Whether your friend is the first guy in your crew to tie the knot or the last man standing, there’s one time-honored wedding tradition that all your bros can get behind: the bachelor party.
You fully intend on throwing an epic bachelor party weekend for the groom with all his best guys. But where should you go? And what should you do when you get there?
You could opt for classic bachelor party destinations like Miami‘s South Beach, Mexico, New Orleans, New York, or Las Vegas. Or you could plan a luxury staycation closer to home. But what if you want to be original, blow all other bachelor party destinations out of the water, and save some cash? May we suggest you take a guy’s getaway to a less obvious location to avoid unnecessary up-charges. To make your money go even further, pay for it with a travel rewards credit card, like the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card. You can earn up to $550 cash back the first year, which takes the sting out of hotel costs and having to buy endless rounds of shots. And unlike other cards, you don’t have to pay an annual fee.
We’ve rounded up a list of the best bachelor party destinations around the world to throw an epic party weekend—and how to save even more money once you land.
For the adventure guy: Zion National Park, Utah
What to do: Take a harrowing, early morning hike to Angels Landing, one of the more extreme —and popular— trails in Zion. This strenuous 5.4-mile trek takes you up 1,488 feet in elevation. The last portion of the trail is just 4.5 to 5 feet wide and you’ll grip the chain bolted to the side of the cliff for dear life, since the other edge of the trail is a sheer drop-off into the void. But once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with 360-dgree views of Zion Canyon’s 270 million-year-old rock layers.
The next day, plan to hike The Narrows for an entirely different outdoor experience. As you can guess from the name, this goes through the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. You’re guaranteed to get wet: the trail is basically a slosh through a cooling river that slices the canyon. You’re up to your ankles most of the time, but some sections may require swimming. This gorge also provide shade, with walls a thousand feet tall. It’s the most popular hike in the park and it’s suitable for all ability levels.
And if you really need a wild night out after all this nature, most travelers book their flights in and out of Las Vegas. So you can still hit the strip club/bar/pool on your way back to reality.
Where to stay: You could skip the AirBnB and book a Zion Backcountry Yurt. Perched on a hillside overlooking the start of The Narrows trail and nestled in an oak and juniper forest, your crew will truly feel off the grid. Luckily, this yurt isn’t actually roughing it: there’s electricity, a kitchen, fire pit, outdoor grill, hot water, and a flush toilet.
For the tech-obsessed guy: Tokyo, Japan
What to do: Raise your hand if you love: 1. Video games 2. Whiskey 3. Ramen. Devour all this and more in Japan’s capital city. For a kitschy, “wtf just happened?” experience, book a reservation at the over-the-top Robot Restaurant. Yes, it’s a tourist trap. But after witnessing the restaurant and bar’s outrageous pop culture show with robotic monsters, dancers and lasers, you’ll be reminded why this country created anime and video games.
After you’re done watching robots battle, head to the Shinjuku neighborhood to experience three of Tokyo’s most famous nightlife spots. There’s Kabukicho, the biggest red-light district in the country, Golden Gai, a few blocks of tiny themed bars packed with hard-drinking salarymen, and Omoide Yokocho, an old-fashioned Izakaya alley where you can feast on yakitori and beef stew before turning it in for the night.
Depending of the time of year, you may be able to snag tickets to a sumo wrestling match or a baseball game. Just be sure to bring a travel friendly credit card like the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Card. This piece of plastic is a bit of a unicorn: It’s rare to find a card that has no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
Where to stay: The eco-chic and boutique Trunk Hotel is located in the center of the trendy Shibuya neighborhood. But you may not even make it that far. The hotel’s buzzy bar is always hopping with art gallery openings and parties.
For the guy who loves to fish: Savannah, Georgia
The historic town has a lot going for it: Killer cuisine, painstakingly restored southern architecture, plus fishing and golfing a mere 20 minutes away. Charter a private boat with Reel Em N Deep Sea Fishing Charters and spend a day (or the entire trip) casting for King Mackerel and Barracuda.
The next day, hit the links at The Club at Savannah Harbor golf and gawk at views of historic downtown Savannah while you play. The course gently winds its way through tidal wetlands.
Back in town, take advantage of Savannah’s open container law and ask for your Bloody Mary to go. You can sip and stroll through the city’s 24 squares draped in low-hanging Spanish moss or bring the booze with you as you wait in the long line for lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. You’re seated at a table with strangers and pass around endless platters of down-home favorites like fried chicken, red rice, and collard greens.
