Bachelor/ette

How to Host a Healthy(ish) Bachelorette Bash

Admittedly, your bachelorette is hardly likely to be the healthiest experience of your life (a vacation that involves itinerary items like bar crawls galore, lounging poolside with mimosas at 10am, and trying all the fried food hardly screams "wellness retreat").

We've all been there. (It was awesome and then we had to go to work on Monday.) But there are a few ways to keep your bachelorette at the appropriate level of fun indulgence without letting all your health and wellness goals completely fall off the rails.

  • Schedule a group workout class as part of the festivities. It doesn't have to be taxing, but a good yoga, barre, or spin class can (1) work all those toxins out of your system, (2) give you an excuse to wear adorable matching t-shirts, and (3) totally balance out afternoon margaritas. If your whole group likes the idea, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, skiing, or another outdoor activity is a great way to see your destination and will keep you relatively healthy. (And if all your besties want to run a marathon, sure, go for it. But don't shanghai your bridesmaids into doing something super scary or uncomfortable for them.)
  • Everything doesn't have to be a hot mess the whole time. Saturday or Sunday morning can be spent sleeping, drinking raw juice, catching up with the girls, and getting mani-pedis if you so desire. You cannot measure a good weekend solely in the number of alcoholic units and calories consumed.
  • Do eat some real food. You will be hungry at 3am. It's a fact. A grocery run beforehand means you'll have Kind bars and hummus on hand, rather than chips and queso and late night Taco Bell. Pro tip: not eating before going out is a recipe to feel sick as dog the next day. It is not an effective dieting strategy.
  • Drink water, drink water, drink water ... Yes, and then drink some more water. Unless you're one of those people with a nalgene permanently in hand, hydration is key to surviving any good bachelorette weekend.
  • ... and dance, dance, dance. We once wore a fitbit during a bachelorette and were shocked to see the number of steps taken between midnight and 2am. (We may have then eaten chips and queso. Can't win them all.)
  • Get ready to take care of yourself when you get home. Once recovered, you're going to be super responsible for a few days -- take advantage of this and have your Equinox membership up to date. You'll be glad once you're back in fighting shape on Tuesday!

Beyond Hashtags: Social Media Rules for a Bachelorette

Welcome to the Tough Love Edition of Bach Beb. Any bachelorette worth the Choos on her feet knows if it’s not on Instagram it didn’t happen and there’s no point in checking in on Facebook unless you’re somewhere fabulous (#HumbleBrag, amirite?). However, we’re nothing if not ladies and ladies follow rules. So before you find yourself in the middle of a Flipagram faux pas, put the iPhone down and get in line because I don’t want to have to write a “How to Get Out of A Social Media Mess” for you party girls- okay maybe I do, but consider this your warning post.

Let’s start with Instagram. It’s my personal favorite social media platform for a couple of reasons: You can check in at The Breakers, fake it with filters, hashtag #MyBFBach, tag the girls then share to Facebook all in one post. What’s not to love? Let me count the ways. Wardrobe malfunctions, forgetting to tag someone, the difficulty of scrubbing unflattering photos from the internet's everlasting memory …the list goes on…shall I? I didn’t think so. #PicsOrItDidntHappen has almost 13,000 posts, don’t land yourself on the trending page for the wrong reason.

Next up is Facebook. Instagram and Snapchat may be giving the ‘Book a run for its money, but Facebook is still the Grande Dame of social media. Are you looking for your first job? Perhaps looking to make a career jump? Hankering for a smidge of recognition from your peers? Allow me to put it bluntly: If you spent Halloween weekend at your bestie’s bachelorette party and pictures of you looking like Lindsay Lohan at 4:00 AM find their way onto Facebook (we know, it's just the lighting that makes you look like that), put yourself in timeout, Rook, because you lose. If any part of the scenario described above is even a remote possibility, I recommend that you leave your phone at home for the night.

Finally, let’s talk Snapchat. Snapchat is the spunky newcomer to the social media crowd, and much like the Little Sis you couldn’t shake your sophomore year, there’s no escaping it. Your friends are on it, your coworkers are on it, I’d be willing to bet that some of your parents are on it. Moral of the story? Take the reputation-obliterating shame of an Instagram or Facebook post, add video capabilities plus the irresistible fact that you’ve got 15 seconds to embarrass yourself and you my friend have effectively shot yourself in your perfectly pedicured foot.

I’ve posted my share of questionable pics in my day, but luckily there were no embarrassing drinking games involved. Here’s my advice to you bachelorette babies: be smart. Save everything, and wait until Sunday brunch to hit "send" or "post."

