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Travel ideas for mancations, guys weekends, and romantic getaways
  • Bud, Bill & Jim’s Italian Cooking School Adventure

    ca-camoneThis story was sent into us by Bud, Bill, and Jim who just came back from an Italian Vacation and a visit to the La Tavola Marche Cooking School. This is a perfect example of how you can always find time for a guys weekend or mini mancation - even exploring a part of the world with other couples.

  • Park City Utah - Mancation Highlights

    park-city-mancationThere are lots of great ski resort towns that offer a chance to rub elbows with celebrities, enjoy great steaks, drink a few locally brewed beers, and enjoy fantastic powder, but one in particular that stands out is Park City, Utah. Park City might be best known for the Park City Mountain Resort ski area, but the town also features two others - Deer Valley and The Canyons Resort.

    Combined, the three resorts plus downtown Park City offers a fantastic destination for your next ski mancation.

     

  • Squaw Valley - Ski, Party, and More!

    squaw-valleyLake Tahoe is one of my favorite ski destinations with some of the best places for skiing and other activities. If you are considering visiting the area, one resort that shouldn't be missed is Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympic games.

    Today, Squaw still features some of the best skiing that Tahoe can offer, but also stands out as a fantastic spring skiing destination.

  • Grandeur of the Seas Review

    grandeurGrandeur of the Seas is an older ship in the Royal Caribbean fleet of cruise ships, but it still packs a lot of great opportunities for guys looking for inexpensive mancation options.

    While there were the expected bars, nightclub, pools etc. what really impressed me was that Royal Caribbean is actively marketing their spa services to us guys! Heather from Chick Vacations was disappointed though because the special "men's package" was actually significantly cheaper than the individual services that she was offered off the menu.

  • St. Pete Beach Mancation Ideas Roundup

    tradewinds-mancationIf you haven't been here before, St. Pete Beach is located just south of Tampa and St. Petersburg and has a ton of great stuff for guys looking for a quick escape. While suprisingly winter is a slow time down here, I had a great time and would absolutely recommend that you consider it for your next guys weekend too!

    While sipping a Miami Vice at one of Tradewinds's several pool-side bars, I had a chance to chat with bartender Garrick Roe and some of the guys about their favorite places to go and things to do.

  • Grand Ole Opry and Nashville Music Scene

    second-fiddleIf you are considering a visit to Nashville for your next guys weekend, there is a good chance that you are a country music fan. Make sure that the Grand Ole Opry is on your list of things to do!

    Man Tripping just got back from a tour of not just the current Grand Ole Opry House, but also the Ryman Auditorium (former home of the Opry), Bluebird Cafe, Country Music Hall of Fame, and we even recorded a song at the historic RCA Studio B where Elvis and tons of others have recorded songs.

  • Cruising the Seven Seas - thoughts on Men and Cruises

    equinox-celebrity-bowCruise ships offer a fantastic opportunity for men looking for anything from a basic lay back and enjoy the ride to the pinnacle of adventure travel excitement. Unfortunately it seems that this form of vacation has been ignored by many guys in favor of more land-based destinations such as all-inclusive resorts and places like Vegas.

    Today though, with the economy the way it is, there really isn't a better, more cost effective way to do a mancation or even an extended guys weekend with a 3-4 day cruise.

    Think of it, you have bars, transportation, casinos, food, entertainment, extreme sports, even fitness activities, and seminars like beer and wine tastings on board - and often at only $100 per day!

  • Oasis of the Seas - Ultimate Floating Mancation?

    aquatheater-oasisThings have changed a lot in the past 20 years since I first stepped onto a cruise ship and now with the December 2009 launch of Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas the industry is about to change again.

    Oasis of the Seas will be sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL starting in December 2009, with 5 and 7 day itineraries in the Eastern and Western Caribbean.

    So why does Oasis represent the Ultimate Floating Mancation?

