Alyssa has been writing about exciting travel topics for Trips to Discover since 2013. After living the big city life in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Alyssa sold the bulk of her possessions and became a digital nomad, living full-time in her camper and working from wherever she could find an outlet and an internet connection for her laptop.
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Traveling with your family or significant other is great and all, but every once in a while, every woman just needs some girl time. Girls weekends can take all shapes and forms, from shopping excursions to outdoor adventures, foodie trips, and winery jaunts. But regardless of the planned activities, girls weekends build and restore the bonds of friendship and help us reconnect with each other and ourselves. Across the U.S. and internationally, these are some of the best places to visit for a girl’s getaway trip.
Throughout generations, Savannah has retained its southern charm like few other places in America. This is a very walkable small city that’s scenic, quaint, and has lots to do. Groups of friends can find top-notch restaurants and fun bars here that actually let you take your drink outside in a to-go cup to sip while you stroll! Tour a historic home and take a stroll through some of Savannah’s many parks and public squares.
With a rare and wonderful number of sunny days and prime access to the beach, San Diego is a top getaway spot for women of all ages, interests, and hobbies. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, sign up for a scuba diving camp and learn something new with your favorite gals. Obviously, surfing is a big deal here too. Spring break and New Year’s Eve are popular times to visit San Diego, but it’s great for a girl’s trip at any time.
Well-known for its waterfall hikes and amazing scenery, the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon is another perfect place for a girls trip. You’re not far from all the restaurants, bars, and quirky shops in Portland, and there are lots of local wineries and vineyards in the area to visit and do a tasting. The Willamette Valley is home to over 400 wineries and known for its famous pinot noir. This is a great girls’ getaway trip to reconnect with nature and still have plenty to do after a couple of photo-worthy hikes.
New Orleans offers endless things to do, combining the best of both worlds with a party scene on par with Vegas and a southern culture scene to balance out all those tropical drinks on Bourbon Street. This is an excellent destination for foodies who want to sample the South’s best crawfish, shrimp, beignets, gumbo, and jambalaya. Magazine Street is known for its cute boutique shops, and Frenchman Street is the place to go for live jazz music on a night out with the girls.
For women looking to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge, there are few better getaway destinations than Sedona. This is a haven for spiritual awakening, and the area embraces crystal healing, yoga retreats, and mediation journeys. Sedona is well-known for its spiritual vortexes, which are powerful areas known for healing properties, and you can take mystical tours of them. If the rest of your family isn’t very interested in alternative healers, chakra healings, shamanic journeys, and psychic readings, perhaps a Sedona girls trip will help open your heart and mind.
Paris is often thought of as the ultimate romantic getaway, but it’s also a perfect girl’s destination too. Ladies can reminisce about their favorite Paris-themed movies and TV episodes while roaming the streets and engaging in all aspects of Parisian life. This is an ideal destination for high-end shopping splurges and a foodie paradise. Have your portraits or caricatures drawn by local street artists and take lots of photos in front of your favorite Paris scenes to frame and cherish forever.
For a warm-weather beach getaway without the crazy party scene, try a girls-only escape to St. Lucia. This is one of the quiet and more peaceful Caribbean destinations that offers plenty to do for groups of friends. You can take a private cooking class, signing up for a sailing lesson, or booking a massage for your group while you’re here.
But if you embrace the nightlife scene along with your beach retreat, then Miami is the top girls getaway spot for you. If you’re willing to splurge a bit, consider booking a package deal at the hotel of your choice to get VIP access passes to nightclubs, cocktail specials, and spa treatments. Miami is the perfect place for people-watching and getting all dolled up for unforgettable nights out.
Foodie friends will love spending time in San Juan, the Puerto Rican city known for white sandy beaches, tasty rum cocktails, and delicious cuisine. Seafood and stuffed fritters are local specialties here, and it’s easy to find fresh, local, and authentic markets and cuisine.
Coastal Maine is a lovely place for a girl’s trip, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. There are lots of gourmet restaurants in Portland and art galleries and museums to check out along the way. This is an ideal pick for the 30s and 40s crowd with plenty of restaurants, shops, and wineries to keep your group busy and entertained for days. Don’t miss the cheese shops, bakeries, and mead distilleries too!
