30 Great Girls Weekend Getaways

See which amazing locales around the globe are ideal for a girls-only vacation.

By Lyn Mettler, ContributorDec. 21, 2018
By Lyn Mettler, ContributorDec. 21, 2018, at 10:15 a.m.
U.S. News & World Report

30 Great Girls Weekend Getaways

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From city to sea, these escapes are perfect for an incredible getaway without the guys.

Whether you want to party it up, get adventurous with scuba diving or pamper yourselves at a deluxe spa, these fantastic destinations offer something for every member of your female posse. Go as far as London and Ireland, or stick closer to home while hitting the bars, relaxing poolside or sightseeing in a major metropolis. However you choose to spend your vacation, these weekend getaways are bound to help you and your best pals create lifelong memories.
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Lexington, Kentucky

Steal away to the land of all things equine in the rolling green hills of Lexington, where white fences surround picturesque horse farms. Check out the scenery and be sure to save time for a bourbon tasting at Woodford Reserve Distillery or Buffalo Trace Distillery. The Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington Green offers a free cooked-to-order breakfast daily, plus easy access to all of the city's can't-miss shops, including the huge Joseph-Beth Booksellers and the upscale boutiques in the Fayette Mall and The Summit at Fritz Farm.
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From city to sea, these escapes are perfect for an incredible getaway without the guys.

Whether you want to party it up, get adventurous with scuba diving or pamper yourselves at a deluxe spa, these fantastic destinations offer something for every member of your female posse. Go as far as London and Ireland, or stick closer to home while hitting the bars, relaxing poolside or sightseeing in a major metropolis. However you choose to spend your vacation, these weekend getaways are bound to help you and your best pals create lifelong memories.

Lexington, Kentucky

Steal away to the land of all things equine in the rolling green hills of Lexington, where white fences surround picturesque horse farms. Check out the scenery and be sure to save time for a bourbon tasting at Woodford Reserve Distillery or Buffalo Trace Distillery. The Embassy Suites by Hilton Lexington Green offers a free cooked-to-order breakfast daily, plus easy access to all of the city's can't-miss shops, including the huge Joseph-Beth Booksellers and the upscale boutiques in the Fayette Mall and The Summit at Fritz Farm.

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

A weekend vacation in the Caribbean could be just what you and your favorite gals need. Thanks to direct Southwest Airlines flights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Grand Cayman is a convenient getaway option. The Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, located right on the island's Seven Mile Beach, boasts a beautiful setting that you can enjoy while snorkeling, participating in a beach yoga class, lounging by the large pool or unwinding with a massage in an outdoor cabana. Don't miss the chance to boat with Red Sail Sports to Stingray City – where you can get up close and personal with stingrays in shallow waters – and make sure to savor top-notch cuisine at waterfront eateries like Macabuca and Morgan's Seafood Restaurant.

Atlanta

There's no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. Wander through downtown's Centennial Olympic Park and tour the World of Coca-Cola, where you can sip sodas from around the globe, before taking a ride on the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel. Savor some barbecue at Twin Smokers BBQ, and bed down in a Lifestyle Suite with a Peloton bike – perfect for burning off those calories – at the Loews Atlanta Hotel. The property's exhale Spa offers a variety of fitness classes, as well as treatments like acupuncture, body scrubs and massages. Top shopping areas in Hotlanta include the posh Shops Buckhead Atlanta and the expansive Lenox Square mall.

London

Hop across the pond for a long weekend in London. The Cowshed spa, set in the stunning Primrose Hill region, offers massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and more for relaxation-seekers. The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a fun spot for brunch with the girls, while The Berkeley is a must for an authentic British afternoon tea. For shopping, Hyde Park's Connaught Village, with charming boutiques and cafes, will do the trick. Or, visit Boxpark Shoreditch, a trendy shopping hub made from shipping containers.

