We wrote an article for the guys, so now it’s time to write for the bachelorettes out there. This list has options for different budgets, interests, and party styles, but the one thing all of these fabulous destinations have in common is that they're totally unexpected. These unique bachelorette party ideas will help you achieve the special celebration you deserve before the big wedding day.
Adjacent to the greater Phoenix area, Scottsdale may be known as the ‘the West’s Most Western Town’, but there’s more to this city than boot-spurs and arroyo. A bachelorette can spend the day in the sun exploring the art galleries in Old Town Scottsdale, or squeeze in a round at the rolling greens of North Troon golf club with her VIP friends and family. Nightlife runs the gamut from beers and line-dancing at the Rusty Spur Saloon to the literary twists on cocktails at The Beverly (try the Gone With The Gin). It’s also an easy drive to Sedona, where the ladies can recover with a day spa experience at Uptown Massage or A Spa for You, or brave some off-roading in the canyons with top-rated Pink Jeep Tours.
For the bachelorette who wants to get away from it all, a mountain retreat in Gatlinburg, Tennessee may be just the ticket. Rent a cabin in in the foothills of Smoky Mountain National Park, where visitors can enjoy hiking and picnics in the woods, or even try zip lining through the trees at CLIMB Works. A cabin is perfect for a stay-in bachelorette party: pick up some wine and cheese, light a fire, and spend the night with your BFFs. Gatlinburg has great options for a night out, too: have a few glasses of real Tennessee moonshine at Sugarlands Distilling, and if you’re still standing, start the next day with the Banana Pineapple Triumph at the longtime favorite Pancake Pantry. Gatlinburg is an easy drive from Pigeon Forge, so head on down!
Washington D.C. is deservedly famous for its bar and restaurant scene, but you can access all of the District’s charms without the high hotel fees by renting a turn-of-the-century townhouse in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. Just a Metro ride away from D.C.’s Adams Morgan and U Street areas, the bachelorette party can slip into a speakeasy with classic cocktails at The Gibson, and/or commit to a U Street dive bar crawl. When the group is ready to get out of bed the next day, consider Alexandria’s brunch options: Bastille for French bistro-inspired, Vermilion for new takes on American classics, or the Bilbo Baggins restaurant for some more 'hobbit-approved' fare. Afterward, the ladies can wander along the boutiques and coffee shops in the Alexandria town center, or get in some nearby outlet shopping- the Premium Outlets in Queenstown, Maryland or National Harbor Tanger Outlets.
Long a favorite ‘hen party’ destination for British brides, those outside the UK may not be aware of how this cosmopolitan city stacks up for the transcontinental bachelorette party. The experience is definitely worth the flight time. When everyone arrives, tour Edinburgh Castle or climb Arthur’s Seat hill to get views of the whole city. The Grassmarket area is a must-go for unique Scottish vintage and handicraft shopping, as well as an excellent place to kick off the drinking. Bachelorettes can indulge in the extensive cocktail list at Dragonfly, or try a dram of Scottish whiskies both well-known or unknown at the Scotch Whisky Experience (remember, whisky without the ‘e’ if it’s from Scotland). After dark, drinking options run from 500-year-old pubs to opened-yesterday nightclubs, often located right next to each other. Continue the Scottish vacation by driving up the scenic Fife coastline to St Andrews, or journey to Inverness for Highlands culture and a wee bit of monster-spotting.
San Diego, California
Looking for a laid-back beachy bachelorette party? San Diego has no less than 17 beaches within easy walking/driving distance. The most well-known is probably Mission Beach, boasting miles of white sand and a traditional beach boardwalk. Before laying out the towels, the girls can take advantage of nearby casinos, golf courses, or surfing lessons. There are nightclubs to suit every musical taste, but if that isn’t the bachelorette party style, perhaps tasting some of the hundred different wines listed at Splash wine bar or sipping beachside beverages at Wonderland or Beachcomber will do the trick. If you prefer beer, check out San Diego's best bars and breweries. The truly adventurous bachelorette can keep the party going south of the border in Tijuana.
Pittsburgh’s old reputation as the Smoky City has, well, gone up in smoke. The city's now got a growing culture of foodie indulgence at some unexpectedly good prices. Get the lay of the land by taking one of the Inclines to the top of Mt. Washington for the observation decks. Top daytime activities include seeing the Campbell soup cans at the Andy Warhol Museum, boating on the Ohio River, or visiting the spas and resorts in Ligonier. At night, head to Hofbrauhaus for authentic German bierhall atmosphere (complete with oompah band) or sample the color-coded beer menu at Industry Public House. Ladies who prefer spirits can go for the personalized touch of award-winning Bar Marco: tell the bartender what you like, and they’ll craft a drink just for you. Just be sure to make it to Pamela’s Diner for chocolate-chip pancakes the next day!
Macau S.A.R., China
No one at the wedding will believe the bachelorette party destination was the Las Vegas…of the East. Macau is a former Portuguese colony on the south coast of China which in recent years has had a massive influx of casino operations, including Vegas favorites like the Venetian and MGM Grand. The ladies can roll with the big spenders in the VIP rooms, or try their luck at traditional Chinese fan-tan, before spending those winnings at the many designer shopping malls nearby. There is also plenty to see outside the casino: the Old Town has centuries of Portuguese architecture and Chinese settlements, along with traditional Macanese egg custard tarts. There’s no alcohol allowed on the gaming floor, but no one will go to sleep early with the after-hours parties in spots like the Lion’s Bar in the MGM, or the local all-night celebrations at Old Taipa Tavern or Che Che. Travel via hour-long ferry to Hong Kong for some beach time, or brunch at the top of the world at the 103rd floor Ritz Carlton hotel.