     

     

     

    Some Facts about Oasis of the Seas:

    When it launches, Oasis of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship ever made, 220,000 Gross Tons. It will feature 16 decks, 17 bars, 2,700 staterooms, 37 cabin classes, and able to carry 5,700 guests at double occupancy.

    To put this in comparison, Titanic was only 46,000 tons and could carry 2,500 passengers!

    zip-line-oasis

     

    Dining Options

    Not looking for a stodgy dining experience sitting at a table with a bunch of people celebrating honeymoons or even worse - families on vacation? Well Oasis of the Seas has the most specialty restaurants on board of any other cruise ship.

    This includes Johnny Rockets, Seafood Shack, Boardwalk Bar, Sorrento's Pizzeria, Chops Grille (great steaks!), 150 Central Park - upscale dining, and an Italian trattoria, Giovanni's Table.

    That all being said however, Royal Carribbean does also feature wonderful food at the main dining room and also at the buffets as well. It is all up to you and how you want to spend your trip!

    Entertainment

    Oasis will feature a wide variety of entertainment venues from Boleros - a Latin dance club, Blaze nightclub, Jazz on 4, Comedy Live featuring family friendly shows during the day and lake-night adult comedy in the evenings, the sing-along piano bar, Schooner Bar, and even the On Air Club featuring karaoke and "interactive music gaming".

    Of course, that's just the beginning as Oasis also features a casino with 27 table games, a poker room, an entire theater dedicated just to ice shows, a traditional theater with Broadway-style shows.

    Of course, that says nothing about the amazing sounding new AquaTheather that features acrobatics, synchronized swimming, light shows, and a fountain similar to what you might find at the Bellagio in Vegas.

    Rooms

    Most cruise ships are limited to either inside cabins, balconies, ocean view, or suites, on Oasis there will be 37 different categories of rooms!

    Since Oasis of the Seas features the central boardwalk, they actually offer balconies on the inside as well as ones facing the ocean directly. I am told that these inside balconies can all still view the ocean as well, but obviously you would see it through the ends of the ship instead of just by looking down at the water.

    For the budget conscious, Oasis still offers the traditional "no windows" inside cabins, but I am told that even these are among the largest afloat.

    Additionally, they are introducing a new suite type, Loft Suites that actually have two levels, 2,000 feet of space, and feature a "spa like" feel in the bathrooms. While this is probably not in the budget of most of you, it is nice to know that if you were planning a bachelor party that this might be a great option compared to getting an expensive suite in Vegas at the Palms or something like that.

     

    blaze-nightclub-oasis

    Bars

    Among other "firsts" Oasis of the Seas will also feature the first bar at sea that is also actually an elevator!

    The Rising Tide bar will actually move up and down between three decks, including outside and inside the ship. Vegas has nothing on Oasis as far as this bar is concerned!

    Of course, there are other bars on board, 17 in total, including a Latin bar, champagne bar, pool bar, and others.

    Enjoy the Beach at Sea

    Despite the fact that you are in the middle of the Caribbean, surrounded by and visiting ports with fantastic beaches, you no longer need to get off the boat to experience the beach (sorta).

    While Oasis of the Seas features the first "beach pool" it is more of a zero-depth entry type pool styled like a beach than the sandy ones you will find on land. Even so, this means you can literally spend every day of your trip relaxing in the sun at the beach.

    sports-deck-oasisExtreme Sports at Sea

    If your idea of a great mancation is to go rock climbing, zip-line down the middle of a cruise ship, and then go surfing then this is your ship! While others have a rock wall, no-one else can boast of a zip line and certainly not one where you can fly over the heads of people below on the Boardwalk.

    Also, Oasis actually has two flow riders and is designed with plenty of spectator room so you can watch your buddies. There is even a Flow Rider bar where you can sit, sip a margarita, and watch others wipe-out and fall on their asses surf.

    Don't worry, if you aren't into extreme, there is a 9-hole mini-golf course on the sports deck too!

