“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”
― Edwin Hubble
The world is meant to be explored.
Experiences are always waiting to be had just around the corner.
From major cities, to sparsely populated regions of the planet, even to little treasure troves hiding in our midst — these are 28 places every man should visit in his lifetime:
Your Family’s Ancestral Homeland
For many of us this can imply visiting multiple regions of the world. Your paternal grandfather may have roots in Ireland, while your maternal grandmother may be Italian.
Regardless, at the very least choose and visit the one where you still have distant relatives residing there. Trust me, you will always remember that beer that you had with a long lost cousin in the land where your ancestors once roamed.
A Historic Sports Stadium
We’ve all attended a ball game. However, unless you lived near an iconic stadium, such as Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles; Wrigley Field in Chicago; or even Old Trafford in Manchester, England; chances are that you have not taken in the history of the sport as you watched the action on the field.
Trust me, even if you are not a fan of the team that calls the historic stadium home, you will feel a special thrill being in the same structure where so many legends played in the past.
Experiencing a racetrack is like being part of the continuum of manhood. From the “old timers” to the the “young bloods,” it is a true melting pot of generations.
Who knows, maybe a few decades from now it will be your turn to be the old guy in a loud sports coat giving some betting advice to the “youngster” standing next to him.
The Open Sea
The high seas, the ocean, call it as you wish — it has drawn brave explorers and mariners for centuries. While oceans cover two-thirds of our planet and chances are that you will fly over them many times — rarely does anyone sail across them anymore.
There is nothing like being literally in the middle of the ocean on board a ship. At least once, you must take an ocean going trip. Yes, a cruise ship will count for this one.
Normally a desert is a place that people want to avoid, but you’re a man — so, it should be on your list of places to visit. The Mojave, the Sahara, the Gobi, there are plenty of deserts which you can visit and experience.
By the way, driving out to Vegas on a party bus does not count as “experiencing” a desert.
The Door to Hell
Located in Derweze, Turkmenistan, this 70-yard wide natural gas crater has been on perpetual fire since 1971. Awesome to behold and still unique enough of a destination to really make you stand out when you post pictures of your visit on Facebook, this destination comes with genuine bragging rights.
Besides, you can now literally tell friends that you have been to hell and back.
Long one of the most popular tourist destinations in Western Europe, Amsterdam is an absolute must on your destination list.
Yeah, yeah, it’s rich in museums and culture, blah-blah-blah, but it’s also home to “coffee shops” that don’t serve coffee and to the DeWallen district. Don’t know what the DeWallen is? If you’re single, google it.
If you’re not single, the Netherlands is also a fantastic spot to visit with a partner. Check out other travel ideas over at our best vacation spots for couples.
As long as we place Amsterdam on the list, we would be remiss if we failed to include Bangkok as well. Wilder and with an exotic flare,
Bangkok will be one of those places that you will never forget. Mind you, this is one of those destinations that is best experienced prior to “settling down.”
A Historic Battlefield
There is no place like a famous historic battlefield to get some perspective on life. Gettysburg, Normandy, Waterloo, these are hallowed grounds from which many have drawn inspiration.
Whether you served in the military or not, a visit to a historical battlefield will affect you profoundly.
Whether you prefer the old school term of “jungle,” or if you use the term “rain forest,” it should be a destination for you to visit. Unless you are a trained survivalist, we strongly recommend that you use the services of a rain forest tour operator so that you can survive your visit and get the greatest thrill out of it.
Trust me, a few days in the jungle will make any camping trip that you had in the past seem like a kindergarten outing.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the sole surviving structure of what were once the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Everybody that has visited the Great Pyramid, from Napoleon to your average Joe, has expressed how a visit to the Pyramids is a life altering experience. How could you possibly pass that up?
Yes, you can (and should) visit Antarctica. From penguin colonies, to seeing real glaciers and icebergs, to camping and kayaking on the planet’s least populated continent, the experiences that you will have visiting Antarctica will feed your adventurous story telling for years to come.
You can even cement your bragging rights further by sending postcards to your family and friends postmarked from the southernmost post office in the world.
We are not kidding around with this one, we mean it — the stratosphere — the edge of space 19 kilometers above the planet is definitely a place that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
Before you run out and start building your own rocket, be advised that tour companies exist that book flights on board Mig-29s that will take civilians to the edge of space.
New York City
One of the seven alpha cities in the world today, New York is one of those iconic destinations that must be experienced.
