Planning A Detroit Bachelorette Party

*Updated July 2018*

detroit-bachelorette

I might be bias, but Detroit is where it’s at right now. This blog targets brides that are living in or getting married in the Metro Detroit area, but I’d be amiss if I didn’t point out that one of the very best bachelorette ideas right now is a staycation.

Don’t you agree? For the bride or bridesmaids that live outside of the city and Uber in from time to time, this is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the best way possible.

I’ve been to what feels like a billion bachelorette parties, from the freaking Chateau Marmont in Hollywood to the (former) Library Pub in Novi (you know exactly the spot that I’m talking about, don’t you?). So when it came time to rally my own troop for a night, er, day out, I just wanted to stick around town and soak up the energy.

Where to go when you’re bacheloretting in Detroit? Let me share a few of my own ideas…

WHERE TO STAY

  • CASINOS: I’m not a huge casino fan, but the rooms are far more fun than any existing Detroit hotel and there’s also plenty of drinks to be had at any time of day on the gaming floor. Hungry? Just head to a restaurant downstairs. Bonus: You don’t even need to request an Uber to hit the nearest bar. Consider MGM Grand Detroit, MotorCity or Greektown (Jack) casinos.
  • HOTELS: Go with the Foundation Hotel. Their bar, a part of the Apparatus Room restaurant, is gorgeous and cozy and ideal for socializing. Capital Park is a short walk away, with more restaurants and bars to choose from. Otherwise, check out Aloft Detroit, or the newer Siren Hotel on Broadway, which is within walking of distance of some nice spots (including Wright & Co. for small plates and craft cocktails or the Candy Bar inside of Siren Hotel for a super intimate but chic setting).
  • AIRBNB: For larger groups, go big and rent a lofty space downtown where everyone can stay and the party can begin. Make sure that you can get in ahead of time to decorate the space – ahem – appropriately.

WHERE TO START

  • IMMERSE SPA: Ommmm. My girls and I began at MGM’s Immerse Spa and it was nothing short of heavenly. We had all booked appointments around the same time and arrived early to nab spots by the indoor pool for loads of lounging before ordering lunch. The setting is gorgeous; and who doesn’t love a good rub-down?
  • BLOW OUTS: Head over to Detroit’s Blo Blow Dry Bar on Washington Blvd for a fresh blow out and to have your and your girl’s make up done. Pop into the nearby Ten Nail Salon for manis / pedis, if you’ve got time.
  • BRUNCH: If you’re not hitting the spa, start the day with a solid brunch. If your crew is rowdy, head to Eastern Market’s Vivio’s (request a long table upstairs) for the city’s best Bloody Marys or Bobcat Bonnie’s in Corktown. For a fancier atmosphere, try Townhouse on Woodward (great ambiance) or Selden Standard in Midtown.

WHERE TO DRINK

  • TASTINGS: Go big or go home, right? Get your party started by ordering up a round of flights for all the ladies. We like Detroit City Distillery in Eastern Market for a relaxed vibe (as well as nearby Eastern Market Brewing Company, which serves up brews only), as well as Two James Distillery in Corktown. The Royce in Grand Circus Park and is a lovely wine bar with an inexpensive corking fee that’s perfect for sharing a few bottles among a group. A short drive away, Brix Wine Bar on the east side of town, serves up vinos and charcuterie boards.
  • CRAFT COCKTAILS: Lady of the House in Corktown is my current favorite, with a small but sweet bar and amazing food. Eatori Market in Capitol Park offers a nice bar with good drinks in a great walkable area; and the nearby Bad Luck Bar – with it’s discreet alley entrance – is a great hideout with pricey but delicious cocktails. Sugar House in Corktown is a staple and it’s perfect for a small group of gals.

WHERE TO DINE

  • Nab a table at Parc in Campus Martius for bustling city views; book a reservation at Prime + Proper for the city’s glitziest dinner; or check out Lumen in Beacon Park, which offers open air, casual dining and a great patio with fire pit. For a more informal affair, try El Barzon near Mexican Village, a great hole-in-the-wall that offers both Mexican and Italian fare (this was where I opted to celebrate!) or Bakersfield in Midtown for tacos and tequila.
  • Swing into For the Love of Sugar (open late!) for fresh macarons or cake slices that include vegan options, equally delectable and Instaworthy.

WHAT TO DO

  • SHOP: No, really. Check out Shinola (Midtown) for leather goods, watches and bikes, City Bird (Midtown) for paper and home goods, Bird Bee (Capitol Park) or Kit and Ace (downtown) for clothing, and many other hidden gems in Eastern Market, along Woodward Corridor and in Midtown.
  • PEDDLE  BAR: I’m cringing a bit to say it, but peddle bike bars seem to be a bachelorette favorite. Handle Bar Detroit and Detroit Rolling Pub are two established options.
  • FOWLING: Have you tried it? A big ol’ group of girls might be a bit of a mess, in the funnest way possible, here. You’ll throw footballs at large wooden bowling pins in this indoor game, created by a local. The Fowling Warehouse gaming venue / bar is located in Hamtramck.
  • LOCAL SHOWS: Check out what’s happening at The Fox, The Fillmore, or any of the other smaller venues (Saint Andrews Hall or even Hopcat…)
  • OUTDOORS: In the summer, head over to Belle Isle for picnics, wading in the river and plenty of local events; consider renting kayaks for a tour of the river, too.

What have I left out? Let me know in the comments …

Planning a Traverse City Bachelorette Party

Planning a Traverse City Michigan Bachelorette Wine Weekend

The first in our series of Michigan bachelorette party ideas and itineraries: 

When it comes to wine pairings, there’s nothing to better complement bottles of bubbly than lacy lingerie. That’s why a trip to legendary Traverse City, Mich., just four hours north of Detroit, is one of the easiest options for a girl’s weekend away.

