Pre-wedding Parties

Bachelorette Party Destinations - HELP!

My bridesmaids are asking me to pick the bachelorette destination and I can't decide! One is pressuring me to go with Ocean City, MD because it's most convenient to drive there for her and a few of the girls, but I'm traveling from California and heard that Ocean City's Seacrets can be super crazy, crowded and slightly trashy. 

Here are my top choices that I have to decide on tomorrow. I haven't been to either so any feedback is much appreciated!! My ultimate party would be boating and beach fun with some dancing/partying at night. 

Ocean City, MD 
Charleston, SC 
Myrtle Beach, SC 
Wilmington, NC 
Outer Banks, NC

Re: Bachelorette Party Destinations - HELP!

  • I can only comment on Charleston since I haven't been to the rest. What time of year are you planning on going? Mid summer is almost unbearably hot and humid if you aren't used to it. It is also peak season so rentals will be more expensive. Do you want to stay at the beach or downtown? Both are great but can be pricey. If you are only going for a couples days I would pick somewhere closer than maximizes the budget more. Charleston would be great for a honeymoon or anytime for an extended stay.
  • rakowskdrakowskd
    First Comment
    member
    We're going in July, so that's probably the time it will be hot and humid. Thank you for your feedback - much appreciated!
  • edited March 7
    rakowskd said:
    My bridesmaids are asking me to pick the bachelorette destination and I can't decide! One is pressuring me to go with Ocean City, MD because it's most convenient to drive there for her and a few of the girls, but I'm traveling from California and heard that Ocean City's Seacrets can be super crazy, crowded and slightly trashy. 

    Here are my top choices that I have to decide on tomorrow. I haven't been to either so any feedback is much appreciated!! My ultimate party would be boating and beach fun with some dancing/partying at night. 

    Ocean City, MD 
    Charleston, SC 
    Myrtle Beach, SC 
    Wilmington, NC 
    Outer Banks, NC
    Where are the other guests coming from? Is Ocen City convenient for them as well?

    I've only been to Myrtle and Outer Banks (and admittedly Myrtle was a LONG time ago and I hated it). As for the Outer Banks, what part are you looking at? My family goes every other year and we stay up in Corolla, and it's much more family oriented than dancing/partying depending on where you are. If you're renting a house up in that part you'd definitely need to drive to get to the bars. You'd probably have better luck down in Duck, or on the southern side, but I don't know as much about those areas. 

    ETA The Outer Banks is gorgeous and there are tons of ocean rentals (boats, kayaks, paddle boards, etc) so if you're looking for lots of day time option it's a great choice. 
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    I've never been to Ocean City so don't know about accessibility airport wise. The other places are a PITA to get to (no direct flights means that to me). For the Outer Banks you (general you) need to fly then drive a good bit. All of the SC and NC choices will be hot and humid in July, but you are at the beach in the south so that is to be expected.
     My choices, again not knowing OC, would be Myrtle and Charleston.
    charlotte989875
  • July is very pleasant at the OBX, but as PP mentioned, you won't be able to get a direct flight. I dislike Myrtle, personally, and avoid it when possible even though it's a shorter drive for me than OBX. It will be mosquito season in Charleston, but it really is a lovely city if you can handle the humidity.
    image
  • lnixon8lnixon8
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Seacrets is trashy but that doesn't mean the whole town is. If you end up there I would only do seacrets during the day and Mackys or fagers at night. I strongly suggest going a few beach towns down route 1 to Dewey or Rehobeth Delaware (30 minutes from ocean city).

    Neither are trashy, the shopping and food is great. Less crowded beaches, but still fun bars (bottle and cork, Starboard is my favorite bar anywhere). You could rent a house in dewey (that's what I had for my bachlorette party). There is a trolley between the 2 towns. Dewey has a lot of the professional DC late twenties/30's w/o children type rent summer houses; rehobeth is more gay and family friendly.


    geebee908
  • North Carolinian here!

    They don't call Myrtle Beach the dirty myrtle for nothing ;) The beach is great, but most of the beach hotels are old and (I think) a bit pricey for what you get. It seems like a younger, more redneck crowd.

    Charleston is awesome; there is history, culture, great restaurants, and beaches nearby. It will be muggy as all getout in July, but if you can deal with that it would be great! 

    I lived in Wilmington for a couple years and have a major soft spot for it. The downtown is awesome and right along the river. Great restaurants, fun bars, and a super casual atmosphere. Their airport is super small, but flights to and from there didn't seem (to me) pricer than bigger cities. 

