Now that you’re no longer a tyke, building a soap box derby car and playing catch in the backyard are pastimes long past. While tooling around under the hood of a ’65 Mustang was a good thing, these days require something more — a shared experience that’s far from common. For Father’s Day this year, shun another striped necktie or a leather key fob (unless it has the keys to a Porsche 911), and maximize the amount of time you two share together by going on an adventure. We’ve selected six relationship- and skill-enriching outings, ranging from local to distant — all of which are sure to take you a step farther in each of your journeys as father, son and man.
Fly Fish the Bighorn River, Montana
The Bighorn River in Eastern Montana is one of the nation’s best locations for large rainbow and brown trout fishing. These cold waters extend from the Yellowstone River in Montana down through Wyoming; in all, it’s 461 miles long — but your prime spot is 12 miles downstream from Fort Smith. There the river bursts with big trout, thanks to the millions of insect hatchlings that migrating trout consume. Catching big fish in the range of 15+ inches isn’t uncommon, so there’s no need for fish stories. And if it’s your first time fly fishing, fear not: Packages that include guided fishing are available, so you and Pops can learn something new together. The best time to go is after summer, when there are cooler temperatures and fewer crowds.
Eat: Drop by Billings’ Uberbrew for one (or more) of their 10 beers, along with their Whiskey Burger and Bockwurst, which is boiled in their beer, grilled and then topped with grilled onions and/or sauerkraut.
Stay: Spend your entire fly fishing experience at The Bighorn River Lodge, where you can capture some of the nation’s best fly fishing, and then rest your weary selves at the lodge. Packages start at $850 and include lodging, meals and guided fly fishing on the river.
Do: Waterfowl hunting at the Lodge is an experience in and of itself. Plenty of duck and geese provide for a true bird-hunting experience. When the bird activity tapers off, switch gears and get some fishing in. This is why they call it “Cast and Blast”.
Drive the Nordeschleife on the Nürburgring Racetrack
If you and dad are gearheads, or you just love speed and the opportunity to become a better driver, there’s almost no better place on earth than the famed Nürburgring racetrack in Nürburg, Germany. And the trip’s more affordable than you think. The track is open for public driving nearly every day, and you don’t even have to bring your own car across the ocean. Dad is worth a rental of a VW Scirocco Cup+, a VW Golf GTI or a Toyota GT86 (FR-S), so he can nail every apex on the north loop of the track. You’ll receive training on the car and the track, an explanation of the driving rules and a full safety briefing so you can tell your whole family that you’re not going to put dear old dad in harm’s way.
Eat: Just because you’re racing the heck out of the ring doesn’t mean you don’t have time to stop for an American meal at the Devil’s Diner, which serves up burgers and other calorie-rich fare. With racetrack and automotive paraphernalia galore, it’s an amateur racer’s delight, and there’s easy access at the entrance to the Nordeschleife.
Stay: If you plan on doing more than just one track outing, be sure to stay close at the Lindner Congress & Motorsport Hotel Nürburgring, situated adjacent to the start and finish lines. Catch a view of the Eifel Mountains from one of the 154 decadent rooms, and then get back to racing.
Do:When you’re not actually mashing the gas, get dad to the track museum known as the ring°werk. Newly remodeled, it’s essentially an indoor theme park paying homage to the ring, full of racing lore and legend.
Explore Cebu Island, Philippines
For all he’s put up with, Dad deserves an adventure in the Far East. Cebu Island sits in the middle of the Philippines and boasts some of its most developed areas, along with some of the most stunning beaches in the world. And though it’s a tropical paradise, temperatures aren’t scorching, and the climate remains mostly dry (rainfall happens occasionally from June through December). Temps range from 75 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit during most of the year, so it’s easy to explore the 122-mile-long, 20-mile-wide island. Start at bustling, commerce-heavy Cebu City, where you can bar-hop and hit up some of the country’s best eateries — then head to the gorgeous white sand beaches along the northern tip at Bantayan Island and on down to the southwest coast at Moalboal.