A bachelorette or bachelor party is typically one of the most memorable occasions for close friends to celebrate before one crosses over the threshold into marriage. With more than two million marriages occurring annually in America, that translates into possibly double the amount of bachelor and bachelor parties. While the perfect rite of passage party doesn’t necessarily have to be in one of America’s top metropolitan centers, there are certainly a lot more options to enjoy than simply having the event in one’s own home. The following are five of the best bachelorette and bachelor party destinations in the country.
With scores of lavish mega-hotels, including such hot spots as the Wynn, Mandalay Bay, Venetian, Aria and the Palms, Las Vegas is arguably the top choice amongst all American cities for the best spot to host a bachelorette or bachelor party. Moreover, the city also known among others as Sin City and Wedding Capital of the World commands eight of the nation’s top 10 dance clubs, with a deluge of pre-wedding party packages with bottle service and fast entry past the scores of people waiting to get in. Among the most popular nightclubs in Vegas are XS Nightclub at the Wynn, the Marquee at the Cosmopolitan and Pure Nightclub at Caesars, and this past July, TAO Venetian held what was billed as the “World’s Largest Bachelorette Party.”
While Vegas certainly has its excesses, it’s not all about movies like “The Hangover” or hyperactive nightclubs that rage on until dawn. By day, there’s plenty of other activities to engage in, such as upscale shopping at resort hotels and top-rated restaurants like Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace, Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in the Venetian.
Consistently nice weather, miles of beaches and an assembly of upscale hotels, vibrant nightclubs, fine dining and top-end entertainment has made L.A. a favorite destination for bachelorette and bachelor parties for years. A great way to begin the evening is by enjoying one of the area’s fine restaurants, like Melisse, Providence, Mastro’s or Spago Beverly Hills. As the night continues, partygoers can opt to visit celebrity hangouts like Bar Marmont, SkyBar, Avalon or Bootsy Bellows or other top nightclubs such as the Troubadour, Whiskey A Go-Go, the Roxy Theatre and the Viper Room. Of course, there are plenty of other choices for a night out for the guys or gals with top venues like Staples Center for NBA basketball or a live concert to see the biggest names in the music business, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Taylor Swift. By day, first-time visitors to L.A. might want to visit one of many of the top attractions, with a visit to Venice Beach, the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard and Rodeo Drive always high on the list.
South Beach Miami is a consistent winner as one of the top five destinations for a bachelorette or bachelor party. Pre-wedding party goers have an impressive array of beachfront hotels at which to stay, from top-end hotels like the historic Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Setai, Eden Roc and Mondrian South Beach to moderately priced, yet upscale hotels such as Park Central, the Savoy and the Palms Hotel and Spa. Miami Beach is one of the world’s best cities for nightlife, although long lines at premiere clubs such as Story, LIV and Mynt might make it difficult to wing it past the velvet ropes. A better alternative is to book an organized VIP party from the hotel concierge, limousine services, party organizers or directly from nightclubs.
An assortment of moderately priced nightclubs/restaurants can be found among the distinctive art deco hotels on Ocean Drive, such as Mango’s and Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s Larios on the Beach, but the many restaurants along Collins Avenue like Nobu, Gotham Steak and Essensia Restaurant are also excellent dining choices in Miami’s South Beach.
With some of the world’s best dining experiences and pub crawling through the historic French Quarter, New Orleans is an entertaining destination for bachelorette and bachelor parties. While live music can be found in many other New Orleans neighborhoods, like Frenchmen Street, Uptown and the Warehouse District, the French Quarter is party central and booking a hotel nearby makes it unnecessary for a car rental. Recommended hotels in the French Quarter include Royal Sonesta Hotel, Hotel Monteleone, the Roosevelt New Orleans and Windsor Court Hotel.
Of course, savoring Cajun/Creole food is a must in the Crescent City, with Arnaud’s, Bayona and Antoine’s all in the French Quarter. Also not to be missed in the French Quarter is at least one visit to Café du Monde for some morning coffee and the most mouthwatering beignets on the planet and a riverboat ride on the mighty Mississippi River. Other top choices for the best in New Orleans dining are Commander’s Palace in the Garden District and the original Emeril’s Restaurant in the Warehouse District.
Having one of the most important events leading up to a wedding in the America’s most populated city is bound to be an unforgettable experience. From the dazzling lights in Times Square to pulsating nightclubs like LAVO near Central Park and Marquee in the Chelsea District, New York City really seems to have it all for an incredible bachelorette or bachelor party.
Choosing a hotel in Manhattan is really a matter of preference of location, but luxury hotels here don’t exactly have the same party atmosphere as a similarly priced hotel in Las Vegas. Of course, there are some luxury hotels more favorable to a party atmosphere, and among the top choices are The Standard Highline, SoHo Grand Hotel, Gramercy Park Hotel and Room Mate Grace in Times Square, with reportedly New York’s only swim-up bar. During the day, the amount of attractions to visit is endless, from relaxing in Central Park, shopping along Fifth Avenue and an elevator ride up the Empire State Building to a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty, a visit to Greenwich Village and a walk around Wall Street.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.