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Thanks for supporting independent drinks journalism. And now, to the matter at hand!
Last week, your pal Dave had his long-delayed bachelor party. It was decidedly unlike the 1984 Tom Hanks vehicle by the same name: no strip clubs, no sex workers, no, uh… hot dogs. We just went to a beach outside of Charleston, drank a bunch of beers, and hung out for a couple days before I got married. It was really nice!
We were about 25min outside of Charleston proper, but the city itself is absolutely awash in bachelor and bachelorette parties. The trend, spurred on by a decade atop Condé Nast’s “best small cities” list, a poorly regulated Airbnb scene, and a main drag banked by (relatively) cosmopolitan restaurants and bars, packs of guys and gals descend on the Holy City by the dozen every weekend—and even some weekdays, too.
The bachelor/ette trend here seemed to actually pick up last year during the pandemic, maybe because South Carolina governor/Foghorn Leghorn impersonator Henry McMaster refused to mandate masks or meaningful closures and instead declared we were “open for business.” Nearly 13,000 South Carolinians have died as a result, but Charleston’s hospitality industry—a vital engine of the state’s economy—survived. Now, with our third wave (hopefully) breaking, and vaccinations (finally) getting somewhere, the stag/hen parties are once again maskless, hammered, and out in full “Covid’s over” force on King Street.
Can you blame me for heading to the beach instead? Hopefully not! Anyway, as I watched a high-heeled bachelorette party clatter across Charleston’s dismal sidewalks towards one of its more meat-market-y bars the other night, I found myself wondering:
Which American city is the most overrun by bachelor and bachelorette parties?
Is it oh-so-Instagrammable Charleston? Nashville, with its opportunities for cowboy cosplay and rapid gentrification? Austin, with its 6th Street megabars and Lake Travis party coves? Somewhere else? Inquiring minds (read: your fearless Fingers editor) would like to know. See you in the comments!—Dave