Best Budget-Friendly US Destinations To Celebrate A Bachelor Party

It's hard to say the phrase "bachelor party" without cracking a smile. Yes, before a wedding, the groom is basically expected to round up his best buds, crack open some drinks, and hit the town with reckless abandon. But "the town" doesn't have to be where you live. You can find exciting nightlife in almost any city in the US, and a bachelor party can be a perfect excuse to change scenery.

Better yet, you don't have to break the bank to meet up in an unfamiliar city and party hard. Destinations like New York and Los Angeles are famously expensive — not to mention crowded and hard to book — but there are plenty of affordable American cities with blissful weather, feisty entertainment, and male-centric day trips. Many claim sizable airports with direct flights and low fares. This may be a relief if your wedding budget has gotten, er, pricey.

The bachelor party is also evolving, and the options for bro-ey bonding are more diverse than ever. All of these places will provide the booze and festive company of a traditional last hurrah, but you can also find cultural events, regional cuisine, and outdoor excursions. It's your bachelor party, after all, and whether you prefer champagne rooms or gastropubs, rowdy limo rides or vintage arcade games, there's a place to find it, and for a reasonable price.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sin City is the granddaddy of bachelor-party destinations, and all you have to do is step out of your hotel room for the manly mayhem to start. Browse the blackjack tables, puff a cigar indoors, and sip some scotch — which is often free, if you're in a casino and visibly playing games. Harry Reid International Airport offers cheap, direct flights from all over the country, and the city is remarkably compact; a taxi or monorail trip will get your entourage to any resort in a matter of minutes.

Vegas veterans know how to snag amazing deals on shows and VIP service, especially for groups. The most colorful quarter of the city is also its least expensive: Fremont Street is the "original" Vegas, and age-old venues like the Golden Gate Hotel and Golden Nugget Casino have been entertaining guests for generations. They're low-maintenance, a fraction of the price of The Strip, and Fremont Street is mostly for pedestrians, so you can sip your Fat Tuesday cocktail anywhere you please.

This part of Nevada is also an outdoorsman's dream. You can easily hike the eye-popping rock formations of the Valley of Fire, or book an ATV tour around Lake Mead. Gun clubs and ranges are all over this corner of the desert, with whole arsenals of high-caliber firearms. Las Vegas was built on tourism, so activities are easy to reserve and packed with bargains.

New Orleans, Louisiana

They don't call it "The Big Easy" for nothing. Bourbon Street is one of the most beloved party districts in the United States, and you can't throw a guitar pick without hitting a blues club. Music pours out of every door and window, and the vintage architecture of the French Quarter will transport you to the sultry atmosphere of the Jazz Age.

All major cities connect to Louis Armstrong International Airport, and the "Vieux Carré" (old neighborhood) is loaded with affordable hotels. For groups of friends, downtown New Orleans is easy to get around on foot, so you can think twice about renting an expensive car. Budget-seekers should avoid major holidays like Mardi Gras and New Year's Eve. Trust us: You'll find plenty of live bands and action-packed street life in New Orleans any night of the year. Foodie bachelors will also eat to their heart's content, thanks to the hundreds of Cajun, Creole, and fusion restaurants.

You and your friends can also explore the watery landscape around New Orleans. Arrange a fishing trip in Lake Pontchartrain, tour crawdad shacks along the coast, or even watch gators come out in the bayou twilight.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Giddy-up, bachelor! Scottsdale is basically a Wild West town designed by hotel developers and golf enthusiasts. With its flawless blue skies and moderate winters, Scottsdale is a magnet for snowbirds looking for relaxation and spicy Southwestern food. It also makes the perfect setting for a bachelor party.

Cowboy culture is everywhere, especially in Old Town Scottsdale, where you can buy authentic Stetsons and spurts from local stalls. The neighborhood is laid out like the set of a John Wayne movie, complete with saloons and barbecue joints. But Old Town is surrounded by top-notch resorts, where spa treatments and rooftop pools are the norm. Closer to the canal, you'll find rows of bars and restaurants with wide walkways and atmospheric lighting, making it perfect for group selfies (and a safe walk back to your room).

Scottsdale is perhaps most famous for its golf scene, and players travel from all over the world to sample these grassy courses in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Luckily, it's easy to get here, thanks to Sky Harbor International Airport. This city is ringed with spectacular scenery; follow up a quick nine with a hike on Camelback Mountain, a drive to the Superstition Mountains, or just beeline to the taqueria for some authentic mezcal.

Miami Florida

It's hard to beat the Sunshine State for wild good times, and Miami is Florida's urban heart. Miami International Airport is one of the biggest hubs in the country, making it an easy rendezvous point for buddies coming in from different cities.

Miami has lots of public spaces to explore, like the boardwalk, the South Pointe Pier, and the pastel-colored Art Deco Historic District. The high-rise-studded skyline is spectacular, especially when viewed from Miami Beach, whose pristine sands extend nine miles along the turquoise ocean. Miami specializes in outdoor lounging, with weather that varies from pleasant to divine. You can also hire a boat without much trouble, or organize a range of activities on the water, from salt-water fishing to snorkeling the reefs of Biscayne National Park.

