For a big city, DC isn’t known as an awesome destination for a bachelorette party. There’s not open container freedoms like Las Vegas or New Orleans or a 24/7 iconic scene like Nashville or NYC. There just aren’t any “must dos” for a DC-based party, which makes it a bit trickier to navigate where exactly to go. Obviously, it depends on whether the bride is a Goop-girl or a boozehound which dictates how a night or weekend should be structured. Here are ten great DC-based bachelorette party options for all tastes, that hopefully won’t start a flame-war on the Internet (or maybe will if your bride loves a good shit stir with her cosmo).
Strip clubs tend to be cheesy, standard bachelor party fare, but who says women can’t get into the fun with a male strip club. I’ve had several female friends who’ve had a private stripper come to their house for a bachelorette party and the consensus has been that it feels a little too icky and real than Channing Tatum in your living room. The nice thing about Secrets is that, yes, there are male strippers doing their thing but there are also excellent drag performers and they even do nights with country line dancing. The establishment is very gay friendly while also being a very welcoming spot for groups of ladies that have stacks of bills to throw around or a handful of crushed singles. Money is money. It also stays open and hopping until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, so it’s a great way to close out the night.
This is obviously a weather-dependent choice, but it’s a really fun bachelorette mode of travel if your party is taking you from festivities at The Wharf to National Harbor. Get a big enough group together and it doesn’t become insanely pricey for a couple of hours of fun. It’ll make everyone feel outdoorsy while not having to make any physical effort. The crew is super nice and do everything sailing-wise. You and your crew can bring on snacks and drinks (which is a nice money-saver) and just kick back and enjoy some sunbathing and day drinking. Also don’t forget to bring speakers and turn your boat ride into a dance party.
Yes, this spot is cheesy and they’ll probably be at least five other bachelorette parties there the same time as yours, but hell, it’s really fun. They take music requests so you’ll at least get to hear a few songs that you love, but they tend to go towards the pop anyway. They also have those giant beer and booze towers for maximum group inebriation. There’s something really nice (and simple for the over-worked maid/man of honor) about a place that pre-plans a whole night for your party. And if you want classy, go get dinner at Fish by José Andres or Voltaggio Brothers Steak House before night devolves into piano bar debauchery.
If your bride is all about that clean-living life, make part of her bachelorette weekend pure zen with by combining a private yoga or pilates class with solo massages and spa treatments all in one convenient location. You can also bring your own healthy gluten-free snacks and mimosas into the gym, or your own ice cream sundae bar because sometimes the weekend should be all about self care.
There are many places in the city to do karaoke in front of other people, but if your party doesn’t all consist of American Idol contestants, get a room. Not only can you reserve a room at Muzette online but they also have a well-stocked bar and great Korean food for when you get the munchies after belting “Hungry Like the Wolf.” The best part of doing private room karaoke is that you get to pick all the songs and they’ll be no complaints from strangers about bringing down the mood with a group sing of “Nothing Compares 2 U”… I speak from experience. Also you’re in the heart of Ad Mo, so if members of your group feel like getting social and sloppy with strangers (but, why) you’re well located for that mess.
There are now several places in the city to enjoy a Sunday funday drag brunch, but Perry’s is iconic. Not only do they put on a hell of a show and the food is great, but now they take reservations (no more waiting hungover in line) and are warm, welcoming, and prepared for big group parties. It’s a really good way to continue the party into the morning/afternoon and would be a nice cherry on a festive weekend.
H Street Crawl
Take an easy, cheap, but perhaps unreliable trolley ride from Union Station down H St to a great dinner and then several bars with their own, unique party scene. Look super chic by grabbing a dinner reservation at Maketto where their small plates are perfect for a big group. Then take your pick of bars depending on mood and bride personality. For the bride who stays current on indie bands like she’s a human Pitchfork, hit up Rock and Roll Hotel. For the nostalgic bride who when drunk waxes poetic about beating everyone at Putt Putt Golf, stop by the second floor of H St. Country Club for DC-themed mini golf. If your bride was an indoor kid, stop by Atlas Arcade for a night of old school jams and old school gaming.
If your bride is obsessed with Great British Bake-Off, get your team together at hit up a Milk Bar class to make one of their many scrummy desserts. You can feel crafty and productive and stuff your face. Wins all around.
Fine, pole dancing as a workout is a bit cliché trendy at this point, but with a group of your friends it can be not only aerobic but a seriously funny time as well. Pole Pressure does private group parties so you don’t have to share your pole talents (or lack their of) with strangers. You can also bring in your own snacks for those friends who would rather pop Pringles than booty pop.
Yards Park Crawl
If it’s a nice weekend and you want a good mix of sporty and indulgence, get ye to the waterfront. Get a nice group rate on a Nats game at hit up the frozen cocktail stand right when you get in the park. Afterwards, if your bride is the gutsy type and wants sick photos for the ‘gram, do a group class at the trapeze school. Then there are a number of fun restaurant that are walkable depending on your tastes, but I recommend Osteria Morini for Italian lovers, Whaley’s for seafood and their rosé garden, and Due South for indulgent southern food and big pours of frosé.