10 Best Girls’ Getaways in the US

March 12, 2013 by

North America, Things to Do, Travel Advice & Inspiration

For those looking to plan the perfect girlfriend getaway without going too far, there are plenty of cities around the United States with much to offer. Whether you’re looking for the ultimate wine escape, a music-inspired jaunt or something more adventurous, you can find it nearby. To help you plan your girls only itinerary, here are some suggestions.

1. Park City, Utah

Park City; Best Cities for Girls' Trips

Skiing in Park City. Photo credit: Marvin Kuo via Flickr.

Park City, Utah is renowned for its rich ski culture, featuring three world-class resorts with distinct personalities. For girlfriends who want an exclusive experience, Deer Valley mixes skiing with pure luxury. Expect ski valets carrying your gear, staff handing you tissues on the ski lifts and 5-star service every moment. If you’re looking for a true adrenaline rush, Park City Mountain Resort features an array of ski trails for all levels as well as four terrain parks — Little Kings, Neffland, Three Kings and King’s Crown — where skiers can perform jumps, tricks, jibs, rail runs and more.

And at the decadent Canyons Resort there is something for everyone, with routes being 10% beginner, 45% intermediate and 45% advanced and a resort village featuring restaurants, spas, accommodations, retail outlets, nightlife and even a “Ski Beach.” After ski season there are still an array of adventurous activities for girl groups to take part in, like trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding and hot air ballooning.

Best for: Hardcore ski addicts and those with an adventurous streak

2. Hocking Hills, Ohio

The Spa at Cedar Falls; Best Girls' Trips

The Spa at Cedar Falls. Photo credit: Abi Skipp via Flickr.

Although only an hour from Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills transports visitors to a completely different world. A true getaway, visitors are drawn to the area by its outdoor recreation, rustic lodges and quirky offerings. Stay at The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, a cottage and cabin-style accommodation surrounded by Hocking Hills State Park. Spend your days hiking to caves, waterfalls and cliffs, or kayaking up the Hocking River. There is also a canopy and zip-line course that allows you to experience nature from above.

To prove just how charming this remote destination is, you and your girls will have the opportunity to enjoy traditional Shawnee storytelling at Saltpetre Caves Nature Preserve, tour the Columbus Washboard Company, the country’s only washboard factory, browse thousands of oddities at the Pencil Sharpener Museum and make your own scented candle at the local Wind Chime Shop.  Back at The Inn, enjoy locally sourced cuisine, a treatment at their onsite spa or a glass of wine by the fire in their gathering room. Your group can also take a cooking class with Chef Anthony and help him prepare the evening’s dinner.

Best for: Nature-lovers and those looking for rustic charm and quirky fare

3. Durango, Colorado

San Juan National Forest

San Juan National Forest. Photo credit: Craig Mirkin via Flickr.

Durango, Colorado is one of the most adventurous cities in the country, if not the world. Because of the city’s 6,512 elevation and diverse terrains, there are many thrills offered, like hiking, ice climbing, canyoning, canoeing, rafting, rocking climbing, off-roading, skiing, snowboarding, zip-ling, horseback riding, gliding and more. Grab your girls and head to the San Juan National Forest, where you can experience many of these activities while admiring 14,000-foot mountain peaks, unique geological formations and scenic trails littered with towering Aspens.

Groups also enjoy visiting Rapp Coral for some horseback riding or sleigh riding, or the Durango Soaring Club for a glider ride over Animas Valley. Once you’re done with the day’s adventures, you and your girls can head to historic Downtown Durango for shopping and dinner or to the Bar D Chuckwaggon Supper Show for live western music, comedy and delicious barbecue.

Best for: Girls looking for an adrenaline rush

4. Nashville, Tennessee

Known as the Music City, Nashville is home to over 200 musical venues featuring talented musicians. Head to Grand Ole Opry House, home to the longest running radio program in history as well as the launch pad for well-known country artists like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. There’s also the Country Music Hall of Fame, a museum offering exhibits, video and music clips, and live performances. At night, throw on your cowboy boots and head to The District where your group can dance all night at the local honky-tonks.

Along with performing and musical arts, Nashville is also home to a rich visual arts scene. While you can find art galleries all over the city, your best bet is to walk along Fifth Avenue of the Arts in downtown between Church and Union Streets. If you’re visiting on the first Saturday of the month don’t miss the First Saturday Art Crawl from 6pm to 9pm, where you and your girls can uncork and admire local art.

Best for: Girls looking to explore the arts

5. Portland, Oregon

Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion. Photo credit: mike krzeszak via Flickr.

Remember being a kid and pulling out the Ouija Board with your girlfriends? While known for its quirky community, Portland can also make for a fun getaway for girls looking to explore one of the country’s most haunted cities. Built in 1914, Pittock Mansion is one of the most haunted sites, with visitors claiming to not only hear phantom footsteps, but also see apparitions. Some have even said Mr. Pittock’s portrait moves from room to room without any human help. Additionally, the Shanghai Tunnels were said to be once used to transport kidnapped victims to Portland’s harbor, where they were shipped to the Orient and forced into slave labor or prostitution. The ghosts of these victims are said to still be wandering around th tunnels.

The Merchant Hotel, Bagdad theater and Willamette River are some of the other haunted sites in the city, which you can explore on your own or by taking a local ghost hunting tour. Once you’re done being spooked, explore some of Portland’s other unusual offerings by perusing the 1,000+ hats at the Hat Museum, sampling monk-made fudge at Brigittine Monastery anding visit Mill Ends Park, the world’s tiniest park at 452 square inches. Don’t worry, there is normal fare too, including heritage museums, performance spaces, art galleries and expansive parks.

