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7 Destinations (and Dad Jokes) for a Last-Second Father’s Day Getaway

Islands 6/21/2021 Ashley Burns
a row of lawn chairs sitting on top of a body of water: What kind of exercise is best for a swimmer? Pool-ups! © Provided by Islands What kind of exercise is best for a swimmer? Pool-ups!

What kind of exercise is best for a swimmer? Pool-ups! (Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucaya/)

Did you hear about the dad who doesn’t like the food service on smaller jets? Yeah, he thinks it’s a little plane. There’s nothing better than a great dad joke to start the day, and the fathers among us love nothing more than the groans and eye rolls we receive when we tell these classics to our families. Want another one?

Why does the witch prefer to stay at the Ritz-Carlton?

Because they have the best broom service!

I can do this all day, and I will when my family zips off to Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia for a Father’s Day celebration unlike any other. I just hope I’m invited.

It’s not too late to plan your own Father’s Day escape, especially with a wide variety of options available within driving distance or a short flight. In fact, we have a quick list of great resorts offering spectacular Father’s Day experiences or simply good times for everyone. And if you are traveling by airplane, make sure you wear a watch or else you won’t be able to see time fly.

Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan—Grand Bahama

a dining room table in front of a window: Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food but no atmosphere. © Provided by Islands Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food but no atmosphere.

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food but no atmosphere. (Lighthouse Pointe at Grand/)

If you’re taking a road trip, the last thing you want is to get lost. But if you’re down to hop on a quick flight to one of the best spots in the Bahamas, this is the perfect place to get lost. Why do we love Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan? For starters, it’s all-inclusive, which means dad and everyone else can let the resort handle the little things. That means more fun for the crew, and there is plenty to do on this 7.5-acre property.

Relax on the stunning white beach or unwind in the Senses Spa before a dip in the awesome infinity pool (top). Explore the island on horseback or tee off at the fantastic Reef Course. Do all that and more before returning to the resort and enjoying an evening celebration of life, love, and family at Portobello’s (above) or one of the other three dining options.

And with Father’s Day in mind, the Bed and Breakfast experience is ideal for a quick romantic getaway, but have fun talking him out of the Golf Package, which includes unlimited greens and cart fees.

Divi and Tamarijn Aruba All-Inclusives—Aruba

a bridge over a body of water: Why did the golfer have to change his socks? Because he had a hole in one. © Provided by Islands Why did the golfer have to change his socks? Because he had a hole in one.

Why did the golfer have to change his socks? Because he had a hole in one. (Divi and Tamarijn Aruba All-Inclusives/)

Between the always delightful Druif Beach and the bevy of activities on land and in the water, the sister properties of Divi and Tamarijn Aruba All-Inclusives are a dad’s playground. Kick off the day with a round of nine holes at The Links at Divi (and grab a quick lesson from resort pro Don Ross if you want your game to improve on the spot) and then grab lunch from the resorts’ new and enhanced dining options before hitting the ocean for windsurfing and kayaking.

What really makes these properties special is the lengths they went to in not just making the social areas safer and healthier with hand wash stations and physical distancing markers, but also how they made it permanent. The guidelines and protocols that were implemented last year will go a long way in making every family feel like VIPs while eliminating concerns and anxiety for travelers who are getting back out there for the first time in two years.

Orlando World Center Marriott—Orlando, FL

Why does Tarzan play so much golf? He wants to perfect his swing! © Provided by Islands Why does Tarzan play so much golf? He wants to perfect his swing!

Why does Tarzan play so much golf? He wants to perfect his swing! (Orlando World Center Marriott/)

Did someone say golf? We know Florida has more courses than an all-you-can-eat buffet, so choosing just one resort for a weekend feels like a fool’s errand. We love Orlando World Center Marriott because it’s located right in the heart of Central Florida’s tourism region, so families with kids can always pull off the Sunshine State vacation of a lifetime here and never leave feeling unfulfilled.

For Father’s Day, though, we’re especially keen on this property, because it’s home to the awesome Hawk’s Landing course that is not only great for golfers of all experience levels, but also guests of all ages. For example, the Golf Getaway experience includes one round of daily golf, so dad can tee off while the family enjoys the pool. But kids under 15 also golf free (after 3 pm), so if dad wants to give the youngsters some pointers, what better way to spend the holiday?

