You may know Cooperstown best for its Baseball Hall of Fame, a reason thousands of long ball devotees visit the picturesque village in upstate New York annually. But, B & B Ranch, just minutes from the center of town and the waters of Lake Otsego in the Hudson River Valley, renders a world of other reasons to vacation in this storybook town. Legendary character Rip Van Winkle slept beneath a tree near here—and you'll rest just as peacefully at this working horse farm that sprawls across 340 acres. Abundant with trails and pastures, vaunting a private hunting reserve, this quintessential country inn draws more than equine fans relishing a riding package. It also attracts spa goers, thanks to a 5,000 square-foot spa with an elaborate treatment menu—not to mention gourmands enthralled by the hotel's farm-to-table restaurant menu. Riding school packages, hunting and fishing packages, and pick-your-own produce programs provide plenty of activities for guys on the go.
Top 10 Mancations
Men: step away from the man cave. It's time for a man-sized adventure. Whether traveling alone or with a pack of your pals, you'll find these unique lodges have a masculine edge. Check in—and let the adventure begin.
You don't have to get fishy to reel in relaxation. Want to catch the big one? Bring a buddy or two and check into Gallatin River Lodge, set amid five raging rivers in the heart of Big Sky Country. A mecca for fly fishing buffs, the sprawling, bucolic, Montana countryside is ideal for men who love the outdoors. Ensconced on 300-acres of unsullied landscape, the lodge specializes in fishing expeditions and guarantees expert guides. Gather in the Great Room to swap fishing stories before the soaring stone fireplace. Nosh at the gourmet restaurant, famous for its huckleberry ice cream and outstanding wine list. At bedtime, snooze in one of six luxurious bedrooms hung with works of Western art. Or, stay in the new two-story Trout Cabin, comprised of four bedrooms on the ground floor and a two-bedroom suite above. Don't miss breakfast—a feast of organic eggs, locally-cured meats, home baked breads and so much more.
Norman Rockwell used to linger at Gateways Inn when it was Harly Proctor's (of Proctor and Gamble fame) summer house in the woods. But innkeeper Michele Gazit's granola might be enough to bring his spirit back to join other guests for breakfast. Enjoy Gateways Inn, a renovated, circa 1912 cottage hotel that still maintains a civilized East Coast vibe. Redone with elegant period details, the 12 guestrooms and various, comfortable common rooms lure intellectual and studious types to decompress with a book. At night, the piano bar enlivens the place, drawing a wine and tea sipping crowd that likes to unwind with style. A savory dinner menu includes dishes such as grilled lamb loin and boneless Rainbow trout. Besides granola, a typical breakfast might be fresh baked whole wheat croissants and an asparagus and brie omelet. At any time of day, the fully outfitted bar spoils the whiskey set with an exceptional single malt selection.
City slickers need a country inn to quiet the buzz of urbanity. At the Mast Farm Inn, a complex of eight restored 18th and 17th-century outbuildings (including one that served as a blacksmith shop) and seven in-house guestrooms, the seclusion and slower pace rejuvenates your spirit. Nestled in an emerald pocket of the Appalachian Mountains, near fields of wildflowers, the inn takes its Southern roots seriously. Find that in the hospitable service and the local menu items. Always wanted to hand cut dovetail joinery or make band saw veneers? Master your carpentry skills in a Woodworking Workshop, led by renowned woodworker David Finck who lives nearby. Choose from a variety of classes, or design your own woodworking course. Poker players will enjoy the the Four Aces package which includes gourmet sandwiches, snacks, bottles of North Carolina's best micro-brewed beer, decks of cards and stacks of fake money. Or, learn to cast like a pro. It takes time and patience, but that's why you're here. The retreat partners with several professional fly fishing outfitters who know just where the big trout swim. With a chef renowned for creative concoctions, you won't go hungry. Try the Farmer's Lunch, a cornucopia of picnic food, such as local cheeses, cured meat and pickled vegetables.
Ponderosa Pine forests, rushing rivers, snow-capped peaks, wild flowers, and shrubby steppes define America's Pacific Northwest's rugged landscapes. Near Leavenworth, a charming town with a Bavarian theme, find Pine River Ranch. A haven of repose that mirrors the robust scenery outdoors within, this five-room inn sits in the heart of 22 acres. Rooms reflect a lumberjack-meets-regal motif, with elements such as beds artistically constructed from unpeeled logs, river rock fireplaces and two-person, stone-flanked, jacuzzi spas. Relish hearty breakfast entrees, such as Caramel Apple French Toast, delivered to your room. Or, indulge in a house-made picnic. Book here with your bird watching buddies for an ornithology fest. Birding guidebooks and binoculars are provided in your suite. Note: experts have recently recorded more than 30 species of birds on property! Pine River Ranch can arrange expert guides, as well, to help you explore other parts of this bird abundant portion of Washington State. Explore the region's wineries, tipple Bavarian beer in Leavenworth—hike, bike and picnic in summer. Come back in fall for Oktoberfest—or enjoy skiing and snowshoeing in winter.
