Once you get out of college, the trips you learn to look forward to the most are bachelor parties.
As one of my friends pointed out on a recent bachelor party, “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, his friends get to use the excuse of his bachelor party to travel to a fun destination, get excessively drunk, creep on girls, and enjoy things like golfing, paint-balling, or shooting guns.
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 home town 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 get those when you get married.
Things that need to be included in a great bachelor party include alcohol, women, good food, sporting activities (both watch and play), 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. (Hopefully my friends can work off this list themselves, so that it results in an epic weekend for yours truly.)
The only caveat to this list is that every place is within a six hour flight of somewhere in America. Therefore Asia, South America, and 99% of Europe don’t qualify.
12. Atlantic City
We all know Atlantic City is the homeless man’s Las Vegas. It’s pretty convenient to get to from the East Coast (fly into Philadelphia or drive from wherever).
The biggest selling point is obviously the amount of casinos concentrated into one area. There are a few nice golf courses and the summer time provides good weather for that. There’s also the pool party at the Harrah’s that’s become a big deal and Revel plans on going big with its pool and beach scene next summer. (That’s assuming Revel works its way through bankruptcy.) You can grab a good meal at decent restaurants including Marc Forgione’s American Cut steakhouse at Revel, Bobby Flay Steak at the Borgata. The Borgata and Revel also have pretty nice clubs to do the whole bottle service thing and meet some girls willing to take their clothes off after you treat them to some free alcohol. The major bummer with AC is that hotel room pricing is pretty absurd during the summer, especially on Saturdays. Check out all the best hotels in Atlantic City here.
Of all the possible destinations in Mexico, Cancun offers the best bachelor party experience. Cabo San Lucas is a little too couple friendly for what a bachelor party needs.
The good thing about Cancun is that it’s a pretty good destination for most of the year because of its good weather. Warm weather obviously breeds good golfing, good fishing, good beach time, and plenty of chicks in bikinis. But it’s not the perfect location. You always got to stick to bottled water or there’s a chance you’ll be shitting your brains out for 24 hours. The food leaves something to be desired. On the slight chance you get arrested, which isn’t a novel concept for a bachelor party, a Mexican prison is one of the darkest places you can be.
Cancun is also more spring break and less for the working adults, so it doesn’t quite crack the top ten. Check out all the best hotels in Cancun here.
10. New York
Maybe it’s because I’m from New York and lived here every year of my life except the four during college, but it’s hard for me to have the best city in the world rated higher as a bachelor party destination.
NYC certainly does have its positives, which are most of the reasons I live here. For starters there’s every type of bar imaginable and you can drink until 4 a.m. You can relive your younger days at Brother Jimmys, drink some good brews at the Standard Beer Garden, or hit a club like SL or 1Oak. The restaurants offer any cuisine a bachelor party can want whether it be pizza (Lombardis and Co for two or Di Fara if you’re willing to travel to Brooklyn), burgers (PJ Clarkes or Minetta Tavern), barbecue (Wildwood or Blue Smoke), or steak (Strip House or Benjamins).
For all the positives, my fine city has its downfalls for bachelor parties. It’s expensive, specifically with hotel rooms. You can’t do anything in New York between September and December because hotel prices will be through the roof. It also isn’t the best for strip clubs (oh yes, we know those matter too). The fact that the girls need to keep their bottoms on in Manhattan because alcohol is served is quite the bummer. Check out all the best hotels in New York City here.
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 looking to do something during the winter months, then Costa Rica might be the place for you. It probably has a leg up on Cancun in terms of golfing and fishing. You can take your sports a step further and do some zip-lining. You can lock in a great five bedroom house in Los Suenos to get your crew four nights on the cheap. And the coup de grâce is the women, but you gotta pay for them. You can bed a real good looking girl for about a hundred dollars at a bar in the Jaco area, which means you can have your own threesome for less than you’d pay for bottle service and less effort. It’s just personally not my thing or else this Central American country would be higher up on my list. Check out all the best hotels in Costa Rica here.
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. We’ll start with the women. Iceland is up there with any country I’ve been to in terms of the quality of their chicks. You might think you’re only getting blondes there, but you get plenty of good looking brunettes and even a few red heads as well. (Although a random thing with Iceland is there a lot of single mothers, so try not to further that situation.) 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. Teeing off at the golf course at midnight is also something you can’t do in many places, but is available to you here. And finally it’s a pretty easy place to get drunk with lots of bars in downtown Reykjavik. Check out all the best hotels in Iceland here.
