Getting away with girlfriends is a time-honored tradition, but perfecting the art of bonding with a girlfriend while on the road is a hard-won achievement. And for the one tasked with suggesting (or choosing) the destination, the pressure is on. It can't be somewhere everyone has been, but the place also shouldn’t be so challenging that the group spends no time relaxing or bonding at all. Perhaps even more important is what the plans are once the group arrives – but wherever the destination, there should be plenty of good food, good wine, and fun ways to pass the time. So we put together a handful of prime girlfriend getaways to take now.
Wine Tasting in Sonoma, Calif.
Wine tasting is a classic girlfriend getaway, and for good reason. But friends will appreciate the suggestion of skipping Napa in favor of Sonoma — fewer wine trains equal fewer headache-inducing travelers. Rent a car in San Francisco and drive the hour or so into Sonoma. That way, the group can detour for lunch at Fish in Sausalito before getting the first taste of the region at TR Elliot Family Vineyards. Your big dinner splurge should be at Cyrus in Healdsburg, eat outside at The Girl and the Fig, and book your rooms at either the charming Farmhouse Inn (which has a fantastic restaurant) or the luxurious Auberge du Soleil. Book a private wine tasting tour of the region, complete with car and driver, through Beau Wine Tours.
Road Trip in Hawaii
Head to the Big Island and pack up a rental car with local provisions — this is among the most stunning road trips in the country. The varied landscapes provide an endlessly fascinating backdrop, while activities like exploring the Holualoa Kona Coffee plantation and scouring towns along the way for the best eats will provide endless memories. Driving past lava fields and national parks will make you hungry for things like freshly baked bread from the Punalu’u Bake Shop, and be sure to squeeze in some rest, relaxation, tropical fruits at the Shipman House Bed & Breakfast, coconut prawns and barbecued pork from Bamboo Restaurant, and coffee fromHilo Coffee Mill. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/jayeshpandey)
Hit the Town in Miami
If rest and relaxation isn’t what you’re after, then why not paint the town red in Miami? Leave your bags at either The Raleigh or The Townhouse before stopping for dinner at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. Make your way to The Delano’s Rose Bar for clever concoctions or go all-out with a sampling of mezcal at Mercadito Midtown. Find Peruvian food at Ceviche 105, and dig into fresh grilled fish at Garcia’s Seafood Grille. When not by the pool during the day, spend some time perusing the Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market.
Find Southern Comfort in Charleston, S.C.
Check into Charleston Place and immediately head out for a stroll around town or get dolled up for dinner. But whatever the agenda, don’t explore the spa too early on because you will likely not leave. Book a table at High Cotton for an unforgettable dinner, perhaps kicked off with an early evening cocktail at The Gin Joint. Pick up cookies or a cupcake from Bakehouse, sample some cheeses from goat.sheep.cow, and find your last day’s brunch back at the hotel, at Palmetto Café, where they serve a classic Southern brunch. (Photo courtesy of Charleston Place)
Health and Wellness in Sedona, Ariz.
Another iconic girlfriend getaway is, of course, the spa trip. And Sedona, Ariz., is one of the country’s best destinations for spa holidays, with places like Mii Amo, L’Auberge de Sedona, and Sedona Rouge all catering to those who want to feel rested and rejuvenated come time to head home. These spa resorts feature specially crafted, seasonal, and delicious healthful cuisine, as well as activities surrounding your continued health and wellness.