Peace, love and champagne-

Bach Beb

Guest Post: 5 Best ... Places for (Bachelorette) Cocktails in New Orleans

We love many things about New Orleans, including the hopping bar scene. But where to go if what your bachelorette bestie wants is less Purple Drank on Bourbon Street and more, well, actual cocktail? Here are five places that should satisfy even the most refined of palates:

Top 5: Cocktail Bars in New Orleans

By Katie Skrzek of Trazee Travel

New Orleans is known for many things: Mardi Gras, rich Creole cuisine, a vibrant music scene and a thriving bar culture. There are plenty of spots to grab a beer or a frozen alcoholic drink, but you can’t beat a classic New Orleans cocktail. Stop by one, or all, of these iconic cocktail bars on your next trip to New Orleans.

Bar Tonique

A favorite among locals, Bar Tonique boasts an impressive wine and beer list, craft cocktails and even “temperance drinks” for those not partaking. The bartenders are true pros. Order: popular for their whiskey selection, sample an Old Fashioned or a Sazerac.

The Carousel Bar & Lounge

Located in the Hotel Monteleone, the famous Carousel Bar & Lounge is a favorite among locals and tourists. The 25-seat carousel bar is the only rotating bar in the city. Order: a Vieux Carré, the classic New Orleans rye drink.

French 75 Bar

Housed in the building of the famed Arnaud’s restaurant, French 75 is perennially known as one of the best cocktail bars in New Orleans. The lounge and cigar bar is perfect for an intimate evening. Order: the bar’s namesake beverage, the French 75.

Sylvain

This charming restaurant with a beautiful courtyard also happens to serve up some of the French Quarter’s most elegant cocktails with quirky names and unique ingredients. Order: Police and Thieves, made with rum, lime, ginger and herb liqueurs.

Tujague’s

Opened in 1856, this historic bar serves classic and new classic cocktails. It was a favorite spot of John D. Rockefeller and Cole Porter. Order: the Rose Tattoo, the flavorful and sweet cocktail inspired by a Hurricane and named after the Tennessee Williams’ play.

Guest Post: Cowboy Bachelor(ette) for Your Most Outdoorsy Friend

 

Guest Post

A handy solution for your most mountain person-y friend's bachelor/ette from our friends at Trazee Travel.

P.S. Apologies for the lack of posting recently -- we were both celebrating that #lovewins and dealing with some technical issues. We're now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

 

Throw A Cowboy Bachelor(ette) Party at The Ranch at Rock Creek

By Matt Rimer of Trazee Travel

Amongst the rolling mountains and endless open prairie of Philipsburg, Mont., lies the perfect location for a secluded bachelor party — The Ranch at Rock Creek. While designed to look like a homestead of the 1800s, the Ranch is equipped with all of the expensive luxuries of the present.

Its living accommodations span every price range — from modest options like the main granite lodge and cabins, to the luxury private homes and even an old barn. However, most bachelor groups come for the dozens of bonding activities like fly-fishing at the river, mountain biking, hitting the hot tub and pool or checking out one of the numerous shooting ranges for some much needed stress relief after a long year of wedding planning. In the winter, groups can find snowmobiling, skiing and snowcat tours among the many cold-weather adventures.

And, after it’s all over, friends can relax in the famous Granite Spa for a massage or some steam room meditation. When it comes to eating at The Ranch, guests can choose from options like the fine dining in the Granite Lodge or the open-air, ranch-style barbecue at the Blue Canteen, for example.

For those looking for a one-stop shop, The Ranch hosts extravagant but simple, rustic weddings. This means that bachelor and bachelorette parties can run their course at the same location before converging for the final event.

Guest Post: Nashville Destinations for a Bachelorette

Bachelorette tips in one of our very favorite cities -- Nashville (fondly known as Nashvegas)

Host a Bachelorette in Nashville

By Trazee Travel

Toast the bride-to-be in Nashville. The Music City provides options for every type of bachelorette party. Put together an eclectic itinerary by checking out these spots.

blvd Nashville

This brunch spot doesn’t discriminate against those who can’t wake up in time for an early meal — Sunday brunch is served 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wine by the bottle is half off on Sunday.

Lonnie’s Western Room

This cozy karaoke spot is open daily until 3 a.m. Lonnie’s has an extensive song collection. Arrive early to ensure a short wait to sing. Keep in mind: The bar is cash only.

Pinewood Social

This trendy new space features dining, cocktails, bowling, bocce ball, a pool and outdoor space.

Ryman Auditorium

See a show at this National Historic Landmark and Nashville institution. Many artists have recorded live performances here, including Johnny Cash and Neil Young.

