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The best bachelor party destinations for an epic trip with friends

Planning your friend’s last hurrah? The best bachelor party destinations in the US won't disappoint.

Written by
Lauren Rothman
Contributor
Jen Woo
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Tying the knot typically comes with plenty of traditions, but perhaps none are as legendary as the bachelor party. The practice, truly, is time honored, dating back to fifth century B.C. in ancient Sparta when a dinner was held prior to the big day to toast the groom’s honor. Nowadays, the options for marking the end of a man’s single years are vast, whether it’s exploring in the great outdoors at the best national parks in the US, indulging in the best sushi restaurants in America with your culinary crew, getting pampered at the best day spas and spa resorts, or a stereotypical weekend of raucous shenanigans filled with booze and boobs. From Sin City to the Big Apple, these are the best bachelor party destinations in the US—ranging from hot spots to offbeat picks—to commemorate the groom in an unforgettable rite of passage.

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Best bachelor party destinations

While NOLA might seem slightly unconventional – it’s not Vegas, after all – it wins out for its versatility. Whether you’re a live music lover, food obsessive, cocktail enthusiast or sports fan, the Big Easy checks all these boxes and then some. Chow down with the dudes on the city’s excellent fried chicken, jambalaya and crawfish etouffee at classic spots including Willie Mae’s, Antoine’s and Commander’s Palace; crawl Frenchman Street for excellent live jazz and brass bands at bubbly clubs like The Spotted Cat, Three Muses, and Snug Harbor; and sip perfectly balanced sazeracs and French 75s at mixology temples such as Carousel Bar or at a speakeasy like The Double Dealer under the Orpheum Theater. If you’ve scheduled your celebration for the fall, head to a Saints game and bask in the fan fanaticism. And if you want to go lowbrow, don’t forget to wander Bourbon Street with a frozen hurricane in hand.

📍The best things to do in New Orleans

This gem of the Pacific Northwest attracts all kinds of adventurous types and its dedication to the good life makes the city a solid choice for bachelor parties. Whether your group is looking to kick back and relax or take on the great outdoors, Portland’s got it all. A good place to start is Distillery Row in Southeast Portland, where you can tasting-room-hop between nine craft distilleries offering up impeccable whiskies, brandies and gins. When the munchies kick in (which they undoubtedly will when you factor in Oregon’s legal recreational marijuana status), world-class restaurants and wildly popular food trucks beckon with a diverse array of cuisines that make use of local ingredients. Burn off all those calories with any of a number of stunning hikes near the metro area, including Rooster Rock State Park in Corbett and Puff Falls in Carson. PDX can also offer a racy night out that’s not in poor taste with some very unique strip clubs (think: fire, rollers, skates, and tattoos).

📍The best things to do in Portland 

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With beautiful beaches, a thumping nightlife and endless options for exploring the outdoors, Miami is an obvious choice for a bachelor party destination. All the debauchery can be found in South Beach, where , with research and advance booking, a boutique hotel can be scored at a major deal. During the day, sunbathe and snooze on the beach, book a scuba or snorkel trip, or splash in style on a private yacht charter with companies such as Tropicalboat or Prime Luxury. At night, bass-pounding clubs offer a variety of options for partying: check out bottle service at LIV, and keep the party going all night long at Club Space. For the hangover eats you’ll absolutely require the next day, there’s no better spot than Little Havana, where you can refuel with rib-sticking Latin American fare like tequenos and poke arepas, pan con minuto (a snapper sandwich served on Cuban bread bun), and lechon asado buns made with sour orange-achiote. 

📍The best things to do in Miami

This Southern charmer is the perfect pick for a bachelor party weekend; the city boasts beautiful cobblestoned streets, handsome antebellum architecture and a facility for the good life that’s tough to find in any other city. Eating should be the focal point of any trip here.  Charleston excels in comforting-yet-creative Southern fare at restaurants such as FIG, Husk, The Ordinary (don’t trust the name) and Nigel's Good Food. This is also a drinking town, with the most emphasis and expertise placed on the brown stuff—namely, fine bourbon—that you and your crew can sip straight or in cocktails at spots such as The Kingstide, Post House, Laurel, and Bar Vauté. If you can fit in any activities between all that eating and drinking, play a few rounds of golf at the Ocean Course on Kiwah Island, bliss out on Folly Beach, or hike Bull Island. 

📍The best things to do in Charleston

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Any food-loving group of dudes would be thrilled to head to the City of Angels for a bachelor party – the better to hop between Koreatown’s excellent bibimbap, Boyle Heights’ authentic taco trucks and Hollywood’s pricy-but-delicious grain bowls. Apart from the food, the drinking is top-notch, too, with adventurous and innovative mixologists shaking delicate cocktails at The Dresden Restaurant & Lounge and tropical tiki classics at Tonga Hut. During the day, bum out on insanely beautiful beaches like El Matador and Zuma, or catch a wave at internationally coveted surf spots Surfrider and El Porto. When it comes to nightlife, the sky’s the limit: hit wild dance clubs like Avalon, catch an intimate concert at El Rey, or head to Hollywood for a variety of seedy-to-classy strip clubs. 

