Bachelorette Party Trip Ideas

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2010

There was once a time when a few tequila shots and a synthetic party-store veil were all you needed to make a bachelorette party memorable. These days, though, brides don't have to settle for party buses, "Future Mrs. So-and-So" tank tops, and embarrassment at the local bar. Thanks to some amazing travel deals, it's entirely possible to hop on a plane with your best friends and get away for an entire weekend, all without feeling like you've made a significant dent in your savings.

Great food and drink, plus ample time to relax and unwind with your favorite ladies -- now, that's a party. Whether you're looking for a sophisticated city excursion, a dance-'til-the-sun-comes-up extravaganza, a low-profile adventure in the great outdoors, or some beachside R&R, we've created itineraries that will suit your every taste. Each one is jam-packed with hotel and restaurant suggestions, as well as plenty of places to party, shop, and relax -- there are even a few surprise pit stops along the way. So put down the fabric swatches and step away from the Excel spreadsheet. If there was ever a time to escape all the stress of wedding planning and let the weekend take you away, this is it.

New York City
Consider yourself an urban sophisticate? Hit the streets of downtown NYC for brunching, shopping, and, if you're lucky, a celebrity sighting or two.

The Big Apple is one of those cities that feels like 10 smaller cities rolled into one -- every neighborhood is completely unique, and there's so much to do and see. Especially exciting is lower Manhattan. To immerse yourself in its artsy scene, opt for the Hotel East Houston. If you're a design buff, you'll want to check out the Cooper Square Hotel.

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Hotel East Houston With its stylish decor and Bulgari bath products, this Lower East Side boutique hotel feels like a luxury spot. The rooms are small, but the rates are incredibly wallet-friendly for NYC. $199 and up 

The Cooper Square Hotel Rising high above the hip East Village scene, this ultra-modern hotel is a stark vision in glass with panoramic city views. Located between Union Square, SoHo, and the charming West Village, it's in a great spot. $325 and up

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Dig into the famous blueberry pancakes and "Southern breakfast" at Clinton Street Baking Co. If you're not there before 10 a.m., be prepared to wait outside for a bit -- on weekends, the brunch line tends to run all the way down the block!

Afterward, burn off breakfast with a shopping tour of SoHo (the neighborhood south of Houston Street). There, you'll find unique boutiques, art galleries, and endless retail stores ranging from H&M to Prada. You don't even have to buy -- just perusing the designer and vintage finds may be enough to satisfy your fashion lust. Stop for a unique sweet treat (or a shopping bag full) at Papabubble on Broome Street. It's a Willy Wonka-esque candy store where looking around is almost as fun as sampling the sugary goods.

After unwinding back at the hotel, change into your city best (like that new dress you bought at Topshop), and settle in for predinner cocktails at The Lobby Bar at the Bowery Hotel. The drinks are on the pricey side, but you're paying for the A-list-worthy ambience. Celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Robert Pattinson, and Lindsay Lohan are often spotted here.

Then head down the street for dinner at Daniel Boulud's new hot spot, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, where you can get a top-chef meal without paying top dollar. The restaurant looks like a glamorous beer hall, with black wood tables and monogrammed coasters, and serves up bar-food favorites with a sophisticated French-brasserie twist, like house-made sausage, burgers, and crab cakes. Finish the night with a dance-off at Libation, a 3,500-square-foot see-and-be-seen club whose deejays spin some of the best music around.

The next morning? Grab brunch at The Smith, where a hearty breakfast -- with a complimentary Bloody Mary, mimosa, or bellini -- is served up at a reasonable price. Hint: The potato waffle Benedict is a must-have.

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Aspen
The city's mountain setting and chill vibe are perfect for a laid-back bash. What's on the agenda? Food, relaxation, and quality time in the great outdoors.

Not exactly the hard-partying type? Aspen is the spot for you -- it's one of the few places in the country where you can get away from it all without being bored. Spend a couple days here and you'll feel like you took an extended vacation. Into the city's country-chic charm? Check out the Annabelle Inn. For a modern adventure, stay at The Sky Hotel.

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Annabelle Inn This charming, old-school inn feels like a B&B, with antique furniture, rustic decor, and afternoon tea. Still, the flat-screens in every room -- plus the outdoor Jacuzzis and fire pits -- lend a fresh, contemporary vibe. $119 and up 

The Sky Hotel The young and fun flock to this luxury hotel in downtown Aspen. It houses the 39 Degrees lounge, an indoor/outdoor space where you can grab a cocktail and hang by the pool. $185 and up

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Upon arrival, take a morning hike on the Hunter Creek Valley trail. It's just a mile outside of Aspen and about 8.5 miles (translation: two to three hours) long. The scenic hike runs along the water and passes over several small bridges. You'll even spot some beaver ponds as you go. Don't worry if you're not exactly a hiking buff; this particular trail is more picturesque than it is challenging. Now that you've worked up an appetite, grab a light, Mediterranean-flavored lunch on the outdoor patio at Wild Fig. The vibe is that of a European brasserie -- make sure to check out the comprehensive wine list. In the afternoon, truly unwind with back-to-back treatments at Remede Spa at the St. Regis Aspen. You'll want to spend hours at this luxe spot to ensure that you'll be able to enjoy the oxygen lounge, the steam spa, and the waterfall. The pampering is pretty serious -- there are complimentary Champagne and truffles with your treatment. If you're up for a splurge, opt for the Wedding Party Wellness package, which includes a completely customized body wrap, a massage, and a manicure and pedicure.

Afterward, head downtown to stroll the myriad shops. While you're browsing, grab a freshly made fruit pastry and a hot cup of joe from Main Street Bakery & Cafe, a local favorite.