Newport Beach, California

For the ultimate shopping getaway, it doesn't get much better than Newport Beach. This Orange County destination about 40 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles is home to the Fashion Island Hotel Newport Beach and the adjacent Fashion Island Shopping Center, an upscale, open-air complex. Additional shopping options, including Irvine Spectrum Center and the Crystal Cove Shopping Center, can be found within 15 miles of the hotel. Book the Spa Experience package, which includes two spa treatments, a daily $50 breakfast credit and valet parking. Save time for dinner on the tree-lined deck of the property's Oak Grill and drinks at the happening Aqua Lounge.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Looking for a child-free weekend escape? Consider staying at the adults-only ME Cabo in Cabo San Lucas. The resort features the only swimmable beach in the area and is even pet-friendly – perfect for if you want to bring the pooches. The on-site spa's hydromassage tub and ancient Temazcal cleansing ritual are sure to help you and your friends relax, while the poolside Blue Marlin Ibiza Los Cabos is a hopping spot for dinner, drinks and DJ-spun tunes come evening. The property also boasts four other restaurants and bars, as well as rooms and suites with balconies or terraces that overlook the ocean or gardens. Outside of the resort, take part in activities like swimming with whale sharks, snorkeling, kayaking and camel-riding excursions.

Hollywood, Florida

If you and your girlfriends like the relaxed island vibe, head 9 miles southeast of downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort. Located right on the Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, the beachside property sits near plenty of shops, restaurants and bars. The resort features three pools, including an adults-only rooftop pool that's perfect for sunbathing. What's more, guests can enjoy eight food and drink venues, a variety of fitness classes and the St. Somewhere Spa, which offers fun treatments like the Lost Shaker of Salt Scrub.

Dublin

East Coast-based vacationers can easily spend a weekend in historic, pub-packed Dublin. At the Guinness Storehouse, you can tour the property before sipping a pint and taking in 360-degree city views at the Gravity Bar. If you happen upon a sunny day, stroll through the lovely St. Stephen's Green and Phoenix Park or browse around the shops along famous Grafton Street. The luxe InterContinental Dublin – fitted with comfy, contemporary rooms – is located in Ballsbridge, an upscale neighborhood that offers various pubs, boutiques and eateries.

New York City

Friends can find any activity to strike their fancy in the City That Never Sleeps. The FreeStyle Pass helps travelers save money and skip ticket lines at multiple attractions, including One World Observatory, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Check out the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty during a brunch, dinner or Happy Hour cruise with Hornblower Cruises. Stay in the heart of bustling Times Square at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, or enjoy a more leisurely escape at Brooklyn, New York's hip Williamsburg Hotel. New York City offers a plethora of dining options, such as the high-end Clement restaurant at The Peninsula New York, the French-focused Gaby in the Theater District and the casual lunch spot Melt Shop.

Noord, Aruba

Soak up some sun while lounging on the white sands of Noord's Palm Beach. You'll find several resorts along this 2-mile stretch of sand, including the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, which offers two pools, a 12-acre beach and a spa with a Vichy room, a cold plunge pool and a steam room. Take advantage of the resort's dive center, or do a bit of gambling at the on-site casino. When you've worked up an appetite, you can choose from a variety of dining establishments that serve everything from buffet-style breakfast dishes to steakhouse classics to fresh seafood.

Napa Valley, California

Picture yourself and your friends sipping wine amid the rolling green hills of Napa Valley. An easy way to get the lay of the land is on a Getaway Adventures bike tour, which stops at wineries in areas like Calistoga and Carneros. You can even opt for a hot air balloon ride with Napa Valley Balloons, Inc.; on a clear day, you can see all the way to San Francisco. The centrally located Andaz Napa is a modern and convenient hotel to retire to after dining at one of the valley's top restaurants, such as The Restaurant at CIA Copia or Gott's Roadside.

