Oh, you’re going to Vegas for your bachelor party? Nashville for a bachelorette? Cool. So is everyone else. Yeah, you could post a flurry of post-trip Instagram photos of you and the boys on the Strip with a super clever original caption like “What happens in Vegas…am I right?” Or, you could go somewhere that hasn’t already been tagged a thousand times that week in nearly-identical bachelor party posts.
Big-name party destinations like Las Vegas, Nashville, New Orleans, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlantic City understandably attract the lion’s share of bachelor and bachelorette parties. That doesn’t mean they’re actually the best places to go to celebrate, though. Cities like Orlando, Jackson, and Cedar Point might not be synonymous with bachelor party shenanigans, but that’s exactly what makes them such appealing options when you know what to plan around.
These are the destinations you probably haven’t considered for a bachelor or bachelorette party, but should.
1. Hudson Valley, New York
New York City and the Hamptons might dominate the “where to go for a bachelor party” discussion, but if you don’t want to spend your life savings on one long weekend, don’t overlook the Hudson Valley. While NYC has skyscrapers, nightclubs, and bright lights, the Hudson Valley has fall foliage, cozy towns, and bucolic charm. Stretching along the Hudson River from Westchester County to Albany, the Hudson Valley is defined not only by its slower pace of life, but also by its wineries and breweries that’ll keep you buzzing all weekend without having to adhere to a dress code.
Where to go out: Going out in the Hudson Valley doesn’t carry the same connotations as it does in a major city. Here, it means hitting up wine tasting rooms and throwing back so many beer flights you lose count. Since you’re in the land of wineries, you might as well check out the oldest in the country. Brotherhood Winery was founded in Washingtonville in 1839, and is known for its chardonnays, merlots, and cabernet sauvignons. The winery also offers a variety of meads and sangrias. Both public and private tastings are available, and the historic property hosts live music every weekend during the summer.
As for breweries, The Drowned Lands in Warwick is one of the most scenic you’ll find anywhere in the Hudson Valley thanks to the 100-year-old building it’s housed in. The brewery stands out with its contemporary interior design, using glass, wood, dark metal, and concrete in its taproom to create a truly striking space. Outside you’ll find benches where you can sit and sip on a sunny day, with views of the surrounding 700-acre park.
Where to stay: Your experience in the Hudson Valley will vary depending on where in the region you choose to stay, though there are plenty of great options to choose from. The town of Hudson itself is home to The Maker Hotel, one of the region’s newest and most glamorous accommodations. Opened in 2020, the hotel has 11 rooms across three historic buildings: a carriage house, Greek Revival building, and Georgian mansion. Many hotels in the Hudson Valley give off a rustic vibe, but the Maker is decidedly European with its dim, intimate aesthetic. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a day of driving around exploring the region’s breweries and wineries.
2. Cedar Point, Ohio
There’s no better metaphor for preparing for marriage than hurtling through the air at breakneck speeds until you feel sick. As such, it doesn’t get more appropriate than Cedar Point for a bachelor party. Considered the unofficial roller coaster capital of the US, Cedar Point sits on a peninsula of Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, and is the second-oldest amusement park in the country. The park has 71 rides, including 17 roller coasters, and is also home to a white-sand beach outdoor water park and an outdoor sports complex. Instead of blowing thousands of dollars on a high-rise hotel and bottle service at nightclubs, just drop $50 for a day pass and get unlimited access to all the park’s attractions.
Where to go out: Beyond the rides themselves, Cedar Point has a summer music series that’s perfect for groups on vacation. Live music takes place every night of the week from mid-May through mid-September, with bands from all over the country coming to perform at Cedar Point. For those looking for a bit more edge, the park also hosts Cedar Point Nights from early August to early September. This is basically a DJ dance party on the beach, with fire pits, sand games, and glow-in-the-dark dining.
Where to stay: The South Beach Resort is about a half hour from the park, but its location right on the lake is worth the distance. With a private beach, heated pools, paddleboard rentals, tennis courts, and sand volleyball, the resort is pretty much built for groups looking to have a good time. There’s also 18 cottages that accommodate large groups, making it perfect for a bachelor or bachelorette weekend.
3. Killington, Vermont
It doesn’t matter if your friends ski or just enjoy the apres-ski culture — mountain towns are always a good time. While you can visit Killington and enjoy Vermont’s lush landscape year-round, this town really comes alive in the winter. Killington attracts skiers and snowboarders from all over New England to enjoy its epic slopes, abundant restaurants, hopping breweries, and nightlife that stands head-and-shoulders above other mountain towns. If snowsports are your group’s forte — great. You’ll have no problem staying busy. If not everyone in your group skis or boards, there’s still plenty of ways to have a weekend in Killington, from chilling in the hotel hot tub to checking out Long Trail Brewing Company.