I was in Nashville over President’s Weekend for a bachelor party and I was surprisingly impressed. There’s a reason it has the nickname of 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 good thing about a place like that is the people you meet are pretty carefree and the visiting girls are more likely to sow their wild oats. The food scene isn’t as good as Memphis, but you can get some decent barbecue at Jack’s, a one of a kind meat and three (a local specialty which includes a meat of the day like juicy roast beef and three southern style sides), or the Nashville specialty of hot chicken. There are two main areas to get your drink on. There’s the well-known strip of bars on Broadway (Tootsie’s, the Stage, and Honkey Tonk are three necessary stops) and a couple streets close by in the downtown area. You can also travel out to the Midtown area near Vanderbilt and find plenty of places there. 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 and gather random chicks to hang out with. 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 is country music heavy. If you’re not a fan of it like me, you just have to grin and bear it the whole weekend. Check out all the best hotels in Nashville here.
One of everyone’s favorite Southern cities, Austin has a lot to offer for a bachelor party. We’ll start with the obvious – the women. There are few cities in America that can compete with Austin in terms of good looking women. Right behind the quality of women is the barbecue, which is also as good as you’ll get anywhere in the country. Franklin Barbecue was recently voted the best barbecue in the country, so it’s a must-see spot on your trip. Places like Live Oak Barbecue and Sam’s BBQ won’t let you down either.
With food and women out of the way, you can focus on drinking. The bars on 6th street will have you covered or you can jump over to the Warehouse District and Fourth Street if you’re looking to not hit the same spots all weekend. Need a good hangover omelet in the morning? Magnolia Café has you covered. If music is your thing, Texas has two major music festivals that can give you your fill and are a fun thing to center a weekend around. Throw in the generally warm weather, the potential for a University of Texas sporting event, plenty of local golf courses and you have the recipe for success. Check out all the best hotels in Austin here.
Ah, we’ve reached the top five. I’ve been to bachelor parties in all the following locations and to me they are very deserving of their spots on this list. We’ll start with Charleston, which can compete with Austin on the looks of their women. There are a ton of things to do in Charleston. There are a lot of good restaurants in Charleston because there was a large migration to the area from New Orleans’ best chefs after Hurricane Katrina. Places like Husk and The Ordinary are well recognized as some of the best restaurants in the country with Oak Steakhouse recently making a best of U.S. steakhouse list as well. 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, then God bless you. If 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.
There are plenty of fun bars on Bay Street and Market Street (the combo of Henry’s House & NV Lounge was my favorite) near the water or you can hit up King Street (Midtown Bar & Grill is a good college-like scene to pick up chicks) for bars closer to the University of Charleston’s campus. Neither area will disappoint. The fun doesn’t stop when the bars close either. Thee Southern Belle strip club has a tremendous reputation and is the place to go after hours in Charleston because you can BYOB. Regular girls even go there to hang out. It’s also been the location of a legendary story involving a threesome between a local girl, a stripper, and a regular fun-loving bro, so it gets my thumbs up. Just try to avoid Hurricane season when you travel because Hurricane Irene fucked up our August trip and forced us to do it in October instead. Check out all the best hotels in Charleston here.
4. New Orleans
The Big Easy’s reputation makes its appearance on this list pretty self-explanatory, but let me rattle off some details for ya. The obvious first item to mention is Bourbon Street, which is a lot more fun on something like a National Championship, Super Bowl, or Final Four weekend than it is during Mardi Gras. While you miss out on seeing your share of naked tits if you pass on Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street becomes so much easier to manage. You won’t get swept up in a ridiculous wave near the opening of Bourbon Street (yes – an actual wave, you literally can’t cross the street without being moved a block or two down before getting to the other side) and getting into bars is a bit easier. There are still plenty of people during a big sporting event weekend to keep the fun up. Whether it be doing hurricanes at Pat O’Briens or a 190 Octane Antifreeze while walking the streets, getting drunk is not a hard thing to accomplish. Plus Bourbon Street has its share of strip clubs to get your fix there as well.
The food is also top notch. You can get anything pig-related at Cochon and it will be fantastic. You will not be disappointed whether it’s pork ribs, smoked ham, fried boudin balls, or cochon itself. Johnny’s Po-Boys will get you your po-box fix. Coops Place is where you need to roll for jambalaya, even if it’s later in the evening after a few drinks. And you can’t forget the beignets at Café Du Monde. Need 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. Heading to the Old New Orleans Rum distillery makes a nice day trip if you can wake up in time. And if you’re looking to get laid (because we know that always counts), the same principle of a lot of visitors in town being more carefree and casual with their panties hitting the floor applies. Check out all the best hotels in New Orleans here.
It’s pretty easy to head north of the border if you want to hit Canada’s party town. Montreal’s basically got you covered on all fronts of bachelor party entertainment. The most notable thing in Montreal is the strip clubs. You can do the regular man’s thing on Saint Catherine Street by bouncing around to Club Supersexe, Chateau du Sex, or Club Super Contact. If you want to try something a little higher end, head to Kamasutra for a one of a kind show. They also take things a little further if you head down towards Old Montreal on Saint Catherines and ask the right people. 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. It’s just smaller than you’d want in terms of available table gaming.