Tröllaskagi, Iceland

You can easily visit Tröllaskagi (a peninsula in northern Iceland) during a long weekend, as there are direct flights to Reykjavik from East Coast cities like Boston and Washington, D.C. After driving roughly 235 miles northeast of Reykjavik to Tröllaskagi, lay your head at the remote Deplar Farm, which boasts incredible aurora borealis vistas. In fact, the lodge's geothermal pool happens to be in just the right spot to catch the light show. When you're not gazing at the sky, you can go whale watching in nearby fjords, take a fat bike ride through the snow or spend a day relaxing at the on-site spa. The property even houses a gym and yoga room, and it offers meals prepared with fresh, local ingredients by Iceland's 2018 Chef of the Year.

Orlando, Florida

For a playful departure from daily life, head to Orlando for a weekend of fun at Universal Orlando Resort. The property offers several contemporary hotels with nightlife venues, including Universal's Aventura Hotel and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort. At Universal's Aventura, relax after a day of theme park fun at the poolside fire pit or rooftop bar. Loews Portofino Bay features a 13,000-square-foot Balinese spa with signature treatments like the Fire & Ice Massage and the Mandara Ritual for the hands and feet. Both resorts' room rates also cover early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and select attractions at Universal's Volcano Bay.

Nassau, Bahamas

Flying to the capital of the Bahamas is quick and easy from cities like Miami and Charlotte, North Carolina. Plus, Nassau offers ample activities for you and your girlfriends. Get your fill of snorkeling, scuba diving or snuba, a combination of the two. Or, take a break from the water to tour a rum distillery and shop at Old Fort Bay Town Centre. The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar on Cable Beach features a casino, a golf course, six pools and the 30,000-square-foot ESPA Baha Mar spa. The resort also houses a range of restaurants and bars, from a cigar lounge to a pastry shop to eateries in retro Airstreams.

Chicago

Get your fill of retail therapy along Chicago's Magnificent Mile. This central thoroughfare, which spans several blocks of Michigan Avenue, is lined with various shops and restaurants and sits within walking distance of several top hotels. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago's rooms are outfitted with bay windows that overlook the city, and the stylish Silversmith Hotel Chicago Downtown is home to a lively restaurant and lounge with creative cocktails. After a restful night's sleep, stroll through Millennium Park to see the iconic "Bean" sculpture and catch a show in the city's theater district. And, of course, no visit would be complete without ordering a deep-dish pizza from a local favorite like Lou Malnati's or Gino's East.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains are packed with amenities, including live entertainment venues, restaurants, shops and spas. The Island in Pigeon Forge entertainment complex features more than 60 shops, plus the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, an escape room and the Alcatraz East Crime Museum, which displays iconic artifacts ranging from Al Capone's rosary to O. J. Simpson's famous white Ford Bronco. Also at The Island is the Margaritaville Island Hotel, with Paula Deen's Family Kitchen restaurant and rooms outfitted with fireplaces, private balconies and "frozen concoction makers." Additional Pigeon Forge must-dos include Dolly Parton's Stampede Dinner Attraction and the Smoky Mountain Opry's performances.

Long Island, Antigua

While this 300-acre private island is only accessible by boat, it's worth the extra effort to reach. You'll find 4-plus miles of pristine white sand beaches and only one resort on this quiet hideaway. The luxurious Jumby Bay Island resort boasts its own water sports center with free snorkel gear, windsurfing boards, kayaks, paddleboards and more. Rooms and suites come equipped with terraces that overlook the Caribbean Sea, and many of the property's restaurants and bars sit by the water. At The Jumby Bay Spa, local ingredients are incorporated into a plethora of treatments that mix modern therapeutic practices with ancient healing techniques from the West Indies and Africa.