Brew lover, this is your new neighborhood bar—at least the next time you travel to Victoria on Canada's Pacific Northwest coast. At the Inner Harbor, with jaw-dropping sea views, Spinnakers sits in a garden-graced compound which includes the hotel, a restaurant, and Canada's oldest brewpub. Nine-foot ceilings ensure that tall men will be comfortable in the circa 1884 Heritage House's five guestrooms. Ideal for groups of up to four, the Garden Suites contains a patio, separate living room, and views of the ocean. Another option is the free-standing bungalow, set amid fruit trees and flower beds in a backyard, complete with aviary. Wherever you sleep, the brewery lies just steps from your bed and serves an ever-changing array of beers--like Nut Brown or India Pale Ale. A much awarded eatery, the gastro pub serves dishes—from mussels to steak—that pair supremely with a pint of beer. All stays include a gourmet breakfast basket delivered at sunrise to your door—as well as a truffle and beer tasting.
No bull! Bunk up at Texas Ranch Life and channel your inner Texan. Leave your loafers at home (and pack your cowboy boots) for this true foray into the Lone Star lifestyle. Here, the wild west still lives. This dude ranch adventure puts you among one of the country's largest registered Longhorn herds, some furry bison, award-winning Quarter horses and tons of tumbleweed-wise wildlife. Feeling adventurous? Bump over some dusty trails on sporty Kawasakis. Play out your ranch hand fantasies with some hunting, riding, shooting fishing, fence mending—even tomahawk throwing. Temporary cow pokes won't want to miss the thrill of working a real cattle drive. When the sun sets, belly up to the bar for a Texas long neck beer. Gather around the campfire for a cookout. Do the Two-Step at a Barn Dance. Then, retire to your authentically restored, 19th century cabin and dream about riding the range again tomorrow.
Bond with your best buds in Vermont, where red-painted barns dot the landscape and shadowed paths meander over hill and dell. Duffers and hole-in-one players alike can take to the green at the retreat's 18-hole, links-style, Montague Golf Course. Swim in the lodge's stunning outdoor pool or lounge beside it. Explore any of the compound's more than 28-miles of jogging and walking trails. Winter time means a bevy of cold weather sports from skiing to cross country trekking. Choose to stay in the 150-year old main house—or across the street at Morgan House where the rooms are more spacious, but equally luxurious. The lodge serves a classic continental breakfast, but will provide a voucher for guests hungering for a warm meal to start the day at the hotel's delicious Randolph Depot Restaurant nearby.
Give it your best Paul Bunyan at Atlantic Canada's Trout Point Lodge—a 100-acre property nestled on the verges of a wilderness area. A 12-room, cabin-like hotel with twig-made furnishings and Tiffany lamps, the lodge invites guys manly enough to handle a little luxury between all that kayaking, hiking, biking, and fishing. Unwind at night in a rough-hewn, barrel sauna—and stay up late to ponder the stars. Specializing in Cajun and Arcadian cuisine, the lodge includes three meals a day with the price of your room. If you love to dabble in the kitchen, enroll in one of the chef's popular cooking classes. Animals abound around this award-winning, eco-hotel; don't be surprised to encounter a black bear, spy a flying squirrel, or be awed by a soaring eagle.
Enjoy your tropical vacation at your own speed—fishing, lounging in a hammock, and kayaking through waters that glimmer in a thousand shades of blue. At Turtle Beach Resort, your tropical fantasies come true. Dip into your waterfront jacuzzi, cast your reel off a private dock, canoe, kayak, and walk along a crescent of white-as-snow, sugary sand. Nestled on a paradisaical, 8-mile long barrier reef off Sarasota's coast, a coterie of beach cottages welcome you. The perfect furlough with your fellows, this cottage resort has restaurants within walking distance, but you may want to have a cooking contest in the fully-appointed kitchens or on the waterside gas grills. Bicycles, boat docks, a pool, and comfy, coach-potato-worthy furniture soothe the soul here. Don't stay up too late, guys, as you'll want to wake up at sunrise to catch the big one.
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