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota—Sarasota, FL

a group of palm trees next to a body of water: What did the ocean say to the Ritz-Carlton’s beach club pool? Nothing. It just waved. © Provided by Islands What did the ocean say to the Ritz-Carlton’s beach club pool? Nothing. It just waved.

What did the ocean say to the Ritz-Carlton’s beach club pool? Nothing. It just waved. (The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota/)

This article isn’t supposed to be entirely about golf, I swear, but it’s hard to deny that the Tom Fazio-designed course at this spectacular resort is a perfect setting for Father’s Day. Between the Caddie Concierge program, which pairs golfers with their very own club whisperers for expert insight on every hole, and the Kids Play and Learn Program, which will help younger golfers get a better understanding for the game, this place is a no-brainer.

But there’s another level of decadent exclusivity at this Ritz-Carlton and it’s on display at the waterfront restaurant Jack Dusty. Here, cocktail lovers will be thrilled to sip the property’s very own blend of rum from Siesta Key Distillers, as well as a special batch of Russell’s Reserve bourbon, and tequila from Maestro Dobel. And what better way to top it all off than a toast to the entire family with the signature Siren drink?

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort—South Walton, FL

a group of people on a boat: Did you hear about the dentist who entered the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic? He named his boat the Tooth Ferry. © Provided by Islands Did you hear about the dentist who entered the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic? He named his boat the Tooth Ferry.

Did you hear about the dentist who entered the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic? He named his boat the Tooth Ferry. (Visit South Walton/)

Yes, there’s plenty of golf to be played here, with four courses to choose from, including Burnt Pine, which was once declared the “Crown Jewel of Florida Golf” by Golf magazine. A lesson or two at the Golf Academy is also a great way for dad to tinker with his swing and cut down on the slices, but the real allure for Father’s Day is the conveniently timed Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic, for which there will be a ton of fun both on and off the water from June 23-27.

With a variety of accommodations to consider—from quaint, romantic suites to four-bedroom penthouses for extended family getaways—staying here is merely a matter of choosing what works best. And once the hardest decision is out of the way, all that’s left to decide is how much time at the beach is enough.

Sheraton New Orleans—New Orleans, LA

a large pool of water with a city in the background: Why did the cantaloupe jump into the rooftop pool? It wanted to be a watermelon. © Provided by Islands Why did the cantaloupe jump into the rooftop pool? It wanted to be a watermelon.

Why did the cantaloupe jump into the rooftop pool? It wanted to be a watermelon. (Sheraton New Orleans/)

Okay, so we’re moving away from the beaches with this one, but this is about traveling and getting the best of a special destination. And they don’t make them much more special than New Orleans, where every day should start with breakfast at Surrey’s and end with meat frites and whiskey at Barrel Proof (or insert your favorite bar here). And the Sheraton New Orleans serves as an ideal base for your vacation operations, especially since it offers so much on-site.

The Rodrigue Gallery has been reimagined as a venue for music performances, adding to the fun of Friday and Saturday night jazz shows at The Blue Dog, and the rooftop pool offers a combination of privacy and the best views around. Plus, guests won’t need to go far for classic Big Easy cocktails, with five dining options between this hotel and neighboring New Orleans Marriott. But dad will want to explore and who can blame him?

Cambria Hotel Summerville—Charleston, SC

a group of people walking on the side of a road: Did you hear about the dad who almost missed the 5K? He was running late. © Provided by Islands Did you hear about the dad who almost missed the 5K? He was running late.

Did you hear about the dad who almost missed the 5K? He was running late. (Discover South Carolina/)

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a simple getaway that puts an emphasis on family first, and that’s what you get at a place like Cambria Hotel Summerville - Charleston. Guests aren’t far from the best of Charleston and its lively spots like the Battery (above), and if dad is a foodie there’s nowhere else he’d rather be. Catch a game and enjoy cocktails at 1st Place, the city’s newest sports bar, or try something different and hit Mesu for a creative Mexican sushi concept (there are also free churros all day for Father’s Day).

Billed as the birthplace of sweet tea, Summerville is also known as Flowertown for its colorful beauty, and overall this town is a beacon of creativity. But if dad really has his heart set on golf, he can always swing over to The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation and enjoy the unique trio of nines for a mix-and-match 18-hole experience. Or, to heck with it—play all 27. It’s dad’s choice.

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