In the back of my mind, I’m constantly designing the best girls trip EVER. Like in the history of girls trips.
Of course, one question I ponder is – how many girls? A tough question with no perfect answer. Your posse isn’t necessarily the size of my posse. We all need to fill in that blank on our own.
And what does everybody want to do? Yet another tough question with no perfect answer. Now you know why the back of my mind is constantly preoccupied with this subject. If there’s no perfect answer to planning the best girls trip – ever – how do you do it?
You gotta know your girls and make your plan accordingly. What do I mean by that? Is it Hiking? Beach? Shopping? Zip-lining? Sightseeing? Bathing Suit? Ski Poles? Even if there’s more than one answer to that question, it helps whittle down the options.
Next qualifying question: How long of a hall-pass can you all get (AKA a get-out-of-jail-free card)? Does it need to be a girls weekend trip? Are we talkin’ a girls vacation? You can only work with what’s written on the hall-pass.
Ok! This is getting exciting! You and your BFF’s of a unique size group, who like to do the things you like to do (whatever those have been sorted out to be), are ready to pick the destination for your weekend/vacation girls trip to…
Where are you going?
No worries!! I’ve asked ten amazing travel bloggers to send their top pick of the best destination for YOUR next girls trip. It’s a diverse mix of beach, mountains, and city scenes. All you have to do is choose one. Here they are in no particular order:
From Christy Dunn @ https://www.planestrainsandmonorails.com/
For the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime girls’ getaway, head to the beautiful island nation of Samoa. This tropical paradise in the South Pacific offers the perfect combination of breathtaking views, delicious food, warm weather, and a welcoming environment. Whether you and your friends are looking to relax on the beach or tackle an adventure, Samoa has you covered. The people here will make you feel right at home. And, it has lower prices and fewer crowds than some of its more famous neighbors.
Taumeasina Island Resort is the place to stay if you want relaxation, luxury, and convenience. It has spectacular views in every direction and is only a five-minute cab ride to the heart of the capital city of Apia. Another great option for lodging close to the action is the Sheraton Aggie Grey in downtown Apia. If you would prefer an all-inclusive resort, I recommend the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort near the airport.
Your trip to Samoa is not complete without a meal at Paddles. This small restaurant offers scrumptious Italian food in a laid-back island environment. Your stomach and your girlfriends will be thanking you for this one!
During your trip, take a little time to shop in the various markets in Apia. You will find tons of Samoan handicrafts. For a little adventure, rent a car and drive to To Sua Ocean Trench. This amazing swimming hole is about 100 feet below ground and is connected to the ocean by underwater tunnels.
Christy is a wife, mom, and attorney who’d rather be traveling than in a courtroom! She learned a lot about traveling the last fifteen+ years with her husband. She believes traveling is the best way to teach children about the world and her son started traveling at two years old. Her favorite destinations are Disney World, sporting events, and the South Pacific. Follow her on Pinterest.
From Christina Zelina @ https://treasuredfamilytravels.com/
Sun, sand, and food! That was what my BFF and I were looking for when we planned a long girlfriend weekend getaway. Cancun fit the bill on all accounts.
Countless all-inclusive resorts abound tempting you with unlimited food, drink, and activities. There is no need to go outside the resort area unless you want to. In fact, we did more onsite group activities than I have ever done with my family.
Salsa dancing lessons, Spanish cooking demonstrations, mixology classes, and an introductory scuba lesson kept us busy when weren’t eating, sleeping or sunning.
Venture out one night to Coco Bongo – a party club located within Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Seriously, you need to see this place! Flying acrobats, loud music and so much going on you don’t know where to look.
Consider booking a package deal that includes airfare and airport transfers. Many cities have charter airlines with non-stop flights which I highly recommend. Where else can you get so much for your money and not have to worry about anything once you get there?
If you’re looking for a tropical and inexpensive girlfriend getaway, do your research on Cancun. The white sand and beautiful blue water will literally melt away any stress you came with. And, you may even learn a new recipe to take home!
Christine, the founder of the family travel blog Treasured Family Travels, writes about her families world travels using miles and points. She’s a huge Disney fanatic and devotes a section of her website to all things Disney. Follow her on Pinterest.
