Every now and then, it’s necessary to simply have a getaway with your friends, guys-only style. And it doesn’t have to be a bachelor party or even a necessarily wild experience. Plenty of guys enjoy just renting a beach house for the weekend with some old buddies from college (really, who wouldn’t?)! The point is, a vacation with your best buds is a great tonic for the occasional stress of everyday life, and it can also keep you sane. So with that in mind, here are five great getaway destinations to consider in the United States.
1. Charleston, South Carolina
There might not be a better city in the country for raw relaxation. The city itself is full of Southern charm, but not in the annoyingly “quaint” way you sometimes associate with old towns in the South. Charleston knows how to party, which gives you and your friends plenty to do in the city. And when you want to kick back, there are great beaches (and plenty of beautiful women) very close by. A couple of highlights in the food and drink department: the King Street Grille is one of the coolest sports bars in the country and Poe’s Tavern, on nearby Sullivan’s Island, has some fantastic burgers right by the beach.
2. Denver, Colorado
Denver is an awesome spot for a man retreat, for lack of a better term. There’s just something inherently masculine about lodge-style restaurants, elk steaks, and craft beer. And rest assured, you’ll find all of these in abundance in Denver. Depending on the time of year, you can also take in some pretty great sports, like a Denver Broncos game at Mile High Stadium. Plus, world class skiing is only a short drive away.
3. Orlando, Florida
This may seem a bit more like a family destination, but every now and then it’s necessary to just be a kid again. That doesn’t mean you have to go get your picture taken with Mickey, but you can definitely have a blast with your friends at some of the parks. Just remember, though, they can be a pain in the ass. For tips on where to go, what to see, and how to manage the long lines, read through Dial-A-Flight‘s handy theme park guide. When you get toward Universal Studios, you can find some real rides that are less geared toward kids. And if you want to be more adult about things, there’s always the “Around The World” drinking challenge at Epcot Center.
4. Portland, Oregon
This has been a trendier destination every year. As an emerging vacation destination in the U.S., it deserves a sport on your list of retreat options. It’s a great pick if you have a particularly active bunch because biking is huge in Portland and there’s also great hiking in the area. And when it’s time to unwind at the end of the day, Portland is home to some of the best craft breweries in the country. Not only that, but there’s always the outstanding Oregon wine. Check out Bailey’s Tap Room or Belmont Station for a great local feel and some delicious beers.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
If you’re picking up on a theme in this list, Boston has more of the same: highly established local bars and restaurants, several great sports options, and a generally guy-friendly atmosphere. Nothing beats a Red Sox or Celtics game with your friends. Even if you hate Boston teams, these are historic franchises that are a treat to see. Also, Boston is home to a lot of great music and drinking festivals as well. Keep an eye on Beer Advocate for the festival schedule if you’re planning your trip.
When it comes down to it, the best option goes beyond heading to the nearest rental beach property. If you want to get into an adventurous retreat with your friends, these cities make for a nice checklist for starters.