On a budget or not, the guide to the best bachelor parties in Vegas

Your best bro has bitten the bullet – he’s popped the question and even set a date. The only thing left to do before he joins the world of smug marrieds is throw him a bachelor party. Not just any bachelor party. It has to be outrageous. It has to top the scale in awesomeness. And, it has to be, as Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother” would say, “legen…wait for it…dary.”

So naturally you’ve picked Vegas for your destination. Good choice. Bachelor parties in Sin City are guaranteed not to suck. You’ll never have to live down being “that” best man – the one who threw a bachelor party dud.

However, if you’re in charge of planning the big event, you may be feeling some pressure. Bachelor parties in Vegas generally fall in two categories: The “money is no object” or the “we’re still saving to buy wedding gifts (and we haven’t paid our rent yet)” kinds.

No matter which category you’re in, your groom will have an unforgettable sendoff. We’ve put together a list of bachelor party ideas for both scenarios. Whether you’re throwing caution to the wind or reigning in expenses, there are five key ingredients for any stag gathering. They are listed below, in order of increasing importance…that’s why “The Ladies” appears last.

 Manly pursuits in Vegas

The Manly Stuff

When it comes to bachelor parties, macho displays of strength and prowess are just par for the course. That’s a not-so-subtle transition to golf – as what could be better then whacking a ball around with a stick? Affluent bachelors should head to either Rio Secco or the Royal Links Golf Club. Both have courses renowned for their challenging layouts. But even better, you can take advantage of the Par Mates and T-Mates programs, respectively.  Not only will these sexy caddies help you shave some strokes off your game, but they’re just like ambassadors of fun out on the greens.

Thrifty bachelors can take a swing as well. The TaylorMade Golf Experience, located just south of Mandalay Bay on the Strip, is affordably priced. It has a cool two-tiered driving range as well as the Divine Nine short course that’s lit so you can tee off day or night.

There are two other manly pastimes to partake of in Vegas: Driving fast cars and shooting guns.

If your group of blokes has money to burn, book an Exotic Driving Experience, where you’ll be able to get behind the wheel of three exotic cars (Ferrari,  anyone?), or the Richard Petty Rookie Driving Experience, where you’ll learn to operate a V-8 NASCAR-style stock car and then take a few laps around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The budget bachelor party can satisfy their need for speed too while racing each other in electric 18-horsepower karts at Pole Position Raceway.

You can shoot ’em up at gun ranges all over Vegas. If you’re searching for an upscale atmosphere, Machine Guns Vegas is a state-of-the-art indoor gun range that boasts the look and feel of an ultra lounge. In addition to beginner’s instruction, they have “Femme Fatale” and “Seal Team IV” packages that are perfect for the hot shots in your group. The Gun Store, which offers a free shuttle service, can also meet men’s inner Rambo needs. One of their most popular packages is the “Pick 3,” which allows customers to select a combination of three guns to pull the triggers on – like a machine gun, rifle and handgun. Every package comes with a T-shirt and souvenir targets.

Food for bachelor parties in Vegas

The Food

Man like meat. This must have been the cavemen’s mantra for their protein-heavy diets. And to this day, nothing bonds guys together better than tucking into fine cuts of beef. There are so many excellent steakhouses in Vegas that you could spend a month here and eat at a different one each night.

Last week, Bazaar Meat by José Andrés opened at SLS Las Vegas. From the bull’s head that hangs on the wall (yes, it’s real – in fact, the bull’s name was Tsopelati and he came from Spain) to the exotic meats that line the restaurant’s display cases, you should have complete confidence that whatever you order will be of the utmost quality and prepared to perfection. It will be so good that you won’t care what you have to pay for it. Similarly, if price is of no concern, your bachelor party can indulge their palates with thick, juicy steaks at STK in The Cosmopolitan, Brand Steakhouse at Monte Carlo, N9NE Steakhouse at the Palms and Carnevino Italian Steakhouse at The Palazzo (where there’s a giant bronze bull statue).