TUSCAN COAST, ITALY!
From Katy Thomas @ https://katyinumbria.com/
A weekend catching up with girlfriends on the Tuscan coast while getting a tan and sipping local white wine? Pretty close to perfect.
Starting from Perugia, in a small car, take the slower, windier roads to Talamone. Pit stops included: San Casciano Dei Bagni, a wealthy spa town, great for a quick panino and a stroll. Pitigliano, perfect for an afternoon gelato. Get ready to take lots of photos and stock up on their famous local white wine for pre-dinner drinks. And finally Le Terme di Saturnia, free hot springs with healing mineral waters that have created gentle waterfalls and pools, my favorite so far.
Activities: snorkeling off the rocks of Talamone, driving to the nature reserve for walks and naps on the long sandy spit, and late-night shopping sprees in Orbetello. Looking for a bit more adventure? Take a ferry to one of the islands, like Elba.
Food: keep it Italian! Breakfasts of pastries and cappuccinos. Light lunches with local prosciutto and melon or tomatoes and mozzarella. Dinner? My favorite restaurant in the area is Agriturismo Buratta for their wild boar ragu, red wine, and pickled onions. Perfect after a day exploring the coast of Tuscany’s Maremma. And be sure to try what this region is known for, Tortelli. Large square pasta stuffed with spinach and ricotta.
The salty Mediterranean sea and the warm Italian sun help with the relaxing, the wine is for chatting. Because what summer is complete without a road trip with your friends to the beach?
Katy is from the West Coast of Canada. She studied violin making in England, lived in Toronto, Canada for a time, and now lives in Perugia, Italy since 2014. She runs a business making and restoring violins with her Italian husband, and spends her spare time exploring every inch of Central Italy and sharing it all on her blog. Follow her on Pinterest.
From Catherine Brady @ https://travelingwiththelittles.com/
For a girlfriend weekend getaway to Chicago, there are endless possibilities of things to do! I’m not a martini drinking, clubbing, spa type of gal, so this itinerary is somewhat laidback. BUT, if you are into clubs, bars, and spas, Chicago has no shortage.
The first order of business is your hotel. I’d stay at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, on Wacker Drive, located right on the Chicago River. It’s affordable, has excellent views, and is smack in the middle of all the action. The Hyatt boasts three restaurants on-site if you’d like to eat at the hotel. They also have the BIG Bar and a café/snack shop that’s open 24/7.
Friday night grab pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. Everyone has an opinion about which Chicago pizza is the best and most authentic, and Lou Malnati’s takes the cake! After pizza, grab a drink at the Signature Lounge on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building. It’s free to get up there (except for the $13 mojito you’ll pay for) and has some of the best views of the city. The best view is from the ladies room, so be sure to check that out!
Saturday grab breakfast at the hotel or on the go and get after the day. First, take the architectural tour down the Chicago River. I’m not into architecture, per se, but this is probably the best tour in Chicago. Grab lunch at Eataly Chicago, and then go shopping down Michigan Avenue on the Magnificent Mile. For dinner, I’d recommend the Dearborn.
If you have time to kill in the evenings, you can catch a play at one of Chicago’s many theaters, or take a sunset cruise on Lake Michigan. Alternatively, you can catch a free concert in Millennium Park or at the beer garden at the end of Navy Pier.
Sunday morning hit up the Nutella Café for some confections and a bit of indulgence.
Catherine is an attorney – turned Travel Writer. She started travelingwiththelittles.com as a resource for parents who love the idea of traveling post-children but are apprehensive about traveling as a family. Her goal is to make family travel more manageable and to take the anxiety out of traveling with children! Follow her on Pinterest.
From Sue Reddel @ https://foodtravelist.com
Madison, Wisconsin is a unique capital city on an isthmus surrounded by two beautiful lakes. Enjoy water views, beautiful sunsets and amenities like a serene spa and wellness center at the boutique Edgewater Hotel.
April through October visit the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only market in the country, where vendors fill Capitol Square on Saturday mornings. Then go inside the historic capitol building and explore its breathtaking historic interior.
Stroll the beautiful Olbrich Botanical Gardens free every day or choose from many biking and hiking trails. In summer you can go kayaking, SUP or canoeing. Winter offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.
