Top Ten Bachelor Party Destinations

From the expected to the surreal to the inspired, our hedonistic travel expert hones in on the top ten spots to bid bachelorhood farewell.
By Scott Elder
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Manhattan city street scene with three men in blurred silhouette
STORM THE CITY: Number Ten spot, New York, in all its blurry, hedonistic, low-lit glory  (Pete Ryan/National Geographic/Getty)

The countdown to the Big Day has begun. Soon, your buddy will exchange wedding vows with his lovely bride and embark upon a wonderful journey of fidelity, respectable behavior, and shared checking. But she hasn't made an honest man out of him yet, and it's your duty to help him say "so long" to singledom with an unforgettable spree of debauchery and mayhem: a bachelor party. If you're going to do this rite of passage right (while preserving everyone's reputations), you and the boys should have the good sense to hold the festivities far from home...but where?

For starters, head for a place that will not only tolerate but also encourage your premeditated sins: boozing, crazy late-night partying, and, of course, the hallowed tradition of paying to ogle boobs. Some grooms-to-be, however, don't aspire to stage the next version of The Hangover, and actually want to do something during the day besides recover from the night before. With all that in mind, here is our (highly subjective) list of the ten best destinations for a bachelorhood blow-out.

10. New York, New York
For a guy who wants to end his single days with a few VIP nights out on the town, don't settle for just any big city, go to the big city: New York. Kick things off at an old-school saloon like McSorley's, where beers are only served in pairs and women weren't allowed 'til 1970. Then fuel up for a long night with a red-meat dinner at Brooklyn's Peter Luger's—or your pick of grade-A steakhouses. For a different kind of New York strip, put a high-end "gentlemen's club" like Scores on the itinerary, but don't make it the finale—it'll feel like a dead end. Instead, pony up for a bottle-service reservation at a Manhattan club (and do so well in advance; without girls, you won't get in anywhere besides a Knicks game), hire a limo, and dress the part, player.
New York City Vacation Guide

9. Burning Man, Black Rock Desert, Nevada
If the bachelor is a full-fledged freak of nature who isn't impressed by the height of civilization, perhaps you should journey to the other end of the spectrum, and beyond. The Burning Man festival, held annually at the end of summer, does its best to defy description, but it's a glorious Frankenstein's monster of a party that combines a Halloween bash, a circus sideshow, a pagan jamboree, and a Tatooine spaceport. The weeklong event takes place in the middle of the Nevada desert, where a growing horde of "burners" forms a well-organized tent city (last year the population approached 50,000). The downside is that you'll be roughing it; even in rented RVs, it'd be a bachelor party beyond Thunderdome. Upsides include a functional Thunderdome you can compete in, numerous uninhibited sexy women, and true gonzo adventures. Burning Man requires effort, but it will blow your mind.
Nevada Vacation Guide

8. Ibiza, Spain
Maybe your gang is a bunch of hard-core clubbers whose once-reliable wingman will soon have to trade club life for married life. If so, join the jet set and take him on a farewell clubbing bender in Ibiza. The island is the Mecca of dance clubs, drawing legions of young Europeans with its thumping siren song every summer. Ibiza's fabled nightclubs have to be seen (and heard) to be believed. Space, for instance, is located under the airport's flight path, so the outdoor dance floor's high-decibel music is regularly drowned out by engine roar. The crowd greets it with cheers—more clubbers are joining the party. Another venue, the carnival-like Privilege, is simply the largest club in the world--it packs in 10,000 people. By the way, Ibiza is a beautiful Mediterranean gem. But if the scenery really matters to you, this club scene isn't a smart choice.
Ibiza Vacation Guide

7. Vancouver, Canada
Searching for an upscale playground where the bachelor partiers can burn through energy during the day as well as at night? Head north, young men, to seaside Vancouver, a hip, active town that combines metropolitan pleasures with outdoor recreation. The summers are warm, perfect for kayaking in the Burrard Inlet or tackling the hairy mountain bike trails on its north shore. In winter, you can plan an epic urban ski trip: Cypress Mountain, the snowboarding and freestyle skiing venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics, is just a half hour away. Or go for the gold at Whistler-Blackcomb, consistently ranked as the continent's top ski resort. Since downtown Vancouver is a small peninsula, the group can walk between all the world-class restaurants, cool brew pubs, and bustling clubs on the neon-lit Granville Street strip. Stop by Brandi's "show lounge" but make sure the bachelor doesn't get too cozy with the dancers. The place is famous for taking the Ben Affleck out of Bennifer.
Vancouver Vacation Guide

6. Paradise Island, Bahamas
To mix some sand and sun into the fun, take a quick flight to the aptly named Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The exclusive Atlantis megaresort is the small island's main destination, offering a long curve of white-sand beach, calm turquoise waters, and a wide range of accommodations. Atlantis' recent addition, The Cove, is a posh adults-only resort within the resort that caters to the young and trendy with a top-notch dance club and poolside gambling. The gang can also hit the casino and tap into the island's James Bond vibe (parts of Casino Royale and Thunderball were filmed there) or shed all maturity and ride the waterslides in the 141-acre Aquaventure park. But the best aquatic attractions are offshore: deep-sea fishing, introductory scuba dives, or, for the certified divers, crazy wall dives and Shark Week in 3-D.
Bahamas Vacation Guide

Published: 10 May 2012 | Last Updated: 21 Dec 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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