Stock-Yard Restaurant

One of the top steakhouses in Nashville, Stock-Yard Restaurant can host groups of 10 or more in one of its 16 private dining rooms. Tip: The restaurant offers complimentary shuttle service. Call ahead to reserve.

Suzy Wong’s House of Yum

Every Sunday, Suzy Wong’s offers up a Drag’N Brunch, featuring live drag entertainment, two-for-one mimosas and an Asian-inspired menu.

The Big Bang

Visit this dueling piano bar for one of its nightly shows that combines music, comedy and audience participation. Bachelorette parties of all sizes can be booked in advance on the website.

Wild Horse Saloon

Enjoy free line dancing lessons in the three-level warehouse. The 66,000-square-foot venue offers special bachelorette party packages.

Guest Post: Las Vegas Clubs

We may have been busy in the South recently, but Vegas is perennial bachelor/ette favorite. The latest on the club scene there from our friends at Trazee Travel:

Clubbing Capital: Las Vegas

By Trazee Travel

Drai’s

Open for nearly a year, Drai’s is the work of Hollywood-producer-turned-hospitality magnate Victor Drai. Located at the boutique hotel, Cromwell, Drai’s is actually three venues wrapped up into one: a multi-level day club featuring a rooftop pool, an intimate after-hours venue and the two-floor nightclub, which is the only nightclub in Vegas zoned for fireworks. 2015’s residents include Quintino, Adventure Club and Starkillers.

Hakkasan

Recently named the third best club in the world, Hakkasan is a venue that goes beyond the typical mega-club experience. Five levels house a variety of rooms and areas, all with their own unique atmosphere. The main dance floor on the fourth level is where most of the action is, but if you want something more intimate, there is also the Lin Lin Lounge, which can function as its own room with a separate DJ or act as an extension of the main dance floor. The fifth-floor mezzanine offers a quiet view of the main floor from above, and if you’re getting hungry, there is also a restaurant and private dining room available. The club spares no expense for resident DJs, whose 2015 roster includes Above & Beyond, Tiesto and Steve Aoki.

LiFE

After dominating the Los Angeles and Miami hotel scene, SBE opened The SLS Las Vegas in 2007, complete with its premier mega-club, LiFE. Capable of holding 1,800 people on a tiered floor with 60-foot ceilings, SBE brought the old Sahara Theater back to life with three bars, 70 VIP tables, a rooftop pool, 460,000 LED pixels and a Funktion One sound system providing guests with a sonic and visual spectacle. This year’s residents include Eric Morillo, Fedde Le Grand and Steve Angello, who has worked  his Reflections residency at LiFE for the past two years.

Omnia

Two years after their first nightclub venture in Vegas, the Hakkasan Group just opened Omnia in Caesars Palace, taking over the space formerly occupied by Pure, one of the first upscale clubs in Las Vegas. At 75,000 square feet, Omnia is among the largest venues on the Strip, featuring an opera house-style main room, rooftop garden, lounge and mezzanine. Martin Garrix opened the club earlier this year, and the Hakkasan Group managed to poach Afrojack from Wynn Resorts for a 2015 residency.

After

If you’re looking for an alternative to the touristy spots on the strip, check out After, an after-hours club that caters to underground tastes. They made a splash on the Vegas club scene last year with their infamous “DJ Rules”, banning mainstream EDM in favor of a more authentic club sound.

Unique Activities and Themes for a Bachelorette Party

GUEST POST

By Kimberly Krol of Trazee Travel

Bridesmaids, listen up! It’s time to get creative: Themes and unique activities aren’t just for bridal showers anymore. Try incorporating them into your next destination bachelorette party as a way to sightsee with a twist.

Wine (or Beer) Tasting

Nearly every major destination will have local wineries or craft breweries. Spend an afternoon exploring and sipping.

Food Crawls

What’s the city you are visiting known for? Maybe it’s cupcakes, pizza, cheeses, bagels, or other gourmet delights. Head out on a mission to taste them all!

Dancing/Exercise Class

What’s the latest fitness craze in the selected destination? Get your sweat on at a local dance or exercise class and burn some calories as a group before a night of indulgent partying.

Spa Day

What group of girlfriends doesn’t like to be pampered? Take it a step further and get to know the city by finding a spa incorporating indigenous ingredients into treatments.

Fortune Telling

It’s pretty clear what is in the bride’s immediate future, but what about the bridesmaids? Or a year or two into wedded bliss? Visit a local fortune teller for a playful glimpse at what’s next.

Comedy

Laughter is the best medicine; help the bride shed the stress of wedding planning by catching a performance of a popular local comedian in the city you are visiting.

