Men need vacations, too. Manly ones. If the women in your life tend to plan all your getaways, which means you’ve done lots of wine tasting and a spa day or two, it’s time to take a weekend with the boys. Whether that means sitting back and smoking a Cuban cigar with a glass of cognac in hand, taking on extreme food challenges à la Adam Richman, or fishing for salmon in wild Alaskan rivers, there are all kinds of food-focused (and rugged) “mancations” for all kinds of guys.
At first glance, culinary holidays tend not to seem very manly. But what could be more of a throwback to the hunter-gatherer days than learning to butcher a whole hog? If it happens to come with a few of Northern California’s signature creature comforts, then so be it. If you’re really out to prove something, try skydiving over Napa Valley after the butchery class.
Inherently manly, spectator sports have gone gourmet, upgrading from boneless wings and hot dogs to Kansas City ribs, slow-cooked pork tacos, and fresh peach cobbler. So, a road trip from coast to coast in search of the ultimate stadium eats is the pinnacle of a masculine vacation. All roads don’t have to lead to stadiums, though, if imbibing is your true passion — hit the American Whiskey Trail for distillery visits (read: free tastings).
If the great outdoors are calling, leave the sports jacket at home and pack your grungiest clothes (in a red-and-white checked handkerchief, for effect); it’s time to head into the Wild West for a cowboy cookout in the Grand Canyon. Or, get your hands on a wet suit and book an Alaska-bound flight, where fishing for oversized salmon in the remote Kenai River is as manly as vacations come. Brush up on your salmon filleting and cooking skills before you go, unless you’re skilled in making salmon sushi.
Whatever your style, go ahead and tell your better half that yes, indeed, you did remember to pack sunblock, and get out of dodge — man-style.