If you’re looking to escape the cold and spend a few days soaking up some much-needed rays, we’ve got just the place for you.. Bradenton, Florida! Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida just north of Sarasota, this quiet little beach community has lots to offer, something I got to experience firsthand during a recent guys weekend with a few of my #MenWhoBlog buddies, courtesy of Bradenton Gulf Islands.
The folks at Island Real Estate found us a sweet rental house (“Beachy Villa Vista”) that was just a few steps away from the beach, complete with a heated pool, spa, swim up tiki bar, and a propane grill in the backyard. The house itself was super spacious, with all the amentities you could ask for. So whether you’re planning on coming down here for a weekend with your buds or for a week-long vacation with the entire family, a vacation rental house like this is most definitely the way to go.
Now you might ask yourself, what exactly is there to do down in Bradenton and Anna Maria Island other than kick back, relax, and enjoy their beaches with miles and miles of sugar-white sand and gentle waves?
Plenty! On our first day there, we went fishing with Egmont Key Adventures, and let me tell you, the fish were biting that day! We caught a ton of fish, including mullet, redfish, snook, snapper, and grouper. And if you’re a first time fisher (like me), not to worry, as our trusty captain was only too happy to bait my lures and help me cast them into the water. It was really a lot of fun, and it also made for a nice dinner later that night.
Thrill-seekers looking for something a bit more extreme need to check out Top Gun Flyboards. This amazing new water sport is like nothing that I’ve ever done before, and it was seriously awesome! While there is a bit of a learning curve involved, within 5-10 minutes I had gotten the hang of it, and I was able to soar a good 6 feet above the water. Due to some technical difficulties with our GoPro, I wasn’t able to capture any footage of me doing this, but these photos give you an idea of what you can expect.
We were lucky enough to be visiting Brandenton during the Bradenton Blues Fest, where we got to jam out to a diverse lineup of talented blues musicians on the big stage. The music was amazing, and everyone had a blast. The whole lineup was top notch, but my favorite group had to be Chubby Carrier and the Delta Swamp Band, a zydeco band who brought the house down with their New Orleans-style music. If you can’t make it during this event, not to worry, as there’s plenty of live music happening here year-round.
Foodies will be delighted by Anna Maria Island’s impressive restaurant and bar scene, which honestly caught me by surprise. I was expecting a variety of seafood shacks and beach bars (of which there are plenty), not a ZAGAT “Top Restaurant in America”. Beach Bistro has been wowing guests for more than 27 years with truly exceptional meals, and this was easily one of the best meals I ever had. So much food was had, but some of the standouts include the Colorado lamb, butter-poached Nova Scotia lobster and Hudson Valley foie gras, along with the Short Rib Bourguignon entrée, which was just out of this world.
After dinner, we made our way to The Doctor’s Office, a former doctor’s office that’s now a craft cocktail bar. The drinks here are phenomenal, the bartending staff is top-notch, and it’s a great way to cap off the night.
Bradenton also has some great breakfast spots that are worth checking out. Ginny’s and Jane E’s is a quirky bakery café that has some seriously insane (and huge) cinnamon buns. The Anna Maria Oyster Bar has just what you need after a night of drinking, the aptly named Hangover Sandwich (pepper fried chicken, fried egg, cheese & topped with sausage gravy). And the Gulf Drive Cafe offers breakfast on the beach, complete with a guitar player serenading you as you dine.
Seriously, what more could you ask for? Bradenton and Anna Maria Island have great food, tons of activities, amazing music, and pristine beaches with beautiful turquoise waters. It’s a little slice of heaven, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a taste of Old Florida.
Southwest Airlines Has Flights Starting At $47 For This Fall
If you are looking to get away for a long-weekend for some much-needed rest and relaxation, you’ve got to check out the huge sale that Southwest Airlines currently has going on, with some seriously discounted fares for the coming months.
We’re talking about one-way flights for as low as $47. And that even includes a checked bag, because that’s just how Southwest rolls! Of course, you’ve still got to get back home, and that might not be quite as cheap as your outgoing flight, but it’s still one heck of a deal.
As you can see on the official sale page, you’re not limited in where you can travel, though prices vary depending on where you’re headed. For example, you can fly from Las Vegas to Long Beach for $47, New Orleans to Ft. Lauderdale for $87, or New York to Tampa for $103.
