10 Manly Food Vacations Slideshow
November 10, 2011
Butchery Class in Napa Valley, Calif.
You'll recognize Napa Valley from all that time spent swilling and spitting in tasting rooms with your lady friend. But this time, make a beeline for the Fatted Calf Charcuterie, where you'll learn to butcher a whole hog and how to make your own sausages. Then, make your way to the CIA at Greystone for the ultimate grilling class. Just don't enroll the boys in the Chocolates and Confections course.
Ultimate Stadium Eats
Stadiums have really upped their food game in recent years, offering local specialties and gourmet options. Baseball fans should start with Gilroy garlic fries in San Francisco's AT&T Park, taste the Ivar dog in Seattle, bite into a Shake Shack burger at the Mets' Citi Field, grab a Philly cheesesteak in Philly, and try a Fenway frank in Boston. NFL devotees have no better place to start than Green Bay's Lambeau Field, moving onto the Detroit Lions' Ford Field for all kinds of hot dogs, and then to Philadelphia's famous crab fries at their Lincoln Financial Field.
Salmon Fishing in Alaska
Just booking a trip to Alaska seems manly on its own. But bonus points go to the guys that hook, line, and sink some salmon in the Kenai River — where the biggest recorded king salmon was caught. Find an outfitter who'll help you fillet and cook up your spoils when you reach land.
Cigars, Booze, and Food in Cuba
Hitch a ride with Marazul for a totally legal (and totally badass) trip to Cuba. After you've spent days eating Cuban food in paladares (family-owned restaurants in private homes) and nights drinking authentic mojitos, take a tour of a cigar factory, like Partagas, where you'll see that cigar rollers still listen to the newspaper read aloud as they work. Smoke one slowly (preferably in a Panama hat) at a neighborhood boîte amongst locals.
If John Wayne showed us anything, it's that cowboys were the very definition of rugged manliness. Head back to the Wild West with a cowboy cookout in the Grand Canyon or after horseback riding on the canyon's southern rim in Sedona. You'll be dusty and hungry, hankering for slow-cooked brisket, biscuits, and stories by the fire. Cowboy boots are optional.
American Whiskey Trail
Take a week to learn everything you wanted to know about the ins and outs of bourbon and whiskey by hitting the American Whiskey Trail. Start at the Mount Vernon Distillery and Gristmill, find dinner at the 1808 Grille, explore the Jack Daniel Distillery, and book a room at the design-y and hip 21C Museum Hotel — their restaurant, Proof on Main, is one of our favorite hotel restaurants.
Extreme Food Road Trip
You don't have to join Adam Richman's Man v. Food Nation, but you can take a page from his playbook and drive cross-country on the hunt for the most extreme (and manly) food challenges. Giant steaks in Texas, "suicide wings" in Brooklyn, 15-dozen oysters in Louisiana, and the 7 ½-pound Kookamunga burger in Memphis await, gentlemen.
Among the easiest "mancations" that manly men can take are beer trips — which include anything from an hour-long brewery tour to a week in Germany for Oktoberfest, depending on your dedication to hops. BeerTrips.com will take you to beer-brewing farmhouses in Belgium and France, into Munich for Oktoberfest, to independent breweries in the Czech Republic, and on a beer and music tour of Montreal.
Spearfishing in Panama
Wielding a spear off the coast of Panama and hunting for your dinner is so manly, you'll be able to milk it for a good long while (even if you go for romantic comedies and manicures when you get back). Brag about the parrot fish, tuna, dorado, and barracuda you catch in these unspoiled waters. The four-day camping trip with Spearfishing Panama is the ultimate adventure — complete with a personal cook.
Street Food Tours
Some of the rarest and most unique flavors found on the road are delicacies purchased in covered markets and food stalls. Two of the best destinations for a street food tour are Bangkok and Singapore, where diverse cuisines and exotic flavors are best from street stalls. Leave your comfort zone behind as you try fish-head curry in Singapore and fried insects in Bangkok.
Or, be manly no matter where you go by trying bizarre, local specialties everywhere, like durian fruit in Malaysia, blowfish in Tokyo, grasshopper tacos in Mexico, grilled guinea pig in Peru, or just pretend not to know what's in Rocky Mountain oysters.