Best for: Girls interested in paranormal activity and unusual offerings

6. Bardstown, Kentucky

While girls getaways are often thought to include copious amounts of wine, an alternative idea is to focus on something harder: whiskey. Bardstown in Kentucky is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World, home to distilleries like the Barton 1792 Distillery & Visitor Center, Willett Distillery and Heaven Hill Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center. The city is also home to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, which features rare whiskey artifacts, advertising art and whiskey novelties. If you’d like to lengthen the trip, Bardstown is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a scenic tour that takes you to seven high-quality distilleries.

And for those who would like to add a bit of wine tasting into the jaunt, the city is home to several world-class wineries, like McIntyre’s Winery and Berries, Chuckleberry Farm & Winery and Springhill Winery. At dinner time, gather your girls and ride the My Old Kentucky Dinner Trail. You’ll see the countryside while enjoying a 3-course southern meal.

Best for: Ladies who like their bourbon straight

7. Long Island, New York

Long Island wine tasting

Go wine tasting in Long Island. Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr.

Located about 75 miles east of Manhattan, Long Island is home to 3,000 acres of vineyards and more than 50 wine producers, most of them being on the North Fork. Along the parallel roads of Sound Avenue and Route 25 you’ll find one after the other offering tastings, tours and events, especially in the warmer months when wine, music and harvest festivals take place every weekend. Littered between the wineries you’ll also find farm stands, pie shops and antique stores, as well as nearby parks, beaches and seafood restaurants.

While there are many worthwhile wineries to choose from, there are a few that standout from the rest, especially for a girl’s getaway. For example, Pindar is Long Island’s most popular winery with excellent customer service, an expansive wine list and some of the cutest bartenders in town. Additionally, Vineyard 48 focuses less on having a tranquil picnic vibe and brings in live DJs on Saturdays and Sundays.

Best for: Groups who want to uncork

Go on a Long Island winery tour from New York City

8. New Orleans, Louisiana

There are many reason why New Orleans makes such an excellent destination for a girl’s getaway; rich history, energetic nightlife, rejuvenating spas, vibrant art and, best of all, one of the country’s best food scenes. Charming cafes litter the streets, and you and your girls will never have to worry about not being able to find an interesting ethnic eatery or local Creole restaurant — although you may argue about which venue to choose.

Coquette is an intimate bistro and wine bar that is perfect for great conversation and American-inspired meals incorporating locally sourced ingredients. Herbsaint is another good choice, featuring a mix of French, Italian and southern-style fare as well as an expansive wine list. Right off Bourbon Street you’ll also find Arnaud’s, which serves up classic Creole cuisine and features live Dixieland Jazz. Make sure to fill up, as New Orleans is also home to some fabulous clubs and bars. Simply stroll down the iconic Bourbon Street or the local favorite Frenchman Street, where you’re more likely to find live music with less neon lights.

Best for: Foodies and those with an appetite for partying

9. Big Island, Hawaii

Just mentioning the Big Island of Hawaii brings thoughts of white sand beaches, azure waters, tropical rain forests, crystal waterfalls, unworldly volcanoes and exotic birdlife. The destination is also home to some of the country’s best spas, perfect for having a healthy and relaxing girlfriend getaway. The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows Spa offers treatments based on the island’s mythology. Get a traditional treatment like a “Lomi Lomi Hula Massage” which uses Lomi Lomi strokes choreographed to Hawaiian music, or a “Signature Fire & Ice Facial” using locally sourced ingredients.

For a group experience opt to visit the Lava Sauna, where you will lay in the sun with your skin covered in black volcanic clay before rinsing off under an outdoor rain shower and re-moisturizing with the spa’s signature body oil. Other ways for you and your girls to unwind is to take a leisurely hike through Hawaiian Paradise Park, snorkel in Keauhou Bay, sunbathe on Kaunaoa Beach or take a stroll through the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden.

Best for: Ladies who want a relaxing, tropical vacation as well as pure pampering

10. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas; Best Girls Getaways

Las Vegas is great for girls getaways

While Las Vegas has a reputation for being over-the-top, for groups of girls the destination can be extremely cheap. No matter when you’re traveling, you can always find great deals on flights and hotels in Sin City if you do a bit of Googling. Once there, walk up The Strip where you’ll see tons of club promoters trying to get groups of girls to come to their venues. For the privilege of your attendance, expect free drinks, no cover charge and the ability to skip the line. A plethora of budget-friendly all-you-can-eat buffets serving up high-quality meals adds to the savings, as well as the experience since you can sample a wide range of dishes.

Additionally, each hotel offers their own free attractions, shows and experiences. Explore the botanical gardens at the Bellagio, take in high-wire acts at Circus Circus Casino and view beautiful white tigers and a 20,000-gallon aquarium at The Mirage, all free of charge.

Best for: Ladies on a budget who still want a jam-packed itinerary

- Jessica Festa

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One Response to “10 Best Girls’ Getaways in the US”

  1. Stan Says:

    That is a really good list, especially some of the smaller towns like Durango and Hocking Hills; south Florida is a really good trip; Pompano Beach Lodging is often less expensive than Miami or Fort Lauderdale, but they are not far away at all –and the everglades and a number of parks are within an easy drive. But most of all there is the beach and the food!

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