Ask Bark: Where Should My Boys and I Go For “Guys’ Weekend?”

surfcomber-hotel

In what should become a really awesome regular feature on this here blog, I am taking a question from a reader. Here it is:

Dear Bark,

Long time reader, first time writer here. Im looking to go spend the weekend with some friends of mine somewhere fun. We are all about your age (mid-30’s) and some of us are single and some are not but have been given a “hall pass” for a weekend. They’re all thinking Vegas but I think that’s kind of cliché. Where would you go if you could pick somewhere in the US to go for a guy’s weekend and do it relatively cheap?

Thanks,

(redacted)

Oh, dear Redacted, I have just the answer for you. But you’ll have to click the jump (or look at the above picture) to find out.

First things first—you’re right. Vegas is completely cliché. I’ve been to Vegas enough (exactly once) to know that the kind of guys who go to “VEGAS BABY!!! YEAH! LETS DO THIS!!” pretty much always end up going home broke and full of tears and regrets. Unless you are truly a professional-level gambler (check) who doesn’t mind going up and down as much as a couple grand at a time (check, check), Vegas isn’t for you. You can’t afford to do Vegas correctly “relatively cheap.” You either need to spend a bunch of money, or you need to gamble enough to get comped everything on your NEXT trip. Vegas isn’t for you guys.

No, you need a city where you can do nearly anything you want (fine dining, beaches, shopping, nightclubs) but do it where there is a much better ratio of women to men, and where there is much less of a chance that you’ll be surrounded by douchebag amateurs.

The only real answer for you is Miami.

Here’s what I recommend:

  • Book your stay at The Surfcomber on Miami Beach.
  • Book dining reservations at Zuma
  • Go to Nikki Beach, Clevelander, LIV, and Mansion at night
  • Shop on Lincoln Mall during day
  • Rinse, Repeat

Listen, you’re going to lose money in Vegas. You just are. So go have all of the nightlife and shopping, better weather, much better pools, and more beautiful people in Miami.

You’re welcome.

Send “Ask Bark” questions to barkm302@gmail.com. They can be about anything—relationships, travel, cars, music, etc. You’ll be glad you did.

19 Replies to “Ask Bark: Where Should My Boys and I Go For “Guys’ Weekend?””

  1. kvndoom

    Ok there’s hall pass and then there’s HALL PASS. If those guys have the latter, inquiring minds want to know what they allowed/bought/forfeit to get it! :O

    Reply
  2. Eap

    Don’t be silly. Anyone who is granted a HALL PASS should know that they will be for it forever….and ever….and ever…..and ever…..

    Reply
  3. Nick D

    This is good advice. Vegas is overplayed and overpriced. I’ve been 4 times for various things and am always glad to leave. Not what you want on a guys trip.

    Reply
    • VicMik

      Metereological conditions aside I think he meant better environment…lush tropical flora, partially cloudy days, afternoon rains, beautiful beaches and warm waters year round..

      Humid in the summer? Hell yeah, but when she is wearing a thong and you’ve got a shirt and flip flops on, it’s hardly an issue.

      Reply
  4. AoLetsGo

    Yours is a nice trip, if you want to just chill, be pampered, party and shop.
    Personally, I would want to do something more fun, competitive and of course in style.
    Golf is an obvious one but not for me or some other people
    A weekend at an instructional racing program
    Exotic deep sea fishing contest
    Hiking in Patagonia Chile
    Adventure racing etc. etc.

    Reply
    • AoLetsGo

      Oops I forgot about the US weekend thing, make that a Key West fishing trip and hiking in the Rockies or Vermont

      Reply
  5. Hogie roll

    Yes charter a deep see fishing boat in the keys. It is the bomb. Outerlimits out of key west is our favorite. But there are plenty all along the keys. It’s nothing like bass fishing on a lake. if you get a good bite it’s non stop action.

    Reply
  6. jz78817

    wow, people actually do this? I thought this was the setup to the plot of Yet Another Adam Sandler Movie.