Located on the 45th parallel, the region is ideal for growing the grape varietals that are used in sweet white wines (and a few reds, too). Wineries with friendly tasting rooms run aplenty; combined with relatively inexpensive lodging and a creative culinary scene, T.C. tops the list for driveable destinations.

We’ve pulled together a sample itinerary (which I’ve stolen from the many, many girls and couples trips that my fabulous friend Sarah has organized), and I’ve also included a couple of key considerations when planning your own bash for the bachelorette.

Lodging
There are a slew of hotels near the bay in downtown Traverse City, but many of them lack the, well, charm, that one might hope for when planning a gal’s getaway. I’ve stayed in Park Place Hotel, which typically offers discounted room block rates for groups, and is centrally located and within walking distance to plenty of bars and restaurants. (Heads up: it’s definitely outdated.) That said, my preferred option is a rental condo or house that can accommodate a group of your size. Not only do you reap added savings, but you can more easily lounge with the ladies, cook breakfast together, or break open those bottles that you purchased earlier in the day. (Side note: I’ve stayed in both AirBnB and VRBO rentals in Traverse City, both of which worked perfectly for groups of 12 – 14 people.)

Two-Day versus Three-Day
When planning a bachelorette, you’re often required to play nicely with friends of the bride that you may not know very well. Keep in mind that some gals may be on entry-level job budgets, have children that require their attention, or a demanding job. For those reasons, it’s easy to suggest that everyone head up north whenever is most convenient for them. Prime partiers can scoot after work on Friday (or take the day off), while others can arrive early Saturday and save the cost of Friday night dinner and lodging.

The PLAN:

Friday Evening:

– Arrivals into Traverse City by guests staying two nights; check into your hotel or rental
– Dinner at Stella’s in Traverse City – an awesome Italian restaurant housed in a former mental hospital – which features snout-to-tail selections in a unique, lower level of the building. Make reservations!
– Drinks at the chic and dimly lit Low Bar, just off of Front Street. Think ornate, Victorian furniture, black velvet and craft cocktails.

Saturday:

– Arrivals of the remaining gals to the hotel or rental by 11:30 a.m.
– Book your tour bus or limo to arrive at 12:30 p.m. for a four- or five-hour rental; you definitely don’t want to be driving yourself from vineyard to vineyard! Load in with some snacks to keep folks fueled (think: mini champagne splits – most companies allow open alcohol on the bus – with cheese and crackers). Consider reaching out to By the Bay Transportation or Blue Lakes Charters for a driver and rental and be sure to provide your winery list in advance. (Also: call each winery at least two weeks in advance to make sure they’re able to accommodate your group at the times you’ve scheduled.)

  • Brys Estate Winery: A well-appointed tasting room and a long, private bar for larger groups make the wine taste even better at this Restoration Hardware-feeling tasting room.
  • Bonobo Winery: Owned by HGTV star Carter Osterhouse, this brand new winery is a gorgeous stop with just enough white wines to keep you busy while you try to spot the owner or his wife, Amy Smart. Lovely back decks are perfect for group photos!
  • Mawby: Why wouldn’t you indulge in some champagne, too? This winery offers two lines of bubbly blends that you can sample alongside bite-sized apps for purchase.
  • Two Lads: High atop a hill, this industrial looking winery offers views off either side of the peninsula. The wines are great and the setting is fabulous.
  • Jolly Pumpkin: If you’re wined out, consider a stop into Jolly Pumpkin for the sour Belgian brews and distilled liquor samples.
  • Wine drop at your rental and hotel, 10 minutes to primp and then have your driver drop you all off at your dinner location. Trust me, you’ll be starving and it will be easier to snag a group reservation around 5:30 or 6! Consider Red Ginger downtown, an Asian fusion style eatery that’s also easy distance to your next stop or two.
  • Bar-hopping with the bride means heading in whichever direction she desires. If you’re up for dancing, however, the locals will point you to Side Traxx, a gay nightclub where the beats are always bumping. As the name implies, it’s a bit off the beaten path, so you may need to call a cab or two to take you home at closing.

Sunday Morning:

  • Make a breakfast in the rental kitchen or head to one of two Omelette Shoppe locations for a delicious morning meal before making the trek home.
  • Pit stop at Birch Run! Did I even have to suggest this? 🙂

What must-see or must-taste tid bits would you add to this itinerary?

FREE Bachelorette Party “Bride Tribe” Iron On

Free DIY Bride Tribe Print Iron On Tank Tee

Who hasn’t seen the sweet bride-tribe tees and tanks paraded around bachelorette-friendly bars as of late? It’s one of the easiest ways to brand your pack and let’s not kid ourselves, it makes for adorable photo opps, too.

A quick Google search spewed retail options running $16 to $36 for a simple tank, but I’ve got a better idea… How about a handful of Target’s “favorite tanks” by Merona (which are indeed my favorite tank) and a free printable for easy iron-ons?

Just pick up some iron-on transfer paper from Michael’s or Amazon, download the attached Bride Tribe Detroit or plain, ol’ Bride Tribe graphic, and you’re good to go!

Want a customized version with a name, date or other city added? Shoot me a note at jessica {at} greenglobetrotter {dot} com and I’ll bounce back with options.

Click to download .PNG photos (Bride Tribe Detroit Tank / Bride Tribe Tank) to download or print a PDF (Bride Tribe Detroit Tank / Bride Tribe Tank) here. 

For all the non-Detroit bachelorette parties among us:

Free DIY Iron on Bride Tribe Graphic

And for those gals getting it on in the D:

DIY Iron On Bride Tribe Detroit Graphic