It’s officially summer and time to think about the annual vacation. Whether you’re flying solo, traveling with a companion, packing up the kids or heading to a family reunion, we’ve got everything you need to look and feel your best.
But where to go? In a recent social media survey we asked our loyal fans where they like to spend their summer vacations and, as you can tell by the map, most guys crave the coast.
We reached out to a few and got their takes on what makes their destinations so great, then added a few of our own ideas.
UPPER PENINSULA, MICHIGAN
Jeff Cato recommends the U.P.––and we can certainly understand why. With plenty of beaches, restored lighthouses, national parks, colonial forts and breathtaking waterfalls along scenic trails, there’s plenty to do.
If you go, stay at The Grand Hotel, on Mackinac Island, and bask in the quiet surroundings (no cars are allowed on the island) and historic majesty. Sit in the rocking chairs on “the world’s longest porch” and take in the sights of the Straits of Mackinac.
GULF SHORES, ALABAMA
Mark Sanders has been visiting this Gulf Coast jewel for over a decade.
“We called the Gulf Shores Alabama Chamber of Commerce and they told us, ‘The weather is beautiful and the beaches are perfect–Come on’. It is special because it is still, to this day, one of our favorite spontaneous trips we’ve ever taken. Ten years and two little girls later, we still love our little annual beach destination!”
The Sanders family spends most of their time on the pristine white beaches relaxing, but Mark recommends staying at The Caribe Resort for their marina and water sports, as well as great nearby restaurants.
ANYWHERE ON A MOTORCYCLE
Ryan Paine likes to hit the open road on his bike. And while we agree that “anywhere” is a good idea, we came up with the ultimate road trip…a historic trek on Route 66.
Before it was called Route 66, and long before it was even paved in 1926, it was actually the country’s first transcontinental highway. Winding through small towns across the Midwest and Southwest––lined by hundreds of diners, motels, gas stations, and tourist attractions, many still in operation––is worth the trip today.
While we know you can get directions on your phone, map it out old-school before you go with this handy guide.
And whether you complete the route from Chicago to the California coastline, make sure you snap a pic standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.
From princesses and pirates to thrilling rides and delicious meals, if you like an action-packed vacation, and feeling like a kid again, Orlando’s your place.
“We enjoy going to the amusement parks, swimming in and relaxing by the pool, and there are many great restaurants. The top three things I would say to do would be to visit Universal Studios, [Walt Disney World’s] Magic Kingdom and…take a helicopter tour over the parks.”
Working with a specialized travel agent is a good idea when traveling to the parks. They can recommend package deals, make reservations, give money-saving tips and helpful hints, whether you’re staying on property or in the Orlando area.
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA
Michael Norman Anderson suggests hitting the southern coast to stay and play.
From the beautiful beaches along the Grand Strand to championship golf courses, this location truly has something for everyone.
North Beach Plantation is located on the beach and has a variety of themed pools, golf packages and nearby attractions including an aquarium and minor-league baseball stadium. Go Pelicans!
If you’re more of a naturalist, check out northwest Minnesota’s oldest National Park.
Zala Fashant told us about this location and we instantly fell for the lakes and quiet serenity.
Hailed as the birthplace of the Mississippi River, visitors marvel at Lake Itasca and the 10-mile Wilderness Drive that takes you around the park.
Stay among the pines in one of more than 220 campsites, cabins or in the historic and rustic Douglas Lodge.
Hike the trails, rent a boat or grab your fishing pole. This is definitely a place to get away from it all.
Here are a few other favorite spots we had to mention…
PARK CITY, UTAH: Extreme sports from biking to skiing, fresh air and beautiful scenery.
NAPA, CALIFORNIA: Wine tours, breathtaking views and a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.
GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE: Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, this little town is a relaxing retreat complete with Southern hospitality.