Celebrate the groom-to-be in these cities that are equally great for partying on and off the water.
Looking to choose a destination and fill up the weekend schedule with some bachelor party ideas for an upcoming trip? Then you’re in luck! Some of the most popular cities across the US for pre-wedding partying are packed with fun bars, events, and all kinds of things to do, but one of our favorites is to get out on a boat to enjoy the outdoors and relax on the waves of a lake or ocean — with a cooler, some music, and all your friends all together.
This guide covers eight key destinations that make great choices for a bachelor party, and that just so happen to have good areas for getting out onto a boat — Miami, Nashville, Las Vegas, Austin, Chicago, New Orleans, San Diego, and Denver. Plus, we discuss the types of boats you can rent, the average costs, and the best bachelor party activities to plan for your boating excursion.
Why You Should Have Your Bachelor Party on a Boat
Who doesn’t love spending a day basking in the sun on the water? Hosting your bachelor party on a boat is a fantastic idea for several reasons:
- Outdoor Fun: Getting together with the boys for an outdoor adventure — is there anything better? Choosing a boat party as a farewell to your bachelor lifestyle is great for enjoying a celebratory day with your closest friends.
- Flexible Scheduling: Boating is a highly flexible activity, with the option to extend your day trip to keep the good vibes going. Plus, you can explore various rentals to find the best type of boat for your party’s needs.
- Easy to Theme: If you want to create a theme for your bachelor party, boating trips offer you a ton of options — whether you want to don Hawaiian shirts or act like a gang of pirates for the day, the world is your oyster when choosing a theme for a bachelor boat party.
The Best Bachelor Party Destinations
Miami, Florida, is a boater’s dream — and a hot spot for exciting bachelor parties.
On the East Coast, Miami has over 20 miles of beaches and over 120 access points. Nicknamed the “Magic City,” Miami is the perfect boating getaway for you and your groomsmen.
Great local boating destinations in Miami include:
- Coconut Grove: Coconut Grove is Miami’s oldest neighborhood. Famous for boating, this neighborhood is home to the Dinner Key Marina, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and the U.S. Olympic Sailing Center. Coconut Grove has many exceptional boating facilities and the neighborhood is well-known for boating, earning the nickname “Sailing Capital of Miami.”
- Nixon Sandbar: Nixon Sandbar is an incredible sightseeing location and popular sandbar off the coast of Mashta Island on Key Biscayne. This sandbar has recently become the heart of Miami’s boating culture and can be most easily accessed via Hurrican Harbor. The shallow waters surrounding the sandbar make this a great spot to drop anchor and swim in the sun.
- Crandon Park: Crandon Park is another natural gem on Key Biscayne, offering roughly 800 acres of beaches to explore. The Crandon Park Marina is the best spot for boating, with stunning views of the city skyline and beaches once you get out on the water. It’s also another great location for hopping off your boat for swimming or snorkeling.
Welcome to the Music City!
Nashville is the crown jewel of Tennessee, offering all sorts of nightlife fun and outdoor adventures, including boating on the Cumberland River that flows through the city.
Some of Nashville’s greatest boating spots include:
- Cumberland River: The main river for boating in Nashville is the Cumberland River. This river has many excellent access points for boaters’ convenience, including the Heartland River and Shelby Park Access. Additionally, many marinas are sprinkled along the Cumberland River shores for you to visit and explore.
- Percy Priest Lake: Percy Priest Lake is one of Nashville’s top boating destinations besides the Cumberland River. This lake features many unique marinas and is a great spot for boating, fishing, and camping. Percy Priest Lake is a great location for outdoor-loving bachelor parties for getting in touch with the environment, if you want less of a rowdy party spot and more of a nature tour.
- Old Hickory Lake: Just a little way outside of Nashville is Old Hickory Lake, another highly popular destination for fishermen and boaters. Along with a variety of different marinas, Old Hickory Lake is also home to several restaurants and resorts, making it a fantastic location for a bachelor party’s day out on the water.
