Girls just want to have fun.

By Skye Sherman
August 29, 2020
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Editor’s Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.

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Whether you’re traveling with your mom, your sister, or a group of friends, nothing beats a weekend getaway with the girls. These 25 spots around the world are ideal for a weekend escape packed with fun, photogenic views, and lots of quality girl time.

1. Palm Beach, Florida

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For an easy-to-reach domestic destination that promises endless year-round sunshine, a pastel color palette, and palm tree-dotted beaches, head to Palm Beach, Florida. Fly into Palm Beach International Airport, and within minutes, you’ll cross the bridge to one of the wealthiest yet most approachable zip codes in America — a town beloved for its history and hidden gems.

The Colony Hotel, located just steps from Worth Avenue, the Rodeo Drive of the East Coast, is picture-perfect. Plus, its pink façade, complimentary beach cruisers, green banana leaf wallpaper, chauffeured beach buggy, and poolside frosé bar are practically meant for a weekend with the girls. Or, for a more luxurious option, splurge on a stay at The Breakers, a glamorous resort dating back to the Gilded Age.

Just across the Intracoastal Waterway, West Palm Beach offers more of a downtown feel. Stay at the Hilton West Palm Beach, where Saturday pool parties, yoga, brunch, and District Fit wellness weekends make for the ideal girlfriend getaway, or The Ben, a newly opened Marriott Autograph Collection hotel inspired by the pioneering spirit of old Florida. Spruzzo on the rooftop is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Want to up the ante even more? September brings Flavor Palm Beach, the restaurant month of the Palm Beaches, and October is Spa & Wellness Month, so plan a trip spanning both months for the ultimate weekend away.

The Palm Beach region tops the list of the best places to visit in Florida, and with the advent of Brightline, you can easily add Fort Lauderdale and Miami to your weekend plans, too.

2. Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Make it a spa weekend at Ojo Santa Fe, a lush, 70-acre mirage of sorts tucked into the desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico. For a rejuvenating trip, enjoy wellness-centered activities, relax in outdoor soaking tubs, and dine on farm-fresh meals during your all-inclusive stay. The Girls' Getaway package includes accommodations in an adobe-style casita, meals, spa credit, and daily activities (think: yoga, meditation, horticulture, culinary and art classes, and even puppy play time).

If you want a more urban take on Santa Fe, stay at La Posada de Santa Fe, a Tribute Portfolio Resort & Spa, a charming property that’s walking distance to the Santa Fe School of Cooking, where you can learn to create the traditional flavors of American Southwest cuisine.

3. California’s Pacific Coast Highway

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If you’ve ever dreamed of driving California’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway, consider doing it with your girls. This trip comes with mind-blowing views, adorable roadside cafes, and other attractions worth pulling over for (including a Super Bloom, if you time it right).

You can drive the entire West Coast from San Diego to Seattle (though at over 20 hours of driving, you might need more than a weekend), or just pick a particularly Instagram-worthy stretch, like Los Angeles to San Francisco, which clocks in at around six hours.

Want to skip the hassle of switching off drivers, being cramped in a vehicle, and having to stop for bathrooms and snacks? Tackle the journey by train on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight route. You can book seats or sleeper cars and disembark in towns like Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey along the way. The rails snake along a cliffside and offer views just as beautiful as the highway approach, minus the drawbacks of driving.

4. U.S. East Coast on Amtrak

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Already trekked the West Coast? Amtrak has an East Coast equivalent to its Coast Starlight adventure: the Silver Service/Palmetto route from Miami to New York City. You can stop in charming Southern cities, historic towns, and major hubs along the way; the route hits West Palm Beach, Orlando, Savannah, Charleston, Raleigh, Richmond, Baltimore, Alexandria, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and many more before arriving in the Big Apple.

Whether you’re in it for the food, the photo ops, or the educational opportunities, the Silver Service/Palmetto route is a solid choice for a fun trip with the girls.

5. Airbnb a Celebrity Home

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There’s nothing like a good theme to elevate a girls’ weekend getaway. Thanks to Airbnb, you can rent celebrity homes, like the Golden Girl Guest House across from the childhood home of Rue McClanahan. Other unique accommodations include the Mexico mansion of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith and Sonny and Cher’s Hollywood-area bungalow in the trees. Nothing like a good theme to elevate a girls’ weekend getaway.