Enjoy dinner at the popular Syzygy restaurant, where you can sample foods like elk tenderloin. There are two separate dining rooms, one that boasts expansive views of Aspen Mountain, and another with eight private booths that feels like a metropolitan jazz club. Speaking of jazz, you'll want to stay for a drink or two after dinner to get in on the music; the restaurant turns into a club after 10 p.m.

The next morning, check into an early yoga class at 02 Aspen, a mind and body studio. If you're not into om-ing, don't let it stop you -- there are on-site shopping and spa services, too.

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Las Vegas
Indulge each of your guilty pleasures at this desert oasis: dining at four-star restaurants, lounging in style by the pool, and partying 'til the sun comes up.

Guys have been celebrating their bachelor parties here for years -- and now it's your turn. There are really only two ways to see this decadent, over-the-top playground: flashy and stimulating or glamorous and understated. For the first kind of experience, you'll want to stay at the Encore. The latter? Check yourself into the Mandarin Oriental. The city will take it from there.

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Encore at Wynn Las Vegas Centrally located on the Strip, this hotel/casino is home to a high-end shopping center, a serene spa, and parlor-style gaming. The best part? A big suite is only a few hundred dollars a night. $229 and up

The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas With its sustainable modern design, the Mandarin Oriental is a true escape from the frenetic pace of Sin City. It's also prime real estate, located in the new CityCenter complex, with views of the Strip from its lobby. $495 and up

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Start the day with a Champagne brunch at Simon at Palms Place, located in the Palms's new luxury tower. The sophisticated space is sleek and eco-friendly, with a visible greenhouse where herbs and micro-greens are grown. Brunch is served Vegas style (all you can eat), and the options range from standard breakfast-buffet fare like eggs, bacon, and pancakes to lunch options such as sushi and sandwiches. There's even a Bloody Mary bar where you can whip up your own spicy midmorning cocktail!

Spend the rest of the morning poolside at the Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace. Unlike some of the wild-and-crazy Vegas pool parties, the scene here is quieter and more upscale, with cabanas, frozen towels, Evian spritzers, and a mojito cart.

When you're ready to get out of the blazing desert heat, browse the Fashion Show, a shopping center that houses an endless array of retail shops, from Michael Kors to Betsey Johnson to Banana Republic.

After a late-afternoon nap, head to Lavo, an all-in-one spot where you can eat, drink, and dance. Designed to look like an ancient European bathhouse, it's both an Italian restaurant and a nightclub. There's a gorgeous terrace overlooking the Strip, several lounge spaces, and a high-energy dance floor above the dining room. Next, check out Peepshow at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, where lavish sets and costumes are punctuated by burlesque dancers performing choreographed stripteases.

Still have energy? The good thing about Vegas is that there's always something to do. For late-night dancing and good music, go to Haze Nightclub at Aria, where a wild visual show is projected onto huge screens.

In the morning, ease your hangovers with a "Hurts So Good" deep-tissue massage at the Rock Spa at the Hard Rock Hotel. The treatment will help you heal from your night of excess before heading home.

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Tulum
The exotic, inexpensive locale is as close to paradise as it gets. Explore the ruins, throw back a margarita, and soak up the sun in the Caribbean sand.

Relaxation, seclusion, serenity -- you get the idea. This isn't the Mexico of spring-break fame. Close to home yet worlds away in culture and beauty, it's the place to go for fun on the beach. Plus, it'll satisfy your craving for total escape before the big day. To stay close to the action, Om Tulum is for you. For a more authentic experience, the Ana y Jose hotel can't be beat.

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Om Tulum Cabanas and Beach Club The gardens, coconut trees, and tropical flowers that surround this beachfront hotel make for a tranquil setting. With only nine cabanas, each with a balcony or deck, it'll feel like you have the place to yourself. $115 and up

Ana y Jose Charming Hotel & Spa This luxury boutique hotel has just 23 rooms and cottages. With pool, spa, and beach at your fingertips, it's the perfect spot to take in the beauty of Tulum. $278 and up

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You really can't visit Tulum without exploring the historic Mayan ruins, relics of the temples and stone structures that were once the foundation of this walled city; they date as far back as the sixth century. Bring your camera!

After leaving the site, you'll find the Tulum ruins bazaar, a marketplace where local vendors sell parapes, silver jewelry, blankets, and other one-of-a-kind Mexican and Mayan goods. If you want to bring back an authentic souvenir of your weekend, this is where you'll get it -- and for a steal. The vendors actually expect to be bargained with, so now's the time to bring your best skills to the table.

Getting hungry? Stop for a taste of Mexican soul food at El Tacoqueto. It's not your average hole in the wall, but the experience is totally worth it: When you walk in, you'll be directed toward the kitchen, where several different delicious-smelling traditional stews are simmering in giant pots on the stove. You simply point to which one you'd like, and they bring it to your table, along with chips, homemade salsa, and fresh juice. In the afternoon, hang out at your hotel's beach, and then pop over to The Tequila Bar at La Zebra for happy hour -- try the Zebra Margarita. Dinner is at Hechizo, where you can get international cuisine in an upscale setting. The menu changes daily, so you know the food is fresh.

End the night with the beach dance party at Mezzanine. On Friday nights they host "Fiesta en la Playa," where guest deejays from around the world spin house music. It's all outdoors, so you'll be under the stars until the wee hours of the morning. Don't stay out too late, though -- you won't want to miss the early-morning snorkel excursion with Manzano Tours. You'll explore the calm waters of the Yal-Ku Lagoon, as well as the underwater cave system of Rancho Santa Cruz -- be sure to bring an underwater camera. The gorgeous clear-blue waters and majestic rocks make it an experience you and your girlfriends will always remember.

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