Traditional Father’s Day gifts are often uninspired–ties, wallets, socks–unless you think outside the gift box. Take this holiday to the next level by booking a vacation rental in an unforgettable spot where you and your dad can do something fabulous, off-beat, or just plain fun. Whether your father likes golf, race cars, moon rocks, or howling at the moon, these cities across the United States have it all. These destinations are perfect for a Father’s Day getaway.
1. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago makes a big impression with lots to see and do, including the Skydeck, a glass balcony that extends four feet outside the 103rd floor of Willis Tower–that’s 1,353 feet above street level. While you’re there, you might introduce dad to the oldest gal in Chi-town. Her name is Sue, she’s 67 million years old, and she’s waiting at the Field Museum. As the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever found, Sue makes an impressive hostess for this gargantuan museum where people spend hours exploring without coming close to seeing all the exhibits.
2. Louisville, Kentucky
Let the spirits lead you and dad to Louisville where you hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to experience some of the finest bourbon in the country. The tour features some top distilleries, including Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve. It takes about two or three days to complete the trail on your own, with leisurely stops to explore the distilleries, horse farms, and other attractions. Louisville Bourbon Tours and Mint Julep Tours & Transportation schedule bus and SUV tours for your convenience.
3. Rockland, Maine
Besides being an iconic coastal Maine towns with lighthouses, museums, and clam chowder galore, Rockland gives you a chance to take your sailor-at-heart dad on a Windjammer cruise. Dad gets a chance to help sail the vessel, or he can just kick back and relax. If he prefers to be the captain, rent a sailboat from Maine Coast Sail, and spend the day sailing Penobscot Bay with just the two of you.
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4. St. Pete Beach, Florida
It’s St. Pete Beach, so tell dad to wear his swimsuit for dinner at Rumfish Grill and Bar. Take him to swim with the fishes in a 33,500 gallon aquarium, which fills one whole wall in the dining room. Your reservations include snorkeling with more than 30 species of sea creatures in the tank, including a nurse shark. While you’re on the island, check out historic Pass-a-Grille to get in some shopping, or to join a dolphin-watching boat tour.
5. Pebble Beach, California
Book tees for two at Pebble Beach Golf Links, and dad can scratch one item off his bucket list. This Father’s Day destination features three 18-hole championship courses, kayaking, skeet shooting, and fishing. Dress up for fine dining at Roy’s at Pebble Beach, an upscale spot for Hawaiian cuisine, or at Anton & Michel Restaurant, which features table-side cooking.
6. Bentonville, Virginia
Zip over to Bentonville, where kids ages 10 and older can take dad for a Father’s Day adventure in Shenandoah River State Park’s canopy tour. Your day includes 8 zip lines, a sky bridge, an air stair bridge, two nature walks, and rappelling. For some underground excitement, join a guided tour of the exquisite Shenandoah Caverns, just 7 miles away.
7. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
The best way to see the Grand Canyon is from the bottom, with a flute of champagne raised in a Father’s Day toast. Fly over the canyon in a GC Flight Tours helicopter, and land 3,200 feet below the rim to enjoy your personal champagne picnic in style. Your narrated tour includes Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert, and the Colorado River. Continue with the flight to Las Vegas, where you pass over Caesars Palace, and then paint the town red with dad’s choice of restaurants and casinos.
8. Battle Ground, Indiana
Battle Ground is one of those little towns that people tend to overlook. But, you and your dad share a unique love for animals, and a great sense of humor, which makes taking him to howl with the wolves at Wolf Park really special. Join a daylight guided tour to view the different species, and return for howl night. Wolf handlers encourage guests to howl along in the wolf and coyote sing-along. Treat dad to one of the best flame grilled steaks around at TC’S Restaurant And Tavern for dinner on the big day.
9. Galveston, Texas
Taking dad to Galveston affords him the opportunity to choose from a variety of adventures, including deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Paparda Rey Fishing Charters in Galveston features year-round excursions to fish for sailfish and king mackerel. Be sure to take a camera to get some photos of dad’s proud moments, especially in case he catches the big one. At the end of the day, treat dad to a delicious dinner at one of the seaside restaurants on the island before returning to your Galveston vacation rental for the evening.
10. Titusville, Florida
Take dad on an expedition that’s out of this world with a Father’s Day getaway along Florida’s Space Coast. At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex, touch a moon rock, see a Saturn 5 rocket, and view the Atlantis space shuttle. Check out the training simulators inside the Atlantis, and then buckle up to experience all the sensations of a space shuttle blast-off. Other attractions include Exploration Tower, and the American Space Museum. Bus tours take you to see NASA rocket launch sites and buildings.
11. Indianapolis, Indiana
For dads who love car racing, getting to Indianapolis makes it onto many bucket lists. Race over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum with dad, and take your time exploring the exhibits, including the very first car to win the Indy 500. Surprise dad with a visit to Dallara IndyCar Factory where exhibits feature Indy car technology through interactive displays. Coax dad into trying out the simulated driving experience in an Indy race car.
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