6. Florida Keys

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If you’re dreaming of a tropical island vacation that requires no passport, the Florida Keys is your answer. From Key Largo to Key West, home of the southernmost point in the continental United States, this destination is packed with easygoing vibes and plenty of relaxing sea breezes.

Book a stay at Bungalows Key Largo, an all-inclusive property populated by standalone bungalows; Playa Largo Resort & Spa, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel where you can kayak, parasail, snorkel, paddleboard, or learn to sail; Baker’s Cay Resort, a Curio Collection by Hilton property; or Little Palm Island Resort & Spa, the only private island resort in the U.S.

No matter where you go in the Keys, expect an adventurous weekend on the water: snorkeling, diving, boating, and fishing are among the water sports on offer.

On land, head to Robbie’s in Islamorada to hand-feed massive tarpon, or dig into a fresh mahi sandwich. Take it from a local — The Fish House in Key Largo is where you’ll find the best fresh catch in the Keys, as it’s one of the few remaining restaurants that sources solely from local commercial fishermen and filets all fish on the premises.

7. Cayman Islands

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If you and your girls are up for an adventure, head to the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is a quick flight from Miami, and you can fit scuba diving, kitesurfing, sailing, and swimming with stingrays all into one weekend. Stay at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa on Grand Cayman or Southern Cross Club on Little Cayman and get ready for a tropical take on girl time.

8. Savannah, Georgia

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Savannah, Georgia, is a favorite destination for its food, history, and of course, irresistible Southern charm. The recently opened Perry Lane Hotel serves as the perfect weekend launch pad, since it’s walking or biking distance to highlights like the Riverwalk, Leopold’s Ice Cream, Forsyth Park, the brand-new Plant Riverside District, and more. Plus, the hotel provides complimentary bicycles to guests.

Of course, you can’t go to Savannah without dining at The Olde Pink House, but The Grey, a restaurant and bar in a repurposed Greyhound bus station, is another solid option. Drive to the nearby Wormsloe Historic Site for a dose of history, have drinks at the underground Alley Cat Lounge after exploring the American Prohibition Museum, and don’t forget to close out your day with a ghost tour through Savannah’s haunted streets.

9. Nevada

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Nevada is chock-full of Wild West road trip routes, but the Free-Range Art Highway from Reno to Las Vegas only takes about seven hours total, so it’s easy to accomplish in a weekend, and you’ll pass bizarre roadside art, wide-open deserts, and the ghostly remnants of Gold Rush-era boom towns en route.

Spend the night at the (haunted) Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah, and make sure to include spots like S’Socorro’s Burger Hut, the International Car Forest of the Last Church, Happy Burro (for memorable chili), Rhyolite, and the Goldwell Open Air Museum on your weekend road trip itinerary.

Rent a Tesla or another electric vehicle: This route is the first rollout of Nevada’s Electric Highway and has charging stations placed at strategic locations along the route.

10. New York City

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When it comes to putting together an action-packed weekend, you couldn’t ask for a destination that offers more to do and see than New York City. Do yourselves a favor and grab a CityPass, which comes with entry to six of New York’s top attractions, but also make time for activities like walking the High Line, biking through Central Park, indulging on pizza, and catching a Broadway play. Stay in the heart of the action at Renaissance New York Times Square, which offers a stellar location with views of the flashing neon signs of Times Square.

11. Alexandria, Virginia

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Just a few minutes outside of Washington, D.C. sits one of the most charming cities in America: Alexandria, Virginia. Alexandria has history dating back to 1749 and is the hometown of first U.S. president George Washington. Today, it’s home to 200 independent restaurants and boutiques (read: amazing shopping and food) and provides quick access to the big-city perks of nearby D.C. while maintaining a slower-paced, small-town feel.

Stay at Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria, located just off the main drag of King Street, and hop on and off the free King Street Trolley to explore the historic district. Your girls will love snapping photos in front of the Spite House and Captain’s Row, grabbing cocktails at The People’s Drug and Captain Gregory’s (a speakeasy tucked into a donut shop), and walking the waterfront with a view of D.C. across the Potomac River.