La Paz, Mexico

The capital of Mexico's Baja California Sur state, La Paz is a scenic city where visitors can swim with whale sharks, sandboard on sand dunes and explore various cafes, bars and nightclubs. Gal pals can make their way to the high-end CostaBaja Resort & Spa, which is situated next to a marina on the Sea of Cortez. Refresh and renew with yoga on the terrace, enjoy reiki or chakra balancing at Espiritu Spa or simply relax with drinks at the pool. The latter offers stunning mountain, ocean and marina views.

Las Vegas

From casino games to shows to grand hotels, Las Vegas offers many ways to spend a weekend away with the girls. To escape the hustle and bustle of The Strip, stay at the Delano Las Vegas, a quiet boutique-style hotel that's part of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Delano guests receive access to all of the larger resort's amenities, including the Mandalay Bay Beach and the Shark Reef Aquarium. What's more, the Delano offers the BATHHOUSE Spa with massages, wraps and facials, plus a seasonal pool with a whimsical underwater chessboard and a lounge with panoramic city views. For top-notch shopping, head less than 2 miles north to The Shops at Crystals.

Santa Barbara, California

Have a quintessential Southern California vacation in Santa Barbara, which is known for its beaches, Spanish colonial-style buildings and abundant shops in paseos situated just off of the city's main road, State Street. Relax with your buddies at the Kimpton Canary Hotel, which boasts a rooftop pool, free loaner bicycles and accommodations equipped with four-poster beds and yoga mats. The property's Finch & Fork restaurant serves freshly caught seafood and classic Southern-inspired dishes like buttermilk fried chicken. When you're ready for drinks, venture to the harborside Chuck's Waterfront Grill or downtown's happening Funk Zone, where you can visit wine-tasting rooms, distilleries and taprooms.

Curacao

Curacao is a sunny Caribbean island with more than 20 beaches, crystal clear waters and Dutch colonial architecture. If you’re looking for a European feel, check out the capital of Willemstad, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You and your ladies will likely enjoy exploring the trendy Pietermaai District and browsing the shops lining the island's old cobblestone streets. Plus, the area is home to two can't-miss eateries: Fort Nassau restaurant (which sits inside a historic fort) and Blessing Curacao (a fine dining establishment nestled within a former chapel). Adventurers can also scuba dive at one of Curacao's 65 dive sites or try rock climbing or horseback riding. After a day of exploration, retire to a spacious villa at the modern Papagayo Beach Resort or bed down at the golf-focused Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.

Key West, Florida

For a laid-back beach weekend with lots of water activities, vacation in Key West. The Perry Hotel Key West at nearby Stock Island's marina is a convenient retreat just east of the city. Property amenities include rooms with water views, a waterfront swimming pool, two restaurants that serve local seafood, outdoor fire pits and marina access for snorkeling, paddleboarding and Jet Skiing. When you're ready for a little more action, head to Duval Street's bars. You can reach them via the hotel's free shuttle service to Old Town Key West.

Costa Rica

Explore lush rainforests, unwind on the beach and enjoy adventurous pursuits like zip lining, whitewater rafting and all-terrain vehicle drives in tropical Costa Rica. The W Costa Rica - Reserva Concha is a hip retreat on the country's northwestern coast that features an array of amenities for nightlife enthusiasts and R&R-seekers. Guests will find a large bar, a keg, a balcony and a glass-enclosed shower inside every room. The property also offers an infinity pool, several food and drink venues and the AWAY Spa. At another Costa Rican resort, Margaritaville Beach Resort Playa Flamingo, visitors have access to a pool, tennis courts, a spa, a fitness center and more.