Where to go out: There are two main bars in Killington, and you can’t go wrong with either one. Pickle Barrel Nightclub is a two-floor venue with a dance floor that regularly hosts live music. It also serves late-night pizza, which is one of the most valuable commodities there is at 2 AM. Just down the road, the Wobbly Barn — located inside an actual barn — is a steakhouse by day, live music venue by night. Hosting both bands and DJs, the Wobbly Barn is a bit smaller than Pickle Barrel but equally popular. No matter which venue you choose, don’t be surprised if you recognize no less than a dozen people from the slopes earlier that day.
Where to stay: There are a few hotels in Killington, but for large groups who want more bang for their buck, it’s best to book an Airbnb. This four-level house, for example, fits 15 guests in three bedrooms. There’s a balcony with picturesque views of the woods, a fireplace, pool table, and, most importantly, an outdoor hot tub. It’s located just 15 minutes from downtown Killington, making it easy to access the mountain in the daytime and the bars at night.
4. Orlando, Florida
Orlando is synonymous with the country’s most popular theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and LEGOLAND. Your bachelor or bachelorette group could easily spend an entire weekend at any one of these parks and still not experience a fraction of what they have to offer. The city of Orlando, however, has much more to offer than simply theme parks.
With easy access to the Intercoastal Waterway and several beautiful lakes, Orlando is perfect for outdoor exploration. You can rent paddle boards along the Intercoastal with Epic Paddle Adventures, or take a group trip to one of the lakes or springs for a relaxing afternoon of sunbathing. Since Orlando is under an hour from the Everglades, it’s also an ideal base for an airboat tour of the area’s alligators, birds, and fish. Speaking of alligators, Gatorland is one of Orlando’s most iconic attractions, home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, as well as Florida panthers, an aviary, and a breeding marsh with an observation tower. Add to this the seemingly limitless options for dining and nightlife and you’ve got a bachelor or bachelorette party destination that rivals any of the major players.
Where to go out: Pointe Orlando should feature prominently in any group night out in the city. The shopping, dining, and entertainment district on International Drive is home to several restaurants, ropes courses, bowling, and, perhaps most importantly, Blue Martini. Blue Martini is a diverse nightlife experience, offering three separate and distinct bar areas under one roof. Check out the patio for a casual night out, the VIP lounge for a ritzier evening, or the stage if you’re in the mood to dance to live music and DJs. The bar also has a happy hour every day with discounts on specialty martinis, craft cocktails, and tapas.
Where to stay: In big cities like Orlando, it’s all about location. Unless you’re going the theme park route and staying in a Disney resort, you’ll want to position yourself as close to the action as possible. That means staying right downtown in the Grand Bohemian Hotel, one of the most opulent hotels in the city. This stylish hotel has a chic, modern, and luxurious aesthetic, with public spaces furnished with leather chairs, chandeliers, and oak tables. It’s also home to an art collection worth over $6 million. So basically, if you’re looking for a suitable backdrop for group pictures, you don’t even have to venture outside. For many guests, the hotel’s most attractive feature is its close proximity to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, meaning you’re less likely to lose the groom in a Hangover-esque fiasco while navigating back from the nightclub at 4 AM.
5. Jackson, Wyoming
Jackson is one of the most picturesque mountain destinations in the West, and it’s a popular retreat for the likes of Brad Pitt, Matthew McConaughey, Tiger Woods, and Kim Kardashian. You and your friends might want to add your names to that list. Jackson’s nightlife can’t match the major cities, but its stunning natural beauty will make you forget all about the VIP bottle service you might have had in Miami. Located next to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, Jackson is a no brainer for any group that includes outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s hiking the dramatic ranges of Grand Teton, rafting the Snake River, relaxing in the Granite Hot Springs, or peeping the wildlife at the National Elk Refuge, there’s never a dull moment in Jackson.
Where to go out: When you visit a mountain town, there’s an unspoken expectation that you should visit a “Wild West” style bar. Usually that expectation is rather hollow and leads to a tourist trap. In Jackson, it’ll bring you to one of the town’s most fun and historic bars. Million Dollar Cowboy Bar has been a staple of Jackson Town Square since 1937, complete with cowboy murals and real saddle barstools. The bar hosts live music every night during the summer, attracting world-renowned artists like Willie Nelson and Glen Campbell. The live music doesn’t stop in the winter, though you’ll only find it on weekends.
Where to stay: There are plenty of luxurious Jackson-area hotels to choose from, but the Snake River Lodge stands out for both its location and its accommodation options. Right in the heart of Teton Village at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain, and just a mile from Grand Teton National Park, the hotel is ideally located for conveniently exploring the area. It’s also just 300 feet from the Jackson Hole Mountain Aerial Tram, which ascends to the best views in Jackson. On the property itself, check out the full-service spa with indoor and outdoor pools, rock caves, waterfalls, and hot tubs. As for lodging, there are 30 two-, three-, and four-bedroom residences with full kitchens — a perfect option for larger groups.
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