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Where To Go in June

BY Emily Frantz | May 8, 2024

June is the month when spring becomes summer, school breaks make parenting a full-time job again, fathers take to their grills and we celebrate holidays big and small, from Father’s Day and Juneteenth, to National Rotisserie Chicken Day (June 2) and Insect Repellent Awareness Day (June 3). If you live in the Midwest or the Northeast, it’s the perfect time to head west for a weekend or two, as two broods of cicadas are expected to emerge in their first dual appearance since 1803, making the region a loud and perhaps crunchy place to be. So, make like a cicada and invade someone else’s city for a time. And you should probably consider Dad culture while you’re at it, given that it is the season for fathers’ annual accolades, and Dad culture does include boats. From lakes to museums, here are five places to go in June that we think Dad would approve of:

Nashville, Tenn.

Photo courtesy of Derrick Brutel | CC BY-SA 2.0

For music festival fans, Tennessee is the destination this June. The Country Music Association’s CMA Fest — the longest-running country music festival in the world — will be held in Nashville from June 8 to 11 this year. Just a few days later, and not too far from Nashville by car, Manchester, Tenn. will host the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival from June 13 to 16, which, after 20 years, remains one of the most anticipated music festivals in the country. This year, the festival will be headlined by artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone and Fred Again, among 110 artists, creating a psychedelic music experience in the woods of Tennessee. It may be an unconventional Father’s Day trip, but dads and their daughters can both appreciate a Maggie Rogers set. Camping is a must-do at Bonnaroo, but you have other options if that’s not your style. The Dive Motel in Nashville, featured in our “Revamped Modern Motels Worth A Visit,” is a unique option for a place to crash after CMA Fest or on your road trip to Manchester. Our writer calls it the “most hipster motel in America, where retro fun permeates everything on the property.” 

Denver, Colo.

Photo courtesy of Jasen Miller | CC BY 2.0

It’s lake season. And Denver, despite its reputation as a mountain town, is down with a good lake as well. Colorado is an excellent place for a Father’s Day weekend or a trip at any point in the month. On June 15, the Lake Dillon Beer Festival will pop up in the town of Dillon, Colo., an hour’s drive west from Denver, for a few hours in the afternoon with over 30 participating breweries. The venue’s amphitheater sits right on Lake Dillon, so you can enjoy your craft beer samplings with a water view. Dads love lakes, the science on why isn’t out yet, but trust us they do. While you’re in the area, you could hit one of the dozens of trails that start at different points around the lake including the Lake Dillon Valley Trail or the Tenderfoot Mountain Trail, which is what you’ll be calling your feet once that hikers high wears off. (Famously, dads also love jokes.) While in Denver, you could stay at The Source Hotel, an old iron foundry remade into a modern industrial hotel, or The Maven, which is embellished with locally made art. 

Washington D.C.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Cutrer | CC BY 2.0

You won’t find more references to fatherhood anywhere else in the United States than in Washington D.C. — mostly of the founding variety. Bring a dad here who is just a little too into history, and he’ll be as happy as a Maryland clam.  You can tour the Capitol Building, visit a monument to one of those other American dads, or just go for a stroll past the Watergate Hotel and see what he says. If government isn’t your thing, the good news is that D.C. is the city with the most museums in the country, most of which are free to visit. One of the newer additions to the Washington Mall is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in 2016. The museum will hold a Juneteenth Community Day Celebration on June 15, plus new events all month long. If you’re driving out of the city through Virginia, located 70 miles west of Washington D.C., is Dinosaur Land. The roadside attraction houses over 50 life-size dinosaur replicas along a woodland trail and has been around since the 60s, much like your father. Whether you’re five or 55, there’s nothing that says money well spent like a photo with a life-sized dinosaur.

Syracuse, New York

Photo courtesy of Dan Gaken | CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for a reprieve from the city, Syracuse is a great place to escape to upstate. Because of its location within the Finger Lakes region, outdoor activities are abundant. You could visit Green Lakes State Park to hike, bike and golf, a hat trick for dads everywhere. Or, you could opt for a dessert cruise along the Erie Canal if that sounds sweeter. Like Virginia, Syracuse appreciates a dinosaur too at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, a retro-styled restaurant that solely sells smoked meat and beer. It’s gonna be a dad-bod summer, so you may as well stop at Harrison Bakery too. If you want to stay on nearby Seneca Lake, the middle and largest finger of the Finger Lakes, Grist Iron Brewing is the only hotel in the area to include beers upon check-in. There’s not much more a dad — or his adult children — could ask for. However, there are plenty of boat-ready hotel options nearby to choose from. On the southern tip of Otsego Lake, is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Mets may have lost today, but in the Baseball Hall of Fame, it can always be 1986. The Museum houses over 38,000 baseball-related artifacts and a Hall of Fame plaque gallery. 

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Dan Perry | CC BY 2.0

Golf: a sport every father knows the rules to for some reason despite never playing. This year, instead of watching those guys in slacks cart around country clubs you can’t afford on TV, why not watch them in person? The U.S. Open will be held in Pinehurst, N.C. from June 13 to 16. In Pinehurst, the biggest thing to do is play golf yourself, as the city is known for its top-of-the-line courses, including the Pinehurst Resort which is home to the Pinehurst No. 2 course, the site of three past U.S. Opens. If you’re visiting Pinehurst by plane, you’ll most likely land in Raleigh, where you should indulge in some Carolina barbeque and craft beer before hitting the links (and we’ve got the best spots for both right here). It’s a great, historic city for walking around, with bushy greenery and a lively street art scene.