By Hunter Houtzer
More than worn-out polos and corny jokes, it seems fathers love to travel. My own certainly does. If he’s not watching the History Channel or cleaning out the garage (does any dad ever truly finish cleaning out a garage?), he’s planning our next big vacation. Not necessarily my personal dream vacation—I’m a gal with a thirst for outlet stores and sandy beaches—but a destination with the opportunity for family bonding, and perhaps a little fishing.
With Father’s Day coming up on Sunday, June 21st, what better way to celebrate the man who carried me inside from the car as a child, than to take a trip (and let him be the big, bad navigator who doesn’t even need the GPS…but may leave it on just in case)?
There are a million short trips to take as a family (or father and daughter/father and son) that are nostalgic—my dad, at least, finds thrills in being thrifty—and allow for picture-perfect moments. Because Father’s Day is a summer holiday, it’s a perfect time for getting outdoors. My dad loves to get all of the old camping gear out that hasn’t been touched in years (really, do we ever finish cleaning the garage?). Beachfront camping is available in state parks across the Outer Banks of North Carolina for those who want to smell the salty air, or learn a little pirate lore (Beaufort, NC is perfect for this endeavor).
Deep sea fishing, jet skiing or just enjoying the a day at the beach make for a memorable, relaxing way to appreciate a lifetime of protection from a father. A little more inland, cave exploring in Pinnacle Overlook, Virginia, or white-water rafting in the hills of West Virginia are other ways to enjoy the warm, clean air of summertime out in nature. In the rural, southern Georgia towns of Valdosta or Marietta, hunting is a great way to pass the time. In the red clay part of eastern Georgia, you and your father can enjoy arrowhead hunting. For those dads with a wild side, cruises on the Mississippi can be an exciting way to spend a weekend, drinking and laughing with family members.
For my own father, I think we will travel to the mountains for gem mining, socializing, and trying to distinguish wild animal tracks from those of dogs. I know my father will check the oil in the car before we head out, check that the door is locked three times, and have a route mapped out, on a real map, no less. I can’t wait to spend quality time with my father this weekend! Have a fantastic Father’s Day!