Ready to eat? Try farm-fresh fine dining at L’Etoile or a creamy frozen custard at Michael’s. Downtown food carts offer great ethnic eats and local gems serve unique authentic food like Indian, Korean, Laotian, Ethiopian and more. Breakfast and brunch get serious attention at spots like Short Stack Eatery and Marigold Kitchen. Don’t miss Wisconsin’s famed supper clubs like Toby’s or the Tornado Room for an Old Fashioned cocktail or a hearty meal. Lombardino’s has excellent wood-fired pizza and a hefty wine list.
Try ciders and get some tasty noshes at the Cider Farm Taproom at Brennan’s Cellars for fun. Like beer? Madison’s thriving craft brewery scene offers many options like lively Vintage Brewing.
One thing’s for certain – if you come to Madison once you will return because you won’t be able to do, see and eat it all in just one-weekend visit.
From Kara @ https://destinationlivelife.com/
If you’re looking for a girlfriend weekend getaway that can include both history AND debauchery, then look no further than New Orleans, Louisiana! A well-known destination for all things culinary, spooky, and raucous, you’re sure to have one heck of a time.
When the sun is up, spend your days exploring the rich architecture in the French Quarter. You can admire the buildings you pass and do some shopping in the many boutiques! I also can’t recommend an afternoon/early evening cooking class enough. It’s a great introduction to New Orleans creole where you can prepare (and then inhale) famous NOLA dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, or pecan pralines.
When the sun goes down, the city really comes alive (OR dead). Taking one of the city’s many spooky haunted tours will give you chills for days. And discovering all the famous Bourbon Street has to offer may give you a hangover for days. Head over to karaoke at Catz and hit the high notes with your ladies to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”
Luckily, I also have just the ticket to help cure that hangover! Head on over to Tableau in the French Quarter for a little jazz brunch. The food is amazing, they have bottomless mimosas (a little hair of the dog never hurt), and a cute little jazz trio who will serenade you with the likes of Bruno Mars and Metallica on their brass instruments.
Kara is a current full-time world traveler and the writer, editor, and publisher behind the travel blog Destination: Live Life. She loves live music, travel (duh!), animals, and a great cocktail. Keep up with her adventures on the blog, or photographically on her Instagram.
From Natasha Alden @ https://theworldpursuit.com/
The small mountain town of Canmore is the perfect place to have a girls weekend outside. Canmore is just outside of Banff National Park and is easily one of the most beautiful places in the world.
It’s Nestled in the Canadian Rockies meaning there are tons of things to do for the gals to enjoy. My girlfriends and I wanted to do some hiking, and there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of hiking trails around. Trails range from easy walks in the woods to hard scrambles up a mountain. Once you’re on top of the mountains you are rewarded with amazing views and the feeling of being on top of the world. Some great hikes in Canmore are East End of Rundle, Grassi Lakes, and Tent Ridge.
If you don’t want to sweat it out in the mountains Canmore has a great downtown area. There are tons of bars and restaurants, and yoga studios in case you girls want to stretch it out. The downtown area is surrounded by mountains on every side so you’re always getting a view no matter which way you look.
If you happen to be visiting Canmore in the winter you will be in heaven. There are four ski resorts within an hour of Canmore and plenty of backcountry access if you want a more extreme adventure. Canmore is well worth spending a weekend away with your girlfriends. You may never leave (I moved here after visiting!).
Natasha writes her travel blog with Cameron Seagle, where they share their experiences, photography, and informative travel guides. They love off the beaten path destinations and hope to inspire other independent travelers and provide the resources to do so. You can read more about things to do in Canmore on the blog, and follow her on Instagram.
From Ashley Hubbard @ https://wild-hearted.com/
Nashville is the perfect weekend getaway for girlfriends no matter what you’re interested in doing while here. We’ve randomly and fiercely become known as being a hot spot for bachelorette parties due to our lively downtown scene, but the fun doesn’t stop there.