Where to stay: You could check into the hip new Alida hotel, a few blocks from Savannah’s suddenly-hopping riverfront.
For the party animal: Cartagena, Colombia
Scene: A cab stops in the historic district and a group of dudes spill out, fresh from the airport: “I can’t believe that was so cheap!” Cartagena, one of the sexiest cities in the world, is full of pleasant surprises.
During the day, explore the walled city’s cobblestone streets and colorful homes with elaborately carved and embellished doors and joyous sprays of bougainvillea. Just across the street from the famous district is the up-and-coming hipster neighborhood of Getsemani, where you can eat arepas from a street vendor while taking in the graffiti street art.
The city’s prime seaside location ensures that the ceviche and fried fish are bracingly fresh; local coconut makes an appearance, from sweet and mellow coconut rice to various desserts and cocktails. It’s also less than two hours away from adventure sites like Volcán de Lodo El Totumo, where you can soak in warm mud and then rinse it all off in the sea. Or you can rent a boat to cruise the nearby Rosario Islands.
Where to stay: You could stay at the Conrad Cartegena, a property that’s only a few minutes away from town but feels totally remote.
For the music aficionado: Austin, Texas
What to do: The city holds two huge music festivals every year, Austin City Limits and SXSW, along with live music every night along the famed stretch of bars and restaurants along Rainey Street and 6th Street.
Feed the groom’s record collection with a stop at Waterloo Records, and then get in line for lunch at Franklin BBQ for its famed brisket and pulled pork. Then cool off like the locals and hit the massive Barton Springs pool (beat the line by using the back entrance), Deep Eddy pool (the oldest swimming pool in Texas), or a secret swimming hole in the greenbelt, a patchwork of trails and swimming holes.
Where to stay: The Hotel San Jose was originally built in 1939 as a motor lodge but has since been renovated into a minimalist, sleek, and secluded-feeling boutique hotel. (Their bar has one of the best Micheladas in town.)
For the beach bro: Oracabessa, Jamaica
Spend your guys’ getaway pretending you’re James Bond (or a rock star) in the beach town of Oracabessa, which has long attracted creative types. Case in point: author Ian Fleming, who suffered from writer’s block, created the James Bond character while staying at his home in Oracabessa (named GoldenEye) and wrote every Bond book there during winter. Later, after Fleming’s home was later bought by Bob Marley and then sold and converted into a hotel. Sting wrote the hit, “Every Breath You Take” and Bono wrote the theme song to the GoldenEye Bond film while on vacation there.
Head to James Bond Beach (where Dr. No was filmed) for snorkeling or paddle-boarding, and then have lunch at the two-story bar overlooking the stretch of white sand. The beach is surrounded by clear water on three sides and the lush mountains of St. Mary reaching straight down to the sea. The beach often hosts reggae concerts with artists such as Rihanna, Ziggy Marley, and Lauryn Hill performing.
Where to stay: If GoldenEye is good enough for the upcoming Bond film to use as a backdrop (currently in production), it’s certainly epic enough for your crew. And since parts of the hotel are undergoing renovation until December 2019, you could be treated to reduced room rates and free activities. Ask to stay in a two-bedroom beach hut, where the floors are connected by a ladder and you’ll feel like you’re sleeping in the world’s coolest tree house.
For the sports superfan: Chicago, Illinois
Go in the summer for baseball and boating, fall for when the Chicago Bears come out to play football, and spring for dyed-river St. Patrick’s Day debauchery.
Reenact Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with a Cubs game, a stop at the Art Institute, and possibly sneak onto a float at the Von Stuben Day Parade. If your buddies like to golf, hit the links at Sydney Marovitz golf course, an affordable public course on Lake Michigan where you can hack it up next to killer panoramic views.
Make a reservation at the classic Chicago steakhouse Gene & Georgetti, which has been serving up massive plates of meat, Italian American classics, and stiff drinks since 1941. Everyone from Frank Sinatra to Keanu Reeves has eaten here.
Where to stay: The Hoxton, the newly opened hotel in Fulton Market used to be the site of a meatpacking facility. Today the industrial-chic property has a rooftop pool and a restaurant by buzzy Top Chef Stephanie Izzard.