12. A Cruise

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Want to let your hair down and enjoy a vacation with your girls without having to bother with planning, logistics, budgeting, and coordinating schedules? Booking a cruise is a seamless way to get your group on board and make sure everyone’s happy — plus, food, drinks, and a wide range of activities are included.

Short cruises are available year-round and head to destinations ranging from the states to the Caribbean, Mexico, or even Europe. Check itineraries from cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Virgin Voyages, which have a classy feel tied with a youthful verve, ideal for a fun-loving group of ladies.

13. Miami, Florida

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No place packs a sizzle quite like the heat of Miami, Florida, and your girls will love the contrast of sunny beaches and energetic nightlife. If you want to get the most out of your trip, go in August — it’s hot, yes, but it’s also the only month when there’s an overlap between Miami’s spa, restaurant, and hotel months. You can stay in five-star hotels, indulge in luxurious spa treatments, and dine at Miami’s best restaurants for an approachable price.

14. Charlotte, North Carolina

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If your girls love a mix of outdoor adventure, amazing food, and city living, then Charlotte, North Carolina is an ideal weekend getaway option.

Head to the U.S. National Whitewater Center, an official Olympic training site and home of the world’s largest man-made whitewater river. Here, you can grab a $59 day pass for unlimited access to activities like rock climbing, bouldering, zip lining, kayaking, yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, and whitewater rafting, all spread across the 1,300-acre complex.

Queen Park Social, a restaurant, bar, and gaming center, is another fun place to play — albeit with less adventurous activities (think old-school string bowling, shuffleboard, Jenga, ping-pong, and arcade-style games).

Optimist Hall is another can’t-miss in Charlotte. Recently opened, the building underwent $60 million in renovations to transform an old textile mill into a bustling food hall with a wide variety of vendors slinging everything from hot chicken to cold-pressed juices to some of the most delicious dumplings outside of Asia, courtesy of The Dumpling Lady). And, of course, it’s not a trip to the South without some good Carolina-style barbecue. For that, head to Noble Smoke, where melt-in-your-mouth meats are prepared in wood-fired smokers around back.

15. Palm Springs, California

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Palm Springs is a perfectly Californian getaway, providing exactly the kind of laid-back vibes you’d expect from SoCal — Coachella season or not. Whether your girls are into hot springs, vintage boutiques, spas, mid-century modern architecture, hiking, or a stylish hotel scene, Palm Springs makes it easy to please. Book a stay at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, a Palm Springs classic.

16. Tulum, Mexico

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Whether your group is after a lively party scene or simply wants to unplug, Tulum delivers. You can check out one of the cenotes, explore Mayan ruins, indulge in an outdoor spa day, or just relax near the ocean. Plus, you’ll be able to fill up on fresh fruits, juices, and tasty Mexican cuisine, complete with margaritas straight from the source. When it comes to accommodations, Papaya Playa Project and Nômade are super-photogenic fan favorites.

17. Cartagena, Colombia

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Located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a relatively short direct flight from many destinations in the U.S., yet you’ll feel as if you’ve touch down in another world entirely. Expect colorful streets, amazing food, and nights spent salsa dancing, plus artisan goods to shop and beautiful beaches to explore. Wander the walled Old Town with your group and you’ll quickly understand Cartagena’s appeal.

18. London, England

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If you’re departing from the East Coast, spending a weekend in London is more practical than you’d think — a nonstop flight from New York, for example, takes as little as six and a half hours. It might be a whirlwind weekend, but the chance to squeeze in a walk over the Tower Bridge, an elegant afternoon tea, the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and hearing the tolling bells of Big Ben with your girls is more than worth it.

19. ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, or Curaçao)

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Longing for a Caribbean getaway? Head to the Dutch-owned ABC Islands: Aruba, Bonaire, or Curaçao. Each presents a European feel splashed with the colorful vibrance of the Caribbean and accented by some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. In Curaçao’s capital, Willemstad, you can pose in front of stepped gable façades in a rainbow of colors, or visit the blue curaçao distillery.