Charleston, South Carolina

Step back in time to 17th-century America while on vacation in Charleston. This charming port city is home to preserved historic mansions, beaches, award-winning restaurants and shops. Many of Charleston's popular attractions, such as the Battery and Charleston City Market, are easy to explore on foot or by bike. After a busy day of sightseeing, gal pals can relax at Wentworth Mansion, a former home built in the 1800s by wealthy Charleston resident Francis Silas Rodgers. The hotel offers plush digs, a spa inside the property's former stables and the highly regarded Circa 1886 restaurant.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

If you and your girls are in need of an idyllic beach getaway, head to Punta Cana. This locale on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic features 30-plus miles of white sand beaches. Take a day off from the sun with some retail therapy at the bazaar-like Bi2JH2O Artisanal Shopping Plaza or the high-end Palma Real Shopping Village. The city also features a vibrant nightlife scene with various dance clubs and lounges. On Bavaro Beach, you'll find TRS Turquesa Hotel, an adults-only, all-inclusive property with a spa, restaurants and suites that have jetted tubs and 24-hour butler service.

Carmel, California

It's hard to find a more picturesque destination than Carmel, thanks to its misty beaches and homes straight out of a fairy tale. This coastal village 4 miles southwest of Monterey, California, is an ideal spot to hop on bikes and ride down to the beach and through charming neighborhoods. When you reach downtown, stop to check out the area's shops, restaurants and art galleries. For more beautiful sea views, venture to nearby Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Carmel offers a range of quaint hotels and inns, including the historic La Playa Carmel and the cottage-style Hotel Carmel.

Anguilla

Located in the eastern Caribbean, Anguilla boasts 33 white sand beaches where vacationers can enjoy adventurous activities like sailing, kiteboarding and sport fishing. A cruise to one of the island's many cays and secluded stretches of sand can make for a great girls' day out. For a place to stay, there's Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa, a luxurious boutique hotel in the Shoal Bay Village area. The main draw of this beachfront property is its tranquil spa, which resides within a 300-year-old Thai house that was moved to the island. The facility features Anguilla's only hammam and nine treatment rooms, including oversized private suites with carved mahogany walls, vaulted ceilings and hanging lanterns.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte's plethora of activities (think: artsy events, heart-pumping pursuits and top-notch shopping) make this Southern city appealing to all kinds of travelers. Try whitewater rafting at the U.S. National Whitewater Center, where visitors will find the world's largest man-made whitewater river. Or, visit the high-end SouthPark area, which offers ample shopping opportunities. For boutique digs in the Queen City, stay at the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel. Overlooking an urban park in the city center, the property boasts amenities like complimentary loaner bikes, in-room yoga mats, evening wine receptions, a yoga deck and two restaurants. Angeline's serves Italian-American cuisine, while the rooftop Merchant & Trade dishes up bar snacks and cocktails.

Toronto

If you're looking for an international escape that's close to home, head to Toronto. The city's abundance of ethnic neighborhoods, including Little Italy, Greektown, Chinatown and Little India, make it a superb spot for foodies. Plus, gourmands can pick up specialty items at Kensington Market. Meanwhile, fashionistas can shop for designer clothing at Bloor-Yorkville, and music enthusiasts can check out top live music venues like Horseshoe Tavern, The Rex and Massey Hall. When you need a break from all the city has to offer, take advantage of the Bisha Hotel Toronto's amenities. Set between the Fashion District and Old Toronto, the hotel features a seasonal rooftop infinity pool, steam rooms and four bars and restaurants, including an eatery with sweeping city panoramas.

New Orleans

A New Orleans vacation is bound to include time spent sipping hurricanes on Bourbon Street and munching on beignets at Cafe du Monde. But if partying isn't your scene, don't fret: The Big Easy offers something for everyone. The chic South Market District appeals to shopaholics, Frenchmen Street boasts incredible live music and the 18th-century Jackson Square is a must for history buffs. A streetcar ride down St. Charles Avenue, which features gorgeous mansions, is also a fun way to pass the time. New Orleans is home to a variety of hotels, but for traveler-approved amenities and a superb location, hang your hat at the Loews New Orleans Hotel. This property sits in the central Warehouse District and houses an indoor pool, a restaurant and a bar.
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Lyn Mettler, Contributor

Lyn Mettler is the hotels contributor to U.S. News and also writes about destinations, ...  Read more

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