Any bridesmaid worth her weight in taffeta knows that throwing a bachelorette party for her pal is practically mandatory, and definitely the most fun wedding duty. Since “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is too cliché, here are 4 destination bachelorette parties that offer a chance to scratch that wanderlust itch while fêting the bride-to-be on a trip that is tailored to her.
Once you pick a destination, choose a hashtag for everyone to tweet and ‘gram to their heart’s content. You can also chip in a few bucks to purchase a Snapchat geo-filter and create a custom design to frame your party snaps.
#LaidBackBach in SoCal
A weekend of chilling out as the big day approaches is a welcome break from post-it note seating charts. Unwind with the gang in Goleta just outside Santa Barbara, CA. The beaches, local wineries and craft brews will have you fall in love with this city. From here you can scope out Santa Ynez Valley wineries on a chauffeured tour, such as Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours.
For this bachelorette trip that’s all about being laid-back, The Goodland hotel will put your bride in a California state of mind with its beach chic décor, hosted evening social hour, and—of course—poolside sangria. You can even create a weekend playlist by calling the hotel to arrange a record collection of the bride’s favorite songs to be waiting at her in-room record player. After the bridal brigade ventures out to nearby beaches and wine tasting rooms, settle in at the flip-flop friendly Outpost restaurant for fresh-caught seafood.
#RockThisBachParty in Austin
Some bachelorettes just want to keep it weird…Austin-style, the ideal location for a music-loving bride who wants to unleash her inner rebel. Spend the day lounging with the locals at Barton Springs—a man-made natural swimming pool in Zilker Park—or shopping for one-of-a-kind vintage pieces along Congress Street. Surprise the bride with tickets to a concert at Stubb’s or ACL Live, or join in at one of the sing-a-longs or quote-a-longs at Drafthouse Cinema.
A rocking party calls for a rocking place to stay, Hotel Van Zandt. This Rainey Street haunt is more whiskey than champagne, and sets your crew up for an in-room dance party with built-in Jawbone speakers. If you want to splurge and room together, the sprawling specialty suites with city views are available for living large. Don’t miss hanging out at Geraldine’s, which serves up modern Austin cuisine (think octopus terrine or crispy pork ribs with pickled gooseberries), and has live music Monday through Saturday nights.
#BacheLOLette in Chicago
If the bride and company love a good punchline, Chicago is calling. This Midwest hub is home to the legendary Second City Comedy Club and Laugh Factory, along with some of the best food and cocktails in the country.
Once your group settles in at the newly renovated Hotel Allegro, in downtown Chicago, kick off the night at the sleek, sexy RPM Italian for pastas and seafood, or, for a smaller group, splurge for steak at boutique brasserie Bouefhaus. Wherever you go, Chicago’s an indulgent foodie paradise. Just remember to rest up for the night ahead: bars stay open until 4 a.m. Take in some of the best Windy City views and signature cocktails at the J. Parker, a rooftop escape in the Hotel Lincoln. A more intimate group should tuck away at speakeasy-themed Violet Hour. The James Beard award-winning bar shakes up pre-prohibition cocktails that no bachelorette will forget. Still haven’t had enough? Late-night haunt Underbar stays open until a day-breaking 5 a.m. on Saturdays.
#BEACHelorette in SoBe
Its world-renowned nightlife gives South Beach a sexy reputation, but Miami’s social appeal isn’t limited to the late night hours. Take a stroll through the Miami Beach Architectural District for an eyeful of art deco, or shop down Lincoln Road, where you’ll find boutiques, cafes, and unrivaled people watching. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, continue your stroll south to grab one of the city’s top-rated Cuban sandwiches at Las Olas Café. The social butterflies of this SoBe bachelorette can mix and mingle at the Surfcomber, which takes nightlife into the sunlight with its über-social “Daylife” programming. Try a game of bocce ball on their private beach or get a cabana at their art deco-inspired pool.
As the evening rolls around, the clubs start booming. Start your night out with inventive shared plates (think roasted lamb empanadas) at the open-air terrace of The Social Club, which overlooks Collins Avenue and then head to Bodega for a secret party behind a taco stand, speakeasy style, or clubbing with the locals at Mynt Lounge. As your weekend wraps up, have some casual cocktails and lunch at The Broken Shaker.
— Caila Ball-Dionne
Calia Ball-Dionne is a freelance writer and full-time travel enthusiast. You can find more of her writing at CaliaBall.com