The tourists hit the bars on Crescent Street, but you really want to be on Boulevard Saint Laurent for your drinking. A place like Tokyo satisfies all your needs with good looking girls, multiple rooms with different scenes, and a roof area. If bottle service is more your thing, Montreal has a scene where restaurants turn into a Club/Lounge atmosphere once it starts getting late. It’s a little different than what you’re used to in America because people tend to rage out by their tables and there’s not one main dance floor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet a nice local girl to party with for the night. Places like Buonanotte or Restaurant Globe have you covered in this area. And maybe it’s because I’ve been exposed to a lot of Canadian girls, but I personally think they’re very attractive and the ones you find in Montreal should convince you towards my position. Food isn’t as big of a thing here, but make sure you grab some poutine and a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s while you’re up there. Check out all the best hotels in Montreal here.
Oh, Miami. It’s such a wonderful place as J.Camm can vouch from his college years and I can attest to after making four trips in the last two years. I’m torn on where exactly to start, but let’s first talk location. You want to stay on 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). There are plenty of great New York restaurants that have opened up new locations in Miami like the Dutch, Scarpetta, and BLT Steak, but if you’re not grabbing a nice steak and a big Kobe meatball at Prime 112, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You can’t forget about local favorite Joe’s Stone Crab either. If you’re drunk and looking for late night munchies, now is the time to head over to the mainland and hit up La Moon for an arepa burger. (Just trust me. You won’t be disappointed.)
The nightlife scene is on par with anything you’ll get in the world. A night with bottle service at LIV should be tops on your list if you like clubbing. (They’re bigger dicks about you being required to enter with girls already with you than any Vegas club, but the scene inside is out of this world. Besides, how hard is to find some girls in the lobby of the Fontainebleau and tell them they can drink your alcohol for free if they enter with you. Club Space is the place to roll to at 5 a.m if you don’t want to stop raging. Places like the Clevelander, the Delano, and Nikki Beach (specifically day party) offer plenty of fun as well.
Lastly, the weather is great (just avoid Hurricane Season again as it rains a lot in Miami during that time), there are plenty of places to golf, women galore to eye-fuck on the beach and romance at the clubs. Those are all a given when hearing the word Miami obviously. Throw in a Heat, Dolphins, or Marlins game if you have time. You can travel to the mainland if you need to lock in some time at the titty bar. 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. Check out all the best hotels in Miami here.
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. And this has nothing to do with “The Hangover” because that’s all a bit far-fetched as far as bachelor parties go. 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. Just don’t completely cut your budget on hotels. It’s much harder thank you think to convince a girl to come back with you to a place like Planet Hollywood or Paris. The Palms and the Hard Rock are played out at this point and their locations off the strip just make your life a pain in the ass. Traffic along the strip sucks and the less time you waste in the back of a limo, the better.
The pool parties in Vegas are second to none. Wet Republic at the MGM Grand is the spot for Saturdays and Rehab on Sunday at the Hard Rock is a little played out, but still a decent time. Just be prepared for an absolute all-day shitshow with plenty of boozing and antics. Places like Tao Beach and Marquee Dayclub are a little less intense, but still provide good fun. Here’s a word of advice when dealing with the pool parties and later the clubs, always pay to cut the line. It’s totally worth spending an extra $50 a man with a VIP host to not spend an hour or more on line. If you don’t know a guy, I’m sure your friend knows a guy, or your friend’s coworker knows a guy. There are plenty of those kinda “guys” in Vegas that can help you out in this situation.
Once night hits, you’ll need some good food. Prime Steakhouse is my favorite of all the Vegas steakhouses because it’s specific to Vegas. Stack in the Mirage is a step down from a steakhouse, but all the waitresses make the name of the restaurant proud. In ‘N Out is reachable by taxi if you just want to stuff your face. Then you’re off to the club, where you should be getting table service at Marquee or XS (the two best clubs in Vegas). Tryst is another favorite of mine although not as big as the other two. Light is the newest club, opening on April 26th of this year and featuring Skrillex and Sebastian Ingrosso as resident DJs. It’s really hard to find regular bars to go out to in Vegas. The best you’re going to do is something the Chanderlier Bar at the Cosmpolitan, Ghostbar at the Palms, or Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay.
Or just get drunk while you gamble because that doesn’t hurt either. We know Vegas has you covered when it comes to table gaming. It’s also the only place you’ll find a sportsbook in the United States, so you can throw down on a horse race, a championship fight, or an NFL game without having to worry about too much. Grab your clubs and fit in a morning round on your first day out there or else you won’t have the energy to do so by the end of the weekend. Golfing is much more tolerable before the heat really hits and you’ll want to be at the pool by the afternoon. If paintball, shooting guns, or go-kart racing is more your thing, that’s available not too far away as well.
There’s also a good chance you end up at the Spearmint Rhino to check out some of the hottest strippers in the world. Just remember two things: 1) you’re going to spend a lot of money and 99% of the time they’re going to bleed you dry on lap dances and ATM fees 2) they’ll always pick you up in a free limo to get you over there. Check out all the best hotels in Las Vegas here.