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It is that time of year again when weddings are coming up and bachelors and bachelorettes are making plans to get their soon-to-be grooms and brides sent off in a partying way. With a little help from the folks at Hilton, we have put together four great cities to hold your bachelor or bachelorette party that you might have overlooked.
Good music and great times are ahead of you and your party in Music City, USA. With great live music and club environments like Tootsie's, Layla's, The Stage and Honky Tonk Central, your nightlife will certainly be rollicking. Most of the restaurants have full bars but there are a few where you can BYOB for a corkage fee. The locally owned Southern Steak & Oyster Bar is a favorite, serving Southern fare with a heavy hand of steak and seafood. They have a great patio as well. If you have a larger group, the Rock Bottom Brewery can handle big crowds and has more of a traditional menu with burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizzas and entrees. They also brew their own beer.
There is always live music going on downtown starting as early at 11 A.M. Don't forget to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame, The redneck Comedy tour and the Nash Trash Tour, an hour-and-a-half pink bus ride with your hostesses Sheri Lynn and Brenda Kay (the Jugg Sisters) dishing on all the gossip on your favorite, "polyester, double-knit, sequined country music legends."
Featured Hotel:Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville
They can deliver decorations you've sent to the property to set the mood before the bride or groom-to-be arrives and have two queen studio suites that are perfect for bachelor(ette) parties. They also feature modified golf carts that work on a tip-only basis to get you around town.
"Austin Evening" by User:Argash. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Another great city for music and fun, Austin is also a great escape for your fluff, buff and puff spa trip. Check out the Milk and Honey Spa and the Jackson Ruiz Salon for your primp and polish. Both places offer group discounts.
Everyone in your entourage who does any kind of research is going to want to go to the Iron Cactus. Be forewarned, it is VERY popular with the tourist crowd. If you want to fit in with the local crowd, head over to El Naranjo for dinner. Max's Wine Dive, Easy Tiger and Searsucker are other good choices as well. Don't miss Rainey Street which is lined with bungalows that have been turned into bars and restaurants.
In terms of things to do, the list is nearly endless, but make a point of visiting one of the nation's oldest mini golf parks - Peter Pan Mini Golf. Hit up the New Movement Theater for improv shows and go old school with Pinballz Arcade. Ladybird Lake is right around the corner and has paddle boarding and kayaks to rent.
Featured Hotel: Hilton Austin
The Hilton Austin has 64 connecting rooms that are great for large groups. They have a pool on the eighth floor with stunning views and cabanas. Any packages that are sent ahead of time can be held at the front desk. Spring and fall are their busy seasons so book up to six months out to guarantee your reservation.
The windy city is often overlooked for a weekend away in favor of the shopping of New York and the night life of Miami. But there is a lot more to Chicago than pizza, hot dogs and Da' Bears. If you are thinking food in Chicago, you are definitely in for a treat. GT Fish & Oyster, Hub 51 (get there for one of their beer dinners), and Mercadito are all close by and worth the visit. If you are looking for authentic deep dish, get over to Lou Malnati's Pizzeria.
There is plenty to do in the Chicago Area including the Art Institute of Chicago, Michigan Avenue and of course Wrigley Field. And there is always the Skydeck of the Willis Tower. The folks over at Thrillist have put together the official "L" bar map so you can drink at every station along the way.
Featured Hotel:Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago-Downtown
Located in the River North area of Downtown Chicago, there are many restaurants/bars/clubs all within walking distance. They have an indoor pool and free breakfast buffet. Packages can be sent ahead of your stay for no charge within three days of your arrival. They even have some rooms with a kitchenette in case you are hosting a few folks for a quick pregame before you go out on the town.
OK, so New Orleans may already be on your radar. With the Big Easy always on someone's list for a party, why not a bachelor / bachelorette party? If you go, make sure you do Po-boys at Johnny's in the Quarter, Raw oysters at the stand-up bar at Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar, and beignets at Café du Monde.
There are tons of tours in New Orleans exploring the rich and fascinating history of the crescent city. There are all kids of ways to get there: by foot, bike, Segway or carriage. Avoid the tourists and soak in some authentic jazz and blues on Frenchmen Street and if the party animals in the French Quarter are not your style, check out a different breed at the Audubon Zoo.
Featured Hotels: The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel and Hilton New Orleans Riverside
The Roosevelt is within walking distance of almost everything and offers guests expansive rooms and suites, destination dining and the Waldorf Astoria Spa. Check out the rooftop garden terrace, pool or grab a drink from the bar.
The Hilton Riverside boasts a 90,000 square foot fitness center is with racquetball, squash courts, and basketball courts and the only indoor, air-conditioned tennis courts in New Orleans -- plus instructors, lessons, and clinics to improve your game. Massage therapists and personal trainers are on site, and the Impact Hair Salon offers a variety of services from styling and make-up to facials and manicures.
No matter what city you choose for your bachelor bachelorette party, there is fun to be had. Where did you have yours? Do you have any recommendations to share? Let me know in the comments below.
Tom is a writer in the Atlanta Area. He has traveled to all 48 continental states and almost every stop in the Caribbean. In...
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