It's summertime, and you and your boys just ain't welcome 'round the local watering holes and gin joints anymore. It's time to round up your crew, flee town like the cops are after ya, and dissolve into the wild world unknown. But just in case you don't know the good spots beyond city limits, The Venue Report was kind enough to put together a little guide for your charming battalion of gents.
The Batteryis one of those places where you know good trouble is afoot. Any private club that hypes that it’s like Vegas with several bars and a wine cellar (yes, this all exists), you and your classy crew of men can expect a time of smug smirks and darting eyes the next day. Besides, craft cocktails, resident DJs, and the smokin’ locals of San Francisco don’t help the angel on your shoulder any.
Photo by The Battery Events Team & Douglas Friedman
Everyone from your favorite photographer on Instagram to the local barista serving you up coffee has been telling you to go to Iceland for the last few years. Now there’s the ION Luxury Adventure Hotel, surrounded by hikes and hot springs. Live well in the viking land with the heart of the poet, taking sips off microbrews with your closest and kindest brothers-in-arms beneath the the colorful crash of the Northern Lights blistering the night sky above you.
Photo Courtesy of ION Luxury Adventure Hotel
At Hotel Escondido, paddle off the coast of Oaxaca, catch waves if the sets are in, and then decompress however you see fit with the beach club and underground bar, both of which make up the only civilization in the nearby. Otherwise, when you and your brother kin aren’t in the ocean, there’s horse riding, yoga, trips to Lake Manialtepec, and a spa if your body gets thrashed in the waves.
Photo Courtesy of Hotel Escondido
Any kind of man can write a confident love letter home from Drift San Jose. Between the gold-tipped punching bags, swaying hammocks, modern art galleries, live music, and farmers’ market, men with the hearts of lions or sloths can find their inner peace in Baja Mexico. Life in this ranch in the historic downtown art district beats as loudly as a stormy surf break and your dudes can surf, hike, bike, dive, snorkel, kayak, and paddleboard until their whole body gives out (and into a nap).
Photo Courtesy of Drift San Jose del Cabo
What looks like a subway station that’ll take you onto the afterlife (whether up or down depends on your behavior) serves as a San Diego fire-watering hole that pays tributes to the golden era of the soda fountain. Here, at Polite Provisions, among the the colossal smokestack and open ceilings, you and your legion can reminisce about America’s bygone with local tonics, elixirs, and cures, served up by old school mixologist masters. Photo courtesy of Lyudmila Zotova
Built in the 1920s and originally the first African-American pharmacy in Austin, the building now serves up good times (by way of fine drinks) on copper-and-marble bistro tables that fill out large patio spaces. It’s a place where men have been day-drinking and planning their summer days for years. Debates of swimming holes and afternoon cruises swell up the conversation until one gent suggests they do all the things and that settles it; a perfect day at Hillside Farmacy
Photo Courtesy of Melissa Glynn Photography
In the hopeful heart of Los Angeles, this social club harkens back to a time when men would bet on anything that could keep their eyes off the lustful prize even just for a moment. Los Angeles Athletic Club, already voted one of the best private clubs in America, this manly daydream, in all its glory of fine wood, dark colors, and open space, holds 125 years of grins, secrets, and cackles. Take in a swim, unwind in the lounge, play billiards, or wax philosophical in a stroll about the ballroom. It’s all grand.
By Tracy Beckmann Design
With enough stars to consider them to the new currency, you and your rugged explorer pals can down your heads just a few miles up the road from the astonishing adventure of Glacier Under Canvas. Mountains and forests crowd around you like they want to hear your last thought before bed, but it’s the most open space you’ve breathed in years. Sleep in a tent on the ground or in a treehouse and lose track of the line between dream and reality.
Relive the past life you always hoped you had under your belt at The Raleigh, Miami’s landmark hotel and revival of art deco. Lose track of time (by year, decade or century even) with handcrafted cocktails beside 1947’s “most beautiful pool in America,” awarded by Life Magazine. With award-winning food, old school lounges, and a martini bar, you and your gents can live like movie star hunks from the golden age of Hollywood out on a South Beach vacation.
Photo By Ryan Forbes
Disappear to the jungle hillsides of Nicaragua and take up a new bohemian style of breathing in the world. The city will still be there when you and your friends decide to up and abandon good surf, lazy afternoons, and hammock naps. But, really, damn, if you’re looking for a secret spot, tucked away like an instruction manual of how to live well, this daydream beach jungle haven brings out the best energy, spirit, and conversations in everyone.
Photo: Courtesy of Maderas Village
Miami or Chicago
You and your good dudes may not be Gatsby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t define your terms of poetic manhood like Fitzgerald. What need for lavish rooms when a budget-friendly shared-style hostel means more money for the cafes, the bars, and the cabs that’ll take you to both? Explore your adventurous nature at the Freehand Hostelin either Miami or Chicago and absorb the local culture, cuisine, and creativity.
Round up your most fearless comrades, lead them to Guatemala, and “camp” on a volcano with Ox Expeditions. Hike, bike, kayak, and zipline through what will end up being a wild tale for everyone to tell some dinner party when you’re looking to make an ex jealous. But don’t worry, it won't all be extreme living, as there's comfy beds, daily happy hours, and free breakfast.
Photo: Ox Expeditions
How cool would it be to go to survival school?! Take on life as a new (stronger) man, with your rocksteady crew, by embracing the wild, humbling experience of wilderness education. Learn primitive survival skills with Boss, Inc., such as friction fire, shelter construction, and deciphering edible plants. In a short time, you’ll come to appreciate what you have at home, discover what you don’t need any longer, and find the special soundless peace you’ve been searching for.
Photo: Boss, Inc.
Get shined at a barber shop that could serve any man, from old-school mob royalty to new-wave hipster bartender. Saddle up with your buds in a line of chairs and come out squeaky clean, thanks to Ludlow Blunt’s selection of high-quality shampoos, pomades, tonics and grooming preparations. The joint was made for men, looking just as likely to host a debate about the best rapper in the game as it would about who fixed the 1919 World Series.