Now, even if your pocketbook is squeezed, you don’t have to sacrifice taste. Several trendy restaurants cater to men and serve up killer steaks and burgers at a fraction of the price. Stop by The Pub at Monte Carlo, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace, Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The Quad or Joe Vicari’s Andiamo Italian Steakhouse at The D Las Vegas. If you’re at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, be sure to step into Mr. Lucky’s 24/7 and ask for the $7.77 “Gambler’s Special.” You’ll get a salad, a flat-iron steak, three shrimp and a mound of mashed potatoes. A fantastic deal!

Another idea for budget-busting bachelor parties is to take your groom to a food challenge. Here’s the plan: Make him stuff his face, and then if he fails, everyone else can polish off whatever remains. At Citizens Kitchen & Bar in Mandalay Bay, there’s the Ultimate Slider Challenge. Eat 24 sliders in 24 minutes and they’re free (otherwise the cost is only $40). Or go to McFadden’s Vegas at Town Square for the Big Daddy Burger Challenge. It’s $35 for a 3-pound hamburger, 2 pounds of fries and 1 pound of chicken wings. If you can finish all of this in 45 minutes, you’ll win a T-shirt…and your meal will be comped.

You can also enjoy “big” food at several restaurants. Pin-up girls at Pin-Up Pizza in Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino dole out 30-inch slices. Hooters Restaurant inside Hooters Casino Hotel has 10 chicken wings for $9.99 (or 50 for $42.99). Served by busty women in tanks tops and tight orange shorts, the wings come in several styles and with different hot sauces, like 3 Mile Island (warning: it’s nuclear) and 911 (meaning call the paramedics).

A buffet is another wonderful option for either cash-heavy or cash-strapped stag groups. Extravagance-seeking men should try the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace with its more than 500 daily offerings – including prime rib, king crab legs, oak-grilled lamb chops and handmade dim sum. Those minding their purse strings can have an awesome all-you-can-eat experience as well at the M Resort’s Studio B buffet, which comes with all-you-drink beer and wine.

Drinks for bachelor parties in Vegas

The Drinks

Speaking of drinks, luxury-minded bachelors should partake in the award-winning mixology program at Hyde Bellagio. Not only does the menu offer one-of-a-kind creations (like the Liquid Nitrogen Cocktail), but there are also some wildly unique (and expensive) bottle service packages. Ranging from $5,000 to $250,000, the options include everything from an alcohol parade with sexy girls, blaring sirens and flashing lights to enormous bottles of Champagne delivered by fantasy characters like Super Mario Bros., Superman and The Pink Panther, who slinks in while his signature tune plays.

Feeling thrifty? There are many bars in Vegas where you and your buds can drink to your heart’s content because the beer is dirt cheap. Check out O’Sheas Casino at The LINQ. A variety of Irish, European and domestic beers are available here, including special $3 drafts and $5 shots. Mr. Lucky the Leprechaun (aka Brian Thomas), the mascot of O’Sheas Casino, is often on hand to raise a toast or cheer with guests during a rollicking game of beer pong. Also in The LINQ, just across the street, you’ll discover the Tilted Kilt, where there are great “Hoppy Hour” specials along with cocktail waitresses in super short kilts and white knee-high stockings.

Rockhouse Las Vegas inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian | The Palazzo offers an amazing “All Day Open Bar” package, where you can knock back as much booze as you can handle. Rockhouse Las Vegas also has an affordable VIP package for groups that includes a personal beer pong table as well as a mini fridge stocked with six-packs of beer.

In addition, Double Barrel Roadhouse at Monte Carlo offers a “Hosted Bar” wristband on Friday and Saturday nights. It costs only $25 for unlimited drafts and well drinks imbibed between 10 p.m. and midnight. While your downing your drinks, you can watch the sexy DB Girls as they shake their stuff on the catwalks overhead.

Nightclubs and dayclubs in Vegas

The Clubs

Just like the “final four” during any prestigious playoff tournament in sports, there should be four top picks on your bachelor party’s short list when it comes to nightclubs. These will be the same no matter what your financial situation is.

And they are: XS at Encore, Hakkasan at MGM Grand, Drai’s Nightclub at The Cromwell and the new LiFE at SLS Las Vegas.

