- Picking out the location for a bachelor party can be a fairly overwhelming undertaking
- We put together a list of a dozen places guaranteed to create plenty of memories (and some nights you might forget)
- Read more travel stories here
Once you get out of college, the trips you learn to look forward to the most are bachelor parties.
As one of my friends once pointed out, “Bachelor parties are more for the friends of the bachelor than the bachelor themselves.” While it may be the last weekend of freedom for the bachelor before the wedding, his friends get to use the excuse of his bachelor party to travel to a fun destination, get excessively drunk, and enjoy things like golfing and shooting guns over the course of what should be a thrilling adventure.
You may be concerned with other bachelor party ideas, but let me reiterate the “destination” part: you can’t have a true bachelor party in your hometown and it can’t be for only one night. You have to do things right. This is supposed to be your last hurrah, not a night away with the guys (you should still be able to do those when you get married).
Things that need to be included in a great bachelor party include alcohol, good food, sports (both watching and playing), and gambling.
All these locations meet most (if not all) of those required objectives. Given that I’ve been to a few bachelor parties in my day and don’t plan on having my own very soon, here’s my list of the 12 best locations to have a bachelor party.
The only caveat to this list is that every place is within a six-hour flight of somewhere in America, so while I’m sure there are good times to be had with your buddies in Amsterdam, Bangkok, and other cities in Europe, Asia, and beyond, you won’t find them here (with a few notable exceptions).
The Best Bachelor Party Destinations
12. Atlantic City
We all know Atlantic City is the poor man’s Las Vegas, but there are certainly worse alternatives.
The biggest selling point of A.C. is obviously the number of casinos concentrated in one area. You could theoretically hit the beach, but this is a bachelor party we’re talking about: your best bet is to post up by the pool at Harrah’s or really treat yourself by snagging a cabana at the Borgata.
There are also plenty of decent restaurants to pick, whether you’re looking for the fine dining options offered by Ruth’s Chris, Morton’s, and Guy Fieri’s Chophouse or want to get weird at the Rainforest Cafe. When it comes to nightlife, there’s a solid club scene and plenty of places to gamble after getting tipsy enough to convince yourself you know how to count cards.
Atlantic City is also in the vicinity of some great golf courses, and while the summer weather makes them a prime destination, the only downside is that hotel prices can get pretty absurd during peak season (especially on Saturdays).
Of all the possible destinations in Mexico, Cancun offers the best bachelor party experience (anyone who says Cabo San Lucas should not be trusted).
The best thing about Cancun is that you’re going to get some fantastic weather regardless of what time of year you go there, which obviously breeds good golfing, good fishing, and a solid opportunity to work on your tan on the beach.
However, it’s far from perfect. Your choice of activities are limited to those offered by the resort where you’re essentially going confined to; a place where the food typically leaves something to be desired and you’re setting yourself up for a very bad time if you forget Cancun’s Golden Rule: don’t drink the tap water.
The real reason Cancun doesn’t crack the Top 10 is that it’s more of a spring break destination than a bachelor party one; if you or the groom-to-be never got the Cancun experience in college, it’s not the worst option, but you can also do better.
10. New York City
The Greatest City in The World™ may not be the Greatest Bachelor Party Destination, but with that said, you’re certainly not going to be hurting for options.
NYC has plenty of positives: there’s every type of bar imaginable and almost all of them are open until 4 A.M.; you can relive your glory days in Turtle Bay or Murray Hill, take advantage of Brooklyn’s many craft breweries for some great beer (there are also some solid whiskey distilleries), class it up at some of the best cocktail bars in the world, or head over to Chelsea and spend way too much money at a club.
There’s also the virtually unrivaled culinary scene, including a slew of legendary steakhouses, equally iconic pizza joints, some sneaky delicious BBQ, and a veritable galaxy of Michelin stars guaranteed to please any and every type of palate.
