Bachelor and bachelorette parties
Tue May 8 2012
Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard, North Fork, L.I.
RECOMMENDED: See all weekend getaway ideas
Day: Boozing on North Folk, L.I. (1¾hrs by bus)
Toast to taking the plunge with locally made wine and vodka: Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard (631-369-0100, bhfvineyard.com) produces 60,000 bottles of vino annually, and you can sample 13 different varietals on your visit. Post-tasting ($7–$12), tour the vineyard and park your crew on the patio overlooking the vineyard with a choice bottle. For more potent sips, head to Long Island Spirits (631-630-9322, lispirits.com), a small-batch outfit that uses homegrown potatoes to create its signature vodka. Settle in at the restored barn for a flight of vodka and fruit sorbetti ($8) or taste the smooth barley-malted Pine Barrens whiskey ($15).
Weekend: Malibu Dude Ranch; Milford, PA (1½hrs by bus)
In operation since the 1920s, this all-inclusive Poconos resort is the oldest working ranch east of the Mississippi River and encompasses more than 1,000 acres of riding trails. After a horse-basics lesson with a wrangler, you can mosey along the paths, or practice skeet-shooting, basketball or archery instead. At the end of the day (or, hell, in the middle of the day), throw back a few cold beverages ($4–$7) at the saloon while learning some line-dancing moves.
Where to stay: Once your party size is set, you can choose from several types of on-site digs, including a stone house and a chalet, each of which can sleep ten people comfortably. (570-296-7281, malibududeranch.com). Through May 29: Rates start at $285 (includes all activities except shooting).
Long weekend: Cape May, NJ (2¾hrs by car)
This town, which boasts a historic district filled with jewel-toned Victorian buildings, beckons revelers looking for a low-key way to celebrate upcoming nuptials. Lounging on the beach is a must, but don’t miss the Washington Street Mall, an outdoor pedestrian shopping haven perfect for scooping up goods like homemade soap from A Place on Earth (aplaceonearth.com). Pamper your ladies- or gents-in-waiting with a 90-minute, rosemary-mint mani-pedi combo at Cape May Day Spa (capemaydayspa.com, $95), then enjoy a wine tasting ($6) at Cape May Winery & Vineyard (capemaywinery.com). Since you’re by the sea, you can also take a whale-and-dolphin–watching cruise (capemaywhalewatch.com, $35) before making a trip to the Lobster House (thelobsterhouse.com) for a feast of the namesake crustacean.
Where to stay: The Queen Victoria Bed and Breakfast treats guests to a traditional English afternoon tea, plus gratis beach chairs and bikes, so you can tour the town like locals. (609-884-8702, queenvictoria.com). Rates start at $175.
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