Stop counting snow days and start counting down to long weekend, or even a week or more, with just the girls. Whether you're looking for massages and manicures or culture and culinary experiences, there's a perfect girlfriends getaway for you and your group. You'll even find trips where you can run, golf, hike or try stand-up paddleboard yoga and still enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day. Take a look at a few ways to escape with the ladies.
If a little pampering is what you need, head south to Hawks Cay in the Florida Keys. The resort recently introduced a new Girls Getaway Package following the renovation of its Calm Waters Spa. The package includes two island-inspired spa treatments like the Tropical Breeze Massage and the Sea Mist Facial. Guests also have access to the eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna.
Looking to escape to the West Coast? Try Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California. Here you can indulge in relaxing open-air treatments from the spa's outdoor terrace, or head up to the rooftop Mud Bar where you can apply your own marine mud mask (said to contain antioxidants and skin-brightening minerals). Another guest favorite: ExFOLEYation, a body treatment inspired by the Santa Barbara wine region (and Foley Estates' wines of nearby Lompoc, California).
And if you have more than a few days to get away, consider Wellbeing Escapes, which offers worldwide spa holidays. Look for spa getaways complete with massages on the beach, mud and body wraps, yoga classes and restorative treatments at resorts and wellness retreats around the globe.
Given the diverse range of activities available at our national parks, it's a must to bring the girlfriends along on a nature adventure that includes hiking, biking, horseback riding and rafting. Pitch a tent at one of the in-park campgrounds or better yet, glamp in a luxury safari tent courtesy of Under Canvas. Take your pick between well-appointed tents (think real beds, wood or carpeted floors, and working bathrooms) and even teepees near Glacier, Yellowstone and Arches national parks.
Those who want to enjoy the great outdoors but prefer returning to fine wines, spa treatments and five-course meals after a day on the trail should book a stay at Tenaya Lodge near the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. The lodge is nearly halfway through a $5 million renovation that includes upgraded bathrooms, new carpet and furniture, and comfy new mattresses. So much for roughing it.
Beyond hiking and biking, why not sign the girls up for a "runcation" cruise that includes daily running tours or even the option to run a full or half-marathon as part of your trip? The Run for Fun Cruise sails twice a year (on a major cruise line like Princess and Norwegian), making stops in the Caribbean next February and across the coast of Alaska this June.
For girlfriends who golf, look to Women's Golf & Travel Concierge, which offers about a dozen getaways that include rounds on multiple fairways, sightseeing tours and daily breakfast. Trips range from Bermuda to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. You can also sail to some of the best golf courses in the world thanks to PerryGolf, which offers a number of "golf cruising" tours in the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
If daily yoga is more your speed, look to Costa Rica. Waterfall Villas, a wellness retreat located on the country's southern coast, offers yoga, private guided nature tours and workshops on tai chi and feng shui. Or try Playa Cativo, a luxury eco-lodge situated on the inner side of the Osa Peninsula that offers multi-style yoga classes, even stand-up paddleboard yoga classes, as well as a five-day yoga retreat in July.
If savoring new flavors and sampling vino is more your style, consider an organized culinary getaway. Companies like Gourmand Breaks offer wine and food-centric tours in Spain, Portugal and France. You and your girlfriends will enjoy guided tours of top wineries, private cooking classes with local chefs, and opportunities to explore medieval towns, fragrant markets and vineyards with unforgettable views.
Venture outside of Europe (or even stay stateside) with Edible Destinations, which offers culinary trips across the U.S. and around the world. The company also organizes two- to four-day trips called "Edible Getaways" that comprise mini culinary tours of a city or region, including New York City, Seattle, Athens and Montreal. Each long weekend trip includes plenty of hands-on cooking classes, tastings and farm-to-table dining experiences. The company also offers Edible Vacations, which can last from five to 10 days.
About the author: Erin Gifford is a Washington, D.C.-based travel writer and founder of Kidventurous, an award-winning family travel resource. You can follow her on Twitter at @Kidventurous, connect with her on Facebook or get the latest tips and tricks for traveling families at http://kidventurous.com.
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