What may differ is how you enter these clubs. Without a doubt, you’ll have the easiest time and receive the most attention if your reserve a table and purchase a bottle service package.

This will not be cheap, but it’s worth the cost in terms of convenience and can be conducive to starting up conversations with the fairer sex. Generally speaking, bottle service at these clubs starts between $750 and $2,500 on a Friday or Saturday night. And there are an array of unusual “only in Vegas” packages that will take your partying to the next level. For example, Drai’s Nightclub has “Luxury Packages” that range from $5,000 – $15,000 and feature bottles of Dom Pérignon Luminous while their “Fire in Sky” package will allow you to push a button and detonate your very own fireworks show.

If you don’t have the means to book a bottle service package, your next best bet will be VIP/front-of-the-line admission. And if you can’t spring for that, don’t lose heart. Even though you may have to wait in line for a good long while, you’ll still get in. Or try this trick. Grab some women (five to 10 should suffice – the sexier they’re dressed, the better). Then head purposefully to the front of the line. Women are always a hot commodity at clubs, no matter what night it is. So if you show up with a gaggle of girls in tow, you may pass right through the velvet rope.

One more thing to keep in mind. If you throw your bachelor party between spring and early fall, when the temperatures are at their warmest, then Vegas’ dayclubs will be in session. Dayclubs are nightclubs that operate by the pool – except partiers will have even less clothing on. Everyone can afford to splash out for general admission at the dayclubs, but well-to-do men will want to reserve a daybed or cabana (the afternoon equivalent to bottle service at a table or booth).

All of the hotels mentioned above have equally impressive daytime components. So your short list should read: Encore Beach Club, Wet Republic at MGM Grand, Drai’s Beach Club at The Cromwell and Beach LiFE at SLS Las Vegas. One more that shouldn’t be missed is Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. There’s just nothing like it. Now in its 11th year, Rehab’s hedonistic weekend parties have set the standard that made Vegas’ daylife scene as legendary as its nightlife scene.

Strip clubs and topless shows in Vegas


The Ladies

No bachelor party is complete without naked women. There are two places you’ll find them in Sin City. First, and most obviously, at strip clubs. Many of the strip clubs in Vegas offer bachelor party packages as well as free limo transportation to and from Strip-area hotels.

For a slightly more sophisticated viewing experience, go to Sapphire Las Vegas. Considered the world’s largest gentlemen’s club – with up to 400 ladies strutting their stuff nightly – every man in your party should lay eyes on the girl of his dreams…whether she be blonde or brunette, tall and skinny or short and curvy. Spearmint Rhino, which has attracted celebs like George Clooney and Howard Stern and Treasures, with its Italian manor-like décor (really, there are over-sized chandeliers and a winding staircase in this place), are two other strip clubs on the classy side.

For men who find ogling naked women all the eye candy they need, make tracks for Cheetahs Gentleman’s Club and  Crazy Horse III. The décor and cocktails in these joints may not be as fancy, but they’ve still got what counts most: lots of hot, barely clothed women. Enough said.

In addition to strip clubs, you can gawk at topless women in many of Las Vegas’ showrooms. In “Pin Up” at the Stratosphere, which stars Playboy 2011 Playmate of the Year Claire Sinclair, the girls do classic stripteases. Though they don’t take it all off, very little is left to the imagination. Productions like “X Burlesque” at the Flamingo and “X Rocks” at Rio combine steamy choreography with a whole lotta skin. “Fantasy” at Luxor isn’t called “the Strip’s biggest tease” for nothing. And the “Crazy Girls” at Riviera, who typically just don G-strings, will give you lessons on how to have a naughty night out.

Okay, there you have it – ideas on where to enjoy manly pursuits, good food and drinks, Vegas’ club scene and, of course, scantily clad ladies. So now you’re ready to throw a Vegas bachelor blowout. Go ahead and get the party started!

Attention maids of honor: We haven’t forgotten about you. Click here for a story on how to throw a standout Vegas bachelorette party…whether your budget is comfortable or tight.

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I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Vegas.com. Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.