Sure, we’ve all been there and we all love it, Vegas is a bachelor party classic for a reason. But, that doesn’t mean you have to go there. Despite Vegas’s obvious, ah, charms, we’re huge fans of the alternative bachelor party destination. There’s no shortage of incredible locations both in the US and abroad that are ready to offer you one hell of time as you savor your last days of singlehood. All the essentials are here: alcohol, women, great food, gambling, and activities of the sporting kind (both playing and watching) and in enough quantity that you can pretty much guarantee you’ll be talking about this weekend for much of the foreseeable future. So, before you commit to the typical weekend trip to Vegas, allow us to tempt you with a Vegas-style buffet of equally fun and debaucherous destinations that don’t involve Cirque Du Soleil and Sunday morning annulments.
If you’re looking to have an international adventure that doesn’t require emptying your bank account and mass amounts of vacation time, we wholeheartedly recommend Panama City. No, we’re not talking about Panama City, Florida. We’re talking about the isthmus that links the great North and South American continents, Panama. Make it an extra long weekend and plan 4 plus days to really maximize your trip. We doubt you’ll listen, but try not to be hungover every single day because adventure abounds in Panama. Daytime activities include hiking, jungle tours on ATVs and some of the globe’s best diving. The nightlife runs the gamut from casinos to clubs and bars with many rooftop venues offering unbelievable views of the bay. If you’re really thinking ahead, plan your trip in February to experience a Carnival street party that rivals Rio De Janeiro. Oye chicas!
Grab your cowboy boots and get ready for a weekend of rodeos and two-stepping. Just kidding. Unless you like that because then there’s some of that in Austin too. Despite being in the southwest state of Texas, Austin isn’t all line dancing and BBQ (although the BBQ is damn good). The city is known for music, arts, amazing food, and it’s 6th Street bar scene (courtesy of The University of Texas), one that rivals any college town in the US. Austin is packed with incredible restaurants but the BBQ (try Ironwork) and Tex-Mex (Chuy's or Javis) are the places to start and will set you up with a nice base before a night of bar hopping. Nearly every bar has excellent live music but if shows are your thing, check local listings to see who is playing at one of Austin’s many legendary venues. Speaking of legends, the cab ride out to The Broken SpokeThe Broken Spoke just outside of town is worth it in spades. Everyone from Willie Nelson to Johnny Cash has graced the stage at this, the ultimate in dive bars, and the live music and ice cold beers are what Texas does better than anyone else. Don’t leave town without curing all your troubles with a bloody mary, eggs benedict, or house-made sausage brunch from the justifiably famous Frank.
A short two-hour drive from Vancouver, Whistler is another passport worthy destination that doesn’t require begging the boss for too much time off. With one of the longest snow seasons in North America and miles and miles of epic trails, you can count on Whistler’s Blackcomb Mountain for a weekend full of some of the best skiing and snowboarding around. Not to be outdone by its exceptional mountains, the insanely fun town located at the base of the mountain is packed with excellent bars, restaurants, and party-ready travelers from all over. Shacking up in a large cabin is the right move here and there are a wealth of options via Air B n B or local resort rentals. Plus, it will give you a chance to dust off your beer pong and flip cup skills and see if you’ve still got the black belt-level skills you honed in college. Before everyone gets a case of cabin fever, head down to town for some vodka tasting at the coldest vodka tasting room in the world (at -25F) or just some good old fashioned Canadian brewery action. And when you’re ready to treat yo selves after a long weekend on the mountain, enjoy an excellent steak at Araxi Restaurant with an accompanying glass of scotch from their massive and respectable selection. Good party, eh?
Chicago in the spring and summer has bachelor party written all over it. Between the city and lakefront vibes, it’s a guys trip with a ton of potential. First things first, cold beers and deep pizza from Lou Malnati’s or Giordano's should be on the top of the list. After you’ve consumed a few slices and a few brews, head over to the Arlington Park Race Track and spend the day betting on some ponies. Who knows, you might just cash in big and pay for your whole trip. In the evening, venture over to Vertigo Sky Lounge the only year-round indoor/outdoor lounge equipped with DJs, fire pits and $25 buckets of beer. Need we say more? If you're feeling sporty, a trip to Wrigley Field (sorry Sox) is a great way to spend a day. Don’t forget to get a legit Chicago dog. Post-game, the adjacent Wrigleyville neighborhood has some of the cities best no-frills bars and loads of friendly faces. If the weather is nice and you’re feeling in the mood for some of Chicago’s finest beer, Dryhop Brewery has an excellent patio and fine food to match its wonderful beer. Finish your night with a trip to The Green Mill, an outstanding jazz and cocktail bar that’s a Chicago institution. Knock back a few well-made cocktails and soak up the classy vibe. This is what Chicago is all about.
Yeah, yeah. Miami is great. South Beach, clubs, and beaches abound. But, if you’re looking for a more laid back, beachy vibe, keep heading south and land in Key West. Just because it’s more casual doesn’t mean it’s slow and boring though. A longtime home to artists, raconteurs, and party animals alike, it’s like Spring Break meets New Orleans. Naturally, you want to spend a day on the water and a boat rental for fishing, swimming, snorkeling, and exploring is the way to go. After a long day on the water sustenance will be needed. Start your evening at A&B Lobster House , for drinks and seafood are the order of the evening. After you’ve loosened your belt a notch, stroll down to Duval Street (like a mini Bourbon Street) and check out Fury’s Commotion, Garden of Eden or Irish Kevin’s and get your bar hop started. Trust us, you’re bound to get into plenty of trouble here. Don’t forget the Advil and aloe vera.
Hopefully, we’ve set the stage for epic bachelor parties ahead. Don’t worry, Vegas will always be there for you but now’s the time to do something different. Have fun, stay hydrated and play like a champion! Good luck gentlemen.