nerd out on, the so-called Second City should be close to first on your list for Father’s Day trip ideas.
- Architecture Boat Tour: One of the city’s most-beloved experiences for a reason: you’ll loop the Loop while guides regale you with history lessons about Chicago’s iconic landmarks.
- Medieval Torture Museum: This macabre collection of grisly contraptions and grim curios is not for everyone. But the people who like it tend to absolutely love it (nearly 5 stars on Groupon).
Stay at: The Hyatt-Regency Chicago, a downtown hotel in the middle of all the action.
#4: Clink Pints in Boston, One of America’s Most Historic Beer Cities
Why Dad will love it: Boston combines two things nearly every dad loves: craft beer and early American history. Most credit the city’s most well-known brewery for starting the craft-beer boom of the 90’s and 00’s. But the roots of Boston’s beer-brewing history stretch back to the time of the Founding Fathers. Picture them: America’s dads, weary at the end of a long day of birthing the world’s first perfect democracy, doffing their powdered wigs, hanging them on wooden pegs by the door, and bellying bodily up to the bar of Boston’s oldest brewery, which operated from 1796 to 1814. Those are the sorts of images sure to bring a patriotic tear to the eye of any red-blooded American father. Especially after a couple of pints.
- Cityview Trolley Tours: Hop on. Get to know the city while learning all about it. Hop off. Stand in the spot of the Boston Tea Party. Great times.
- Brews & Clues: Fan the flames of your dad’s competitive fire during this three-hour, two-mile, pub-crawl-meets-trivia-challenge that combines local history and beer flights.
Stay at: DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside, a downtown hotel.
#5: Play Through Dad’s Choice of Nearly 200 Golf Courses in Phoenix
Why Dad will love it: For avid golfers, Arizona ranks behind only Scotland and Hawaii as their dream golfing destination. It’s easy to see why: Every kind of course can be found within Phoenix and its surrounding areas. Fairways flanked by saguaros? Shaded by lush pines? Backdropped by Sonoran Desert vistas? Whatever course your pops has always dreamed of teeing off on, Phoenix has it. Best of all, each of Phoenix’s nearly 200 courses shares one crucial trait: year-round, perfect golfing weather.
- Ahwatukee Country Club: 18 holes plus lunch, cart rental and range balls on a course that winds through gentle hills and sparkling fountains
- The Duke Golf Club: White-sand bunkers. Gobs of scenery. It’s no wonder this course boasts a nearly perfect 5-star rating on Groupon.
Stay at: DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley in Scottsdale. It has a big, beautiful pool shaded by towering palms to relax under after your day on the course is done.