What says “bachelor party” more than Sin City itself?
Las Vegas, Nevada, is home to all manner of attractions, from casinos and nightclubs to hiking spots and boating paradises. Some of the most stunning and enjoyable waterways for boating in Vegas include:
- Lake Mead: Lake Mead is America’s first national recreational area. This lake has some of Vegas’s most captivating natural views of the towering mountains and brilliant blue waters. You can access Lake Mead via the Hemenway Harbor, Calville Bay, and Boulder Harbor.
- Lake Las Vegas: Lake Las Vegas is close to the famous Las Vegas Strip, just 17 miles away. As a privately-owned lake comprised of 320 acres, Lake Las Vegas is a great destination for boating and resort-style activities, like luxury spas and world-class golf — aka, a bachelor’s paradise.
- Floyd Lamb Park: Made up of 680 acres, Floyd Lamb Park is a wildlife oasis where you can see the historic Tule Springs Ranch and learn about the early history of Las Vegas. Fishing is permitted at Floyd Lamb Park, though you need a fishing license from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Austin, Texas, is a vibrant city known for its live music, outdoor spaces, and boating opportunities — and a whole lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties. And the Colorado River, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake, all offer fantastic options for bachelor party boating adventures.
- Lake Austin: Lake Austin is a reservoir on the Colorado River that stretches for over 20 miles. This lake is a popular destination for boating, water sports, and fishing. With its beautiful scenery and calm waters, it provides a picturesque setting for a memorable bachelor party experience.
- Lady Bird Lake: Located in the heart of Austin, Lady Bird Lake is a scenic reservoir that offers a variety of recreational activities. Renting a boat or kayak allows you to explore the lake while enjoying stunning views of the city skyline. It's a perfect spot for a relaxing boating excursion during the day or a sunset cruise.
- Lake Travis: Lake Travis is Austin's preeminent destination for boating bachelor parties. With its stunning natural beauty and expansive waters, the area offers a picturesque setting over 63 miles, providing ample space for cruising, water sports, and anchoring at scenic spots. One of the highlights for bachelor parties is the famous "Party Cove," where boats drop anchor for all-day parties with a lively atmosphere of music, drinks, and socializing with fellow partygoers. The lake is also surrounded by a variety of bars and restaurants, such as The Oasis on Lake Travis, known for its stunning sunset views and delicious Tex-Mex cuisine.
Chicago, Illinois, is a vibrant city with a stunning waterfront and a thriving boating scene. The city's location on Lake Michigan provides an excellent backdrop for a bachelor party on the water.
- Chicago River: The Chicago River is a popular waterway for boating in the heart of the city. You can rent boats to navigate the river and enjoy spectacular views of the city's iconic architecture. Cruising along the river is a unique and memorable experience for a bachelor party in Chicago.
- Lake Michigan: As one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Michigan offers endless boating opportunities. From renting sailboats to chartering yachts, you can explore the vast expanse of the lake and enjoy the Chicago skyline from a different perspective.
New Orleans, Louisiana, is famous for its vibrant culture, lively music scene, and exciting nightlife. While the city is known for its Mardi Gras celebrations, it also offers fantastic boating options for a memorable bachelor party.
- Mississippi River: The mighty Mississippi River runs alongside New Orleans, providing a unique boating experience. You can rent boats or charter cruises to explore the river and take in the picturesque views of the city and its surrounding landscapes. A riverboat cruise with live music and delicious cuisine can add a touch of New Orleans flair to your bachelor party.
- Lake Pontchartrain: Located just north of the city, Lake Pontchartrain is a large freshwater lake offering a variety of boating opportunities. Whether you want to rent a pontoon boat for a relaxing day on the water or try your hand at fishing, Lake Pontchartrain provides a scenic backdrop for your bachelor party adventures.
San Diego, California, is renowned for its beautiful beaches, stunning coastline, and year-round pleasant weather. With its abundance of water activities and vibrant atmosphere, it's an ideal destination for a boating-themed bachelor party.
