Best Summer Mancationsoutdoors and adventures … and wild nights. From thrilling activities to hitting the after-hours scene in a buzzing city, these "mancations" are destined to encourage some serious male bonding -- 6-pack of beer not included.
Gambling in Atlantic City, New JerseyThanks to hit shows like Jersey Shore and Boardwalk Empire, Atlantic City has gone through a major revitalization with cool new hotels like Revel, impressive restaurants (One) and a strip of beach where guys can flaunt Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation”-style abs.
But the party doesn't really get started until nightfall, when the casinos are at their peak. Head to Caesars Atlantic City, which has a whopping 145,000 square feet of gaming space. Need to get some nightlife in? The hotel recently opened Suite 7400, a rooftop pool scene with rotating DJs. Over at Borgata, pokerheads can ante up in the million-dollar renovated poker room, including the new, exclusive, high-limit poker lounge. With the millions you will win, celebrate with a package at the Spa, voted best spa for men by SpaFinder.
Surfing in Santa Monica, CaliforniaSurf's up! Grab your boards and head to Santa Monica, CA, voted the fourth best place to surf by Surfing California guidebook, and an excellent place for beginners to learn (we recommend hands-on classes with Go Surf LA). Gear up at one of several surf shops in town and remember to foster the laid-back attitude of the locals who have made surfing iconic here.
After a long morning of riding waves, check out the number of interesting characters on Venice Beach before heading to Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, where the wet bar features classic 1920s-inspired cocktails, and farm-to-table FIG restaurant serves a mean plate of short rib and pancetta meatloaf.
Extreme Outdoor Adventures in Carefree, ArizonaWe're serious -- there really is a town called Carefree, and it's a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Guys can get together for golf or hiking, but the real allure of this Arizona town is the number of extreme adventures offered that aren’t exactly for the faint of heart.
Intrepid travelers can scale a 12-million-year-old boulder pile for unforgettable rock climbing in the Sonoran Desert, take on thrilling white-water rafting on Salt River, take a rugged, off-road Hummer tour, soar through the skies piloting a powered towplane and go full speed on mountain bikes. Check in at The Boulders resort, which offers some prime views from its recently enhanced casitas and helps facilitates all the outdoor activities.
Golfing in Austin, TexasThrow on your best chinos and head to Austin, TX. The Lone Star State’s most eclectic city is home to the No. 1 golf resort in the entire state, with 4 distinct, 18-hole championship golf courses. Spanning more than 4,000 acres, the courses at Barton Creek Resort & Spa are a golfer's fantasy with some incredible scenery and famed legends as instructors to boot.
Not a pro? The 312-room resort recently launched The Game Changer all-inclusive package: This "boot camp" includes a private evaluation for guests to improve their golf game. While in Austin, check out some of the vibrant city's iconic music festivals like Austin City Limits.
Beer and BBQ in Napa Valley, CaliforniaObviously known for stellar vineyards, Napa Valley isn't all about wine tastings. The region is starting to swell with much-loved microbreweries, such as the popular Napa Smith Brewery where guys can sample some fine craft beer. But all that brew needs a good, accompanying bite. The annual Blues, Brews & BBQ festival takes place this Aug. 28 with 3 musical stages, 20 microbrewed beers and unlimited BBQ. Can't wait for this date? Riverfront Fish Story restaurant offers BBQ happy hours for some utensil-free treats like rock cod soft tacos and Drake's Bay barbecue oysters.
Guys should check in to Calistoga Ranch, a 48-room resort where food is the highlight. In fact, guests can conjure their inner Paul Bunyan with the resort's wild pig or fowl hunt in Guenoc Valley, dropping a line for bass or diving for abalone. Best of all, you can bring your catch back to the resort's kitchen where you’ll learn to clean, prep and BBQ the fresh cuts.
Nick Traveller, Flickr
NASCAR Driving in Daytona, FloridaKnown mostly as a party destination, Daytona has been a mancation draw since it became "the birthplace of speed" with its ties to NASCAR (Daytona is the official home). Not only can you round up the boys for some exciting racecar action, but guys can actually get behind the wheel and take a race car for a spin around Daytona International Speedway with the Richard Petty Driving Experience. This is authentic NASCAR entertainment at its best. Not a great driver? Guests can also sit shotgun with one of their professional drivers.
Nightlife in New York CityWhen it comes to nightlife, no destination tops New York City. Guys can create their own dude version of Sex and the City with Manhattan’s trendy nightclubs, bars and lounges. The Jay-Z-owned 40/40 Club is on any guy's radar and with more reason to visit after its recent $10 million renovation. This upscale sports bar and lounge is a weekend hot spot but get there early for some grub -- Jay Z's own personal chef recently took over the kitchen.
Dream Hotel Midtown's new Ava Rooftop Lounge features stunning views and cocktails by Liquid Lab NYC. End your night at Bedlam, a Victorian-themed bar and lounge with plenty of taxidermy to keep you amused and some of NYC's best DJs to keep you dancing until 4 a.m.
Glacier Experience in British ColumbiaExtreme outdoor sports are all the rage this summer and thanks to Canadian Mountain Holidays -- the guys who invented heli-skiing in western Canada 50 years ago -- the fearless are flocking to British Columbia for a brand new adventure.
The Conrad Glacier Experience, launched this year, is a new summer trek in Bobbie Burns that has adventurous guests hiking, navigating wild canyons with bridges and rungs, ascending rock slabs next to waterfalls, zip line crossing and traversing rock walls next to glaciers -- all within a breathtaking landscape. Talk about burning calories.
The adventure is accessed by exhilarating helicopter rides in some of the most remote wilderness areas in North America should you need a new cover photo for your Facebook page.
Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KentuckyIt's no surprise that Louisville is a favorite for a mancation -- GQ recently voted it the manliest town in America. And for all the right reasons. Louisville has bourbon, baseball, the Muhammad Ali Center and the ever-popular Kentucky Derby.
Grab some beers and throw down your wagers at Churchill Downs, which turns into a major nightlife attraction with Downs After Dark. Check into the Brown Hotel, a historic, swanky crash pad with a 2-story lobby and lots of love for all things Louisville.