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15 Perfect Mom-Daughter Trip Ideas

What better way to bond with your mom than a mother-daughter trip? It can make for the perfect Mother’s Day gift, but there’s never a bad time to enjoy the experience. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures you can enjoy together, pristine sands for relaxation, opportunities to watch exotic wildlife, shop ’til you drop, sip wine, or anything else, this list offers some fabulous ideas to consider.

New York City, New York Central Park during autumn in New York City
Credit: Central Park during autumn in New York City by © Sean Pavone | Dreamstime.com

New York City, New York

If you’re looking for a city escape, there’s no place like New York City. You’ll have practically an endless list of options when it comes to things to do. Browse high-end stores like Tiffany and Co. on Fifth Avenue, take in a Broadway show, explore museums, take a stroll through Central Park and enjoy a sunset cruise into the harbor, complete with a view of Lady Liberty. There’s truly something for everyone here.

Sedona, Arizona Sedona, Arizona
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Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is renowned for its remarkable red rock formations with lots of trails that bring an up-close view and opportunities to experience vortexes, swirling centers of energy that are believed to be conducive to healing and enhance meditation practice. If you want to explore remote corners without too much effort, Jeep tours are possible too. Afterward, check out the many New Age-type shops selling crystals, countless art galleries, and outstanding restaurants. You can also relax together with an indulgent treatment at one of the lavish spas.

Seattle, Washington Seattle skyline with Space Needle.
Credit: Seattle skyline with Space Needle. by © Sorin Colac - Dreamstime.com

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is a fantastic city for a mother-daughter trip, with a wide range of accommodation options for every budget and many things to do. It’s a foodie’s paradise with plenty of fresh seafood, although you’ll find just about every type of cuisine imaginable. Plus, there are many opportunities for shopping with everything from eclectic boutiques to department stores. You might visit the Seattle Art Museum, stroll through beautiful gardens, or even catch a ferry over to Bainbridge Island and watch for wildlife, including whales, along the way. There are cruises to take and kayaks available to rent if you want to get active on the water too.

West Hollywood, California West Hollywood, California
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West Hollywood, California

Spending a getaway being treated like Hollywood stars and perhaps spotting a few actual stars is sure to make for a good time. You might start by getting makeovers and then do some window shopping along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. If you want to buy some cute outfits that will make you look like a VIP without spending like one, head to The Grove, an open-air mall where celebrities like to shop too. A drive into the Hollywood Hills will reveal many of the star’s grand homes and you’ll want to make a reservation at an A-list hotspot like Craig’s for dinner where everyone from Kim Kardashian to Jane Fonda and George Clooney has dined.

McMinnville - Willamette Valley, Oregon Downtown McMinnville
Credit: Downtown McMinnville by Visit McMinnville

McMinnville - Willamette Valley, Oregon

The lush Willamette Valley offers picturesque scenery and plenty of opportunities for wine tasting and touring as the heart of Oregon wine country. It’s much less crowded than places like Napa Valley in California, and In McMinnville, you’ll find charming independent boutiques, fresh local cuisine in top-notch restaurants, and even 20+ tasting rooms right in town. Be sure to squeeze in time at the spa, with the Allison Inn & Spa nearby offering signature spa treatments.

Mendocino, California Mendocino, California
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Mendocino, California

Mendocino is one of the prettiest coastal towns in Northern California, located about three hours north of San Francisco. It’s filled with saltbox cottages and Victorian buildings that house antique shops, art galleries, independent boutiques, and fine eateries. Explore Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, set across 47 oceanfront acres with wetlands, pine forest, coastal bluffs, a pine forest, and a spectacular variety of plants and flowers. You can spend time on the beaches, looking through tide pools, and enjoying scenic trails in the redwoods nearby.

Orange Beach, Alabama Orange Beach, Alabama
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Orange Beach, Alabama

For a beach getaway in the south, it’s hard to beat Orange Beach. It offers pristine white sands that are made up of quartz which means they sparkle in the sun while contrasted beautifully by stunning turquoise waters. There are all sorts of opportunities for watersports like sailing and you can even enjoy guaranteed dolphin sightings by signing up for an excursion with Dolphin Cruises Aboard the Cold Mil Fleet. If you want to cycle, enjoy over 15 miles of trails just inland via the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail. Wander around the wharf, which offers lots of entertainment and waterfront dining – Doc’s Seafood Shack & Oyster Bar is renowned for its shrimp.

