The PG-Rated Positives: mild heat at night conducive to all night parties, gorgeous hotels for touring, an M&Ms store, sports books for laid back betting, relaxing pools for floating, delicious steak dinners (best steak rumored to be found at Prime in the Bellagio hotel), unforgettable shows (Cirque du Soleil is sure to please, but my ultimate recommendation is Jersey Boys)
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: Boy that description above sure sounded PEACHY didn’t it? Come on, the Las Vegas bachelor party isn’t as crazy as what was depicted in The Hangover, but it’s damn close. Yes, you should absolutely grab a cabana at a pool, but instead of the quiet Casesar’s Palace-type pool, go to the massive party happening every afternoon at Wet Republic in the MGM Grand. Instead of a lazy day at the sports book, hit up the casino floor and bet all the honeymoon money on double zero. No matter what happens at the blackjack table, tell your spouse you “broke even” and leave it at that. Hide your bank statements for a few months. Speaking of bank statements, do NOT (I can’t recommend this enough) use your credit card at the Spearmint Rhino, the #1 strip club in America. Cash only. A limo service will pick you and your group up at your hotel and bring you straight to the front door. What happens inside, stays inside. After hours, venture over to the Palms hotel, where there are many different night clubs (Ghost Bar, Moon Nightclub, and The Mint, to name a few) all of which are standing room only every night of the week. For those with lighter pockets, go visit Fremont Street which is where the strip was during the Rat Pack era. There the drinks and gambling are cheaper, but so are the women. Still, I’m dead serious, see Jersey Boys if you can. It’s amazing.
Serious Tip: save cash by getting bottle service for your group
Keep your head on a swivel for: strangers offering “party favors”, a 68-year-old waitress with emphysema named Dotty on Fremont Street
The PG-Rated Positives: spring/summer weather, easy to get to from the east coast, Montreal Grand Prix in June, visit the Bell Center and watch the Canadians play a game, visit Joe Beef (best steaks around), eat poutine, shop in the “Underground City” (buy the future Mrs. a souvenir here and thank me later)
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: Sin City of the North, Montreal is a Canadian haven for those who seek strippers who can whisper every word of Les Miserables in your ear. Strip clubs are full contact and fully nude. Club Supersexe (besides having a kick ass name) is one of the most famous in the area, go there and buy a souvenir so you can always say you went. I’d stay away from the Kamasutra Club (not linking this one) unless you really, really want to ruin your wedding. The drinking and gambling age is 18 which means if you have a little brother or cousin, bring him along, it’s time he grew up. I’d avoid bringing your fiance’s little brother, we all know how THAT turns out. Speaking of gambling, the Casino de Montréal exists (a step up on other domestic locales) but rumor has it that it is pretty small, so tables can be hard to come by during peak hours. Crescent Street has the best bars – Churchill’s (named after the man/myth/legend himself) has happy hour every single day, and the Mad Hatter saloon is also a wild time.
Serious Tip: bring an eligible passport
Keep your head on a swivel for: high sticking, hotel rates too good to be true, slimy club promoters
The PG-Rated Positives: incredible architecture and history. personal canal tours via boat, Rembrandt House Museum features famous Dutch art, Dutch tulips are in bloom in spring and they will blow your mind, biking around Amsterdam is a rite of passage for visiting Europe (if it has a bell, even better, if it has a basket, just get off and go home because your life only goes downhill from there)
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: If I’m you, and I want my wedding to go off without a hitch (and without tons of guilt) I’d avoid Amsterdam. There’s drugs, drinking, and women – and either the groom or a groomsman will undoubtedly go overboard, ruining everything. If you MUST plow ahead despite this warning, here are the best options. Experience the Amsterdam cannabis coffee shop culture. Over half a million people come to Amsterdam every year strictly for this reason. Your party should start at one of these places, or possibly end there, either way you’re going to feel very chill. Each coffee shop or cafe has its own “theme”, but you can’t go wrong with Green House or Barney’s. Obviously you need to stop at De Wallen, Amsterdam’s Red Light District to get weird. There are women primping in windows for sure, but also many more discreet ways to have some fun. This area is a must-see for bachelor parties, but we be warned, some women are still pushed into this trade. Visit shops that have a “Pimp Free Zone” sticker on them to ensure responsible fun. That last sentence is 100% true, yet I still can’t believe I typed it.