    The Outer Banks are the hardest to get to. They're at least a few hours from any airport, on smaller roads. It's also kind of a big family destination and super touristy. That being said, the beaches are great!
    Heffalumpbookmaiden17_
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    Where is everyone else traveling from? 

    I love OBX, but it's not exactly easy to get to, and no direct flights. If you hit traffic, the ride can take a long time. I haven't been to Myrtle Beach since 1994, so I can't give much advice there. 

    Personally I'd just pick the location that is the easiest for everyone to get to. 

    southernbelle0915
  • Echoing PPs on wanting to know where everyone is coming from. Also keep in mind that Ocean City, MD is really far from BWI and PHL airports - which will be a long drive for anyone flying in. 

    Another East Coast option - again, depends on where everyone else is coming from - would be Long Beach Island, NJ. Relatively close to both EWR and PHL and has activities like parasailing, SUP, boating, bars/clubs, and good shopping. 
    STARMOON44CMGragaincowgirl8238
  • knottiejknottiej
    100 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    I would ask everyone's budget before choosing a destination and then research which locations will be affordable to everyone.

    I'm in a wedding this Fall. The bride chose BM dresses without asking anyone's preferences or budgets (an ugly, strapless, $285 dress - thanks, bride!) and is planning her own destination bachelorette party without asking anyone's budgets. There is more than grumbling going on about how she's basically spending everyone's money for them. Don't be that bride. 
    Dang! Has anyone said anything to the bride or does she have no idea?
  • Echoing PPs on wanting to know where everyone is coming from. Also keep in mind that Ocean City, MD is really far from BWI and PHL airports - which will be a long drive for anyone flying in. 

    Another East Coast option - again, depends on where everyone else is coming from - would be Long Beach Island, NJ. Relatively close to both EWR and PHL and has activities like parasailing, SUP, boating, bars/clubs, and good shopping. 
    It also depends on what day of the week, and what time of year the party is going to be held!  Ocean City summer gridlock traffic is infamous in the summer!  It can be bumper to bumper traffic from Ocean City all the way to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge!  Sunday evening return trips are terrible, too!  On a good day, it is about a four hour drive, each way.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    cowgirl8238sparklepants41
  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited March 8
    I'm in a wedding this Fall. The bride chose BM dresses without asking anyone's preferences or budgets (an ugly, strapless, $285 dress - thanks, bride!) and is planning her own destination bachelorette party without asking anyone's budgets. There is more than grumbling going on about how she's basically spending everyone's money for them. Don't be that bride. 
    Just because you are in the wedding party does not make is a requirement that you throw or attend a bachelorette party.  Just decline the invitation when it arrives.  The other bridesmaids are free to do this, too.
    I am afraid you are stuck with the dress, though, if you have agreed to be a bridesmaid.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • North Carolinian here!

    They don't call Myrtle Beach the dirty myrtle for nothing ;) The beach is great, but most of the beach hotels are old and (I think) a bit pricey for what you get. It seems like a younger, more redneck crowd.

    Charleston is awesome; there is history, culture, great restaurants, and beaches nearby. It will be muggy as all getout in July, but if you can deal with that it would be great! 

    I lived in Wilmington for a couple years and have a major soft spot for it. The downtown is awesome and right along the river. Great restaurants, fun bars, and a super casual atmosphere. Their airport is super small, but flights to and from there didn't seem (to me) pricer than bigger cities. 

    The Outer Banks are the hardest to get to. They're at least a few hours from any airport, on smaller roads. It's also kind of a big family destination and super touristy. That being said, the beaches are great!
    Yes.  Disclaimer: I have not been to Myrtle Beach.  But the bolded section above is precisely why not.  I went to Gatlinburg a few years back, and it was a ton of tacky t-shirt shops, margaritas by the yard, airbrushed paraphernalia, confederate flags, etc. on the main drag.  (Not the whole town, by any means.)  Not my style, and when I got back, one of my friends said that's why Gatlinburg is "the Myrtle Beach of the mountains."  Which didn't exactly move Myrtle to the top of my bucket list.

    I do love Charleston, and think it's just beautiful.  And yes, July will be pea soup humidity, but if you can deal, it's otherwise great.  (If you go, be sure to stop by Paolo's Gelato!)

    I have been to Wilmington a couple of times, and it was nice.  I haven't been enough to be an expert, and I don't love it as much as some other destinations, but there is not a single thing wrong with it, IMO.

    If you're already considering Charleston and Myrtle, can I throw in a plug for Savannah or Hilton Head?  Savannah will have pretty much the same heat and humidity as Charleston, but it's lovely there.  So beautiful.  So much history.  (DH and I were engaged in Savannah, so I'm biased.  But he chose it because he knew how much I loved it.)  The beautiful squares.  The architecture. 

