Playboy’s A-List Best Vacations for Guys
(Appeared in the August, 2009 edition of Playboy.com)
For the man who craves sweat, adrenaline and action, a resort vacation in a idyllic setting simply won’t do. So we found the 10 best places to engage your id, whether it’s driving a stunt car, hunting a wild animal or flying a fighter jet. Fair warning: These 10 adventure vacations aren’t for the faint of heart, but they are the best ways to escape the boredom of the nine-to-five workday.
Espionage, explosives and booby traps—they’re all located on a hidden base in Arizona, just waiting for the next generation of James Bonds. Instead of blowing their vacation time at a Holiday Inn, spy campers get to ram barricades with high-speed vehicles, hone their pistol marksmanship, identify and disarm explosives, brush up on the latest in enemy surveillance technology and learn self-defense techniques from former Navy SEALS. The camp is three days, $3,795 and all the blood, sweat and tears you can muster.
It’s our greatest nightmare – World War III. The Communists have taken over the US and it’s up to you to stop (or help) them. In this scenario paintball game, sharp shooters from across the US convene for 48 hours of guerilla warfare based on the storyline of the 1984 film. Set on the world’s largest paintball field, players on both Wolverine and Elite Soviet Special Forces teams can expect land battles with actual military vehicles, convoy ambushes, sneak attacks and covert missions. Get ready to hit the trenches soldier. War is hell. $50 registration fee, $50 per case of paintballs.
Bull Riding Vision Quest
Sankey Rodeo Schools
A trip isn’t a real vacation without the threat of being trampled to death. At Sankey Rodeo’s traveling Bull Riding Vision Quest Adventure, wannabe cowboys spend 24 to 72 hours learning the delicate art of staying on top of a wild, spastic beast (like your mom…zing!). The $410 tuition fee covers instruction and equipment rental. In September and October, the Vision Quest hits a handful of luxury vacation destinations including Cuba, Missouri; Grays Creek, North Carolina; Van Wert, Ohio; Penrose, Colorado; and Jerome, Idaho.
Grizzly Bear Hunting
Knik Glacier, Alaska
Nothing makes a man feel more like a man than shooting a ten-foot Grizzly in the face. Located 50 miles outside of Anchorage, Knik Glacier Adventures offers seven and ten-day hunts for bears, wolves, moose, mountain goat, and Dall sheep throughout the Chugach mountains. Kicking off regardless of weather conditions, hunting expeditions are seasonal with sheep and moose season ending September 20, Grizzly and mountain goat season ending October 31 and wolf season starting November 10. While the company doesn’t publish prices, a $1,000 deposit is required on all trips. In addition to the stories, hunters also bring home trophies of their kill.
Stunt Car Driving
Los Angeles, California
The Rick Seaman Stunt Driving School is a serious name in the world of motion picture stunts. After 25 years of coordinating stunts for blockbuster action flicks including Star Trek: Nemesis, RoboCop 2, Charlie’s Angels and The Dukes of Hazzard, driver Rick Seaman (snicker) unleashes his road rage on the general public. In this three-day, $2,675 course, amateur stunt artists learn the basics of 180-degree slides, 360-degree spins, how to manage an obstacle course and high-speed reverse driving on both wet and dry terrain.
Hostage Rescue Camp
Phillipi, West Virginia
Vacationers who are more Bauer than beach bum need look no further than the West Virginia mountains. Incredible
Adventures’ three-day Urban Ops Adventure camp teaches those with a serious hero complex how to get the good
guys out and leave the bad guys dead. Fighters leave with tactical skills—hands-on training in seven weapons systems
including assault rifles, pistols and submachine guns, and the knowledge that they can rescue a fake hostage from a
five-story training facility, located in a former hospital. Patrons must pass a criminal background check and pony up
$3,695 to get in on the action.
Outdoor Survivor School
Tired of feeling like you’re unprepared for Armageddon? The Boulder Outdoor Survival School is here to help. In the organization’s 14-day Hunter/Gatherer Course, nature badasses spend four days learning to live off the land and nine days actually doing it in the desert canyons of Utah. To get in, future survivors must take a prerequisite 14 or 28-day field experience so intense it “usually leaves students 10 to 30 pounds leaner at the end of the course.” Be prepared to make fire, camp out and possibly slit a sheep’s throat.
Zero G Experience
For a mere $4,950, space cowboys can get the thrill of zero gravity without the hassle of leaving the Earth’s atmosphere. Passengers board a Boeing 727 that climbs to 24,000 feet, levels off, then completes a series of steep 45-degree climbs and quick nosedives, giving passengers the feeling of weightlessness for about 30 seconds. Rides last a maximum of 15 dives, offering riders approximately 7.5 minutes of zero gravity at the cost of $660 per minute, but hey, the story is worth every penny.
World Poker Boot Camp
Las Vegas, Nevada
The stakes are high when card sharks from across the country gather to study the pros, learn some tactics and play against the best. For $1,895, poker amateurs learn basic strategy, betting tactics, physical tells, and how to calculate odds over the course of two days from World Poker Tour champs. Advanced players can move straight into the Champions Camp – an exclusive three-day dawn-to-dusk workshop where players work one-on-one with the country’s top poker coaches then compete for a sweet $10,000.