When a man gets ready to make that lifelong commitment, he often wants one last hurrah—a weekend or week that he will forever remember as his last days as a free man. That getaway can be near or far; what’s important is that he and his best buds deepen their bond and come home with tales to be shared only amongst themselves. Here are the best bachelor party destinations beyond the traditional jaunts to Las Vegas or New York City:
Also: 7 hotels with “Dive-in” movie theater experiences
Sun Valley, ID
For the outdoorsy crew who get their kicks skiing, snowboarding and skeet shooting, or for the super adventurous heli-skier, Sun Valley has much appeal. It is, after all, the burial place of legendary swashbuckling macho man Ernest Hemingway. The newly renovated Sun Valley Resort now offers many rooms that have doubled in size, plus amenities like fireplaces and soaking tubs. The Sun Valley Gun Club is the premier shooting facility in the Rocky Mountain West, and is suitable for rookies as well as pros.
After a hard day on the trails or slopes, a deep tissue massage atThe Spa is a must. The Duchin Lounge is a great spot to spend some time at the bar sipping Cripple Creek (Bulleit rye, Averna Amara, Clear Clear pear brandy and Peach bitters). At Trail Creek Cabin, the grub is good and the setting sufficiently rustic (think early-Western). The mountain-style log cabin-turned restaurant is right next to Trail Creek, and has an awesome view of Bald Mountain.
Jaco, Costa Rica
The party will jump in Jaco. This always bustling coastal resort city is the place to go for beach and jungle activities. There are many private villas for rent at great prices. Bars are plentiful in town for when the men have had their fill of ATV tours, zip lining, white water rafting, surfing, deep sea fishing, jumping into waterfalls or private boat trips to Tortuga Island.
If your crew is all brew dudes, Portland is the place. It’s beer capital of the world, with nearly 70 breweries. But it’s also a lot more. You have easy access to hiking, water sports and world-class dining. Consider making your temporary home base the Kimpton River Place Hotel. It’s steps from downtown, but has an urban lodge feel, and offers kayak rentals, access to Brew Barge (a water bike where you drink beer) and free bike rentals. Every night is a hosted social hour with a rotating selection of local craft beer, wine and spirits from Portland’s Distillery Row. Other cool crash pads around town include the stylish Hotel Modera with its lobby and bar full of oversized board games (check out the fire pit in the courtyard!), and the offbeat and budget-friendly Jupiter Hotel.
How about a bachelor party in paradise? The Gentlemen’s Baros Package is a mix of rejuvenation and action. Take a speedboat from the airport to this private island resort. If you fancy world-class, big game fishing you’ll be psyched; same goes for divers who will arguably have some of the best dive sites anywhere in the world at their disposal. The package includes complimentary use of non-motorized water sports, Fishing by Twilight with a “catch your own dinner” excursion, “For HIM Only” spa treatments (one per person per stay), daily morning yoga classes and more.
Forget about the traditional stag party, booze and babes, and going commando. Drive A Tank is the only place in the U.S. where regular Joes can drive authentic military tanks. They offer a unique bachelor party where the groom to be and best pals can experience “virtual invincibility” while driving a tank, crushing cars and shooting historic military firearms. Make a weekend of it by mentioning “Drive a Tank” at nearby hotels like Courtyard Mankato Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn Mankato to receive a special discount.
It’s hard to say which is hotter — Miami by day or night, and neither has anything to do with sunshine. The beaches are some of the best, the art deco architecture a knockout and the beauties plentiful. Temptation could be a problem.
The setting is memorable. Take the trendy Confidante Hotel, a playful, oceanfront oasis of 1950s design that is a reminder of Miami Beach’s golden era. There is a full service beach area, tropical gardens in the Backyard and an open-air rooftop spa. Or maybe you choose The Miami Beach EDITION. You will hardly want to leave this sleek, Mid-Beach hotel. The Matador Room from super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten offers its own take on Latin cuisine influenced by Spanish, Caribbean and South American flavors. Basement Miami is a full floor of entertainment including a bowling alley, ice-skating rink and nightclub, with state-of-the art sound and lighting system, and more. And when you leave your “enclave” the rest of Miami awaits, with hot bars like the Anderson, restaurants like modern steakhouse and chic lounge STK or the chill Campton Yard, an outdoor hangout with Florida-inspired cocktails, Caribbean and local beer, and unique bites.
For the perfect mancation, consider Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The Cayman Islands is home to 365 dive sites among the three islands. Whether you want to explore the famous Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman with all its colorful marine life, or do a wreck dive and check out the Kittiwake off of Grand Cayman, you’ll find that amazing diving and snorkeling sites are endless. The Cayman Islands is also ideal for flyboarding, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, fishing and all things aquatic. If the guys are land lovers, there are scenic hiking trails, caving excursions and biking trails.
Cayman is considered the culinary capital of the Caribbean and the nightlife is great, too. The Royal Palms Beach Club is popular and O Bar Nightclub is notorious for its acrobatic bartenders. The Cayman’s Caybrew has a variety of lagers and stouts, and the Cayman Spirits Company Distillery offers rare rums.
New Orleans, Louisiana
N’awlins is a place to get naughty. Nightlife in the Big Easy is about as wild as it gets while still remaining legal. You can gamble your honeymoon cash at Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel and Casino if you get carried away. But you can also behave and enjoy some of the best food on the planet,music like nowhere else, hit the linksat Audubon Golf Course, or bring the whole wedding party to Aidan Gill, an “unapologetically male” vintage barbershop, for a straight razor shave. Afterward, you’ll be handed a tumbler of whiskey to sip on and a stack of Playboys to peruse. There are plenty of great places around town to stay at like the Royal Sonesta Hotel, which has balconies overlooking Bourbon Street, or the French Quarter’s Hotel Monteleone with its famous Carousel Bar in the lobby.
Key West, Florida
Duval Street is about as wicked as New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. The scene is one big 24/7 party. You’ll find people sipping on “beverages” at breakfast, and it’s not just Bloody Mary’s. The fellas will have their fill of fun not only on the strip, but at the historic seaport, the Mallory Square Sunset Celebration, Hemingway House and much more. One of the newest hotels is NYAH, an acronym for “Not Your Average Hotel.” This adults-only lodging allows guests to customize rooms to accommodate up to six people—perfect for a gathering of guys partying on the cheap. Other features include multiple pools and terraces,and a complimentary daily happy hour.
Panama City, Panama
Panama City is one part Las Vegas and one part Miami with a dash of New Orleans. It’s a hot locale for the boys, and there’s much to do, be it kayaking with whales, hiking through the jungle, cruising the Panama Canal, boozing it up on a rooftop bar in the Casco Viejo or pressing your luck at the casinos. The food is great, (for a mind-blowing multi-course meal check out either Intimo or Donde Jose), the beer and Ubers dirt cheap (you can get virtually anywhere for $2-$3) and party places plentiful, all amidst the beauty that is Panama City. Stay amidst downtown’s glitzy casinos at the spindly Hard Rock Megapolis or stay in the heart of the thrilling Old City at the American Trade Hotel where you can take a tour of the neighborhood led by a former gang member.