4 Great Places for a Girls' Getaway

Reconnect with your best pals on an unforgettable trip.

U.S. News & World Report

4 Great Places for a Girls' Getaway

Whether you want to cut loose in a fun-loving Southern locale or plan a low-key coastal retreat, these getaways are perfect for enjoying quality time with the girls.(Getty Images).

If you're planning a getaway with your best gal pals, it's usually signifying the celebration of something special. And special events call for pulling out all the stops and creating your own unique adventure. Big cities are obvious choices for their sophistication and cosmopolitan atmospheres, but there are plenty of exciting, underrated destinations that are sure to pique a variety of interests. From a lively European locale to a laid-back beachside town to a Southern city with a vibrant culinary scene, here are fun girlfriend getaway ideas.

New Orleans

If eating and drinking your way through a city with a strong cultural heritage is your ideal getaway, there's no better place than New Orleans. The city's funky vibe and eclectic food scene are like nowhere else in the U.S., and experiencing the colorful nightlife on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is worthy of a memorable night out on the town.

Start with a visit to the original Café du Monde to sample their famed beignets and chicory coffee, while taking in some of the best people-watching in town. With so many highly acclaimed chefs and restaurants serving everything from Cajun to Creole to Vietnamese to Israeli cuisine, you'd be hard-pressed not to find delicious food almost anywhere you go, but time-tested favorites for lunch include fried oysters at Red Fish Grill and some of the best dark and rich gumbo on earth at Cochon. For a memorable meal, make a reservation at Shaya, where chef Alon Shaya combines his Israeli heritage with Southern flavors. Or, for a really special evening, book a table at Restaurant August, a culinary gem from chef John Besh.

When you're ready to retire, take a break from Bourbon Street at the newly reopened Ponchartrain Hotel in the Garden District. This historic hotel, which first opened in 1927 as a luxury apartment building, has been restored to its original elegance, and is filled with modern-day amenities. Don't miss a visit to the Hot Tin Rooftop Bar, one of the hotel's jewels, which boasts 1940s-inspired decor and 270-degree views of the Mississippi River and downtown New Orleans.

Dublin

How about a hop across the pond for a fresh pint of Guinness or two? If you're on the East Coast, or have access to a major international airport, travel to Europe may be as easy as heading to the West Coast, and with today's bargain airfares, wallet-friendly. So, grab your passport and take advantage of low-priced tickets to celebrate with your besties on the Emerald Isle.

Dublin is an exciting city with an interesting mix of old and new. Take a tour of the impressive Guinness Storehouse in St. James Gate or spend an afternoon shopping on famous Grafton Street. During your visit, also make sure to visit one of the world's most beautiful libraries at Trinity College and enjoy sophisticated dining (as well as traditional pub food), followed by an evening of lively Irish music and tasty pints in the Temple Bar district.

When it's time to wind down for the day, The Merrion Hotel is one of the city's most iconic and luxurious properties. Or, if you would prefer to see the new direction of this historic city, book a room at The Marker Hotel in the Docklands, a modern property where the former warehouse and dock district come together with high-tech European headquarters of companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter. The hotel's executive chef, Gareth Mullins, serves some of the city's most creative dishes using fresh ingredients from local fisherman and farmers at The Brasserie. You'll also find many local purveyors providing staples on the menu at The Winding Stair, a popular upscale restaurant serving traditional Irish home-cooking.

Naples, Florida

If you want to enjoy leisurely lunches, shop in chic boutiques, enjoy cultural activities (think: museum-hopping and theater-going) and spend downtime sunbathing along sandy white beaches, plan an upscale getaway to the resort town of Naples. The historic downtown area in southwest Florida is the perfect place to stroll, shop and wine and dine with its many unique shops and excellent local restaurants. Plan to have dinner at Bleu Provence, a charming French bistro with a Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list. For a classic Naples experience, take a step back to a more refined time and reserve a table on the beach at The Turtle Club Restaurant at the Vanderbilt Beach Resort. Experience dinner with your toes in the sand as you gaze at the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico and feast on freshly caught and expertly prepared seafood accompanied by top-notch service.

There are numerous choices for accommodations in Naples. Luxury beachfront resorts include The Ritz-Carlton, Naples and LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, A Noble House Resort. Another option: stay in town, where you can walk to top attractions and restaurants. The Inn on Fifth, an upscale boutique property, is located on Fifth Avenue and features guest rooms with juliet balconies or terraces. Stay in one of their 32 Club Level rooms located across the street, which offer additional space, concierge-level amenities and furnished balconies with views overlookiing downtown Naples.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

For those gals looking to channel their inner adventurer, plan a rugged getaway out West to enjoy the great outdoors at a dude ranch in Jackson Hole. The breathtaking scenery of the Teton Mountain Range, fresh mountain air, sightings of local wildlife such as moose, elk, and mule Deer, and proximity to two of the most beloved National Parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton) will have you wondering why you haven't connected with nature like this before.

Spring Creek Ranch, one of several upscale dude ranches in Wyoming, is located on a wildlife sanctuary 1,000 feet above the town of Jackson, and offers a range of accommodations, from standard rooms to townhomes and villas. Almost every outdoor activity you could imagine is available to guests, depending on the season, including fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, sleigh rides and even an acclaimed wildlife safari.

This resort also features an award-winning restaurant and wine list at The Granary Restaurant. To relax after a long day on or off the ranch, book a signature treatment at their Wilderness Adventure Spa.

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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