The city's specialty is nightlife, with throbbing dance clubs and cocktail-slinging cabanas open until the wee hours. The dining scene is a spicy mix of Southern, Cuban, and other Caribbean fare. (You can also find smoothies and plant-based options; this is the birthplace of the South Beach Diet). There are scores of hotels and AirBnBs to choose from, catering to every budget, and you can find hand-rolled cigars and white fedoras on almost any corner.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philly has history, cheesesteaks, and lots of attitude, and there's plenty here to entertain a bachelor and his cohort. Philadelphia International is a well-connected airport, and you can hop a train and ride downtown in less than an half-hour. Center City is walkable and easy to navigate, and it's packed with sights: The Benjamin Franklin Museum, Independence Hall, and, yes, the Liberty Bell. History buffs could spend a whole weekend strolling the narrow street of Old City — and grabbing local beers along the way.

First-timers usually hit up South Street, an eclectic row of shops, art galleries, bars, and restaurants. Reading Terminal Market is an indoor bazaar bustling with shops and eateries, and travelers have browsed these stalls since 1893. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is overflowing with paintings and sculptures of all movements, including Picassos and Van Goghs, but you don't even have to step inside to sprint up the staircase and pose with the Rocky Balboa statue.

Regardless of the season, Philadelphia is hosting some kind of first-class sporting event, and local fans are diehard. Catch the 76ers at the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center, or the Eagles at the Lincoln Financial Field.

Nashville, Tennessee

Put on your dancin' shoes. Nashville is the capital of country music, and songwriters travel from far and wide to perform for local audiences and lay down tracks in the city's many recording studios. For a bachelor who loves folk, bluegrass, and Southern rock, there is no better place in America to catch up-and-comers live.

The Music City also boasts a beautiful, well-preserved downtown with lots of decently priced hotels. Most visitors spend their evenings on Lower Broadway, the historic entertainment district that cuts through the middle of town. You'll find many medium-sized stages for intimate concerts, along with a diverse array of bars and restaurants. Just south of downtown is Music Row, where some of the biggest names in music history have gathered to record their albums. Country fans can make their pilgrimage to such shrines as RCA Studio B, birthplace of the "Nashville sound."

Nashville is also the ideal starting point for Tennessee day-trips. The state is rich in historic sites, vineyards, and state parks, and you don't need to drive far to find them.

Austin, Texas

Austin is widely considered one of the hippest cities in the country, thanks to its robust music scene, the SXSW Film Festival, and Dirty Sixth, a half-mile-long street lined with bars and clubs. The festive, come-as-you-are atmosphere screams "bachelor's party," and most big cities have direct flights to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Reasonable hotels are scattered across the Texas capital, and great eateries are everywhere, serving Texas-sized portions of steak and pecan pie.

The must-see neighborhood is Red River Cultural District, which hosts a nightly bonanza of live bands, rotating festivals, and block after block of cool bars. No two nights are the same here, and a bachelor could spend a long weekend just hopping from one concert to the next.

As diverting as Austin is, most visitors can't resist driving the 90 minutes to San Antonio to check out the Alamo. The Texas Hill Country is also replete with caverns, canyons, and watering holes, if your crew is up for a day trip. A favorite pastime: "tubing" on the nearby San Marcos River.

Portland, Oregon

This town is full of bumper stickers proclaiming, "Keep Portland weird," and locals have done their best to keep that oath. The largest city in Oregon has long been a promised land for artists, nomads, and off-beat entrepreneurs, and if you want to celebrate your bachelorhood with craft beer and live garage rock in a local club, Portland is the spot.

Portland does require a little more preparation than other cities: Reaching the airport usually requires at least one transfer, and the city does get a whopping 36 inches of rain every year, so pack a slicker. But there are plenty of affordable hotels in the city, and Portland is among the most pedestrian- and bike-friendly metros in the country. The city boasts about 70 breweries to date, with more IPAs on tap than a bachelor could sip in a week.

Visitors to Portland are usually itching to stop into the colossal Powell's Books, and the city is thick with art galleries and knickknack shops, which should occupy a bachelor and his friends during the day, no matter what the weather. But Portland is surrounded by beautiful natural spaces, including the epic Mount Hood. Given some clear skies, the outdoor possibilities are endless.

Denver, Colorado

Denver International Airport is the busiest hub in the Rocky Mountains, and for most travelers, the Mile-High City has become a gateway to America's tallest peaks. Rent an SUV and head for the hills, where world-class hiking, biking, snowboarding, and white-water rafting await. Colorado is one giant playground for outdoorsy bachelors, and you and your friends are only an hour away from the Mount Blue Sky trailhead or the undulating terrain of Golden Gate Canyon.