Geneva - Finger Lakes Region, New York Well-preserved 19th-century buildings in Geneva, New York
Credit: Well-preserved 19th-century buildings in Geneva, New York by © Spiroview Inc. | Dreamstime.com

Geneva - Finger Lakes Region, New York

A top destination in New York State, Finger Lakes is a popular wine region ideal for mother and daughter wine enthusiasts. It includes nearly a dozen finger-shaped lakes, historic towns, antique and artisan shops, gorgeous state parks, and dozens of wineries. While many towns offer fabulous farm-to-table eateries, Geneva is great for those seeking a relaxing lakefront getaway. It sits on the northernmost tip of Seneca Lake and has a bustling downtown district, home to the Smith Opera House.

Morro Bay, California Morro Bay, California
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Morro Bay, California

A small town on California’s central coast, Morro Bay offers lots of charms and one of the most beautiful beaches in the state. It’s known for the Morro Rock referred to as “America’s Gibraltar,” sitting dramatically just a short distance from shore. The main street is lined with fun shops to browse and there’s a state park with a marina, natural history museum, and one of the last great blue heron rookeries in the state. There are opportunities for whale watching and wine tasting with wine country nearby while Hearst Castle, one of America’s few real castles, is just a 35-minute drive from town.

Scottish Highlands, Scotland Fairy pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
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Scottish Highlands, Scotland

The beauty of the Scottish Highlands, with its soaring heather-covered mountains, sparkling lochs, and enchanting castles, make this region an unforgettable one. If either of you is a fan of the TV series “Outlander,” it’s a no-brainer. You might even plan a trip around the filming sites. Either way, you’ll find no shortage of attractions, from the stunning fairy pools and Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye to the Culloden Battle site and other historic treasures. There are opportunities to feast on fresh seafood in fine-dining restaurants and enjoy casual fare with a pint and live music in local pubs.

Quebec City - Quebec, Canada Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Credit: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada by © Songquan Deng - Dreamstime.com

Quebec City - Quebec, Canada

If you’re dreaming of a European getaway but don’t have the time to fly across the Atlantic and deal with jet lag, Quebec City is a great alternative. Located in the French-speaking province of Quebec, it’s the only city in North America that still has intact fortress walls north of Mexico. The fortified historic district is UNESCO-listed and comes complete with cobblestone walkways, well-preserved 17th-century architecture, and vibrant café culture. At the Citadel you can watch the Candian troops stage a ceremony while Chateau Frontenac offers afternoon tea. When you need to re-energize, indulge as the locals do on poutine, French fries with gravy, and cheese curds. Here, you’ll find countless different versions.

Rovinj, Croatia Rovinj in Istria, Croatia
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Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj is an ideal base for exploring Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. Just across the Adriatic from Italy, you’ll find lots of Italian influence here, from the homes and buildings to the food. In fact, it’s reminiscent of Tuscany, without the big crowds. You might start in the world’s smallest town, Hum, where you can sample the local jams and brandies and then try some of the delectable truffle products straight from a truffle hunter and producer in Buzet. The hilltop town of Motovun is incredibly picturesque overlooking the vineyard- and olive tree-covered landscape below. Throughout the region, there are multiple wineries for tasting and touring while Rovinj itself offers breathtaking sea views and an old town filled with cobbled streets and alleyways with enticing cafes and independent shops.

El Chalten, Argentina El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina
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El Chalten, Argentina

El Chalten offers some of the best hiking and scenery in Patagonia. While it’s not cheap, it can be the trip of a lifetime. Located at the base of Mount Fitz Roy, it has a rich mountaineering heritage with trails heading straight from town. The most popular thing to do is to hike the Laguna de Los Tres trail, although horseback riding is a favorite activity as well. Afterward, there are independent breweries for enjoying craft beer, bars, and restaurants. You won’t want to miss enjoying a Parilla together, this traditional Argentian BBQ is a hit with nearly everyone.

Tsavo National Park, Kenya, Africa family of elephants in Tsavo National Park, Kenya
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Tsavo National Park, Kenya, Africa

Tsavo National Park is Kenya’s oldest and largest, vast reserve with diverse landscapes that include everything from grasslands to extinct volcanoes and rocky terrain. It’s separated into two parts, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park, which are divided by a roadway. Tsavo East is a slightly better choice although they both offer excellent wildlife viewing and outstanding scenery. You’ll have the chance to spot elephant, hippo, buffalo, rhino, leopard, crocodile, and some 500 recorded bird species.

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Credit: Lake Atitlan, Guatemala by © Lucy Brown | Dreamstime.com

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Lake Atitlan is one of the top attractions in Guatemala. A crater lake surrounded by three volcanoes and multiple villages where Guatemalans live a traditional life, offering the chance to delve into local culture, and enjoy rich heritage, architectural marvels, delicious eats, and striking natural beauty. All sorts of recreational activities are possible, including hiking, biking, swimming, and kayaking. There are fantastic artisanal workshops that provide a great mother-daughter bonding experience too. 

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