You've got the boys all excited about a guys' getaway, but taking part in daredevil activities just isn't your thing. No need to fret. Have a look at 10 of the biggest, hottest parties in North America. From street parties and holiday celebrations to sporting events and music festivals, it's all right here. Now that you know where the best party spots are, you have no more excuses. It's about time you hop on a plane and go wild with the crew.
Part II - Top Parties in North America
1. Mardi Gras
New Orleans, Louisiana - February
Beads, boobs and booze - need we say more? Millions of fun-seekers crowd New Orleans every year for the raucous Mardi Gras celebration. Fat Tuesday is the last day to indulge before Lent kicks off so why not overindulge. Masked balls, colorful parades, feather-covered showgirls, painted clowns and drunken debauchery - you'll find them all in this outrageous street fest. Just make sure you have a prime spot to enjoy the festivities and catch the doubloons.
2. March Madness in Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada - Late March
Las Vegas is a 24/7/365 party, but the party kicks into a whole other gear when March Madness rolls around. College hoop junkies as well as college spring breakers converge at the Sin City to sample all that Vegas has to offer. Bettors pack the casinos' sports book to try their luck and hit the clubs (night clubs, strip clubs, whatever clubs) at night to fritter away their winnings. Grab a seat, get a beer and sit back to enjoy the tournament action unfold on the dizzying array of big screens.
3. Daytona 500
Daytona Beach, Florida - February
The biggest, richest and most prestigious race of NASCAR is also the biggest party for stock car nation. After all, it is the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing." Hit the tailgates, pound lots of Buds and ogle the beautiful girls from dawn to dusk. Hear the roar of the engines, smell the burning tires on asphalt and feel the ultimate rush as the cars zoom by at more than 130 mph. Leave your preconceptions behind and find out why people from all walks of life fall in love with Daytona 500, "The Great American Race."
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4. Kentucky Derby
Louisville, Kentucky - First Saturday in May
You know spring has arrived when more than 150,000 fans fill the stands for "the two most exciting minutes in sports" at the Kentucky Derby. See the socialites don their ostentatious hats, drink a few too many mint juleps, have a taste of the hot browns and burgoo, place your bets and take in the electrifying atmosphere at Churchill Downs. Let the "Who's Who" of movies, sports and politics do their thing in "Millionaires Row" while you and the boys head to the infield to party with abandon with 80,000 other people. See for yourself why the infield revelry on Derby Day ranks as one of America's best parties.
5. Burning Man
Black Rock Desert, Nevada - 8 days before Labor Day, September
Whether you call it the ultimate hippy party or arts extravaganza, Burning Man is certainly not your ordinary festival. An eight-day, clothing-optional free-for-all that culminates in the burning of a wooden man, Burning Man offers the perfect outlet to express yourself and cut loose. Drop your inhibitions, break out the body paint and mingle with the tens of thousands who gather in the middle of nowhere for this annual affair. Leave your money at home - just bring a tent, sunscreen and your buddies (and be sure to read the Survival Guide).
6. Canadian Grand Prix
Montreal, Quebec, Canada - Mid June
When you combine Formula One racing with Sin City of the North, what you have is the largest Grand Prix party in the world. The whole city of Montreal comes alive with excitement as thousands of people from around the globe, celebrities and supermodels included, make the pilgrimage for the three-day weekend. Outdoor shows, street festivals, exceptional nightlife on Crescent Street and of course, the racing itself - the Grand Prix du Canada is legendary for the drinking, sports and general depravity that take place over the 72 hours of the event.
7. Jazz Fest
New Orleans, Louisiana - End of April
There may be several Jazz Fest all around the United States, but none quite compares to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Hosted by a city known for jambalaya, hurricanes and partying, the 10-day outdoor fest is one of the biggest music festivals in the world, with headliners like Aretha Franklin, Pearl Jam, Simon & Garfunkel, The Neville Brothers and more. So grab your hats and sunglasses and make a getaway for non-stop partying - Jazz Fest by day and Bourbon Street by night.
8. Bay to Breakers
San Francisco, California - Third Sunday in May
While Bay to Breakers is technically a 7 mile foot race from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean, this annual festival is really one giant excuse for the 70,000 plus participants (and countless city residents) to have an awesome street party, dress up in elaborate costumes (or none at all) and imbibe limitless amount of alcohol. Kegs of beer in shopping carts, local bands performing on street corners, themed floats cruising by, block parties and outdoor BBQs all around and revelers from all walks of life are what makes this event so one of a kind.
9. Calgary Stampede
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Early to Mid July
Once a year, the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth that is the Calgary Stampede comes into town for 10 days to attract more than 1.2 million visitors. Everyone from oil company execs and farmhands to locals and tourists costume up in western attire, head to the rodeo and party hop from bars to bars. Watch the parade, eat free flapjacks for ten days and cut loose with the hotties. Giddy up with your stetson and boots as the orgy of all things cowboy and cowgirl continues to grow as a hotspot for misbehavin'.
10. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Manchester, Tennessee - Mid June
Whether you prefer indie rock, world music, hip hop, jazz, reggae, country music or even electronica, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is "the ultimate over-the-top summer festival" for you. Named the "best festival" by Rolling Stone, the festival attracts 70,000 people over 4 days to the rolling farmlands 60 miles southeast of Nashville. Multiple stages of great music headlined by Dave Matthews Band, Jay-Z, Kings of Leon and Stevie Wonder along with a Silent Disco tent and Comedy tent, Bonnaroo will make sure you know what the name means - "a really good time."
- Super Bowl (February)
- Great American Beer Festival (Denver, Colorado - Late September)
- Bourbon Festival (Bardstown, Kentucky - September)
Continue to Best Ideas for a Guys' Trip - Part III (Top Parties around the World).
Did you see Best Ideas for a Guys' Trip - Part I (Top Activities)?