Make a Night of It
Forget the elaborate Vegas trip. When you’re ready to celebrate your singlehood one last time, there are plenty of creative excursions right here in New England that offer fun, bonding, and, yes, a little debauchery for every kind of bachelor and bachelorette.
For the craft-beer aficionado…
Brew-Touring Through Boston
Your ideal Saturday involves a pint of locally brewed IPA and good conversation, but the thought of spending your last night of freedom in a crowded bar makes you break into a preemptive sweat. Instead, book a customized excursion through Boston Brew Tours, which takes groups into area breweries both legendary (Harpoon, Sam Adams) and new (Idle Hands, Night Shift). A typical night includes a sampling of 15-plus beers and, naturally, a designated driver (617-453-8687, bostonbrewtours.com).
EAT: Round out the evening with your own snack-and-beer crawl down Congress Street, starting with crispy oysters and a Maine Beer Co. pale ale at seafood specialist Row 34 (617-553-5900, row34.com), followed by a few wood-fired pizzas and Pretty Things’ Jack D’Ors at Pastoral (617-345-0005, pastoralfortpoint.com). Top it off with late-night fried chickpea bites, Korean barbecue wings, and a Peak Organic pilsner—or two—at Tavern Road (617-790-0808, tavernroad.com).
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STAY: Digest overnight at the Boston Harbor Hotel (617-439-7000, bhh.com). Its recently renovated in-house restaurant, Meritage, excels at bloody marys—which is good news since you’ll need more than one the morning after.
For the retail addict…
A Private Shopping Party
Two birds, one bachelorette: A private shopping party brings your honeymoon wardrobe—and all of your best friends—to you. Covet + Lou, the new e-commerce and personal-styling venture from Stel’s vet Tina Burgos, will tailor a selection of cool-girl clothing and accessories—warm-weather vacation gear, rehearsal-dinner frocks—to your needs (262-951-0985, covetandlou.com). Possible finds include Giejo mix-and-match swimwear, a pretty Vanessa Bruno dress, and tops from the cult-worshipped Ace & Jig. Girlier girls might try Crush Boutique, which offers bachelorette shopping parties at home and in its two Boston locations, with a focus on special-occasion accessories (617-720-0010, shopcrushboutique.com).
STAY: Sift through the racks in a room at the rock ’n’ roll–themed Verb Hotel, an Elkus Manfredi Architects–designed spot in the Fenway (855-695-6678, theverbhotel.com)
EAT: Order room service from the Verb’s Hojoko, a soon-to-open (at press time) Japanese pub run by O Ya’s Tim and Nancy Cushman, and let the South End wine shop Urban Grape deliver the bubbly (857-250-2509, theurbangrape.com). Post-shopping, venture out to Tiger Mama, an upcoming Fenway spot from chef Tiffani Faison that will serve up Asian-street-food-inspired fare and tiki cocktails.
For the adventurous athlete…
Clay Shooting at Addieville East Farm
A destination for Patriots players and PGA pros alike, Addieville East Farm, on more than 900 acres northwest of Providence, offers a 14-station sporting-clay course and plenty of space for pheasant and partridge hunting. Spend the day blasting clays made to simulate—no, not your mother-in-law!—bunnies and birds (401-568-3185, addieville.com).
STAY: Just a half hour from Addieville East Farm, the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel, a million-dollar renovation of a former Masonic temple, boasts sweeping views of the State House (401-919-5000, renaissanceprovidenceri.com).
EAT: Founded by the people behind some of Providence’s best eateries (XO Café, Ten Prime) and named, perhaps fittingly, after the Greek goddess known for turning men into animals, Circe Restaurant and Bar—within walking distance of the Renaissance—offers a generous cocktail list that almost begs for bad behavior (401-437-8991, circerestaurantbar.com). Could anything good come of its Elixir, a $180 special-occasion cocktail made with Louis XIII cognac? There’s only one way to find out.
For the relaxation seeker…
Serenity and Snowshoeing in Vermont
The bilevel, LEED-certified spa at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, a quick two-and-a-half-hour drive from Boston, offers the ultimate in pre-wedding pampering: The something-for-everyone menu includes a sports massage and the 100-minute-long Signature Experience, a scrub, wrap, and full-body rubdown using seasonal products derived from local farms. Post-treatment house-made macarons and cocktails in an outdoor Jacuzzi and sauna area mean you could (and should) linger for the whole day. Or you could work in a little physical activity and work off those macarons: The inn has an 18-hole golf course and is just half an hour from the more than 150 trails at Killington (888-338-2745, woodstockinn.com).
STAY: If the Woodstock Inn is booked, don’t fret: The spa is open to day guests, and you can instead stay overnight at the cozy 506 on The River Inn, which boasts rooms with water views and an excellent morning-after French toast with maple syrup from the family farm (802-457-5000, ontheriverwoodstock.com).
EAT: Arrange for a snowshoe expedition to a four-course dinner at the Woodstock Inn’s cabin on nearby Mount Tom, where a resort chef will cook for you and your pals before you head back to the hotel by headlamp.
For the hangover fan…
Doubling Down (or Not) at Foxwoods Resort Casino
The casino bachelor/bachelorette party is a classic for a reason: It’s simply impossible to spend a night at Foxwoods and not feel festive. But it needn’t be all blackjack and bottle service. If dancing on tables isn’t your thing, the resort’s retro-chic High Rollers bowling alley offers six VIP lanes, pool tables, and a 50-seat marble bar with snacks such as roasted-garlic-and-bacon pretzel bites. And even if you never make it to the casino floor, you won’t go home empty-handed: Foxwoods’ new upscale outlet mall will give you plenty of reasons to ante up, with more than 80 stores offering steep discounts (800-369-9663, foxwoods.com).
STAY: Book a suite at the resort’s Fox Tower, and unwind with a dip in the Zenlike spa’s indoor pool.
EAT: At the casino’s outpost of Boston favorite Red Lantern (860-312-8480, redlanternfoxwoods.com), prix-fixe menus for groups include three courses of broccoli tempura, Singapore street noodles, and pineapple bread pudding, and come with free entry into the on-site nightclub, Shrine (860-312-8888, shrinefoxwoods.com).
For the history and fitness buff…
Paddling the Charles River
What bride-to-be doesn’t yearn to see some of Boston’s most historical sites by water (while also giving her abs a serious workout)? From its Kendall Square launch, Charles River Canoe & Kayak leads 90-minute (or longer) private guided tours down the Charles River and into the harbor via kayak, canoe, paddleboat, rowboat, or stand-up paddleboard. (617-965-5110, paddleboston.com).
EAT: Opt for a pre- or post-excursion waterfront picnic, which CRCK will arrange in collaboration with a number of neighborhood restaurants (Redbones, EVOO). Or make your own post-paddle recovery plan and refuel with Café ArtScience’s “Skinny Burger”—it sounds healthy, at least—and steak frites (857-999-2193, cafeartscience.com).
STAY: Spend the night at the recently renovated Royal Sonesta Boston, which overlooks the Charles River and is close to Kendall Square’s hottest bars: Belly Wine Bar, if you fancy an interesting vintage (617-494-0968, bellywinebar.com); or Meadhall, if you’re looking for something hoppier (617-714-4372, themeadhall.com).