USATop Nature Vacations

9 Manly Father's Day Trips Your Dad Will Never Expect

By , June 15th, 2014


What to get your dad for Father’s Day…


He’s got enough ties, and paying for a dinner out shows you respect the man. But why not take him on an unforgettable epic trip where your “Papa Bear” can see his son or daughter all grown up.

Time to dust off and free your dad’s two-wheeled youth from the shed–you know, the vintage motorcycle Mom chooses to write off like a black sheep. And make sure to reattach the sidecar! Once you decide who sits where, throttle onward to these destinations guaranteed to make your papa proud.


Take him on a trip!


1. “Hey Dad, you wanna have a catch” at the Hall of Fame?


Photo by Rob Begbie. CC BY

Cooperstown, N.Y.

Shoot baseball trivia in a rockin’ chair on the Cooper Inn’s porch and welcome your favorites–Tom Glavine, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, and Joe Torre–into the Hall of Fame while breathing in the sweet smell of pine tar, a freshly-cut Doubleday Field grass, and maybe your pops will finally show you how to throw the ole knuckleball-riser pitch with a wiffle ball. For more info.


2. Stumble Through the Freedom Trail with a Pint in Hand

Freedom Trail Pub Crawl

Photo courtesy of Freedom Trail Foundation

Boston, Mass.

If there’s one way to learn about a city as historical as Boston, it’s with beer as your tour guide. Okay, chances are, a costumed guide in their finest throwback revolutionary frock will lead the way. But the Sam Adams beer will fuel you down the trail. Make sure to stay at The Lenox, in the heart of Copley Square, to enjoy Boston nightlife. For more info.


3. Go Fast and Furious in an Audi A8, or Go Slow and Friendly in a Go-Kart

Race Race Race

Photo courtesy of NOLA Motorsports Park

New Orleans, La.

Ever dreamt of gunning the engine of a Prius? No. Well, ever thought about driving at top speed in a Ferrari? Problem solved compliments of NOLA Motorsports Park. And keep the adrenaline-rush coursing through your veins by spending a few nights at the Windsor Court Hotel. For more info.


4. Enter the Danger Zone

Las Vegas, Nev.

“You’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’.” Rekindle the bond with your father in a fighter pilot doing barrel rolls and other dicey maneuvers with Sky Combat Ace. Best part is, you fly the plane. Be sure to time your Vegas trip around a high-stakes boxing match at the Mandalay Bay. For more info.


5. Visit a Brewery Among the Mountaintops and Find Out Where Beer Comes From — Not the Stork

Mt. HoodPhoto by Thomas Shahan 3. CC BY

Hood River, Ore.

Stop by Full Sail Brewing Co., look up at Mt. Hood that towers over the city in the backdrop and supervises all the spring water that makes its way into the beer you’re sipping on in the tasting room, and then say, “Hooray beer!” After a taste test, mosey on down to the Hood River Hotel for lodging. For more info.


6. Join a Fight Club and Break the First Rule

Fight Club

Photo by Benjamin Chan. CC BY.

Albuquerque, N.M.

Take a lesson with acclaimed mix-martial-arts trainer Greg Jackson at his gym in Albuquerque. He’s trained GSP, Rashad Evans, and he can teach your dad how to get you to call your mother on a weekly basis: It’s called a kimura armlock. You can either bunk with Jackson’s UFC fighters, but we’d recommend bunking on a farmland with goats, chickens other wildlife at Los Poblanos–animals that can’t inflict pain, although the peacock is quite sassy. For more info.


7. Extreeeme Biking Down a Ski Resort Mountain

biking downhill

Photo by Zach Dischner. CC BY.

Crystal Mountain, Wash.

Grab some Mountain Dew and switch gears from winter to summer with a mountain bike ride down Crystal’s epic summit, standing tall at 6,872 feet. When your legs start feeling like Jell-O, take a rest at a nearby resort.

8. Go Wine Tasting, But Don’t Spit it Out

Wine tasting

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Napa Valley, Calif.

Sunset. Wine. And then there’s a father and a son uncomfortably trying to talk about their feelings. The perfect setting for life lessons and fatherly wisdom you won’t find in any book. Awkward silences mean it’s time to head to the next vineyard and then slosh forth to your twin beds at the Harvest Inn. For more info.


9. Paddle Down The River Wild, Without Kevin Bacon

Photo courtesy of Arizona River Runners

Colorado River, Ariz.

Class V rapids through the Grand Canyon is exactly the trust-building exercise that keeps one of you from drowning. And after the white caps have drenched you thoroughly, dry off and spend a couple nights in Las Vegas, which is where your 13-day journey down the river ends–the command “get down!” at a resort has an entirely different meaning than on a raft. For more info.