Once upon a time, bachelor parties were one-nighters that included a pricey steakhouse dinner (preferably where some mobster got whacked) and an even pricier visit to a strip club where you got parted with your cash by dancers who definitely didn’t look like J. Lo. Then, this masculine rite-of-passage morphed into a weekend away in Vegas or L.A. Now, it entails even longer stays in surprising places with full-blown itineraries that go way beyond beer and babes. So, if you’re planning a bachelor party of your own and don’t want to be left out in the cold, here are some kick-ass bachelor party destinations to consider.
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1. Los Cabos, Mexico
For a boozy south-of-the-border bachelor party, head to Cabo, on the Baja California peninsula. Follow the lead of George Clooney and best-bud Rande Gerber and chill on the beach sipping tequila (they exclusively drink Casamigos, but your gang will have hundreds of high-end tequilas to choose from) and dine in restaurants like Manta for fancy Mexican fare and the more casual Edith’s for margaritas and grilled lobster.
When you’re ready to get a bit sloppy, hit the tequila-fueled bars and clubs in the party town of Cabo San Lucas where you can knock back shots while having spring break flashbacks at standbys like Mango Deck, El Squid Roe and the Sammy Hagar-owned Cabo Wabo Cantina. Try not to get too hammered, you’ll want to be somewhat clear-eyed for ATV rides in the Baja desert and golf on Sea of Cortez-facing courses.
2. Park City, Utah
While beaches are a no-brainer when it comes to the best bachelor party destinations, don’t discount the appeal of a cold weather getaway like Park City ski resort. By day, shred down black diamonds in the Wasatch Range or try other bro-bonding alpine adventures like dog sledding and snowmobiling. If you’re feeling really ambitious and have money to burn (and social media followers to impress), heli-skiing is also available.
Get après ski started with small-batch rye whiskey flights at the High West Distillery, followed by a power meal of filet mignon and wild game at Riverhorse on Main. At some point, cigars will be lit, perhaps in an outdoor hot tub at your resort or walking along the town’s historic Main Street, home to bars like the always-hopping No Name Saloon.
3. Atlantic City, New Jersey
When it comes to bacchanalian blowouts combined with blackjack bets, Vegas springs naturally to mind. But if your crew are East Coasters and prefer a road trip versus a plane trip, you can still have a Hangover-worthy bachelor party in AC. This iconic Jersey Shore gambling mecca, with its famous boardwalk, has enough steakhouses, nightclubs, sports bars, poker rooms and jiggle joints to keep everyone happy.
Start off with steaks and chops at the Knife & Fork Inn, established in 1912, while a branch of Old Homestead serves up wagyu and porterhouses for two. In the casino, have a blast laying down a Benjamin on who’ll win the next World Series, shooting dice at the craps table and putting a fat stack of roulette chips on your wedding date (just try not to blow through all of your money in one go!).
4. Miami, Florida
Miami, home of this year’s Super Bowl, may seem too obvious as a bachelor party destination, but hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The 305 has it all when it comes to a sun-drenched last gasp at singledom: cabana-lined beaches, trendy Collins Avenue resorts, hedonistic pool parties and a second-to-none nightlife scene — not to mention all the water activities you and your buddies can handle.
Slather on the sunscreen and cool shades to zoom around Biscayne Bay on jet skis or better yet, spend the day like ballers drinking Champagne aboard a private yacht. Back on dry land, chow down on Niman Ranch ribeyes at trendy Papi Steak or seafood at the classic Joe’s Stone Crab, before working up a sweat in one of Miami’s famous clubs.
5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Your group is stoked about an outdoorsy bachelor party destination where hiking, mountain biking and white water rafting are part of the mix so get yourselves to Jackson Hole, an authentic Western town amid the Tetons. Hire a private guide to take you through Grand Teton National Park to spot elk, bison and moose. In the summer months, the valley hosts an outdoor concert series at the base of Snow King Mountain.
Sip microbrews, including IPAs and pilsners at Snake River Brewery, sample buffalo burgers at Local Restaurant & Bar (which also has a good happy hour) and end up like everyone else at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, with saddles for bar stools, pool tables, live music and plenty of good whiskey. Yes, there are pictures to prove you line danced.