Serious Tip: Don’t drink Heinekens (there are many other, rare, delicious options) and don’t go to museums (they are just gifts shops wearing a fancy museum mask)
Keep your head on a swivel for: Your dignity. It has to be around here somewhere, right?
The PG-Rated Positives: Tennessee Williams Festival in late March, some of the best New Orleans tours take place on street cars and only cost a few dollars, visit Domilise’s and Parkway Bakery and Tavern for arguably the best shrimp and steak po-boys, enjoy the jazz vibes on Bourbon Street where some of the most ear-pleasing live music is played, the Aquarium of the Americas is stuffed with 15,000 sea creatures for your viewing pleasure, and Mardi Gras World offers tours all day long for those who want a behind-the-scenes, but ultimately safe look at float building and the festival itself.
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: Nobody in the 21 – 35 age bracket visits New Orleans for the reasons listed above. You go to New Orleans to have an unforgettable (but ultimately you won’t remember it) time. Bourbon Street is where the debauchery begins and ends. Anybody can ride the bull at The Bourbon Cowboy, but break the mold and try riding the whale at The Beach Bar. Try out the “world-famous hand grenade” drink at Tropical Isle, rumored to be the strongest drink in New Orleans. The best thing about Bourbon Street though is you don’t have to go ANYWHERE indoors for the most part, especially during Mardi Gras. Just revel in the madness and have your handful of beads ready for the very amateur performers on the building balconies.
Serious Tip: watch out for gangs of roaming homeless asking “where you got dem shoes?”, it’s a trick and at best you’ll end up being guilted in giving money, you don’t want to know what “at worst” is.
Keep your head on a swivel for: beads, Yard drinks, did we say beads?
The PG-Rated Positives: You can’t think about NYC without thinking of sports, and Broadway. Rangers/Knicks/Mets/Yankees, Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Wall Street, Empire State Building, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You know the deal with NYC, you get it.
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: First of all, NYC subways can be so confusing, you may not even make it home for your wedding. So skip that, and always take a luxury car or cabs with the guys. Secondly, chances are you promised your spouse you wouldn’t smoke on this trip, but that’s an impossible feat knowing the cigar bars that NYC offers. Be sure to visit the Carnegie Club nestled behind Carnegie Hall (you get there by practicing) because of their selection of brown liquors and Sinatra show on Saturdays. Wash your clothes though, you’ll stink to high heaven after five minutes in a cigar bar. Eat at Aquagrill near the financial district for some of the best seafood in the city. Then, party the night away at Cielo – but bring lots of extra cash because the drinks are strong, but expensive. Try not to end up spending the night in a Columbia dorm room, but if you do, make sure she’s at least a Sophomore.
Serious Tip: put your names on a club guest list, if possible
Keep your head on a swivel for: other tourists, anywhere you *think* would be a good place to throw up (it probably isn’t), expensive dinners
The PG-Rated Positives: Visit the Grand Ole Opry, the Parthenon replica (built in 1897), the Johnny Cash Museum to learn more about the man in black, or visit The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to appreciate some history. Drive 20 minutes into the Nashville suburbs to see the Belle Meade Plantation, the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators are right downtown, the best Nashville food is at Arnold’s Country Kitchen where you can get the “meat-and-three” combo that meshes poultry/beef and three sides on one dish of your choice.
