If your bucket list is like mine there's a lot to get to. Trust me when I say these are worth adding to your already clogged set.

1. Wander Manhattan without a plan. (New York) 

Marcio Silva

We've all been to Manhattan to see a show or attend an event but going with no plan was one of the best experiences of my life. I planned only only a couple of things, one was overspending on a luxury hotel room. I'm glad I did cause my feet were killing and the activities were endless.

You can drive or take Metro North. I drove my Trans-Am (not bragging), picked up two of my buddies and parked the car in the nearest lot to my hotel. We all showered, got overdressed and hit the streets with a lot of cash in our wallets.

What happened next was one of the greatest nights of my life. We had dinner in an intimate Spanish restaurant, followed by bar hopping through places we would not otherwise choose to go in and somehow ended up at a burlesque show. I must say we did have one agenda item, we hit our favorite spot McSorley's Old Ale House (Est. 1854) because the trip would have been incomplete otherwise. It was established in 1854 and is the greatest place on Earth.

The drinks were flowing, we made friends with strangers of the opposite sex who tagged along and I may have had a make out session of epic proportion. Chef Recommends. (I'm Chef)

2. "Go Down the Shore" (New Jersey)


That's what it's called by those who have done it many times. You don't head to the New Jersey shoreline, you "Go down the shore." Jersey gets a bad rap and some of the wounds are self inflicted but going down the shore is way better than you think.

Vacationing the Jersey Shore is nothing like it was portrayed in the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore." You don't have to be a "guido", act like an ass, or put enough petrol in your hair to kill a mini horse. You can be yourself, have fun and likely not run into too many people who act that way.

While you are "down the shore" hit up:

  • Seaside Heights Boardwalk - Walk immediately to Maruca's Pizza and thank me later.
  • Point Pleasant - Go for the great beaches, go to Jenkinson's Boarwalk, eat at the Cookie Lady for breakfast/lunch and do dinner at Spano. 
  • Asbury Park, NJ - I love Asbury Park, I would describe it as a gritty, fun time. You have the legendary Stone Pony for music/drinks or you can take in a show at the historic Paramount Theatre down the street from the Pony. I've done both and they are both excellent experiences. I actually got to be on stage at the Paramount as the MC for the Deadliest Catch Speaking Tour (not bragging).

3. Camp the CT/Rhode Island Border. (Connecticut) 

Group of diverse friends camping in the forest

I know this seems like I am reaching here and in doing so, painting CT in a bad light but stay with me. One of the best trips I my life was when I camped the CT/Rhode Island Border. Why? We were set up in a location that allowed us to hit three very different, very fun activities in just three days.

We stayed at the Countryside Campground in Jewett City, CT. This allowed us short drives to gamble at Foxwoods in Mashuntucket, CT, do a beach day at Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly, RI and take in the sites and booze in Mystic, CT. 

This ended up being one of the most memorable trips I've ever taken. It was only three days but our location helped us pack in a lifetime of snapshots. If camping is not your thing, just get a hotel room in or around Jewett City.


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