There are even some international options, like Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau, Bahamas for $74, Los Angeles to Los Cabos, Mexico for $118, or from Houston to Belize City, Belize for $128.
If you want to take advantage of this deal (which is good for travel between August 21th and December 19th), you had better hurry up, because the sale ends on July 20th.
Photo credit: Southwest Airlines/Facebook
Who’s Ready To Set Sail On A 245-Day Luxury Cruise Around The World?
When MSC Cruises announced their 119 day “World Cruise” last year, we didn’t think it could get any better. After all, this amazing cruise boasted an itinerary of 49 destinations across 32 countries spanning six continents. Talk about a bucket list trip!
But no so fast, said Viking Cruises, who recently introduced their Ultimate World Cruise, an insane cruise around the world that spans 245 days, 6 continents, 59 countries and 113 ports, with 22 port overnights. As the name suggests, it’s the ultimate way to see the world, and Viking’s luxury accommodations ensure that you do it in style.
The eight-month voyage kicks off in London on August 31th, 2019 on Viking Sun, with guests visiting dozens of legendary cities, charming ports and idyllic islands along the way as they circumnavigation of the globe. And unlike other cruises where excursions cost extra, they are included in the fare, allowing you to take part in 113 guided tours of ports such as Reykjavik, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Bora Bora, Sydney, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Algiers and immerse themselves in the world’s cultures.
Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises – For more than 20 years, we have been offering guests the most culturally immersive journeys available in the industry and we are pleased to announce the most extensive itinerary in our history. Our World Cruises offer guests the rare opportunity to unpack once and explore dozens of the best destinations on earth — at a value that is unprecedented in the travel industry.
For those days when you’re not visiting a port, you can enjoy world-class amenities aboard the Viking Sun. The award-winning vessel offers spacious rooms, each with its own veranda, king-size bed, spacious bathroom, and flat-screen TV, as well as eight restaurants, multiple pools, spa, theater, and an Explorer’s Lounge serving craft beer and Scandinavian fare.
So how much will this once-in-a-lifetime cruise set you back? Tickets for the Ultimate World Cruise start at $92,990 per person. But keep in mind that that price includes Business Class international air, transfers to/from the ship, all gratuities and fees, three complimentary visa services, free luggage shipping services for embarkation and Viking’s Silver Spirits beverage package, along with complimentary shore excursions in each port and free unlimited Wi-Fi.
If that’s too rich for your blood, Viking offers the option of two shorter segments – The Viking World Treasures ($47,995) is a 127-day sailing from London to Los Angeles that visits 33 countries and 61 ports, while the Viking World Wonders ($45,995) is a 119-day journey from Los Angeles to London that visits 29 countries and 55 ports.
All in all, this is the ultimate cruise for someone that has a serious case of wanderlust and wants to check off a bunch of countries off of their bucket list.
So what do you say, who’s ready to set sail on Viking Cruises’ Ultimate World Cruise?
Photo credit: Viking Cruises
5 Cool Places To Jet Away This Summer With Your Buddies
Summer is finally here, and I’m sure many of you are planning on taking a vacation in the next few months, a chance to get away for a little fun in the sun. Picking the right destination is an absolute must to ensure maximum enjoyment and relaxation. Luckily, we’re here to help!
If you haven’t already booked your summer vacation yet… what were you thinking? But not to worry, you’ve still got time to get away. If you’re planning a vacation with your buddies, your summer is shaping up pretty nicely already. But to make sure everyone has a great time while they’re out there, you need to pick a destination that suits all your friends.
From music festivals to clubland resorts, we’ve rounded up five top ideas that could make this summer vacation one you’ll never forget:
Sunny, and jam packed with partying, music, beaches and babes, Ibiza is the ultimate holiday destination for you and the boys. Sunbathing the hangover off during the day before getting back into action as the sun is setting is what Ibiza is all about. Plus, there isn’t really anywhere else on Earth where you can see superstar DJs playing in cozy little bars as well as huge clubs that attract music fans from around the world.
Summer in Ibiza is always a class act, and 2018 looks no different, with pretty much every electronic and dance act under the sun flocking to the island this year. Whether it’s you and a few mates, a big group, or just a solo trip to see the sights, Ibiza is absolutely packed with guy-friendly activities that will make your trip one to remember. If you’ve been working sculpting your summer body in the gym, here’s where you can show it off. With year-round incredible weather, Ibiza is a tough holiday destination to beat.