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands
If Amsterdam is your bachelor party destination, you’re definitely making a beeline for the Red Light District where prostitution is legal, sex shops abound, and weed can be bought and smoked in “coffee shops” (space cakes, anyone?), but remember there’s so much more to the Dutch capital. For starters, there’s lots of beer. Sign up for a tour of the world-famous Heineken brewery and sample craft brews at Brouwerij ‘t IJ.
You can also take a cruise on one of the city’s iconic canals like Prinsengracht where you’ll see gabled houses dating back to the city’s Golden Age and fit blonde locals zooming by on bikes. The city is also home to the Van Gogh Museum and though you swear you’ll get to it, we know you won’t and that’s OK — just don’t spend all your time in Red Light District.
7. Kansas City, Missouri
Plan on getting messy if you’re heading to Kansas City for a bachelor party—and not just with the booze. KC is famous for its epic barbecue scene and a few places to roll up your sleeves include Q39 from veteran pitmaster Rob Magee, Gates Bar-B-Q, for beef brisket, and Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que for finger lickin’ ribs. Char Bar also has bbq plus a large beer garden with games like ping pong, cornhole, and bocce ball.
A night out here must include a visit to a jazz club, such as the retro-hip Green Lady Lounge, as well as bar hopping in the Westport area (Kelly’s Westport Inn is a beloved family-owned dive bar) and clubbing in the Power & Light District. Plus, KC is a mecca for sports fans, so try to plan your visit so you can catch the Royals or Chiefs in action.
8. Palm Springs, California
If you’re craving a SoCal bachelor party but want a different vibe than LA, why not head into the desert to Palm Springs? Once the hangout of the Rat Pack and Old Hollywood, you’ll feel right at home here with a dry martini and a stogie by the firepit of your bungalow hotel or swinging a four-iron on a manicured golf course, but there’s also a young hipster vibe with Vegas-style pool parties with guest DJs and endless cocktails.
Non-boozy things include touring Palm Springs’ mid-century modern architecture, hiking in Indian Canyons, and riding the aerial tram for views of the entire Coachella Valley. You can also head to nearby Desert Hot Springs for a soak in mineral-rich hot springs (great for hangovers) and mud baths à la Tim Robbins in The Player.
And did we mention the golf? If you like to hit the links with a cigar and your best friends, then Palm Springs is one of the world’s best bachelor party destinations for your crew.
9. Louisville, Kentucky
Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Need we say more? American’s native spirit is everywhere in the Bluegrass state so get used to early morning tours and copious tastings along the trail, where in addition to sampling bourbon in downtown distilleries like Angel’s Envy, you can head out to the countryside to take in the campuses of industry big guns like Jim Beam in Clermont and Maker’s Mark in Loretto.
You likely won’t be coming for Kentucky Derby (if you were able to pull that off, then just go ahead and drop the mic) but you can still tour Churchill Downs track and paddock, as well as take a group selfie beside the 120-foot-tall bat at the Louisville Slugger Museum and watch videos of Ali’s most famous fights at the Mohammed Ali Center.
10. Denver, Colorado
With Denver you have the best of both worlds — it’s a major city so you and your group will be spoiled for choice when it comes to decadent dinners, drinking top-shelf liquor, stuffing dollar bills in g-strings, and now, toking up. But Denver’s also on the doorstep of world-class mountain biking and hiking trails among massive red rock formations, making the Mile High City a prime destination for this pre-wedding rite of passage.
Oh, and did we mention it has one of the best craft beer scenes in the country? Denver has more than 100 breweries and brewpubs, many with live music, outdoor gardens and food trucks parked out front. Taking in a Rockies game at Coors Field located right in downtown and hitting the saloons and speakeasies in trendy LoDo are also on tap.
11. Galway, Ireland
Closer to the U.S. than even Dublin, Galway, on the west coast of Ireland, is one of the top spots in Europe for a bachelor party — er, stag do. But don’t worry, there’s room for everyone in the pubs where bartenders pull pints of Guinness and pour shots of Irish whiskey while traditional live music is played. Better yet, take a pub crawl though Connemara, a stunningly scenic region with peat bogs and mist-shrouded hills.
When you’re not tippling and noshing on late-night fish and chips, you’ll be visiting famous sites like the Cliffs of Moher in nearby County Clare and teeing off on links-style golf courses. Back in town, dine on Galway Bay oysters and local salmon at the Seafood Bar at Kirwan’s Lane before gearing up for another round of nightlife. Sláinte!