     

  • Bourbon Festival Mancation and Distillery Tours

    whisky-creekThe Bourbon Festival is held each year in Bardstown, KY and if you are looking for the ultimate mancation this destination comes pretty darn close. While flying to Louisville isn't quite as convenient as flights to New York or LA, Bardstown is located right in the heard of central Kentucky and is very close to some of the greatest distilleries in the world, including Maker's Mark and Jim Beam, and only an hour or so drive to all of the names you are familiar with. When you combine that close proximity of the Bourbon Trail with the activities of the Bourbon Festival itself and of course, the Southern Hospitality it makes for a great place to visit.

    This year we attended as guests of Beam Global Spirits to learn about bourbon, taste bourbon and to celebrate this magical drink that unfortunately too few people really understand - including myself prior to the trip.

     

  • Rancho Buena Vista

    rancho-buena-vistaTo many Americans, the only Mexican resorts they think of are the overly commercialized parts of the Yucatan around Cozemel and Cancun, but shocking as it may seem, there is another side to Mexico. Rancho Buena Vista is located less than an hour north of Los Cabos airport and is situated right on the beach, originally founded as a fishing resort in 1952.

    Rancho Buena Vista represents a much classier side of Mexico, off the mainland and at the tip of Baja California, Los Cabos is surrounded by fantastic fishing, gorgeous water, white sandy beaches, great food, and wonderful Mexican beer. At Rancho Buena Vista, you will be surrounded by history as the resort has hosted such Hollywood celebrities as Bing Crosby, Desi Arnez, and even John Wayne.

  • Camping Trip at Green Lake Campground

    green-lake-campgroundGolf, beer, brats and campfires, can it get much better.  At Green Lake Camp Grounds in Green Lake Wisconsin you can enjoy all the fun of a great camping trip with a few extra benefits that make it an amazing time. 

    The camp sites are spacious with plenty of room to put up big tent, have a dinner table, a place to sit and room to put up a grill.  There are two truely outstanding golf courses right on the property that will challenge even the top golfers.  Finally, there are numerous other activites that guys of all ages can enjoy.

     

  • Boo Y'all! Haunted Hotels in Savannah

    kehoe-house-nightAs the leaves up north start to turn shades of red and brown, down south the humidity is dropping and the weather is getting nice and cool again, so it is time to explore Savannah's ghostly past.

    Part of Savannah’s quirky and mysterious charm lies in her rich history. Often celebrated along with Savannah’s crowning accomplishments and historic beauty, come the tales and legends about the supernatural side of America’s Most Haunted City.

  • Maker's Mark Distillery Tour

    Looking for a great excuse to visit Central Kentucky? Love to drink Bourbon? Maybe you should check out the Maker's Mark distillery, located in Loretto, KY!

    Even if you aren't a bourbon or even a whiskey fan, visiting Maker's Mark is a great historical tour back in time to experience how bourbon was made back in the good ol' days. This is because in addition to distilling some of the greatest bourbon in the world, the Samuels family has made a point to also focus on historical preservation to avoid turning the brand into an industrialized product.

  • South Dakota's Black Hills Buffalo Roundup

    For generations the American cowboy has been an icon of manhood, and dude ranches are probably one of the greatest mancation destinations available. Instead of a typical cow roundup, the Buffalo Roundup features wranglers going after buffalo, huge animals that can grow almost 7 feet tall and nearly 1,000 pounds!

    This is about real men and while you can't participate in the roundup unless you have been certified as an experienced wrangler, it is a great opportunity to celebrate the wild west in a way that you can't imagine anywhere else in the country. The Buffalo Round is held every year in Custer State Park, located in the middle of South Dakota's Black Hills. This year's event starts September 26, with the roundup itself on Monday, Sept. 28, and features events ranging from arts festivals and historic reenactments to chili cook-offs and old-time fiddlers, all centered around the annual roundup of the park’s nearly 1,500 bison.