    Reply
  7. Domestic Hearse

    If golf is your bag, there’s plenty of great courses near Miami Beach. You’ll find a host of charter fishing – they’ll motor you out past the continental ledge and into the deep blue (charter a boat, don’t go for one’a those cattle-call outfits). Speaking of the ledge, you can book a drift dive if scuba is your sport of choice (they drop you off in one place, you drift underwater on the Gulfstream current along the edge of the wall, then your dive master will take you back up topside and tada, there’s your dive boat).

    Water toys galore: and not just the ones Jack saves for hot tubs.

    Lots of live music, too.

    Piece de resistance: Female beauty abounds on Miami Beach like nowhere else. I’ll put the per capita beautiful women there up against southern California any day.

    Suggestion: go to an exotic car rental, take turns rolling up and down Ocean, Washington, A1A and Collins, doing your best Crockett and Tubbs imitations.

    There are beaches that cater to every lifestyle. If you find yourselves somewhere, um, a little out of your element, don’t worry. Everyone’s chill. And who knows, strike up a conversation and you’ll probably find out where the best parties are that night.

    Reply
    • VolandoBajo

      For Miami, if the nightclub called Evil People is still there, inland from the beach near Coral Gables if memory serves, it was one hell of a hot spot back in the day. It may have passed its expiration date, but if it hasn’t, it is likely to be one hell of a party.

      It was the scene of one of my crimes, crimes of the heart, great longing and lust for a gorgeous cougar before that term was invented. And a good IQ, a chill Mk II Jaguar in British Racing Green, wire spoke wheels with knockoff hubs, all the correct features, and a well-packed suitcase (no that is not code for anything, just that I was travelling with the right things in the right circles)…none of that was enough to keep me from being a boy-toy without even knowing it at the time.

      But it was fun while it lasted, and I was politely introduced to her best friend who had just gotten her divorce, when said cougar decided to move on for whatever reason.

      Yes, Evil People…but enough to draw a young man like a moth to a flame.

      If you go to Miami, I’d love to get a check on that place.

      Or if not, and you don’t like my Carolinas ideas, I personally had a blast in New Orleans, my last bachelor summer, when I had to (like it was work) stay over in town every other weekend, with a rental Thunderbird, money in my pocket, and an insider’s guide to where to go and what to do, courtesy of a former GF who was an NO native.

      I loved that town, and still do. Though it is an acquired taste…not as immediately a magnet as Miami or Vegas. Yet it is a great city.

      And check out the barbecued shrimp at Pasquale’s Maniale restaurant in Center City, far from the Quarter.

      Imagine a line of twenty plus taxis all lined up at the door there at ten thirty on a rainy Monday night…that is how much of a draw it was, mostly for the locals who stayed away from the TV chef restaurants.

      And it was the only city I have ever been in where middle class middle-aged professional couples, even with children, would go home and sleep after work, and go out to eat around nine or ten, and roll in for their second sleep of the night after midnight. Strange and beautiful city…

      And the shop of the most famous “voodoo queen” of NO was an example of the paradoxes of that city…in that voodoo shop, there was a sign hung prominently…of, believe it or not, the Lord’s Prayer.

      Supposedly she used her voodoo powers such as they were to obtain kindness and justice for her poor mostly black followers. The whole city was a city full of surprises like that. Had a place that played world music for a large dance crowd five or ten years before world music became trendy in NYC and elsewhere.

      It’s hard to put a label on that city, which might be the lads’ best defense against being braced for alleged misconduct and put to work proving their alleged innocence day after day, upon their return.

      YMMV, but if I wasn’t trying to get a suntan on that boys vacation out, I’d be in NO.

      Reply
  8. VolandoBajo

    There is one drawback that I can see to going to such an otherwise perfect place as Miami…their respective ladies will sooner or later conjure up visions of Hangover, Part N+1. And they will then demand confession followed by strict penance.

    And make no mistake…no simple sworn vow of silence will overcome their onslaught. Woman are nothing if not clever and devious. And these friends sound like they are intelligent men who doubtless have wives and/or GF’s who are not dumber than boxes of rocks. So they will conspire to make each one tell a couple of titillating details which will be revealed along with avowed disdain for such lowlife behavior.