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: Nashville, the birthplace of country music, is good for a down home, southern bachelor party. Don’t get me wrong, Nashville is fun, but it has a different feel than most of the entries on this list. In the daytime, the Nash Trash tour is highly recommended. It’s a PG-13/R rated tour of the city run by the “Jugg Sisters” who gloss over the boring stuff and get into the raunchy details of the city and celebs. Alcohol is allowed on this tour (hopefully that does not include the driver.) Any city is better in the summer, and the same goes for Nashville, but with winter temps reaching the upper 40s and most of the fun stuff taking place indoors, when you go isn’t too big of a concern. If you can, stay downtown it will make the whole trip much easier and that’s where all the action is. Two words for you: pedal tavern. Ever heard of one? It’s like a bike/boat/bar combined in one. Get a group of friends together and pedal that thing around town while you drink. Don’t have an even number of dudes in your group? It’s a Grade A chick magnet and easy invite (“Hey climb on! We need more power!”) All of the stuff mentioned in this section is all child’s play compared to a night out in downtown Nashville. Honky tonk time. Spend the night on Broadway in the Whiskey Bent Saloon, The State, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge or all three. Walking up and down Broadway there are a number of street performers too. Drink specials abound and there are a lot of tourists just having a good time. Another night, visit Midtown to spend time with a more local crowd. Go to the bar called Winners for karaoke, and the bar called Losers (which ironically is right next door) for an even better time.
Serious Tip: Tip the musicians. They do an amazing job, and maybe you can request a song.
Keep your head on a swivel for: country karaoke, a new pair of cowboy boots, Vanderbilt coeds
The PG-Rated Positives: Ireland has many of the world’s most beautiful golf courses (Potmarnack Golf Club or The Island Links specifically), visit the National Gallery of Ireland, take the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, don’t forget to go shopping for your spouse at home on Henry Street or Grafton Street.
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: You’re going to get drunk. Very drunk. You’re in Ireland after all. If you don’t have a blood stream that’s mostly Guinness and Jamison by the time you get on the plane, you’ve done something wrong. Speaking of Guinness, tour the factory. As you tour the floors of the historic St. James Gate building, you’ll learn not only about how the famous stout is made, but also about how Irish history intertwines with the Guinness name. Plus you’ll get stinking drunk. Also tour the Jameson Distillery. This tour has a restaurant on-site, you get an official taster certificate, and can try a signature Jameson drink. Plus, you’ll get stinking drunk. At night, the best bars to continue drinking and stinking are The Brazen Head, The Hole in the Wall, and Kitty O’Shea’s.
Serious Tip: Taxis were deregulated in 2001 so there is a HUGE population of them around at night which makes them easy to come by. Always take one. Do not drive drunk.
Keep your head on a swivel for: people driving on the right (that’s wrong), crosswalks (jaywalking is a no-no), non-advertising Irish step dancing bars (they are usually the better places)
The PG-Rated Positives: Many historical and interesting sights to see in the area: at the Necròpolis del Puig des Molins you can peer into 7th century BC tombs and ruins, take a scooter tour to drive around the relaxing countryside, seafood is a revelation on this island (especially at Comidas Bar San Juan and Ca n’Alfredo)
Why It Might Ruin Your Wedding: Go to Ibiza for the electronic music scene. Your wedding might be ruined if you go to Space (not “outer”, Space the nightclub, though going to outer space could be harmful as well.) With over 40 DJs and 12,000 revelers in one place, Space can change what you think of your time here on Earth. The flagship club of Ibiza is definitely Pacha, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. Hop on the Discobus to be taken from club to club throughout the night. Careful though, the seedy underbelly of Ibiza gets only seedier with each passing year. Drugs abound at these nightclubs (often times much cheaper than the drinks offered), so it is not very hard to find some, but it is also not very hard getting caught. For the beach goers, the Bora Bora Beach Club is an ideal place to work off your hangover from the night before, and look out for some thong bathing suits (careful, men wear them too.) The Aquabus takes you from beach to beach.
Serious Tip: Clubbing season is end of May through early October. If that’s why you’re going, don’t miss this window. For more on Ibiza nightlife tips, visit this site.
Keep your head on a swivel for: tan lines, guys offering you sunglasses to buy (they mean drugs), growing resentment between the locals and the young Brits on summer holiday
- Las Vegas – Flickr / Shahar Hart
- Amsterdam – Flickr / PKirillov
- Ibiza – Flickr / amnesiaibiza
- Cigar Bar – Flickr / RoemerPhotography