Santa Fe is a place to get cultured, inspired, and get involved in the local arts scene. There are lots of galleries full of Southwestern art here and classes that individuals and groups of friends can learn full crafts like pottery and weaving. This is also a place to listen to live local music at concerts in the summertime. There are also some great glamping opportunities in the Santa Fe area if your group wants to experience the best of nature without any of the fuss.
Charleston doesn’t just offer Southern hospitality, though you’ll find plenty of that. This charming city has a rising foodie scene, gorgeous colonial-era streets, unique boutiques and beautiful beaches. If you visit between April and December, be sure to head to the festive Farmers Market on Saturday morning where you can enjoy omelets, crepes or donuts while shopping for fresh produce.
Another girls getaway gem in the American Northeast is Providence, Rhode Island, which is a haven for art galleries, live performances, and classical music. This artsy city also has some great places to grab a cup of coffee or a cocktail as you’re sightseeing. And there are some scenic beach areas worth visiting for a little peace and quiet.
The City by the Bay ranks high among best girlfriend getaways with its walkable, albeit steep, streets, incredible restaurants, fabulous shopping and all sorts of fun attractions. Shop Union Square, visit Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park, and of course, be sure to visit the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. But don’t just view the bridge from afar, walk or bike the 1.7-mile span that stretches from San Francisco to the Marine headlands. The bridge’s sidewalks are open during the day to pedestrians as well as bicyclists. There is a multitude of tours throughout the city too.
Austin stands out in Texas as a quirky, progressive, outdoorsy, and musically-inclined city that always offers something new. This is an ideal spot for music lovers because there’s almost always a live show going on. The Texas Hill Country is also a prime spot for vineyards and wineries, so why not sample some of the local specialties with your girlfriends while you’re in the area?
New York City is one of America’s most exciting destinations. It’s a place that’s on just about everybody’s list to check out at some point, offering the allure of the bright lights, high fashion, world-class restaurants, cultural attractions and shopping as well as nonstop nightlife. No matter what your budget, you’ll find fun places to shop from the artsy stalls of the Brooklyn Flea and indie boutiques to high-end luxury stores. The best place to stay if you want to be in the heart of it all is Manhattan. By staying near Times Square you can have fun walking through the dazzling array of lights at night and you’ll be close to a wide array of restaurants and Broadway theaters.
If you’re in serious need of truly getting away from it all, consider Cabo San Lucas. Located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in Mexico, Cabo San Lucas is not only one of Mexico’s top tourist destinations but the world’s. There are more than 300 sunny days here a year, along with white sandy beaches and a wealth of activities and attractions. In addition to lounging poolside at one of the luxury resorts, you can spend your days snorkeling, whale watching, surfing and hiking.
The Emerald City lives up to his nickname, surrounded by endless green forests, the dazzling water of Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east, not to mention all of those towering mountains, from the jagged Olympics to Mount Rainier. It also has lots of fantastic cultural attractions, from the highly-rated Seattle Art Museum to the Pacific Science Center, the EMP Museum and much more. One of its most famous attractions is Pike Place Market, where you can buy or browse fresh seafood, produce and flowers as well as handmade arts and crafts. On a clear day, head up to the top of the Space Needle and enjoy one of the most beautiful views in the world.
Chicago has something for every type of girl in every season — foodies, museum lovers, baseball fans, cycling enthusiasts, and, of course, shoppers. The possibilities are nearly endless – the Windy City ranks high for its theater, and, shopping along the Magnificent Mile. Plus, you won’t want to miss checking out a Caribbean reef at Shedd Aquarium and the amazing works at the Art Institute. If you want to get active, rent a bike or inline skates at Millennium Park or Navy Pier and head to the 18-mile Lakefront Trail which follows Lincoln Park along six miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, with five beaches, trails, fields, a rock garden, bird sanctuary and the zoo.
Portland is a fun and quirky city that rates high for its food trucks, coffee and microbrews, though it’s long been a favorite with garden, waterfall and hiking enthusiasts. There is no other place in the country with as many clusters of unique food carts cooking up dishes like reindeer sausage at Beez Neez or Porklandia Pulled Pork on a Jalapeno Cornbread Waffle at Gaufre Gourmet. You can hit one of many scenic hiking trails that lead to waterfalls right outside town, and of course, Portland is also home to the famed International Rose Test Garden and the Japanese Garden.