5 Best Destinations for a Father-Son Trip
By Christopher Thompson
Where to go with dad to celebrate Father’s Day, from Jackson Hole to the Scottish Highlands.
Last month, we paid homage to our matriarchs with suggestions for the perfect mother-daughter trip for Mother’s Day. Now, as Father’s Day approaches, we’ve gathered our favorite ideas for a father-son (or father-daughter) vacation. Whether your dad is a golfer, a nature buff, an adventurer, or just someone who appreciates a good Scotch, here are five great destinations for some quality bonding time.
For an outdoorsman, there’s no better base than this picturesque Wyoming town. It’s a stone’s throw from mountainous Grand Teton National Park and just 40 minutes from the famous geysers, hot springs, and calderas of Yellowstone National Park. Many celebrities and titans of industry own homes here (low state taxes, along with natural beauty, may be part of the incentive), and the city has a great dining scene and top notch amenities. Stay at the Amangani, which sits 7,000 feet above sea level, offering panoramic views of Jackson Hole and the Teton mountains. The infinity pool is probably the best vantage point, but all 40 suites have private terraces or balconies along with a fireplace. Through July 31, the resort is offering a new program, Adventures in the Wild, which includes guided tours in search of grizzly bears, moose, elk, bison, and wolves. The really ambitious can take it up a notch with a private jet journey to Amangiri in Utah, Aman’s only other U.S. property. You’ll spend three nights in each place and will check off the ultimate national park bucket list: Zion, Bryce, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone. From $800, aman.com
Five years ago, Iwan and Manuela Wirth, the married co-founders of Hauser & Wirth, bought the Fife Arms, a stately but crumbling Victorian-era hotel in Braemar, Scotland. After an extensive renovation, it reopened earlier this year—Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla were at the ribbon cutting ceremony. As one might expect from celebrated art world connoisseurs, the new hotel is a study in extremely good taste. Contemporary works from the Wirths’ personal collection (a Picasso in the drawing room, a Gerhard Richter in the dining room, a Steinway piano designed by Mark Bradford, and a Louise Bourgeois spider in the courtyard are among the property’s 14,000 works of art) complement the tartan furnishings and period pieces, including a watercolor made by Queen Victoria herself. As far as activities go, you can put on some Wellies (there is a dedicated boot room) to explore the countryside, play a round of golf at Braemar Golf Club (the highest course in Scotland at 1,000 feet above sea level), or tour the area’s many whiskey distilleries. Of course you can also just bide your time in the popular hotel bar, too—there are more than 180 kinds of whiskey just waiting to be sampled. From $325, thefifearms.com
Abercrombie & Kent may be best known as a veteran safari operator, but it has also lead expedition cruises to the ends of the Earth for thirty years. Its chartered ships are well equipped to navigate the icy, rough waters of Antarctica but also luxuriously appointed—all rooms have a private balcony and complimentary butlers. An all-inclusive program means you can eat and drink to your heart’s content. An award-winning team of expedition experts lead small group Zodiac excursions deep into the region, where you might get close to a colony of penguins, watch humpback whales come up for air, and skirt giant icebergs. If you’re worried about what your carbon footprint will do to its fragile ecosystem, A&K takes conservation seriously, supporting a number of projects in the polar regions and ensuring its ships follow all eco-friendly protocols like using a special positioning system to reduce the need to drop anchor. Bookings have begun for trips sailing in December and January (“summer” down there) and include a few nights in Buenos Aires. From $12,995 for 13 days, abercrombiekent.com
Realize all your Lion King fantasies this summer (the star-studded Jon Favreau-directed remake comes out in July) with andBeyond’s latest itinerary, Kings of the Jungle. The 10-day journey takes you into Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. You’ll spend significant time observing lion prides, of course, but will also follow the great wildebeest migration and run into elephants and rhinos. The trip begins at andBeyond’s Bateleur Camp, which has beautiful views over the Masai Mara plains (you might recognize it from Out of Africa). Then it’s on to andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas, a mobile tented camp that moves with the migration for up close access to the herds. Don’t let the words “mobile” and “tented” scare you—you’ll have your own butler and a flushing toilet, get meals served on crystal and silver, and possibly witness the most magnificent night skies of your life. Finally, the trip ends at andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge on the edge of the world’s largest caldera, where you can luxuriate in rooms filled with fireplaces, baroque furniture, and chandeliers. From $17,750 per person for 10 days, andbeyond.com
As beloved as Aspen is in winter, many argue it’s even better in summer. The weather is glorious, the scenery gorgeous, and the calendar full of cultural events, from the Aspen Music Festival to the Aspen Ideas Festival. Recently, the Little Nell did a short renovation to its lobby and living room with the help of design firm Champalimaud, along with a refresh of its casual restaurant, Ajax Tavern, by Rowland + Broughton. The hotel reopens on June 7, just in time for Father’s Day. The warm months in Aspen are prime time for a full slate of options for active, adventurous fathers. You can hire a guide for a custom a fly fishing trip in Roaring Fork Valley, take an off-road tour to the 11,200-ft high summit of Aspen Mountain, or rent a bike to cruise down Rio Grande Trail. Once you return, Little Nell has a robust wine program led by its new wine director Chris Dunaway, who will take you on a tour of the wine cellar and organize a well-deserved tasting after a full day of activities. From $610, thelittlenell.com