Jenn Baxter is an accomplished author, speaker, and freelance writer in Charlotte, North Carolina. She has been published in numerous print and online publications and appears nationwide at tiny house festivals, healthy living festivals, and private engagements. She is an expert on downsizing, minimalism, clean eating, healthy living, and spiritual health.
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Sometimes a girl’s just got to get away, to take a break from being mom, wife, chauffeur and general, all-around Superwoman. And sometimes, a girl’s gotta take her girls with her. So, the next time you’re planning a girlfriend getaway, make sure to check out these awesome spots in North Carolina that combine beautiful scenery with great food, fun activities and of course, a whole lot of relaxation.
If you and your girls love some wine, then you’ll definitely want to visit the Yadkin Valley, located about a half hour outside of Winston-Salem. The Yadkin Valley Wine Trail includes almost 40 different wineries to explore from small, quaint vineyards to grand, Tuscany-esque operations. Because the grapes in this area grow in soil that was once used for tobacco, they are also not limited to the native varieties of Scuppernong and Muscadine. But instead, run the whole gamut from dry reds to sweet whites. Book yourselves a couple of beautiful rooms at one of the local bed and breakfasts and then choose to either visit the wineries on your own or take a tour through Yadkin Valley Wine Tours, which includes transportation, tasting fees and a tour guide with a wealth of wine information!
If you guys are more into craft beer than wine, North Carolina has something for you too. The Asheville Brewery Tour will take you and your friends on either a walking or driven tour of the city’s best breweries, where you’ll get to talk to the brew-masters, learn about the brewing process, discover the growing brewery scene in Asheville and of course, taste a lot of samples. They will even make stops at a few hard cideries, for those of you with gluten sensitivities! Of course, after you finish the tour, there are lots of other things to do in Asheville like shop the unique stores downtown, join in the Friday night drum circle or tour Biltmore Estate.
Lakeview at Fontana, a rustic-chic inn and spa in Bryson City, NC, offers a 5-night “Girls’ Night In” spa package that will blow you and your girlfriends away. In addition to beautiful accommodations in one of their “Casual Comfort Suites,” the inn’s rustic-chic take on a NC mountain cabin rental, you’ll also be treated to morning yoga, followed by organic French-pressed coffee and pastries, luxurious Aveda bath amenities and a wine hour every evening. While you’re there, each guest also gets four 50-minute spa treatments of their choice. It’s the ultimate way to relax, while taking in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains!
If you and your girlfriends are fans of Nicholas Sparks movies or the old teen dramas, Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill, you’ll love getting to see a lot of the spots where they were filmed when you visit Wilmington, NC. You can see the spot where Karen had her coffee shop on One Tree Hill, the Riverfront Park where Andi and Pacey shared their first kiss on Dawson’s Creek or the graveyard where Landon and Jamie watched the stars in A Walk to Remember. You and the girls can make your own way around with a map from the Visitor’s Center or take a guided 90-minute Hollywood Location Walk tour, and then spend the rest of your time enjoying all the restaurants, bars and shops throughout the historic downtown area.
Or if you and your friends were big fans of Dirty Dancing, you’ll be happy to find out the movie was filmed at Lake Lure in NC and you can swim in the very same spot that Johnny and Baby did. Although the cabins that served as the staff quarters in the movie have since been torn down, you can still see the infamous steps where Baby carried the watermelon. Plus, if you visit in August, you can take part in the town’s annual Dirty Dancing Festival, where you can watch the movie, take a dance lesson, eat some delicious food and even enter the lake-lifting competition. No matter what time of year you visit, there is still plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy, a sandy beach to relax on and plenty of cute shops to explore nearby.
For the adrenaline junkies, schedule your next girlfriend getaway to Charlotte where you can get your fill of excitement and adventure. First, there’s the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where your group can take a raft down the rapids, do a little rock climbing, go mountain biking or even attempt a ropes course together high up in the trees. But, if that’s not enough adventure for you, there’s also Charlotte Motor Speedway, located in nearby Concord, where you and girls can strap in for a ride around the track in a real NASCAR stock car. If you want to take things up a notch, don’t just ride in the car – sign up for the driving school and take your turn behind the wheel!