Sun, sand, gambling and pool parties. Find a better mix than that and we’ll be impressed. Las Vegas can easily rival Ibiza as the party capital of the world. This city of sin is slowly changing from a haven for retirees who want to watch Celine Dion back to the raucous party destination that it was back in the golden age.
Book a room at any major casino resort, from Mandalay Bay to the Wynn, and you’re sure to have a good time. From the endless free food and drinks if you’re gambling enough, to the 24-hour party atmosphere and endless amounts of people having fun, you’re guaranteed to be talking to new people, overindulging and possibly winning some extra cash.
If you’re not prepared, you’ll almost certainly be losing cash, though. Plus, throw in all the cocktails and beers you’ll be throwing back at the gaming tables, and you could be in for some heavy losses. However, there is a way you can avoid this – by getting some practice in. Of course, you could do this at your local casino, but gambling at an online casino is a much more convenient way – as you can play from the comfort of your own home, or if you’re on the move, using any device.
Online casinos these days have all the charm and excitement as reguular casinos, thanks to their increasingly engaging gameplay graphics. On top of this, you can actually chat to dealers and play along with competitors in real time, thanks to the emergence of Live Casinos. From poker, to blackjack, to roulette, here you’ll find an impressive selection of casino games to help you sharpen your skills before going up against the pros in Vegas. You could even end up winning enough to pay for your trip before its even begun!
The Vegas pool party has become something of a staple in recent years, with EDM planting their flag in the desert at the end of the 2000s, and you’ll easily see Calvin Harris or David Guetta playing a set almost any day of the week.
Moscow wouldn’t usually top the holiday destination list, but there’s the small matter of the biggest international sports competition on the planet that’s taking place all across Russia this summer. If you’re quick, you can still book flights to Moscow just in time for the World Cup final taking place next month at the Luzhniki Stadium, where you can soak up the atmosphere and watch the game at a fan park when you can’t afford the $13,000+ tickets the touts are selling online. What would make a better guys trip than going to the World Cup?
Beyond the football, Moscow is actually something of a party city, and a growing music scene is allowing more bars, nightclubs and venues to open than ever before. This summer however, it’s all about music festivals and Moscow is hosting everyone from System of a Down to Lana Del Rey this summer, providing something for pretty much every taste. Oh, and there’s the fact that vodka is sometimes cheaper to buy than water in some Moscow shops, so you’ll no doubt have a great time as you stand listening to some obscure Russian band in the sun.
If you’ve always dreamt of visiting the UK, and the line-up at Glastonbury isn’t worth your hard-earned cash, then head to the less-expensive-than-Glasto-but-still-great Leeds Festival.
While we can’t guarantee the weather, you’ll have access to three solid days of partying in the great outdoors, along with a superb soundtrack to top it off. Leeds is hosting Kendrick Lamar, Kings of Leon, Fall Out Boy, Dua Lipa and numerous other famous and up-and-coming bands that fill out 3 full days over the weekend, and you’ll be spoiled for choice with three stages.
Contrary to what you might expect, the festival isn’t exclusive to music obsessives. In fact, it’s suitable for anyone who fancies a party in a campsite – just ask the organizer of any bachelor parties that have taken place at the festival in recent years.
If you only fancy one day at the festival, then we can’t recommend Leeds enough for a party before or after. With hundreds of great bars and restaurants and some of the best nightlife in the UK, you can enjoy a great weekend away that won’t cost you the Earth.
If you and your group of friends fancy somewhere that’s easy to get to and offers something a bit different than just lying on the beach all day, Krakow is a great option. Located in southern Poland, the local airport is served by tons of British airports and you’ll be there in just over two hours.
Alongside some incredible historic sites and stunning architecture, Krakow has got one of the best reputations for a night out in Europe. With plenty of bachelor parties rolling into town every weekend and even the locals getting in on the (strong) Polish lager, Krakow is one of those great unsung destinations that offers plenty of things to do in between trips to the pub.
This summer, why not head there in August so you can check out Krakow Live? With Kendrick Lamar and Martin Garrix headlining, it’s sure to add some more spice to your trip.
So there you have it. Check out any of these spots this summer and you won’t be disappointed. However, you will be if you don’t book them fast – so get on with it, there’s no time to lose!