  • AVANI Spa Presents Awesome Spa Package for Men

    santuary-suite-avani-spaOk men, going to the spa might not be the first thing on your list of "what to do" for your next guys weekend. However, after having experienced my first facial at that awesome AVANI Spa in Lake Geneva, I can tell you that it is really a nice experience. Don't worry though, you won't leave smelling like a girl or be placed in an evironment that is designed for women. Today, many spas have realized that men want to look and feel good too!

    The AVANI Spa, located at the Abbey Resort on Lake Geneva, WI, has gone one step further and even created an entire mens spa package - complete with a private bartender, plasma TV, private hot tub, and guy-friendly foods (mini-pizzas, mini-brats, mini-hot dogs, nachos, and even BBQ wings!)

  • A Woman's Perspective on Mancations

    The following is a guest article from Trisha Miller, a friend of Man Tripping, a travel writer and founder of Travel Writers Exchange. She explores one of the potential obstacles to even the best planned mancation - your wife, girlfriend, or significant other. Most importantly, this is an article with advice that you can share with your significant other on why mancations are actually a good thing for relationships.

    However, a mancation shouldn't be about getting away from your wife or girlfriend, it should be about taking time to unwind, de-stress, and celebrate those things that make us guys manly. Especially those things that our significant others might not embrace the same way we do - sweating, smoking cigars, drinking whiskey, and telling rude stories around a campfire, or boasting about how you ALMOST made it to the green, but the sea gull was in they way.

  • Visiting Pittsburgh? Check out the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance

    bill-eadieThe independent wrestling circuit is a sideshow of sorts, and one that can easily entertain fathers and sons, a group of guys or even adventurous daters.

    Countless “promotions” dot every state in the union. Some cater to a more “hardcore crowd” where fans are sometimes encouraged to bring their own trash can lids, stop signs and steel chairs for the athletes to use as weapons. Conversely, there are promotions that cater to a more family-friendly crowd, one that doesn't alienate crowds for the sake of shock, cussing and bloodletting.

  • Floating down the Lower Platte River

    canoe-platte-riverWhile many guys weekend activities involve high impact sports such as sky diving and water skiing or athletic activities such as biking or hiking, sometimes it is nice to just float down the river in a tube with a case of beer and your closest buds.

    While in Northern Michigan, we had a chance to do just that, tubing on the Lower Platte River.

    A few different companies offer trips down the river, but the two main ones seem to be Riverside and The Honor Trading Post, we chose the Trading Post because they were friendlier and slightly cheaper.

  • Fly Fishing in North Carolina at the High Hampton Inn

    alex-bell-in-riverIf you have never been, fly fishing is as much an art form as it is a sport. While virtually anyone can stick a lure in the water and drag it behind the boat, fly fishing, IMO, requires even more understanding of your environment and brings you closer to nature - it is just you and the fish right there in the stream together.

    There are trails of all sorts in this wonderful country, but North Carolina has created the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. If you love fishing and you love being out in god's country then you must at some point in your life visit this area.

    One of the spots you should visit while in the area is the High Hampton Inn. Located in the heart of the new Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail, the High Hampton Inn now features their very own fly fishing school!  Being the only trail of its kind in the U.S., fishermen can experience peak fishing in an area with temperatures that are generally 15 degrees cooler than lower-lying regions because of the 3,600-foot elevation.

  • Mancation Spotlight Destination Coos Bay Oregon

    coos-bay-oregonEvery so often, I come across a cool town that isn't flashy and at the top of your mancation radar but might make a great destination for a quick guys weekend. One such town is Coos Bay Oregon.

    Prior to a reader sending in the suggestion, I had never heard of the place but the name sounded funny and so I checked it out. What I found was that it has a lot of great stuff that would make a great guys weekend destination including fishing, boating, hiking, even some of the best sand boarding in the country.

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