Whether you take a cultural approach to the city, a sophisticated approach, or even a touristy approach — New York City will never disappoint you. As that guy, Frank What’s-His-Name said in song, “it’s the city that doesn’t sleep.”
A Cigar Lounge
If you are not a smoker, we are not encouraging you to start, but a cigar lounge is one of those places that you should visit at least once.
There is something to be said for the ambiance, the decor and the richness of the aromas in a cigar lounge. It is like visiting the past while in the present.
Sin City, the town that Bugsy Siegel built. How could you possibly not visit this place?
We shouldn’t have to tell you what this place has to offer, but allow us to give you fair warning — in spite of the old saying, not everything that you do in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
A Ghost Town
Incredibly, these are not that hard to find in many parts of the world with just a little research. There is nothing liking walking through what was once a hustling and bustling town now abandoned.
For you academic types, it is an excellent location to ponder about the true legacy of man. For the rest of you, it’s just cool place to look at old and abandoned stuff. This is a picture of Craco, a fascinating ghost town in Italy which was abandoned due to natural disaster.
We are not talking about your man cave back home, we mean a real cave or cavern. Of course, first make certain that it has been previously explored and is safe for you to enter, but definitely add a cave destination to your list of places to visit.
Carlsbad Caverns, Mammoth Cave, and Barton Creek Cave are but a few of the most well known caves to visit.
The second alpha city to be mentioned on this list, London packs history, culture and a good time all in one destination.
Home to four World Heritage sites, it would be impossible to be a man of the world without visiting London at least once.
An Iconic 5-Star Hotel
In your lifetime you will stay at many hotels. From roadside motels, to comfortable, yet generic corporate hotels, to a few fancy ones. However, you must not omit from your list a historic and iconic 5-star hotel. The Waldorf-Astoria in New York, the Savoy in London, the Peninsula in Hong Kong, the Hotel Du Louvre in France.
All of these hotels are not just top in luxury, but they are also iconic. Historic figures have stayed there. Who wouldn’t want to say that they have slept under the same roof that Winston Churchill once did.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China should be more than enough motivation for you to visit the nation of China at least once in your life. Obviously in making such a far off trip you will also take in many of the other splendors that China has to offer.
A major player in the world, a visit to China is a must do.
A Traditional Barber Shop
Before anybody starts protesting about how they get a hair cut once or twice a month, allow us to explain. We are referring to an authentic, just as your great grand-daddy would’ve remembered, barber shop. Not a modern version of a traditional barber shop installed in some shopping mall — we mean the real McCoy.
Straight-edge razor shave, hot towel on the face, shoulder massage — the works. A place that has been in continuous operation for at least 50 years. Once you find one, you may be surprised how often you will visit it.
Held yearly in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, this temporary community/festival definitely merits a visit.
Described by its organizers as a “community of artistic self-expression for the pleasure of its participants,” how can you not experience that at least once in your lifetime?
Zhangjiajie National Park, China
I know, we had already included the Great Wall and in passing mentioned all of the other splendors found in China. Well, this place is beyond splendorous and deserves to be visited just on its own.
When you do, prepare to be awed. With natural pillar-like formations rising from the ground as high as 3,500 feet, this place will make you feel like you are visiting another planet. Also, it’s home to the longest glass bridge in the world.
The Australian Outback
Vast and seemingly endless, the Australian outback provides any adventurer with plenty to see and do.
Whether you traverse it as part of an organized tour, undertake it yourself in a rented vehicle, or do so on board “The Ghan,” one the world’s greatest train journeys, a visit to the outback is a must.
Located nearly 8,000 feet above sea level in Peru, Machu Picchu is home to panoramic views and one of the most mysterious archeological sites in the world.
One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, there is nothing like seeing up close the ruins at Machu Picchu. Who knows, you might even bump into one of the “Ancient Aliens” guys while there.
Television and movies are so much a part of our modern culture, that not visiting the epicenter of their creative universe would be akin to the ancient Greeks not consulting the oracle at Delphi.
Also, visiting Hollywood in reality implies visiting Los Angeles — a place where you can be on the beach in the morning and at a ski resort in the mountains later on in the afternoon.
Located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archeological sites in North America. Once a great city in the Mayan empire, its many buildings, highlighted by the castle pyramid, are a site to behold.
Also, since Cancun serves as a launching point for tours to Chichen Itza, you have all the more incentive to go.
That wraps up my list of the 28 places every man should visit in his lifetime. Where’s New Zealand, you ask?
Let me know in the comments if there’s a place you think should make the cut.