Spending a few days away from your desk with the most important men in your life—that’s definitely the best part of a bachelor vacation. And the second best? No, not the “elite” strip club your buddy found through some deep Yelp/Foursquare/Reddit research. Second best is all the drinking. It’s basically a college do-over, only with cooler guys and higher-quality liquor. To that end, we’ve put together five bachelor party destinations famous for their local alcohol scenes. Pick your drink of choice and get ready for everyone to buy you round after round.
Bourbon in Lexington, KentuckyLexington, KY, USA
They call it “the front porch to the South,” and if you’ve ever seen a Southern-style wraparound patio, rocking chairs and all, you know the thing to do there is drink delicious bourbon. This town makes it easy: If your best man’s allergic to itinerary-making, he can just take you all on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a self-guided tour that winds through the Bluegrass Region past Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve distilleries, among others. Or stick closer to home at the historic James Pepper Distillery: It recently reopened after a huge renovation, and it includes a museum filled with the owner’s collection of Pepper memorabilia. When you aren’t taking in live music or backing a horse at the Keeneland Race Course, swing by a bourbon bar like Belle’s Cocktail House or Bluegrass Tavern (the latter serves 600 varieties). Even your hotel can keep the whiskey flowing: The Campbell House’s Bourbon Trail package includes a bourbon flight…with breakfast. Bless.
Tequila in Tequila, MexicoTequila, Jalisco, Mexico
No, it’s not just a margarita mix-in (or a means of getting everyone at the frat party sloppy). Good tequila, made from 100% blue agave (the cheap brands knock that down to 51%), is rich and tasty and perfect for sipping. If you already knew that, you’re a man who’d love a bachelor party in the scenic town of Tequila, Mexico. It’s in the Jalisco region, one of a handful of counties that can legally produce tequila (you know, like champagne having to be made in Champagne, France). Just outside of its charming downtown, orange-and-blue agave fields blanket the valley at the foot of rolling hills, and they all have tours and tasting rooms. La Rojeña, the oldest distillery in Latin America, is a favorite, and Tres Agaves’ gorgeous, just-built distillery is slated to open to the public by the fall, with a sun-splashed, architecturally awesome tasting room and patio. You’ll probably fly into Guadalajara, and from there you can take the Jose Cuervo Express into town (book the train’s VIP cart for an educational tequila tasting en route). Epic, si?
Beer in Denver, ColoradoDenver, CO, USA
Milwaukee’s known as Brew City, but the birthplace of Pabst joined the whole microbrewery craze a little late. Denver, on the other hand, has proven itself to be a beer Mecca; the city has more than 100 breweries in the metro area, and the state averages seven breweries per 100,000 denizens (so nobody’s going home thirsty). Start with the Denver Beer Trail, a guide to 35 local craft breweries, from long-time favorites to new additions. And pick your hotel strategically: The Source Hotel, opening this fall, will have a New Belgium brewery on the top floor and two (Mockery and Great Divide Barrel Bar) across the street; the very hip Ramble Hotel has nine breweries within a one-mile radius (plus a second outpost of NYC’s acclaimed Death & Co. bar—so your snobbiest groomsman can make friends with the mixologist). Taphouses make sampling easy, of course; two favorites are Falling Rock (with 75 brews to choose from) and First Draft (where you get to pour your own).
Rum in San Juan, Puerto RicoSan Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is responsible for exporting over 70% of the rum consumed here in the States, and on the ground there’s plenty of boozing to be done. Casa Bacardi offers tours, tastings, and special VIP packages, and Barrachina is the birthplace of the piña colada: All hail don Ramon Portas Mingot, who blended up the first glass of heaven in 1963. Mind not blown yet? Go ahead and visit La Factoria, the bar where—wait for it—the music video for “Despacito” was filmed. It may have been the song of last summer, but consider a visit to this cocktail-slinging salsa club reason enough to play that song on repeat. Stay in Condado, just across the bridge from Old San Juan, at a spot like AC Hotel San Juan Condado so you can sleep with the windows open and fall asleep (or nap off your hangover) to the sound of the ocean.
Wine in Yolo County, CaliforniaYolo County, CA, USA
Sonoma’s serene and Napa’s nice—definitely no hate. But they can sometimes feel like the purview of couples on romantic escapes…and giggling, pink-clad bachelorette parties piled into SUV limos. Yolo County, near Sacramento, offers chiller, cheaper vibes, with uncrowded wine tasting rooms and remarkably good wine; because of its rich soil and mild weather, the area yields awesome Syrah, Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Cab Sauv, and more. Head to the renovated Old Sugar Mill, a one-time sugar beet plant that now houses tasting rooms from 11 local wineries, or venture out to Berryessa Gap Vineyards or Matchbook Winery for hashtag-views. Yolo’s also a safe bet for your buddy who’d always prefer a brew; there’s a self-guided pub crawl you can do across three towns, adorably dubbed the “beer-muda triangle.” Really, your biggest challenge will be not hollering “YOLO!” all weekend until your friends hate you.