📍The best things to do in L.A. 

Atlantic City

It’s no Vegas, but the Tri State Area’s favorite gambling destination is a convenient getaway for those living in the Northeast – and this slightly seedy casino city still has its charms. If you’re visiting in the summer, a stroll along the boardwalk with stops for cotton candy, soft serve and saltwater taffy is a must, while beaches including Cape May and Sea Isle are surprisingly pretty. As in Vegas, gambling is really the point of coming to Atlantic City, so hit the blackjack table at the Tropicana or go for a round of roulette at the Golden Nugget. Feeling a little rowdy? Slip into your trunks and get wet at The Pool After Dark, Harrah’s all-night indoor pool party, check out “gentlemen’s clubs” Bare Exposure and Babes, or keep it (a little bit) classier at the Borgata’s stylish 40s-style Thursday night burlesque show.

📍The best things to do in Atlantic City

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Known for its robust live music scene, its rib-sticking BBQ restaurants and its easy going attitude, Austin is a natural choice for any group of fun-loving dudes. Start your day with the breakfast of champions: a migas taco at Veracruz All Natural, a machacado at Mi Madre’s or a brisket taco at Valentina’s (or all three). Once fortified, move on to all-day drinking: Drink.Well’s happy hour begins at 3pm; Salty Sow’s starts at 4pm; Jeffrey’s starts at 4:30 daily (or all night on Mondays); and Odd Duck’s happy hour is from 5-6pm daily. When you’re hungry again, seek out rigorously authentic BBQ at Franklin Barbecue, Micklethwait Craft Meats or Terry Black’s. Late in the evening, scope live blues at Antone’s, rock music at the Continental Club or alternative sounds at Parish. And if after all that you want to hit up Palazio Gentleman’s Club, we promise we won’t tell.

📍The best things to do in Austin 

Sin City. If you and your clan are looking to 'go big or go home' before tying the knot, Vegas offers everything from gambling to strip clubs to pool parties, plus less louche options like star chef fine-dining and top-tier golf links. After securing a hotel reservation on the Strip, grab your wallet and head to the town’s best clubs like Omnia or XS; pull on your trunks for wet, wild and booze-drenched pool parties like the MGM Grand’s Wet Republic or the Cosmopolitan’s Marquee; and yes, check out the poles at places such as the Spearmint Rhino, if you must. To refuel, stuff your face at over-the-top buffets like Caesars Palace’s Bacchanal Buffet, or pull on a fresh button-down and tuck into world-class fare at José Andrés’ é, Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie, Min Kim’s Mizumi, or Partage by chef Yuri Szarzewski. 

📍The best things to do in Las Vegas 

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For music-loving bachelors, Chicago is a no-brainer destination: this is where the electric blues evolved in the mid-20th century, and the city still offers a veritable banquet of live music options. Clubs such as Rosa’s Lounge, Kingston Mines and bluesman Buddy Guy’s famed joint Legends (temporarily closed) host excellent acts nightly. You and your crew will obviously want to chow down on the Windy City’s famed deep dish pizza: check out hoppin’ spots like Pequod’s, Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s. In nice weather, it’s fun to take advantage of Chicago’s extensive waterfront. Go the ridiculous route with one of the city’s many booze cruises, like Island Party Boat’s tiki-drink-stocked, waterslide-equipped yachts and pontoons. Sports fans, depending on the season, can enjoy a Bears or Cubs game.

📍The best things to do in Chicago 

For an adrenaline-fueled bachelor party weekend, where else to go but the city that never sleeps? Start the morning off with a cup of craft coffee at geeked-out shops like Ninth Street Espresso, Devoción, or Felix Roasting Co.; spend the day strolling Manhattan’s elevated park The High Line and ducking into Chelsea galleries and Fifth Avenue museums; and cross the Brooklyn Bridge for sunset views of the city streets and the East River. There are absolutely no limits when it comes to grub: munch on classic New York slices, slurp noodles in Chinatown or go highbrow at fine dining temples like Sushi Noz, Aquavit, Gabriel Kreuther, and ILILI. At night, catch a big-budget concert or Nets game at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, bar-hop through the East Village or slump into a booth at one of the city’s many 24-hour diners. 

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Straddling the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is our definitive pick for a wintertime bachelor party. The area offers world-class skiing at Squaw Valley, Heavenly Ski and Diamond Peak resorts. And beyond the slopes, there’s tons of outdoorsy adventures to be had: go skydiving with Skydive Lake Tahoe, kayaking with Tahoe Adventure Company and rent ATVs with Full Access Tahoe. If the gambling itch strikes, hop the border to Nevada to feed the slots at Harrah’s and Harveys casinos. 