Nashville has plenty of boutique and one-of-a-kind shopping, enough delicious brunch spots to fill an entire year’s worth of brunch, beautiful outdoor activities to burn off the brunch calories, and amazing local coffee shops to catch up with your girlfriends. Check out a show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, find something completely unique at the Nashville Flea Market, find your inner hipster walking through the East Nashville neighborhood, go for drinks and bowling at Pinewood Social, try to find all 200+ murals in the city, take a hike at Radnor Lake or Percy Warner Park, or head a little bit South to Franklin and visit Arrington Vineyards. Take a picnic and soak up the fresh country air while enjoying wine and live music.
Hotels can get pricey in Nashville but there is still some affordable unique accommodation in Nashville that is perfect for a weekend with your girlfriends in Nashville.
Ashley is a freelance writer, photographer, vegan travel blogger, animal, environmental and social justice warrior, scuba diver, and adventure junkie from and living in Nashville, Tennessee. You can follow her on Instagram.
From Acquania Escarne @ https://thepurposeofmoney.com/
One of my favorite girl’s trips was to Curacao. A country full of vibrant colors and colonial architecture – a piece of the Netherlands without the cold. Perfect for relaxing, good food, and enjoying Caribbean culture year-round (the islands’ location shields it from most storms and hurricanes.)
We stayed in the center of Willemstad at Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, near shops, restaurants, and a movie theatre. Perfect because one night we saw Girls Trip on our girls trip! The hotels’ amazing infinity pool overlooks the beach but didn’t have the most direct beach access.
One day, we drove our rental car to Karakter, a beach, lounge, and restaurant with amazing Caribbean food and cocktails. We also checked out the Hato Caves, Kura Hulanda Museum, and local markets. The highlight was driving to the furthest part of the island, and hitting every major beach on the way back. We explored the big beach resorts and small tucked-away places. It was fun and filled with great music along the way.
I highly recommend you venture to Curacao if you are seeking Caribbean vibes, warm weather, and good food. It can be affordable or pricey depending on your level of lux – our trip fell in the medium price range. Good to know: Official currency is the Netherlands Antillean guilder, but the US dollar is readily accepted. And locals speak both English and Dutch and Papiamento–a local dialect.
Acquania is a financial coach, freelance blogger, and public speaker who helps people find financial freedom and build generational wealth. She plans and saves for her travels with family and friends. Follow her on Instagram.
ACADIA NATIONAL PARK/BAR HARBOR, MAINE!
From Kaisa Lee @ https://www.glamgranolatravel.com/
Once a year, my best gal pals from college and I get together. We always have a great time, but this year we went to Acadia National Park and had an amazing time.
When I say Acadia National Park, I technically mean the charming Maine seaside town of Bar Harbor. We stayed at the High Seas Motel, which was equidistant from the National Park and restaurants and shops in downtown Bar Harbor.
It was also extremely reasonably priced, which was great as we’re all ballin’ on a budget. You could also camp in the park, but be warned—Maine’s weather can be fickle even on the nicest of summer days. We discovered this the hard way, stuck in the middle of a downpour exploring tide pools a mile away from our vehicle!
As for activities in the National Park, I strongly recommend driving the road, stopping for picnics and overlooks, and picking a couple of hikes. The Beehive was our absolute favorite. Without giving too much away, it’s short but steep, and there are metal bars to help you climb a mountain. The views of Acadia’s surrounding forests and ocean are, of course, as breathtaking as the (mildly terrifying) hike up. Believe me, this hike makes for some badass selfies.
Acadia even has a beach, if you’re brave enough for a post-hike dip in the Atlantic!
You can also experience nature at sea with Bar Harbor Whale Watch! They offer different themed boat trips depending on the time of year.
Follow that up with a little tasting sesh at the local winery (hello, sweet Maine blueberry wine) and a bowl of chowder at the Thirsty Whale Tavern. We couldn’t spend a weekend in New England without getting some chowder!
Between the winery, quirky local shops, and stunning hikes, Bar Harbor and Acadia make for a pretty perfect girl’s trip.
Kaisa is a Colorado-based budget outdoor adventure blogger, who loves National Parks and craft beer. Follow her on Instagram.
There you have it!
Pick one or pick them all! Line up your trips for the next few years because no one thing puts more fuel back in your tank than spending time with your Girls. Love them, please!! But…in case you need it, here’s an article that might be required reading for the group before your trip.