It isn’t hard to engineer a great bachelor party. As long as you’ve got some good friends, booze and maybe a little bit of scantily clad entertainment, chances are you’re going to have a satisfied group of guys. And, if all goes right, a red-faced groom-to-be. Now, that being said, there is a fine balance to be found between asking friends to take out a second mortgage in order to fund an exotic weekend getaway and saving dough by drinking beers and dialing 1-800-RENT-A-STRIPPER from your basement.
Getting out of the familiar, local surroundings that you encounter on any given Saturday night is a key first step. The bachelor party experience should be a unique and special one, so something – or, more specifically, somewhere – out of the ordinary can help breathe life into your buddy’s one last hurrah as a free man. This is a responsibility that typically falls to the best man, who theoretically knows the groom-to-be better than anyone short of, maybe, his future bride.
So much of the bachelor party experience can be customized to suit his interests and preferences. For an avid golf nut, a links-based getaway could offer some day-time activities to go along with some night-time fun. For a beach bum wannabe, sun and sand by day could be the perfect cure for the hangover caused by the night before. Unfortunately, for this top ten list, we can’t exactly take personal preference into account. So instead, we’ve considered potential budgetary restrictions and work-based commitments (keeping it to destinations you could do over a weekend) while dreaming up ten kick-ass bachelor party destinations.
10. New York City
The downside of NYC is that there’s almost too much available to you, with too much ground to cover. Pick out a nice, high-end Midtown Manhattan hotel and getting around by cab or subway becomes significantly easier. Unless your buddy is a big Broadway nut (hey, to each their own) stay away from the cheesy Times Square area. Instead, hit the Chelsea Piers complex for just about any sports experience imaginable. Catching a Yankees, Knicks or Rangers game is worthwhile for the venues, alone. While late night options can be overwhelming, the Penthouse Executive Club offers the powerful, two-punch combo of being an elite adult establishment and a gourmet steakhouse.
9. Reykjavik, Iceland
Looking for something new and distinctly original to celebrate the end of your buddy’s life as a single man? Reykjavik is an often-overlooked tourist destination that offers plentiful scenery and some surprisingly enticing nightlife. The spring and summer months offer music and cultural festivals galore, while the winter offers skiing and plenty of glacier-based explorations. The city’s tightly packed downtown allows for a pulsating nightlife that is contained within close quarters. Make sure you hit the Blue Lagoon spa on your way out of town, with a free shuttle being offered directly to the airport.
8. Memphis, Tennessee
Beale street can go toe-to-toe with the best of them when it comes to late night reveling. Amongst their many neon-lit bars and clubs lies the iconic Coyote Ugly saloon and an array of great live music. For foodies, the biggest city in Tennessee also offers some of the best BBQ options around, not to mention strong enough liquor to leave you stumblin’ in Memphis. With pretty lax alcohol laws, you can feel free taking a boozy outdoor jaunt along Beale, making for a party both inside and out.
7. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
If you’re a golfer, it doesn’t get any better than having your choice among a plethora of stunning courses, some of the best that North America has to offer. Caledonia, for one, is consistently rated among the tops in the country. If you’re not one for the sport, then golfing with the guys can be a pretty great front as you enjoy other kinds of fun. There’s the beach, obviously, but there’s also the roller coasters at the Family Kingdom Amusement Park and go-karting at the Myrtle Beach Speedway. Late night by the beach offers a wide assortment of bars, clubs and plenty of strip joints.
6. New Orleans, Louisiana
In case you are wondering (and if you aren’t, then you really should be), Mardi Gras typically takes place in early February, with the 2016 edition running February 5-9. But even outside of the iconic fiesta, Bourbon Street can offer unparalleled flavor all year round. While karaoke may seem eye roll-worthy, the Cat’s Meow is an undeniably cool karaoke club that caters to uninhibited groups of drunken revelers. Of course, that’s far from the only option for some cajun ragin’ in the Big Easy. Landmark bar Pat O’Brien’s headlines the Bourbon offerings, while Harrah’s represents the biggest land-based casino in the world.
5. South Beach, Florida
Known as one of the sexiest places on Earth, South Beach was practically built to put the “party” in bachelor party. Luxurious hotels are bountiful, with hot spots like the Surfcomber and the Clevelander offering incredible pool-side vibes. The electric, illuminated strip offers everything you could possible want in fine dining and a vibrant club scene, not to mention some of the most beautiful women you’ll find anywhere. If hot, sweaty clubs aren’t your thing, enjoy a few brews on the beach while watching the cornucopia of neon lights, palm trees and bikini-clad babes riding along in convertibles.
4. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Enjoying a bachelor’s getaway in Cabo can be an exercise in stark contrasts. By day, fishing for marlin under the Mexican sun can bring idyllic, blissful pleasures. By night, Cabo’s party scene erupts with practically unrivaled fervor. For the young, red-blooded college crowd, a trek along El Squid Roe brings wild, action-packed and drunken revelry that lasts well into the wee hours. For those who have put their frat days behind them, a memorably unmemorable night can be had at The Giggling Marlin or Sammy Hagar’s legendary haunt, Cabo Wabo.
3. Montreal, Quebec
A Canadian treasure, Montreal is a European-esque gem and bustling metropolis that boasts the charming, classic beauty of an ancient city with the easy-going, fun-loving vibe of a true party town. If the drinking age of 18 doesn’t mean much to you, then perhaps the buzzing club district and exceptional strip clubs do. Of course, you don’t have to visit one of the city’s iconic nudie bars such as Super Sexe for the opportunity to gawk at beautiful women – the town is teeming with them! Foodies will also find no shortage of gourmet goodies as they amble (or teeter) along Saint Laurent.
2. San Diego / Tijuana
The assets of Ron Burgundy’s hometown are practically countless, but they admittedly don’t necessarily scream “bachelor party madness.” Ideal weather, beautiful scenery and world class beaches may make for a nice family vacation, but doesn’t exactly add up to a raucous “anything goes” vibe. Good thing, then, that San Diego finds itself 35 minutes from Tijuana, making for an ideal blend of high quality travel with a rabid party atmosphere located on the other side of the border. What happens in Tijuana may stay in Tijuana, but your bachelor party crew may ultimately want to stay elsewhere.
1. Las Vegas, Nevada
I mean, come on – what else was it going to be? When you visit a town known as Sin City, good, clean fun may not be the first thing on your mind. The Vegas Strip was practically built for debaucherous, drunken weekend getaways. Just about every restaurant, bar, club and hotel on the Strip comes with added Vegas-ified pizzaz, making every step of your weekend a little extra special. During the day, there’s enough golf, nearby sight-seeing and day-time pool parties to get you through to the endlessly rampant nightlife options. I mean, come on – it’s not like The Hangover took place in Branson, Missouri!