This is the one single "wedding trend" that we endorse: the destination bachelor party. You deserve it. If you're giving up the next 72 years of your freedom, the least you should get is 72 hours with your buddies.
The Plunge's Top 10 Bachelor Party Destinations:
The strip clubs are legendary. Specifically, they're half the price of what you spend in the US, and they're (usually) fully nude. In strip clubs, as in life, why go half way? A more subtle advantage--and this is what you should stress to girlfriends and fiancées--is the overall cultural vibe. Because half the city speaks French, you'll feel like you're in Europe, making the getaway feel that much more dramatic. Plenty of afternoon diversions, restaurants (don't skip The Globe), and posh hotels (like the Ritz-Carlton). For the single guys, Montreal girls in the dance clubs are, ah, shall we say..."amorously progressive."
Cliché? Who cares. Besides the obvious 137,247 reasons to do a bachelor party in Vegas, here's a very simple one: it's guaranteed fun. It's simply impossible to go to Vegas for a bachelor party and not have a good time. It can't be done. Between the clubs, gambling, golf, strip clubs (especially the Olympic Garden), and overall feeling of escapism, it's the safest path to an unforgettable weekend. To spice it up with variety, think about renting mountain bikes for an afternoon ride.
Possibly overrated. Yes, the women are stunning; yes, the beaches are spectacular; and yes, the nightlife is world-class, but there's less "other" stuff going on in the periphery. If your buddies are all about the beaches and the clubs then you can't go wrong with South Beach; if you need other stimulation (i.e. gambling, sports, culture) it might not be the best option. That said, of course it cracks the top 10. If the groom loves golf, think about staying at the Trump National Doral.
Any city that encourages drinking hurricanes before 9am, public lewdness, and women flashing the goods for 3-cent plastic beads is okay with us. For the wusses in your group who need an excuse, tell the girlfriends/wives that you're going to pay your respects to the post-Katrina damage. If you're looking for a great place to stay, look into the Q&C Hotel or the Hotel Modern.
The Plunge's favorite bachelor parties have the "1-2" punch of physical, outdoors activity and alcoholic sin. Skiing fits the bill. The slopes of Whistler are jaw-dropping gorgeous and the nightlife--while no Vegas--still has sufficient debauchevry. The best skiing falls between December and early April, but Whistler's location extends the season through May (check on conditions). Think twice about President's Day (February) and Spring Break (March)--yes, it's a bachelor party, but dude, those girls are barely 18. For a (slightly) less expensive option, Aspen, Vail, or Tahoe all also work nicely.
Kidding. Just making sure you're paying attention.
CANCUN / CABO SAN LUCAS - MEXICO
(Temporarily suspended from list, pending the, you know, South-of-Border-Armageddon. Consider a Costa Rica bachelor party as replacement...)
You gotta love it when you can go on a "Booze Cruise," slurp down 9 shots of tequila, and then go snorkeling without a single lesson...and this is part of the company's business plan. That stuff just couldn't happen in the US. Added bonus? Being south of the border gives you the sense that nothing you do is wrong, you're on foreign soil, and anything goes. (Although the groomsmen should remember: your primary mission is to make sure the groom doesn't cheat.)
COLORADO WHITEWATER RAFTING
A different kind of trip entirely. No clubs, no strippers, and possibly not even any women. So what's the appeal? Depending on your group dynamics, a rugged three-day weekend of rafting, beer drinking, and manly-bonding can actually be more memorable than the typical club-scene. And if you want to squeeze in the nightlife, for the last night on your trip, drive through Denver and splurge at a steak restaurant, hit the bars, and conclude the trip with opulence.
Only if most of your party (and especially the groom) live nowhere near New York and rarely visit. For locals, a bachelor party in New York is eye-rollingly ho-hum. For a group of guys who live in North Dakota and have never been to Manhattan, it's perfect.
YELLOWSTONE / YOSEMITE / GRAND CANYON
Perfect for the older group of guys. The late-thirty-year-olds who already have wives and kids and mortgages. For this group, there's no rule that says you must pretend that you're 21 and still enjoy keg-stands. It's okay to act your age. A long weekend under the stars, backpacking Yosemite, or riding horses into the Grand Canyon is the perfect adult bachelor party. (And don't worry, you can still get shitfaced.)
A NEARBY POSH HOTEL
The other 9 options assume you (and your friends) happen to have $1,000 bucks just lying around. In this economy, especially, that might not be the case. If money's tight but you still want to do something memorable, consider staying at a hotel in your city--something within driving distance--where you would never, ever stay. A posh local hotel will feel like a getaway. And if you split each room 4 ways there shouldn't be too much carnage. Play poker, grill, hit the bars, and you'll get what amounts to a destination-weekend for a fraction of the cost.
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