📍The best things to do in South Lake Tahoe

The Mile High City has a multitude of activities to keep a group of guys busy, from unparalleled hiking and outdoor adventuring to delicious food and a vibrant craft beer scene. First, the outdoors: Check out alpine Mills Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, calypso orchids and other wildflowers at Ouzel Falls or the 20-foot sandstone bridge Royal Arch, all located just a short drive from the city. Cyclists might want to hook up with Mile High Bike Tours for excellent guided jaunts around the city, and water-lovers can check out rafting and ziplining trips offered by AVA. Meanwhile, Denver’s restaurants serve everything from authentic Mexican fare to local farm-to-table grub.; Dudes might want to check out the premium steaks seared at Guard and Grace. When it’s time to drink, check out the tasting rooms at local breweries like Wynkoop and Renegade, or head to tricked-out games bars like The 1UP, equipped with billiards, ping pong tables and Skee-Ball.

📍The best things to do in Denver

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San Diego has mastered the art of laid-back-ness, making it the perfect destination for a group of bros. Boasting 70 miles of beautiful southern Cali coastline, water activities are the name of the game in San Diego: learn to surf, book a whale-and-dolphin-watching tour or go sailing on a catamaran. During the evening, the Gaslamp Quarter offers 16 blocks of excellent cafes, restaurants and rooftop bars. In the latter category, check out Lumi by Akira Black, The Nolen and SummerSalt (which also boasts a pool!). There's also a number of risque burlesque shows like the sexy Ooh La La Revue. 

📍The best things to do in San Diego

Just as Chicago is a draw for blues-lovers up north, Memphis is the place to be for Southern aficionados. The moody, electric-driven genre took shape in the early 20th century, and it’s still on full and authentic display at intimate clubs including Rum Boogie Cafe, Wild Bill’s and Blues City. Carnivores will want to chow down on the city's famous style of BBQ: Think dry-rubbed, pit-cooked pork ribs and luscious shoulder that’s served with little fanfare but a ton of flavor at joints like Cozy Corner, Corky’s and Central BBQ. Those looking for adult entertainment can head to clubs like The Pony or Purple Diamond.

📍The best things to do in Memphis

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Jackson Hole
Photograph: Shutterstock

15. Jackson Hole

Yet another can’t-go-wrong choice for outdoor-lovers, Jackson Hole is a nature enthusiast’s playground, offering some of the country’s best skiing and snowboarding during the winter, and scenic hiking, biking and horseback riding the rest of the year. Popular ski resorts include Teton Lodge and the Four Seasons, but in the warmer months, opt for local ranches like Mill Iron and Turpin Meadow, which offer guided horseback riding excursions through the area’s scenic terrain. Then check out breathtaking hiking trails like Paintbrush Divide, Phelps Lake and Teton Crest. Now that you've worked out an appetite, tuck into some wild game at restaurants like GameFish and Gun Barrel.

While it may appear to be a left-field choice, Milwaukee proves to be an excellent bachelor party destination for three reasons: it’s affordable, it's a great meeting point for friends scattered across the country, and it houses a vibrant craft beer scene. Once your group has gathered, head out for a day of drinking via a brewery crawl: Urban Harvest, MobCraft, and Indeed are all located within walking distance of each other. Other non-drinking activities include renting a yacht to cruise along Lake Michigan, riding the sky cable cars at Henry Maier Festival Park, and catching a Brewers game at Miller Park. Any hog aficionados in the group will want to check out the impressive Harley-Davidson Museum, and don’t forget to take a group shot with the “Bronze Fonz,” a life-size statue of the Happy Days character located along downtown’s Riverwalk.

📍The best things to do in Milwaukee

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The dry desert heat of Arizona provides the perfect backdrop for a sizzling bachelor party. Boasting clear, beautiful weather almost every day of the year, the city’s main attraction is its network of world-class golf courses, so be sure to pack your sand wedge. Favorite links include Papago, Raven and the Phoenix Country Club, the latter of which remains open and lit by floodlights until 10pm. After 18 holes, indulge in some iconic dishes like a Sonoran hot dog from El Caprichoso Hot Dogs; green chile stew at Fry Bread House; broiled steak at Durant's; rosa pizza at Pizzeria Bianco; brown butter tuna at Valentine; or fatty brisket at Little Miss BBQ. In the evening, head downtown for jazz at the elegant The Nash; balanced cocktails at Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour; and bottle service at Bar Smith.

📍The best things to do in Phoenix

The City by the Bay offers a plethora of bachelor party activities, from excellent eating and drinking to plenty of scenic outdoorsy adventures. During the day, make use of the city’s beautiful waterfront by getting out onto the bay: you can drop a line with San Francisco Fishing Charter; look for whales with San Francisco Whale Tours; or hop aboard your own booze cruise with chartered yacht from Captain San Francisco. At night, take advantage of the city's famous culinary landscape with beer-and-barley-tempura black cod from Lazy Bearfresh pasta at The Tailor’s Son, or a roast duck at Mister Jiu’s. Top it off with a fine cocktail at The Interval at Long Now, The Snug, or Kona's Street Market. For a panorama of the city, Charmaine's rooftop bar and lounge has cocktails as good as the view. Feel like dancing? Raven Bar channels all the good vibes with nostalgic tunes from the 1990s to today.

📍The best things to do in SF

Don't forget the honeymoon!

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