Karaoke

Or maybe your Mrs.-to-be is more musical. If so, find a super fun karaoke bar in the city for a night out. Maybe the bridesmaids can practice a rousing rendition of the couple’s wedding song?

Photo Shoot

Supermodel bride-to-be? Photo sessions are a fun way to get the group glammed up, and they can focus of any number of themes, plus they leave the bachelorette with lasting memories of her special weekend.

Scavenger Hunt

You know the bride well, so get crafty and create clues that incorporate both the destination of the bachelorette party and your friend. Teams will race to solve the clues and end up at a fabulous dinner, bar or other fun venue.

Slumber Party

End a busy day of sightseeing and fun with an old-fashioned slumber party — order room service, pop in a romantic comedy, pull out the board games, make some flirty cocktails and paint each other’s nails.

Favorite Winter Bachelorette Ideas

We've been gathering and brainstorming and checking our lists twice (sadly, no, we're not Santa Claus), and here they are: seven of our favorite ideas for your upcoming winter bachelorettes (YES, feel free to steal for any winter party or get-away.)

winterlandscape.jpg
  1. Find a cabin in the wintry woods or mountains, go skiing / snow shoeing / snow tubing (the amazing lazy option). Make sure you have a fireplace, loads of knitted sweaters, s'mores ingredients, and recipes for boozy hot chocolate (plus all the toppings) and spiked apple cider. (Check out this great set of ideas from Green Wedding Shoes.)
  2. Chase the Northern lights in a dogsled. Also known as an excuse to go somewhere where it's Christmastime all the time. Plus use our cabin tips above. (Best time to go this year? Around the spring equinox. Alaska, western Canada, Iceland, and northern Europe are the best places to go.)
  3. Schedule a private group figure skating class. Finally learn how to do a simple spin and look awesome on any group figure skating outing from now on. If you want to do something (slightly) more aggressive, rent out a rink for bridal party broomball. Or go very seventh grade and head to an ice or roller skating rink and jam to your favorite tunes from middle school.
  4. Speaking of competitive events, run a winter games challenge, complete with white elephant prizes. (ALSO great for a co-ed or joint bachelor-bachelorette party.) (Some ideas? Milk and cookies boat race, gingerbread house making competition, capture the flag plus snowball fight, and so on.)
  5. Head to a winter festival. The WSJ laid out some of the best (our personal favorite? You can go to the Miners & Trappers Ball in Anchorage, Alaska and see who wins the coveted Mr. Fur Face Award.)
  6. Pretend it's not winter -- have a tropical (Gilligan's Island? Luau?) themed bachelorette, complete with frozen daiquiris in hollowed out coconuts and any other cliches you can come up with.
  7. Actually escape winter. Go south and find a beach. (Preferably with a snowbird theme and plenty of pink flamingos.)

Friday Finds: DIY, Why to Say Yes to (Pretty Much) Everything, & more T. Swift

Lots of news: we got interviewed on our travel tips and tricks AND guest blogged on Bridesmaid for Hire about our tips for planning a great bachelorette. We're also posting new itineraries (Sonoma's up!) and there are many more updates on weekend trips coming soon (Nashville, Maryland's Eastern Shore, and NYC all on the docket).

And in between all that activity, we obviously found cool stuff for you:

Happy Friday!

 

Charleston Bachelorette & Our 5 Favorites

Pictures from our Southern road trip as we visited five of our favorites in Charleston.

Latest itinerary posted from Abby's bachelorette in Charleston! In celebration, and in case you're searching for a few more ideas for things to do in Charleston, five favorites that they didn't get to:

  • The biscuits at Hominy Grill. And the John Dalys. And the fried green tomatoes. And ... okay, actually everything there.
  • Running down King Street, Rainbow Row, and the Battery -- especially early on a weekend day when no one else is around. Peaceful and beautiful. (Then go visit the Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings nearly year-round.)
  • Late night eats at Butcher & Bee -- 100% worth the drive out to North Charleston when you really need a snack at 2am.
  • The "dynamite" food at McCrady's. Possibly the best dessert ever ... topping off about five hours of amazing food. (Okay, we may have eaten our way through Charleston. But that's one of the best things about Charleston!)
  • Maybe not the point of a bachelorette -- but a plantation (especially in the late spring) and Charleston's historical district are actually super cool and are worth flying in a day early or leaving a day late to go see. (P.S. See if you can get Lauren's great aunt as a tour guide. She's the best.)
  • Cheating with a sixth -- drive just outside of Charleston and enjoy exploring the roadside stands and scenery along the way.

Any great things in Charleston we missed? Let us know in the comments or drop us a line at hello@mybestfriendsweekend.com.