    But the women will then meet the next morning at an already planned breakfast or lunch, to compare notes. And since the men will likely be blindsided, if there is any discrepancy that can be discerned between their stories, there will be Hell to pay, and I do mean Hell with a capital H.

    So if they are truly looking for debauchery, Vegas can provide entertainment that can be explained under the guise of individual gambling, with attendant losses, sufficient to cover the cost of (mis)behavior.

    OTOH, if they really do plan on just having a bit of fun, but are not planning on going the full horndog route, I would suggest a place with less of a bachelor haven reputation.

    Hilton Head SC offers a lot of golf, relatively inexpesively, and a lot of restaurants and sun and surf.

    If you aren’t so much driven by a desire to chase after little white balls that have a tendency not to go where you want them to, then the Nags Head/Outer Banks area is a great beach getaway, with a more than adequate supply of decent to very good restaurants, an occasional movie, and the usual beach type of entertainments such as a dive shop, hang-gliding, and I believe charter fishing as well, down towards Oregon Inlet. When the blues are running, it can be more bang for your buck than the deepsea fishing off the shelf that you would have in Miami.

    And of course, the best thing these sites offer is plausible deniability: “If we were going to chase women instead of just hanging out doing guy things, why would we have gone to the Carolinas instead of to Miami or Vegas?”

    And yet there still remains a chance, though admittedly a reduced chance, of meeting either college girls on vacation who have a thing for older men (though it stings when you figure out that you are considered an older man at thirty five or forty), or some cougars who haven’t found the fountain of youths, and are just looking to party til the cows come home.

    I personally would expect to have more fun in Miami, especially of the kind they aren’t supposed to have, but would be quite happy to spend a week on the Outer Banks if the chance came up.

    Bubba’s BBQ in two locations on the Outer Banks, used to be rough as a cob, no air-conditioned dining room, just a screened in area with picnic tables, but authentic and incredible BBQ. For all the other restaurants it is best to consult various sources of reviews, as they change over time.

    And there is/was one hotel/lounge that had more or less name bands that were famous on the southern college circuit, playing for a crowd that came to “shag dance”, a sort of not too dirty dirty boogie style of dancing, though it can get interesting if the chemistry occurs. I forget the name, only that it is closer to the north end, but not all the way up in Duck or Corolla.

    Sublets of beach houses in those two towns are a great way to do better than a motel or hotel for a small group. But get out and dance at night, and do whatever, including just laying on the sand, or surfing at Hatteras lighthouse, during the day.

    Good luck, friends of Bark. You will need it if your ladies are setting this up as a test of your relationships. Even if you pass you will lose, as you will be expected to prove over and over how much they mean to you.

    But having said that, pick the spot that best suits your aims and strategies, and have fun…we will expect a trip report (anonymity OK), after the adventure.

    Yours Truly,
    Volando

    Reply
    • Bark M Post author

      Recently, when I was having a drink at the Clevelander, two young girls came up and asked me how old I was. I asked them to guess. One said 26, the other said 28. I laughed and replied that they were very sweet, but that I was actually 37.

      One of them said, “That’s so cool! I hope I can still drink and party when I’m your age.”

      I immediately took an Uber back to the hotel and went to bed.

      Reply
  9. jz78817

    I’m about the same age as you and I’ve also had people guess 10+ years too low. I think it’s the hair; as long as I don’t grown out my beard I don’t have any gray hair (yet.)

    Reply
  10. VolandoBajo

    Missed this comment earlier.

    That situation may make you feel old now, but as you get older, you have an excellent chance to continue to look younger. And the older you get, the more you will appreciate that.

    I never developed male pattern baldness, and my hair is still pretty much dark brown, with just a few greys thrown in the mix.

    And my wife, who is (WARNING: humblebrag alert) almost two decades younger, and still looks like SHE is two decades younger than she is, is always telling me that I still look young to her.

    Beats the alternative any day of the week, and at least twice on Sunday.

    If you get away with the hair thing, and don’t let your fitness go to hell in a handbasket, it is almost effortless, if, as it appears, you are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t look that old.

    Reply

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