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Father’s Day gifts of travel — for all budgets

A Cooking Vacations getaway offers two hands-on cooking classes and a stay in an Italian villa.

Father’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking to forgo the traditional tie, cologne, or gift card to his favorite restaurant, why not give the gift of travel? Whether it’s an affordable, sports-theme weekend getaway, or a pricey, bucket-list-level international jaunt, there are plenty of options at various price points when it comes to travel gifts.

Below is a sampling of getaways — from simple to sublime — that will create lasting memories and likely put a smile on most every dad’s face.

Golf on the go

For the golf enthusiast with a touch of wanderlust, Kalos Golf offers packages that include tee times on some of the most beautiful golf courses around the world. Transportation ranges from chartered ships to private jets. One of the company’s most popular offerings is the five-star Danube River golf cruise (Aug. 13-23), where guests sail on a luxury ship along Europe’s second-longest river, taking in the history, architecture, and scenery — and playing golf, of course — in Austria, Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. Prices start at $9,365 a person and includes all meals, drinks, transportation (airfare not included), tours, golf, and gratuities. An extension tour to Prague is available for an additional cost. www.kalosgolf.com

Botswana with a purpose


Has dad ever mentioned going on a safari? Duxbury-based Travel Sommelier, a high-end travel company, offers custom trips that combine safaris with conservation efforts — including a new experience that allows guests to not only get close to a variety of wildlife but go on a mission with the country’s national rhinoceros coordinator to assist efforts to thwart rhinoceros poaching. Guests will partake in a hands-on expedition as they track, tranquilize, and equip the rhino with electronic monitoring devices to protect against poachers. The next rhino-focused excursion is Nov. 9-18. Cost is $9,525 per person (includes a $500 donation to the Wilderness Wildlife Trust for the Rhino Relocation Project) for the one-week excursion/conservation effort. www.travelsommelier.com


For the Red Sox fan

With baseball season in full swing, why not treat dad to an overnight stay at Kenmore Square’s Hotel Commonwealth and a game? With the Reverse Your Curse package, guests stay in the signature Fenway Park Suite, receive a phone call from legendary radio announcer Joe Castiglione, get a special delivery that includes a World Series trophy for a few selfies, and a visit from the team’s mascot, Wally the Green Monster. The next day — game day — guests get on-field passes to watch batting practice, a VIP tour of Fenway Park with a former Red Sox player, then seats to the game. A message on the scoreboard will welcome the guests, who will receive personalized jerseys and an array of ballpark snacks. To top it off, they receive the official game ball and a yearlong membership to the Red Sox National Fan Club. Packages start at $3,995 for two people. www.hotelcommonwealth

Harley-Davidson Museum

See history come alive through the lens of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. at this Milwaukee museum that blends history, art, design, and pop culture. The Harley-Davidson Museum offers a variety of exhibits and tours, including the “steel toe tour” that lets visitors (who must don a safety vest, safety glasses, and steel toe protection — all of which are provided) experience the mechanics involved in making Harleys — from the powder coat process to the steel and aluminum machining process. Packages include the “dream experience” — a three-night stay at the nearby Iron Horse Hotel, special access to museum archives and motorcycle storage area with an archives staff member, lunch at the museum’s restaurant, and a 3-inch “Living the Legend” engraved steel rivet. Package prices vary. Admission is $20, but free for all dads and grandpas (with a paid adult admission) on Father’s Day. www.harley-davidson.com/museum


Need for speed

Help dad channel his inner Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Whether he wants to ride shotgun with one of the sport’s top drivers or get behind the wheel of a 600-horsepower race car himself, there is a program to get dad’s adrenaline going. The driving school will roar into the Granite State in July and August. Packages include the “ride-along,” where, for $109, participants experience a three-lap ride in a NASCAR race car, and a “rookie experience,” where, for $449, participants take charge in the driver’s seat for an eight-lap spin on the speedway. www.nhms.com

Peddles and Pasta

Practicing authentic Italian cooking in Italy and biking through the Etruscan towns and rolling hills of Florence and Tuscany sound like two bucket list items, so why not combine the two in one trip? Boston-based Cooking Vacations offers a four-day, three-night getaway where guests stay in a magnificent villa built in 1470. The package includes breakfast daily, a full course chef’s tasting menu on the first night — complete with wine — two hands-on cooking classes featuring Tuscan classics like pasta and bread with a full-course lunch or dinner to follow, and two bike tours — with an English-speaking guide — to Chianti and Florence. Cost is $2,195 per person, based on double occupancy. A half-day excursion to Pisa may be added for an additional fee. www.cooking-vacations.com


Mind, body and spirit renewal

Looking for the gift of relaxation and calm? Treat dad to a healthy and restorative escape at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires. The stay includes three gourmet and nutritional meals daily, access to more than 40 fitness classes, and a variety of wellness programs including mind-body seminars and lectures, spiritual wellness services (like the Soul Journey, which is described as “a sophisticated sound-enhanced environment [that] uses imagery, music, and breath to create a sacred space in which to receive . . . emotional, mental, and spiritual gifts”), outdoor sports from archery and high ropes courses, to hiking and kayaking. And don’t forget the myriad spa treatments, both conventional and unconventional. There are several discount programs at the Lenox retreat, including 20 percent off for first-time guests, a $75 voucher for every $500 spent, and a free service ($150 value) when guests spend $2,000 or more. www.canyon

Juliet Pennington can be reached at writeonjuliet@comcast.net.