We recently rounded up the best cities for LGBTQ+ couples to get married, but what about their bachelor and bachelorette parties?
Bachelor and bachelorette parties have taken on a life of their own in recent years. Brides and grooms take this time to have that one last fun adventure as a single person, which leads to their bridesmaids and groomsmen dishing out money to go on an extravagant vacation to celebrate the upcoming nuptials.
With this in mind, we decided to find out which cities are best for our friends in the LGBTQ+ community to host their bachelor and bachelorette parties. We assessed and ranked the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas on eight of the most relevant LGBTQ+ bachelor and bachelorette factors to find the best spot for a send-off.
Read on to discover the top cities in the country for LGBTQ+ bachelor and bachelorette parties.
Table of Contents
In order to determine the best cities for LGBTQ+ bachelor and bachelorette parties, we assessed the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas based on eight key factors: (1) Average nightly Airbnb rate for an entire Airbnb for 5 people, (2) inbound flight availability, (3) bars per 100k people, (4) cost of a drink, (5) same-sex households per 100k households, (6) sexual orientation/gender identity hate crimes per 100k people, (7) HRC’s municipal equality index, and (8) city non-discrimination ordinance.
We then rated each of the eight components on a 5-point scale, with a score of 5 indicating the most positive LGBTQ+ bachelor and bachelorette party conditions. Each city received an overall score based on the total of each one’s individual factor scores, which were weighted according to their significance for LGBTQ+ soon to be brides and grooms.
The factors are listed below with their respective weight and data source.
- Average Nightly Airbnb Rate for an entire Airbnb for 5 people
- Inbound Flight Availability
Source: US Bureau of Transportation Statistics
- Bars per 100k People
- Cost of a Drink
- Same-Sex Households per 100k Households
- Sexual Orient./Gender Identity Hate Crimes per 100k People
- HRC’s Municipal Equality Index
Source: Human Rights Campaign
- City Non-Discrimination Ordinance
Source: HRC or Local Sources
ii. The Best U.S. Cities for LGBTQ+ Bachelor/ette Parties
If you’re looking for the best city to celebrate in, it looks like heading south to the Sunshine State is your best bet. We were surprised to find Tampa ranked as the best city for LGBTQ+ bachelor and bachelorette parties with a city score of 37.9, followed closely by Atlanta (peach schnapps, anyone) with a score of 37.5.
If the South isn’t really your scene, you and your crew might be surprised to know the great state of Ohio could be the perfect destination for your pre-wedding celebrations. Both Cleveland and Cincinnati’s final scores placed them in the top 10 cities.
Cities we weren’t surprised to see on the list? Portland, Chicago, and Denver, all common bachelor and bachelorette destinations, all finished in the top 10.
iii. Detailed Ranking Factor Scores by City
When breaking the data down by the key factors we used in our research, each city that landed themselves in the top 10 had pretty reasonable Airbnb options, with 8 of those 10 cities having an average cost of a night under $300.
But, let’s talk about what you really want to know: the cost of a drink. In all the top 10 cities, the average cost of a drink is $6 or under, which means an extra round (at least) for the whole bride tribe.
Turning our attention to the place with the lowest scores, Memphis, TN, and Oklahoma City, OK, are among the cities where LGBTQ+ people would be most likely to have a negative experience. These cities had some of the highest hate-crime scores, most expensive drinks, and most expensive Airbnb’s we found in our research.
iv. Detailed Ranking Factor Data by City
When we say cheap drinks, lots of bars, and a ton of inbound flights, how cheap and how many are we actually talking about?
This varies from city to city, but take Atlanta. There are 394.4 bars per 100k people in ATL, and the average cost of a drink is $5.19. For the number of inbound flights, we looked at a March timeframe and there were more than 34,000 available inbound flights.
While some of the bigger cities like San Jose, Washington, D.C., and NYC may seem like fun places to celebrate your bachelor or bachelorette party, it won’t come cheap. Unlike some of the less expensive cities listed, the average price of a drink in San Jose, D.C., and NYC is $8, which is $4.13 more than the cheapest place to drink, Cincinnati.
If Ohio is on your revelry radar, the average nightly rate of an Airbnb in Cleveland and Cincinnati is under $250. And you won’t only save money on your accommodations, because the average price of a drink in these cities is under $5. “Chintzy Cinci” is not only a catchy thing I just made up, but it’s now officially backed by receipts.
All the cities that made the top 10 list had little-to-no LGBTQ+ hate crimes. These locales also had impressive showings in non-discrimination ordinance and equality index scores, earning them all A+ on equality.
v. Wrap Up
As long as you have the best bride tribe or dude crew (not a thing) to celebrate with, you are bound to have fun in any city you choose. But if you want to visit a city that appreciates and celebrates equality, then head to one of our chosen top cities and party it up. From all of us at The Black Tux, congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!