Unfortunately, the nature of New York City means you’re going to be paying a premium for basically everything and anything. There’s also a noted lack of nature that takes a lot of traditional bachelor party activities out of the equation; unless a walk through Central Park is enough to scratch your outdoors itch, you’re going to have to hop on a Metro-North train or the LIRR to get your recreational fix.
9. Costa Rica
The next two locations might be off the beaten path, but they could deliver exactly what you’re looking for in a bachelor party.
If you’re aiming to do something during the winter months, then Costa Rica might be the place for you. It has a leg up on Cancun for a wide variety of reasons, as you’ll have access to basically all the activities the resorts have has to offer (with the notable addition of zip-lining) with the addition of a bit more flexibility and a decidedly less touristy crowd.
You can lock in a great five-bedroom house in Los Suenos and have easy access to deep-sea fishing, some quality golf, beautiful beaches, and a guaranteed good time.
Our second location that may surprise you is a country that isn’t known for its weather. There are just so many redeeming things about Iceland that make it an option for a bachelor party.
The locals are very welcoming, which is always positive with a big group of guys. The food is surprisingly good (although I suggest staying away from the local delicacy of petrified shark). The Blue Lagoon hot baths are a pretty awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and while teeing off at the golf course at midnight isn’t something you can do in many places, that’s not the case here during certain times of the year.
It’s also a pretty easy place to get drunk, as there are tons of great bars in downtown Reykjavik.
There’s a reason Nashville has earned the nickname “NashVegas.”
It’s a destination for travelers in the South and Midwest because it’s easy to get to and has a lot to offer. The food scene isn’t as good as Memphis, but you can get some decent barbecue at Jack’s or partake in the local delicacy known as the Nashville hot chicken.
There are two main areas to get your drink on: the well-known strip of bars on Broadway (Tootsie’s, The Stage, and Honkey Tonk are three necessary stops) and a couple of other streets close by in the downtown area. You can also travel out to the Midtown area near Vanderbilt and find plenty of places there (definitely grab yourself a Bushwacker at the Broadway Brewhouse).
I highly suggest checking out the Nashville Pedal Tavern, which is a unique and fun way to do a bar crawl. If you like shooting guns, you can do that too. For your sports fix, you can fit in a Titans, Predators, or Vanderbilt University game depending on your season.
The good thing about Nashville is that it’s weather-resistant fun, so it doesn’t really matter what time of year you check it out. The one downside is that basically every bar featuring live music is country-heavy, so if you’re not a fan of it like me, you just have to grin and bear it the whole weekend.
One of everyone’s favorite Southern cities, Austin has a lot to offer for a bachelor party.
You’re getting the best of both worlds with BBQ and Mexican, both of which are about as good as you can ask for. When it comes to that first category, Franklin Barbecue is so it’s a must-see spot on your trip (Live Oak Barbecue and Sam’s BBQ won’t let you down either), and it’s very hard to go wrong with the many hole-in-the-wall spots serving up street tacos and other staples.
Your options are also very plentiful. The bars on 6th Street will more than have you covered, but you also can jump over to the Warehouse District and Fourth Street if you’re looking to switch things up.
If music is your thing, Austin City Limits Music is a fantastic event to center a weekend around (on the flip side of the coin, you’re going to want to make sure you’re not in town for SXSW). When you throw in generally warm weather, the potential for a University of Texas sporting event, and plenty of local golf courses, you have the recipe for success.
Welcome to the Top Five. I’ve been to bachelor parties in all the following locations, and all of them are very deserving of their spots on this list.
We’ll start with Charleston, which has almost too much to do. There are a lot of good restaurants in Charleston serving up killer variations of basically every cuisine imaginable, and there are a ton of great bars on Bay Street and Market Street down near the water (King Street is also a good bet).
Golf and beaches are also two of Charleston’s finest qualities. If you can somehow get a round of golf on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, seize that opportunity, but f you can’t, you’ll still be able to find another great-looking course to swing the sticks. The beaches get plenty of life as well, since the weather is generally good for most of the year.