- San Diego Bay: The expansive San Diego Bay is a prime boating destination, with its sparkling waters and breathtaking views. You can rent a yacht, sailboat, or powerboat to cruise along the bay, passing by famous landmarks like the Coronado Bridge and the USS Midway Museum. Don't miss the opportunity to anchor in a picturesque spot and enjoy water sports or a refreshing swim.
- Mission Bay: Located just north of downtown San Diego, Mission Bay is a large saltwater lagoon perfect for boating enthusiasts. With its calm waters and numerous marinas, it's an excellent place to rent jet skis, paddleboards, or small motorboats for a day of fun on the water.
Although not traditionally associated with boating, Denver, Colorado, offers unique boating experiences due to its proximity to picturesque lakes and rivers. If you're looking for a bachelor party destination that combines outdoor adventures with urban attractions, Denver has plenty to offer.
- Cherry Creek Reservoir: Situated in Cherry Creek State Park, the Cherry Creek Reservoir is a popular boating spot in the Denver area. Rent a pontoon boat or a kayak and explore the reservoir's tranquil waters surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. You can also try your luck at fishing or enjoy picnicking on the shores.
- Chatfield Reservoir: Located southwest of Denver, Chatfield Reservoir is another fantastic boating destination. It offers opportunities for sailing, powerboating, and fishing. The reservoir is encompassed by Chatfield State Park, which offers hiking trails, camping sites, and picnic areas, making it a versatile location for a bachelor party getaway.
Activities for Your Bachelor Party Boat Day
Aside from simply floating and enjoying the water, boating parties can provide many exciting opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.
Some of the best activities for a bachelor party boat day include:
Need more ideas? Check out our tips for creating the perfect boating playlist for all your boating activities.
Average Costs of Boat Rentals for a Bachelor Party
While boating costs can vary a fair bit based on location, the model, year, and features of the specific boat being rented, whether you hire a captain, and lots of other factors, here’s a breakdown of the general costs you can expect for various types of boats:
To learn more about boat rentals, check out our Ultimate Boat Rental Guide for 2023.
FAQs to Consider Before Your Bachelor Party Boat Trip
Let’s quickly cover some frequently asked questions:
- What are the best types of boat to rent for a bachelor party? When it comes to renting a boat for a bachelor party, the best types of boats include pontoon boats and party barges for their spaciousness and socializing capabilities. Luxury yachts offer an upscale and luxurious experience, while speedboats and powerboats are perfect for thrill-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. Sailboats provide a more serene and relaxed atmosphere, while catamarans offer stability and ample deck space for larger parties. If fishing is a priority, fishing boats or charters equipped with fishing gear are a great choice.
- What safety precautions should I take before heading out on the water? Each boat type will come with its own safety precautions, which should be explained to you when you rent the boat of your choice. At a minimum, you should have a fitted life jacket for each party member and rescue gear should someone fall overboard.
- Where can I find alcohol rules and regulations for a boating destination? There’s no denying that boat day and drinking go hand-in-hand — but you need to be cautious of local alcohol regulations. Every jurisdiction has laws surrounding alcohol on waterways. So, check with local officials or marinas about their drinking rules before heading out.
- Do I need any licenses or permits to go boating? The need for a boating license or permit will vary from location to location. However, most destinations require a license to drive a larger boat (like a yacht). Alternatively, you can opt for a charter service with a licensed driver so you and your party can collectively kick back and relax.
- What if some of us have limited boating experience? No worries at all! Renting a boat at GetMyBoat gives you options. You can choose a boat with a licensed captain who will take care of navigating the waters while you and your friends focus on enjoying the party. Sit back, relax, and let the captain steer the ship!
A bachelor party boat trip is an excellent way to celebrate the end of your bachelorhood. Boating provides outdoor fun, flexible activities, and the opportunity to create unforgettable memories on the water with your buddies.
And when you’re ready to book your boat rental for your bachelor party trip, just search GetMyBoat to find the best rentals for your destination of choice!