As best man, it’s your responsibility to give the groom a night to remember before he gets hitched. Don’t cop out by heading to the local club and call it a night. Instead, why not consider surprising your bud with a trip to Austin for a (gentlemanly) rager? With a population of just under a million, Austin has that charming small-town vibe with all the accoutrements—fine dining, music, art—of a major metropolis. Follow our guide to planning the perfect bachelor party in Austin, so that when the big night arrives all you have to do is get rowdy.
The first step is chartering an Austin bus rental to transport the groom and all your buddies from activity to activity throughout the soiree. This allows you to drink responsibly and focus on your bromance. Be sure to land at Austin-Berstorm, the airport closest to the city center, where a chartered mini bus or mini coach (18 to 25 passengers) can pick up your entire group and chauffeur you through Austin for approximately $1500 to $2900 for the day, depending on how long you need the bus. Remember to plan ahead and book early to avoid price surges on your rental!
Bonding Time at the Shooting Range
Start the party off with a bang at the shooting range. The groomsmen might not know each other at the beginning of the weekend, but after firing off a few rounds, the bond will solidify. Red’s Guns is a 100-yard indoor range with 60 firearms to choose from and a friendly staff available to help first-timers hit their target. For an outdoor experience, try the Lone Star Gun Range. Channel your inner gun slinger in a safe and fun environment. Lone Star boasts “the largest selection of rental firearms in Central Texas,” so you’re bound to try something new whether you’re a seasoned marksman or a complete novice.
Real Talk at the Barbershop
In the words of Ice Cube,”There’s things people say in the barbershop they won’t even say in their own living room, because it’s just one of those zones where nobody’s going to judge you too much about your dumb opinion.” So, treat yourselves with a trip to one of the classic Austin barbershops, like Red’s Barbershop (pictured right) known for their attention to detail and adherence to tradition, and spend some quality time with the groom while he gets cleaned up.
Legendary Cut Barbershop
Legendary Cut Barbershop was opened in 1992 by Master Barber Chuck Nice. Chuck and his staff have experience with all types of hair, offering cuts and fades that will leave you rejuvenated before an evening out. They also provide facials and hot towel shaves for that extra touch of luxury.
South Austin Barbershop
Finally, check out South Austin Barbershop, a local favorite where barbers have been cutting and trimming since 1989. With its roster of expert coiffeurs, each with his own specialty, South Austin Barbershop offers a complete package. They even have a dedicated shoe shiner to ensure that every last element of your look is on point.
Redd’s Barbershop is another local favorite, opened by former NFL defensive tackle Cory “C-Redd” Redding, channels a vintage barbershop with its attentive service, sharply dressed barbers, and brass, leather, and mahogany décor.
Where to Fuel-Up for the Night
Now that you and the guys are feeling fresh, it’s time to hit the town. Texas is known for its BBQ, but there are so many other culinary delights in Austin. Whether you’re looking to kick-off the night with some comforting southern cooking, or french cuisine at the provocatively avant-garde Justine’s Brasserie (pictured left), explore Texas’ cuisine from a different angle, and experiment with the local produce.
Barley Swine maintains close ties with neighbouring farmers and artisans to source ingredients that reflect the place and season. Their menu is inspired by their partner farmers, and is available in large, family-style plates for everyone to share.
If you’re looking for a sexy yet classy element to add to your bachelor party, Justine’s is the joint for you. The owner and namesake of this fine establishment, is an avant-garde artist who makes provocative films and throws epic parties. The music is played off a vintage record player, the service staff is dressed to the nines, and the classic French brasserie menu and wine list make this restaurant a distinct and special experience.
For the more casual eater, Holy Roller offers classic diner fare like chicken pot pie and mac & cheese. Decorated with religious kitsch and punk inspired art, Holy Roller is a great place to book a private or semi private event.
Where to Get Into Trouble
After supper, take advantage of having a personal driver and let loose at any of Austin’s hottest watering holes. And, if the groom hasn’t yet selected his signature drink for the wedding, a stop at Speakeasy is the perfect place for inspiration to strike!
Seven Grand is a popular whiskey bar in the heart of Austin that boasts a whiskey list of over 400 bottles. Tastings with master distillers, live music, and billiards tables make this establishment an essential stop on the gentleman’s tour of Austin.
Head over to Speakeasy, a bar inspired by the prohibition era. This ‘20s style hot spot is made up the Kabaret Room, where classic cocktails and live music transport you back in time; a Mezzanine fitted with bowling lanes; and a roof-top terrace. It even comes with its own ghost story. According to legend, the building that once stood on this land burned down in 1916. The only part of it left was the elevator in which people were trapped and killed, and is said to now be the site of frequent ghostly apparitions.
Las Perlas Mezcaleria
If you prefer the agave-based liquor Mezcal, check out Las Perlas Mezcaleria. Brought to you by the folks behind Seven Grand, this brightly colored ode to Mexican culture is a great way to encounter new beverages and sample some amazing tacos.
Brunch with the Boys
Before you head back to the airport, make sure your belly is full of hangover-curing brunch, like poached egg and red-eye gravy on Texas Toast by Odd Duck, pictured right. This is where you want to let the heavy, hearty food of Austin do its work.
At Bangers, homemade sausage and craft beer are served to crowds seated at long communal tables. The outdoor beer garden is a great spot to enjoy a refreshing IPA or witbier while rehashing the adventures of the night before.
Freedman’s is in a gorgeous historic building, but the BBQ-inspired brunch is its main attraction. You have to try their Southern style benedict—poached egg, tomato hollandaise, and your choice of BBQ meat on top of a flakey buttermilk biscuit.
Our final favourite Odd Duck was founded by the Brothers Gilmore who are also responsible for Barley Swine. Like its sister restaurant, Odd Duck offers a delicious menu made from fresh local produce and inspired by the farmers and artisans of Austin.
The trick to planning a legendary bachelor party is to have it seem like chaos when in actuality it’s organized and safe. Charter a bus to pick you up at the airport and begin the festivities as soon as you touch ground. Don’t worry about hailing cabs, fumbling with cash, and ushering your friends around town. When it’s all planned out ahead of time, you can focus on having fun, making memories, and enjoying the crazy, wild, unique, and classy celebration that the groom deserves.
More Things to do With a Charter Bus Near Austin, Texas
Based in Montreal, Leigh Kinch-Pedrosa writes about wine, fashion, coffee, event-planning, and books. She is the general manager of the popular Canadian storytelling show Confabulation, and has co-produced events with Phi Centre, Broad Science, and CBC Books. Follow her on instagram @StoriesbyLeighKP