The Best U.S. Cities to Celebrate Father’s Day

Header image for a blog about the best cities to celebrate father’s day

Father’s Day is the best time of year to celebrate the man who raised you, spent countless hours driving you to friends’ houses after school, and imparted those cringy yet arguably hilarious dad jokes that still have you cracking a smile. For the man in your life who knows how to keep a pristine lawn and can play a round of golf in under 90 strokes, planning the best Father’s Day trip is no easy feat. 

On a score out of 100, we decided to rank the most Father’s Day-friendly cities that will leave no shortage of manly activities for you and your dad or husband to enjoy. So if you’re not sure where to go for Father’s Day, read on to find out which cities were “dad-approved.” 

The 20 Best U.S. Cities to Celebrate Father’s Day

Map highlighting the top 20 U.S. cities to celebrate Father’s Day

Cleveland, Ohio, shatters records as the top place to celebrate Father’s Day. With the highest number of steakhouses (10), breweries (34), and hardware stores (19) per 100,000 residents, it’s no wonder dads could spend countless hours wandering this city. Cleveland is known for its bars and nightlife at places like The Chocolate Bar, which features desserts like triple chocolate mousse and martini glasses filled with warm chocolate and served with strawberries for dipping. What hardworking dad doesn’t deserve a nightcap fit for a double-O agent paired with something sweet?

Fort Wayne, Indiana, ranked second as one of the best places to go on Father’s Day with a total city score of 64 out of 100, overflowing with countless Father’s Day trip ideas. Swig down a pint of domestic beer for $3.50 (average cost) or visit one of their seven fishing trails per 100,000 residents. This midsize metropolis is host to countless rivers, reservoirs, and lakes sure to allow for optimal father-child bonding time and bright blood-orange sunsets.  

Madison, Wisconsin, ranked third with the most basketball hoops (10) on the list per 10,000 residents. Reno, Nevada, and Omaha, Nebraska, nearly tied for fifth, proving dads can celebrate Father’s Day rain or shine. 

Rounding out the top 20 are places like Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Nashville, Tennessee; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Pittsburgh, dubbed the City of Bridges, contains three steakhouses and five men’s clothing stores per 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, Nashville has 1.5 golf courses per 100,000 people and an average lawn size of 0.215 acres, slightly inhibiting dads’ evolutionary urges to stop and admire other men’s lawns.

The Best Cities for Father’s Day Activities

Map displaying the top U.S. cities for Father’s Day activities by category

When it comes to picking one of the best places to go for Father’s Day, it’s important to understand what’s at the core of your husband’s or father’s desires. Is he an “active” dad, interested in basketball or exposing his dad bod while he clears the gutter? Is he the kind of guy who likes to work with his hands, always coming home with the latest gadget and disappearing for hours on end in the garage? Whoever your dad might be, we narrowed down the top four “dad personas” to help make it even easier for you to plan the most epic dad’s day off. 

Spokane, Washington, received a top score of 19.6 out of 25 for our “Brews & a Ball Game” category, making it one of the best places to go for Father’s Day. Buy your father some peanuts and Cracker Jack at Spokane’s 6,800-seat Avista Stadium, which hosts minor league baseball games. 

Cleveland, Ohio, is the top city to spoil your dad with gifts while stopping at one of their mouthwatering Michelin star restaurants, ranking highest for both the “Father’s Day Gifts” and “Steakhouse Dinner” categories.

For the man in your life who would rather spend the day outside coating on sunscreen and watching his fishing bobber float in a lake, consider taking a trip to Madison, Wisconsin. Madison is known for its top-rated, picturesque golf courses and variety of fishing spots, which means your dad will be sure to come home with a classic sock tan and Moby-Dick level fishing stories.

The 10 Worst U.S. Cities to Celebrate Father’s Day

Map displaying the 10 worst U.S. cities to celebrate Father’s Day

The top four worst cities to celebrate a Father’s Day trip are located in California: Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Francisco. Bakersfield is a letdown, featuring no live sporting events per 100,000 people. 

New York places eighth as one of the worst places to go on Father’s Day. The average cost of a domestic pint of beer in New York will run you $8.00, and there are only 0.4 fishing trails per 100,000 residents, making a Bud Light out on a lake virtually impossible. 

Surprisingly, Boston, Massachusetts, a city rich with history, is the seventh-worst city to visit for Father’s Day. Imagine all those dad bods crammed into only one steakhouse and 0.6 golf courses per 100,000 people. When it comes to showering your dad with gifts galore, it might be best to skip Beantown. 

Methodology

We determined the best places to go on Father’s Day by sourcing data from Ballotpedia, Wikipedia, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Lawn Starter, Trail Link, Numbeo, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Trust for Public Land, and Ticketmaster. Next, we categorized and assigned a weight to 14 dad-approved factors like the number of golf courses, breweries, and steakhouses with a score out of 100 and compared that data across 70 of the most populated U.S. cities. 

Number of steakhouses – 2.00

Number of golf courses – 2.00

Number of breweries – 2.00

Average star-rating of steakhouses – 1.50

Average star-rating of golf courses – 1.50

Average star-rating of breweries – 1.50

Number of hardware stores – 1.50

Number of men’s clothing stores – 1.50

Average lawn size – 1.00

Number of fishing trails – 1.00

Cost of a pint of domestic beer – 1.00

Number of childcare workers – 1.00

Number of basketball hoops – 1.00

Number of upcoming live sporting events – 1.50

We then took it one step further by compiling our “dad-approved” factors into four main categories: Steakhouse Dinner, Brews & a Ball Game, The “Active” Dad, and Father’s Day Gifts. We gave each category a weighted score out of 25.

Steakhouse Dinner

  • Number of steakhouses, average steakhouse star-rating, and number of childcare workers

Brews & a Ball Game

  • Number of breweries, average brewery star-rating, cost of a pint of domestic beer, number of live sporting events, and number of childcare workers

The “Active” Dad

  • Number of golf courses, average golf course star-rating, average lawn size, number of fishing trails, number of basketball hoops

Father’s Day Gifts

  • Number of hardware stores and number of men’s clothing stores

Closing Thoughts

There are certain things only a father can do, like rock a fanny pack, cut the umbilical cord, and most of all, support their kids like no one is watching. So that you don’t waste precious bonding time wondering where to go for Father’s Day, Shane Co. wanted to arm you with the best places to take Dad out on the town — as long as he won’t be required to ask for directions. 

On the off chance you can’t make it to one of the top cities on our list, Shane Co. offers a stylish selection of men’s jewelry and customizable wedding bands to still make your Father’s Day a memorable one.

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