Americas Top 10 Father Friendly Cities

Dated: 11/14/2016

Views: 93

Dad Haven

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In the greatest film about fatherhood ever made (sorry—“Sleepless in Seattle” didn’t make the cut), the powerful patriarch of a large, rambunctious clan lectures his most wayward son about the essence of being a dad: “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family,” he says gravely, “can never be a real man.”

Of course, Vito Corleone had plenty of other pursuits to balance out La Familia, from a thriving career (gambling, bootlegging, union-corrupting) to lots of downtime (vino, cannolis, horses). The Godfather, bless him, managed to pull off what most dads desperately strive for these days: balance. (We can do without the back-seat garrotting, however.)

You think it’s easy being a modern dad? You want a brilliant career—and a loving, well-adjusted brood. You want some serious buddy or hobby time—and tons of family time, too. You still want to be a guy, but you always need to be a father. And more dads are even giving up careers to care for the kiddies.

Today, there are roughly 2 million stay-at-home dads in the U.S., which accounts for 7% of U.S. fathers, up from 4% in 1989, according to the Pew Research Center.

With Father’s Day fast approaching, we sent our data team to find the cities most conducive to pulling off a full Vito: true fatherhood balance. We searched for the places where daddy-child activities abound, manly hobbies are supported, tap beer runs cold, sports activities are plentiful, child care is readily available—and maybe a unique feature or two to make dads extra happy. Because, Father’s Day. Right?

To find out which cities offer the best quality of life for dads, we ranked the 500 largest cities based on the following criteria:

  1. Number of dad support groups

  2. Number of campgrounds

  3. Number of major league sports teams

  4. Number of gyms per capita to work on dad bods

  5. Number of babysitters for every child under age 12 (because dads need nights out!)

  6. Number of golf courses and fishing spots per capita—for outdoorsy dads

  7. Number of breweries, pool halls, and sports bars per capita—for social dads

  8. Number of hardware stores and science museums per capita—for nerdy dads

Thanks for everything, Dad! This one’s for you!

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1. Salt Lake City, UT

Dread those awkward silent stretches with your kids in lame tourist spots? Yeah, us too. But it’s simply not a problem in this supremely outdoorsy place, especially if your family is … outdoorsy. If so, you’ll never run out of things to do in the SLC: sailing on the Great Salt Lake, paragliding in Flight Park, camping on Antelope Island. And, of course, you’re within quick driving distance to four—count ’em, four—of the best ski mountains in the U.S.

Father’s Day gift:
 When you’re not on dad duty, pay a visit to the city’s 12 craft breweries—a remarkable number considering that Utah has the lowest per capita beer consumption in the nation. Places like Squatters Craft BeersUinta, and Epic Brewing are so good, you’ll almost forget about the state’s 3.2% alcohol restriction for tap beers. Almost.

2. St. Louis, MO

The St. Louis Cardinals are more than a sports team, they’re a way of life. For St. Louis dads, nothing says summer like sitting in unbearable humidity at Bush Stadium, cheering on the Cards with a frosty beer or three. Do it with the guys! Or drag the kids along on weekends. The population of St. Louis is just 318,000, but the Cardinals draw more than 3 million fans annually. This is the way baseball is supposed to be.

Father’s Day gift: Feeling hungry after the game? Hang out with your pals and scarf down some magnificently unhealthy regional food that you can’t get anyplace else: toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, Ted Drewes frozen custard. And that’s just for starters.

3. Green Bay, WI

OK, you knew we were gonna bring up the Packers. It’s said that people here bleed green and gold, and while we’ve never felt pressed to verify this, you can’t miss how proud just about everyone in this city of just over 100,000 is of their team. They call their home “Titletown,” in honor of the Packers’ remarkable 13 league championships. And football here is a true generational affair: Home games are among the most family-dominated in the NFL, and tickets are handed down from parents to kids like precious bequeathments. Which they are.

Father’s Day gift: Are you one of those dads who geek out about railroads and big ships? Yeah, us too. Luckily for you, this place is home to the awesome National Railroad Museum and the annual Baylake Bank Tall Ship Festival, part of the Tall Ships Challenge of the Great Lakes.

4. Orlando, FL

Yeah, Disney. And Sea World. And Universal Park. What else? There’s actually a remarkable number of other adventures for dads and the little ones, whether it’s sitting in the front seat and actually flying a military aircraft, trying indoor skydiving (trust us on this one), or zip-lining over Florida’s forests and wetlands. Even if you’re not a tourist, you’ll probably never run out of things to do with the family.
Father’s Day gift: If you crave some high-quality alone time, some of Florida’ best bass lakes—like Lake Monroe and Lake Tohopekaliga—are only a short ride away. They’re worth the trip.

5. Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati doesn’t go overboard to market itself as a golf destination, but serious elevation changes throughout the Ohio Valley make the city ideal for one of America’s most dynamic golf scenes. A total of 39 golf courses line the hilly perimeter of Cincinnati downtown on all sides. Perfect for man outings, or teaching your kids early how to shank the ball.

Father’s Day gift: This place gets hot in the summer. Luckily for the family units, it happens to be home to the Sunlite Pool at Coney Island (not to be confused with the Brooklyn one), the largest flat-surface swimming pool in North America. The kids still need cooling off? Let ’em run through the very cool fountains at Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine downtown.

6. Tampa, FL

Take your kids away from the honking horns and urban irritants—the Tampa Bay area is a camping enthusiast dad’s dream come true. Within an hour’s drive, there are a dozen campsites. Pick your view: crashing ocean waves and white sand beach in the E.G. Simmons Park, or swift-moving water in Hillsborough River State Park. And for a true family challenge, there’s Florida’s most exciting off-road bicycle trails in Alafia River State Park.

Father’s Day gift: Back in the city, places like Tampa Bay Brewing Co. and Ferg’s Sports Bar know exactly what dads want: big screens to watch games, big pitchers of ice-cold beer, and big and messy battered and fried cod sandwiches. Don’t worry (much) about the calories: Tampa has 163 gyms where you can burn them off.

7. Pittsburgh, PA

Calling all makers, inventors, tinkers, DIY enthusiast dads, and curious kids! The annual Pittsburgh Maker Faire might just be the ultimate form of 21st-century dad-child bonding. Playing with robots, conducting scientific experiments, trying out new types of 3-D printing, learning how to build toys—what’s not to love? Your future Zuckerberg will thank you one day.

Father’s Day gift: The Steel City has three world-class major league sports teams—SteelersPirates, and Penguins—and more than 50 testosterone-filled, beer-drenched sports bars to celebrate the teams’ victories and salve the failures. The beer-drinking culture here even inspired research at the University of Pittsburgh that concluded that alcohol makes men more likely to smile. It’s true.

8. Atlanta, GA

There are an inordinate number of cool family attractions here that are unique and worthy of repeated visits. You can get in a tank and swim with whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. You can also walk the length of the Beltline, the former railway corridor around the city core, now a multiuse trail (much like New York’s High Line). Or you can do your part contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic with a fun tour of the Coca-Cola headquarters.

Father’s Day gift: For thrill-seeking dads, fill your need for speed at Atlanta Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Sprint Cup.

9. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco is the trendsetter when it comes to dad-friendly work policy. Pinterest offers four months of fully paid parental leave and a fifth “transition” month for new dads, allowing reduced workload with full pay. Twitter runs “Dads on Leave” roundtables, which bring together employees who are going out on—or just returning from—the generous 10-week paternity leave to share their experiences. Parents at Airbnb receive a complimentary membership to a babysitting service provider.

Father’s Day gift: Still, the coolest part of being a San Francisco dad is that you can get to take your kids to Warriors games. If you can get tickets, that is. If not, head south and check out the area’s other championship team, the San Jose Sharks. Hey, fall will be here before you know it.

10. Portland, OR

Portland doesn’t just have the best coffee, it also has the best beer—but you knew that, right? The city boasts nearly 150 craft brewers and beer gardens. To get a thorough feel for its beer scene, go to the longtime beer crafter McMenamins for a glass of its iconic (and delicious!) Hammerhead, pedal over to Hopworks, where you can park your bike on frames conveniently hanging above the bar, or check out Loyal Legion, which claims to have the largest selection of Oregon beers on tap. Who are we to doubt them?

Father’s Day gift: PDX Dads Group, an active group of 287 dads, organizes dad-kid activities at parks, playgrounds, museums, and parent-and-me classes, as well as grown-up events like parenting workshops and dads-nights-out.

Tony Landaverde, Realtor with eXp Realty in San Antonio Texas says "My mom died when I was 22 years old and I ended up raising my two brothers and one sister.  The boys were 13 and 11 and my sister was 6 at the time when she passed.  We all grew up in Los Angeles, California and fortunately for me, being from a hispanic family my mom had taught the kids to respect me as the 'man of the house'.  All of them grew up, graduated college and are all successful adults now.  It's not just the city where you raise your children, it's also the respect and the importance of education that truly matters."

Data sources: American Community Survey, Data National At-Home Dad Network,, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB,,,, Association of Science‑Technology Centers


Yuqing Pan covers data-driven stories at A Stanford graduate with a multimedia journalism background, Yuqing enjoys tracking, analyzing, and writing about data.

Thank you for this great article entitled "Dad Havens - America's Top 10 Father-Friendly Havens" by Yuqing Pan.
Presented by Tony Landaverde, Realtor
Landaverde Realty
San Antonio, TX Realtor with eXp Realty
(210) 274-2378
A Texas Licensed Realtor® License #607299

For information on careers with eXp Realty click on the link: Tony Landaverde eXp Careers

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