There is something absolutely perfect about California as a vacation destination. Taking some time away with male friends is a great way to blow off some steam, and guy trips with your dad can be a wonderful bonding exercise. From adventure and adrenaline to relaxation and culture, California really has it all.
Whether you like the thrills and spills of a hotrod car show, the excitement of watching a big game, adventurous surfing in La Jolla, or just a luxurious cruise along the Pacific coast, California is the perfect destination for a seriously memorable guy’s vacation. Here are some of the best options for the perfect manly break in the Golden State.
Surfing is basically the official sport of California, and there is an array of gorgeous surfing beaches up and down the coast, with the world-famous breaks of SoCal particularly noteworthy. Grabbing a wetsuit and a board can make for an awesome guy’s experience, and California is the place to do it. Start your trip off at the beaches at La Jolla in San Diego, or The Wedge in Newport Beach.
Catch a game
If your crowd is into sports, you won’t want to miss the big names in California. In LA, the Lakers are a huge draw if basketball is your thing, while the Dodgers will satisfy your baseball cravings and the Rams are the way to go for football. You can also catch one of the most successful MLS teams ever at LA Galaxy. Elsewhere, the San Diego Padres and the San Jose Earthquakes are great value, while no trip to California would be complete for sports fans without seeing the San Francisco 49ers play on their home turf.
After a long, hard day of wall-to-wall enjoyment, nothing hits the spot on a guy’s vacation more than an enormous steak, and California takes its meat pretty darn seriously. The Hitching Post in the small town of Casmalia might look low-key on the outside, but you don’t get to feature on the Forbes list of Ten Great BBQ Joints in the USA without a deep appreciation of good steak. For something a little fancier try Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills, where the 48oz porterhouse will provide you with an experience you will genuinely never forget.
Rounding off the day with a few beers is a must for a great guy’s trip, and luckily California has one of the best craft brewing scenes in the US. California has been a haven for beer lovers for years, well before the current craze for artisanal brews, with names like Anchor Brewing, New Albion Brewing, and Sierra Nevada Brewing has been around since the 70s and 80s. But the last ten years has seen a serious boom, putting San Diego, LA, and San Francisco at the top of beer lovers’ lists. In San Diego, try the big names at Karl Strauss Brewing Company or Stone Brewing in Escondido, or experiment with new kids Green Flash brewing. In San Francisco, Anchor Brewing was founded in the 1800s and continues to be one of the best brewers in the country, with the Concord Beer Trail across the Bay Bridge as an excellent alternative option as well. LA might have hopped on the beer bandwagon a bit later, but these days in Eagle Rock Brewery and Mikkeller DTLA it has some of the best and most exciting brews around.
California’s landscape is gorgeous, rugged and awe-inspiring, and nothing brings a bunch of guys together like a trek off into the wilderness. The Shasta Cascades in Butte County offers rivers, waterfalls, mountains and jutting cliffs, while just down the road in Gold County you can explore Lake Tahoe and go white water rafting on the American River. North of Lake Tahoe lies the High Sierra, a seriously manly challenge, where world-class mountain biking, kayaking and hiking trails await.
Despite its sun-drenched image, California also boasts some awesome powder and challenging ski slopes. Stick with the High Sierra for the slopes on Mammoth Mountain, or head north to the El Dorado National Forest for the more advanced challenges at Kirkwood and Thunder Mountain. Whatever level your group is at, there’s a piste for you in California.
No visit to California would be complete without a round at one of the state’s extraordinary golf courses. Grab your clubs, and head out onto the links with your buddies, for a great day of sun, sport and guy time. Pebble Beach on Monterey Bay, often home to the US Open, is obviously world famous, but there are superb courses up and down the coast in California, and inland as well. Try Indian Wells near Palm Springs, Pelican Hill in Newport, or Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz. End your day on the links, and your perfect guy’s trip, with a few beers in the clubhouse, and memories that will last a lifetime.
About the author
Andrea is the author of Weekend Wander Club, a blog on the mission to take big trips with little amounts of time- to make traveling with full time jobs feasible. Andrea did not grow up traveling to big and grand places. Her parents were both born in other countries and grew up abroad, so hearing about other destinations, in addition to growing up in one of the most diverse places in the US (South Florida) it nurtured a healthy craving to see the world for herself.