4. New Orleans
The Big Easy’s reputation makes its appearance on this list pretty self-explanatory, but it can also be a bit overwhelming.
You can’t talk about New Orleans without talking about Bourbon Street, and while that stretch might be primarily associated with Mardi Gras, you’re honestly going to have more fun during a major sporting event like the Super Bowl, March Madness, or the college football national championship. Whether you’re grabbing Hurricanes at Pat O’Briens or a 190 Octane Antifreeze while walking the streets, getting drunk is not a hard thing to accomplish.
The food is also top-notch, and you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to checking off po’ boy, jambalaya, and beignets off of your “Must Eats” list during the visit.
In the mood for some gambling? Harrah’s Casino is conveniently located near the water and open 24 hours a day, (which may or may not be a good thing).
Montreal’s basically got you covered on all fronts of bachelor party entertainment—especially if you have strip clubs near the top of your list of priorities. If gambling is another vice to add to your list for the weekend, you can head to the Montreal Casino, which isn’t too far away.
The tourists hit the bars on Crescent Street, but you really want to be on Boulevard Saint Laurent for your drinking. If bottle service is more your thing, Montreal has a scene where restaurants turn into clubs during the later hours of the night (although people tend to rage out by their tables, as there’s usually not a main dance floor).
Food isn’t as big of a thing here, but make sure you get a taste of Canada by grabbing some poutine, one of the city’s signature bagels, and a smoked meat sandwich while you’re up there.
I’m torn on where exactly to start, but let’s first talk location. You want to stay in South Beach. Brickell is a nice area if you’re living full-time in Miami, but South Beach is where you need to be for the bachelor party weekend. Brickell and other areas of Miami are farther away from South Beach and you don’t want to waste your time and money going back and forth. Depending on the time of year, you can get a pretty decent deal at one of the boutique hotels on South Beach as opposed to dropping big bucks on an elite hotel. You won’t be in your room much anyway.
When it comes to food, you want to be stuffing your hungover face with anything breakfast/lunch on the menu at Big Pink (don’t forget a milkshake). You’re also going to want to take advantage of the stellar Cuban cuisine this part of Florida has to offer, ranging from the signature sandwiches to the many other offerings that are perfect for establishing a base during a long night of drink.
It should go without saying that Miami’s nightlife scene is on par with anything you’ll get anywhere else in the world—although you need to be prepared for the price tag that comes with it.
Lastly, the weather is great (although you may want to avoid it during hurricane season). As a result, there are a ton of beaches to hit and places to gold golf, and you can always throw in in a Heat, Dolphins, or Marlins game if you have time.
The only thing you’re missing is gambling, but you won’t care enough when your eyes are staring at a computer screen come Monday morning and you’re thinking about how awesome a weekend you just had.
1. Las Vegas
If you don’t think Las Vegas is the best bachelor party location possible, you either have never been to Las Vegas or have been there with a bunch of losers who don’t know how to have fun. Las Vegas offers anything and everything you could want or need in a bachelor party.
As with Miami, we’ll start with location. There are plenty of nice hotels in Vegas, but you generally want to be in one on The strip. The limits are the Wynn to the north and MGM Grand to the south, but even those are pushing it a little bit. Ideally, you’re at the Cosmopolitan (if you wanna be a high roller, but the Bellagio, Caesar’s, the Mirage, and the Venetian are good enough as well).
The pool parties in Vegas are second to none, but if you’re hitting one up during the day, you might not want to make any concrete plans for the nights based on the toll they usually take.
Assuming you’re in a state to go out once the night rolls around, you’ll need some good food, and you’ll have an overwhelming number of options to pick from. You can theoretically hit up a bar, but you’re in Vegas, so your best bet is to let the drinks come to you while you gamble—whether that involves hitting the tables or posting up at a sportsbook.
While The Strip has basically everything you need, there are plenty of other recreational activities like golf, gun ranges, or even mountain biking if you’re willing to make the trek. Regardless of what you end up opting for, you’re going to have a very memorable time (aside from the parts you probably won’t be able to remember).