But you can also stay in Denver, either at the end of the dusty days or for the whole trip, because the state's sprawling capital has plenty to offer. A special light-rail line takes you directly from the airport to the city's center, and hotel rates are competitive. Denver was one of the early testing grounds for independent breweries, and there are well over 100 to choose from. The downtown area has lots of dining and entertainment, and it still leans into its cowboy roots. Colorado was also a pioneer in legalizing recreational marijuana, and local distributors have become a major tourist draw.

Denver is a feisty sports town. Bachelors may luck out and score tickets to a Broncos game at Empower Field; if not, there are plenty of sports bars for watching with locals.

San Diego, California

Beaches, boats, tacos, and surfing — San Diego is an easy city to love, especially if you're traveling with a pack of sun-loving friends. If you enjoy chilling by the ocean, this is the place to do it: The San Diego coastline is a dynamic mix of sandy stretches, scenic bluffs, and sailboat-punctuated bays, all the way down to Mexico. Board rentals are easy to arrange, along with every other imaginable watersport.

At first glance, San Diego isn't a "cheap" city, and many penny-pinching bachelors may write it off. But if you want to throw your party in California, San Diego has both a busy international airport and far better hotel rates than Los Angeles or San Francisco. The city is easier to navigate than its larger cousins, and if you want to avoid renting a car, a trolley system runs throughout San Diego County.

Once you've visited the art-infused Balboa Park and taken in a mythic Pacific sunset, head to the Gaslamp Quarter, one of the most beloved party districts in the Golden State. The historic heart of San Diego serves up top-notch dining, busy pubs, and multiple comedy venues, all within a walkable few blocks. This neighborhood is also crammed with reasonable accommodations, making it a natural place to crash.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

It's easy to fall under Santa Fe's spell: The city is famous for its tan-colored architecture, which is modeled on the adobe dwellings of New Mexico's Indigenous peoples. Everywhere you look, evergreen trees and stucco walls blend with the desert hills, like the set of a Sergio Leone movie. In the middle, the narrow streets become a maze of shops and cantinas, looking much like it did in the early 1600s.

Most tourists fly into Albuquerque International Sunport, which is a little over an hour's drive from downtown Santa Fe, making this town the farthest on our list from a major airport. You can almost always find an affordable hotel within walking distance of the central plaza, and local restaurants serve all kinds of gourmet Southwestern dishes and top-shelf tequila. The atmosphere is Santa Fe is relaxed; it's a great place to roam around with friends and rustle up local characters.

It's also a springboard to outdoor adventure, thanks to the surrounding mountains. Santa Fe already stands 7,000 feet above sea level, and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range climbs even higher. This makes for outstanding slopes in the winter, thanks to Ski Santa Fe, as well as epic mountain biking in the warmer months. Wallet-savvy bachelors can also organize desert hikes any time of year, which is great for groups and just about free.

Kansas City, Missouri

On a map, Kansas City may seem like a sleepy Midwestern town, but this city has a rollicking history of gambling, bootlegging, and speakeasies. Today, Kansas City is still home to multiple casinos, and the revitalized downtown is packed with breweries, especially along E. 18th Street. You can also mosey through the Power & Light District, where scores of bars and restaurants await the hungry bachelor. The pride of Kansas City is its barbecue, and you could spend days feasting on half-racks at local rib joints.

Kansas City International Airport is well connected, and downtown KC is compact and easy to walk around. Three of the city's finest attractions are housed in the same complex: The American Jazz Museum exhibits the history of the genre, and the adjacent Blue Room is a concert hall that draws some of the finest musicians in the world. Then head next door for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which pays tribute to world-class African-American players in the years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.

Finish your day at Westport, the neighborhood famous for its gastropubs and inventive eateries. Westport is the city's oldest district, and it's also a fashionable area for bachelors to wander around and slake their thirst.

Louisville, Kentucky

Most of us can barely hear the word "Kentucky" without filling in "Derby," "Bourbon," or "Fried Chicken." After all, the state excels in all of these things, and they have left a profound mark on American culture. The easiest way to enjoy them? Fly into Louisville Muhammed Ali International Airport.

The Kentucky Bourbon Trail winds its way through the state, with an official welcome center based in Louisville's Frazier History Museum. The historic Whiskey Row entertainment district houses shops and the headquarters of Old Forester Distilling Co. within a row of attractive brick facades. Louisville is a great home base for touring regional distilleries, where your party can learn the art of bourbon-making, browse aging barrels, and sample spirits to your heart's content.

Bachelors may coordinate their visit around the Kentucky Derby, but you don't have to come on the first Saturday in May to enjoy mint juleps and equestrian racing: The Churchill Downs racetrack hosts regular events throughout the year, and thrifty bachelors will find both cheaper admission and more elbow room in the stands.

Finally, baseball fans will flock to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, which not only displays the history of America's iconic sports equipment but boasts a 120-foot sculpture of a wooden bat leaning against the building.