    We go to Hilton Head almost every summer, so obviously we like it there, too.  (We went to my FIL's place in Gulf Shores last summer instead, and pretty much the whole time, DH and I were "homesick" for HHI.)  There are so many places to stay right on the beach, and although it gets a lot of tourists, it has somehow managed to avoid the tacky, tourist trap feel.  It's green and gracious and beautiful.  Great resorts (with top notch spas, if that's part of your bachelorette itinerary), great restaurants.  Although not a lot of nightlife, if that's a priority. 
    SP29
  • Heffalump said:
    North Carolinian here!

    They don't call Myrtle Beach the dirty myrtle for nothing ;) The beach is great, but most of the beach hotels are old and (I think) a bit pricey for what you get. It seems like a younger, more redneck crowd.

    Charleston is awesome; there is history, culture, great restaurants, and beaches nearby. It will be muggy as all getout in July, but if you can deal with that it would be great! 

    I lived in Wilmington for a couple years and have a major soft spot for it. The downtown is awesome and right along the river. Great restaurants, fun bars, and a super casual atmosphere. Their airport is super small, but flights to and from there didn't seem (to me) pricer than bigger cities. 

    The Outer Banks are the hardest to get to. They're at least a few hours from any airport, on smaller roads. It's also kind of a big family destination and super touristy. That being said, the beaches are great!
    Yes.  Disclaimer: I have not been to Myrtle Beach.  But the bolded section above is precisely why not.  I went to Gatlinburg a few years back, and it was a ton of tacky t-shirt shops, margaritas by the yard, airbrushed paraphernalia, confederate flags, etc. on the main drag.  (Not the whole town, by any means.)  Not my style, and when I got back, one of my friends said that's why Gatlinburg is "the Myrtle Beach of the mountains."  Which didn't exactly move Myrtle to the top of my bucket list.

    I do love Charleston, and think it's just beautiful.  And yes, July will be pea soup humidity, but if you can deal, it's otherwise great.  (If you go, be sure to stop by Paolo's Gelato!)

    I have been to Wilmington a couple of times, and it was nice.  I haven't been enough to be an expert, and I don't love it as much as some other destinations, but there is not a single thing wrong with it, IMO.

    If you're already considering Charleston and Myrtle, can I throw in a plug for Savannah or Hilton Head?  Savannah will have pretty much the same heat and humidity as Charleston, but it's lovely there.  So beautiful.  So much history.  (DH and I were engaged in Savannah, so I'm biased.  But he chose it because he knew how much I loved it.)  The beautiful squares.  The architecture. 

    We go to Hilton Head almost every summer, so obviously we like it there, too.  (We went to my FIL's place in Gulf Shores last summer instead, and pretty much the whole time, DH and I were "homesick" for HHI.)  There are so many places to stay right on the beach, and although it gets a lot of tourists, it has somehow managed to avoid the tacky, tourist trap feel.  It's green and gracious and beautiful.  Great resorts (with top notch spas, if that's part of your bachelorette itinerary), great restaurants.  Although not a lot of nightlife, if that's a priority. 
    Ooh yes HHI would be another great option! You'd have a similar issue with getting there, but it's not as far from airports as OBX. Savannah is also awesome, and you can head to Tybee Island if you're looking for a beach.
  • I am always a fan for whatever is easiest for the people to attend.  I have never made it to the Carolina beaches but can agree that the MD/DE area is nice but highly congested depending on the days you travel. 
    eileenrob
  • I would ask everyone's budget before choosing a destination and then research which locations will be affordable to everyone.

    I'm in a wedding this Fall. The bride chose BM dresses without asking anyone's preferences or budgets (an ugly, strapless, $285 dress - thanks, bride!) and is planning her own destination bachelorette party without asking anyone's budgets. There is more than grumbling going on about how she's basically spending everyone's money for them. Don't be that bride. 
    Dang! Has anyone said anything to the bride or does she have no idea?
    I doubt it. I'm just not attending the bach. 

    Technically, I CAN afford the dress, I just don't WANT to. If I'm going to spend $300 on a dress, it's going to be something else. Not some run of the mill, expensive for what it is BM dress from some big box company where I also have to pay for alterations because they essentially send you a boxy silk sack. (sorry, not bitter at all over here....:))
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    lnixon8sparklepants41SP29
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
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    I would definitely pass on Myrtle Beach. I'd always heard so much about it, and then I finally went one year and was thoroughly underwhelmed. It was so overly touristy and kind of tacky. 


    image
    ahoywedding
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