In Aruba, stay at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino for access to the hotel’s 40-acre private island, home of the Instagram-famous flamingos, and take a class at Island Yoga, opened by Instagram’s original yoga celebrity Rachel Brathen. It’s the largest yoga studio in the Caribbean.

20. Lisbon, Portugal

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With many direct flights available from the U.S., the coastal Portuguese capital of Lisbon is doable in a weekend. A flight from New York takes around six and a half hours, and you’ll touch down in a world of wine, rich culture, appealing architecture, and picturesque beaches. Ride the trams, explore Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, walk Pink Street, and snack on all the pastel de nata you can handle.

21. Providence, Rhode Island

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The capital of Rhode Island, Providence has a lot to love, including Plant City, the world’s first plant-based food hall, and WaterFire, an awe-inspiring downtown celebration that involves dramatic fire and art displays along the Providence and Woonasquatucket Rivers. Providence has a big-city feel with many trendy bars, restaurants, and hotels, yet is far more laid-back than your typical city break.

Looking to get out of the city? Head out to Bristol on Mount Hope Bay and stay at the historic Bradford-Dimond-Norris House, a family-run bed-and-breakfast on Bristol’s main street, and dig into fresh New England seafood at The Lobster Pot.

22. Orlando, Florida

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Sure, it’s one of the busiest destinations in the country, but there’s a reason for its popularity: Orlando, Florida, is packed with things to do for all ages.

You and your girls can don matching Mickey ears and hop between Disney’s four parks for the weekend, or opt for adrenaline-filled thrills and Harry Potter magic at Universal’s parks (or both). Stay in one of the many Disney-sanctioned properties with easy access to the parks, such as Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, and relax at your resort in between park-hopping.

Dine at Disney Springs just outside the parks — Wine Bar George has girls’ night written all over it — or Bigfire at CityWalk, which connects Universal Studios and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, for a buzzy late night on the town.

Alternatively, head away from the parks to spots like East End Market, where both Domu and Gideon’s Bakehouse cookies are a must, Mia’s Italian Kitchen for bottomless brunch, Plant Street Market (on-site Crooked Can Brewery is a local favorite), or ritzy Winter Park for the best of central Florida without the crowds.

The West Orange Trail is another perfect Orlando activity if you’re tired of tourists and theme park lines — you can rent a bicycle from Bikes and Blades and explore a peaceful and lesser-known side of the area, complete with oak canopies and lakeside views.

23. Chicago, Illinois

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Chicago is a great pick for a city break, even during its famously frigid winters. In the colder months, you can go ice skating, treat yourself to over-the-top hot chocolate creations, sip wine in riverside “igloos,” and warm up over a shared deep-dish pizza. Summers in Chicago are even more glorious — it’s the perfect time to hit up the city’s festivals, beaches, and rooftop bars.

No matter the season, stay at the historic Palmer House, home of one of the most stunning Art Deco lobbies in the world; book tickets for a play; and stop by Goddess and the Baker for a slice of rainbow cake and a gold glitter latte.

24. The Bahamas

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Located around 80 miles off the coast of Florida, the Bahamas is a surprisingly easy-to-reach island destination. Whether you head to Nassau or one of the Out Islands, you’re in for a weekend of relaxing, sipping cocktails, filling up on fresh conch ceviche, and just enjoying everything that makes a tropical vacation so dreamy.

Stay at any of the three resort properties at Baha Mar or opt for a room at Atlantis, the ultimate in Bahamian indulgence — The Cove is the adults-only side of the property. Book your group a wine-blending class at colorful Bahama Barrels by Graycliff and you’ll each get to blend your very own bottle of vino to take home as a souvenir. And, of course, work in plenty of beach and pool time.

25. Montréal, Canada

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For a city break with cute alleys, cafés, and cobblestone streets, head to Montréal in Canada’s French-speaking region of Québec. You and your girls can fill up on poutine (and enjoy the rest of the city’s thriving food scene), hike Mount Royal, wander historic Old Montréal, ride the La Grande Roue de Montréal Ferris wheel, visit the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal, and enjoy a breath of fresh air at the Montréal Botanical Garden. Book a hotel in the Old Town for both charm and a convenient location near Montréal’s many highlights.