There’s nothing better than girlfriend getaways. Whether it’s a mini college reunion or a chance to get out of town without the kids, it’s a fantastic way to recharge and fill your cup. The easiest part of a girls’ trip is picking the date; after that, things can get a little dicey when it comes to consensus on the itinerary. Worry not! StyleBlueprint has your back, with four itineraries that make planning the perfect girls’ trip a snap. We’ve chosen our must-hit picks in four of our favorite destinations to help ease your planning. The rest is up to you!
Go for: Shopping and museums
Chicago might just be the best girls’ trip destination ever. It’s an easy city in every way, from super-convenient flights on Southwest Airlines and other carriers right into downtown’s Midway Airport to finding your way around town. And it’s less expensive than New York and Los Angeles.
Drink: Toast your trip with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier rose in the cozy Allium , the bar/small plates restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel. The living room atmosphere of the bar offers a great respite from the craziness of Michigan Avenue.
Dine: We’re all about a big breakfast and Chicago neighborhoods, so combine the two at The Bongo Room in Wicker Park.
Shop: The wonder that is Michigan Avenue is a given, but go off the Magnificent Mile to peruse the high-end designers on Oak Street, or experience a bit more local flavor along Armitage Avenue toward Halstead. Yes, you’ll find a few known retailers, including L’Occitane, but there are dozens of local shops, including home goods store Tabula Tua and pet shop Barker & Meowsky.
Stay: The Trump International Hotel and Towers Yes, it’s a splurge, but you can’t beat its riverfront Michigan Avenue location, top-shelf rooms, fantastic spa, the ultra-cool lounge called Rebar and Sixteen, the hotel’s signature restaurant with a 16th-floor balcony lounge.
Healdsburg/Sonoma County, CA
Go for: Wine and food pairings, stocking your wine rack/bar
What could possibly be better than heading to the source of some of the country’s best wines? In the charming Sonoma County town of Healdsburg, you might recognize a few of the “big” names in the business, including Dry Creek Vineyard, Simi Winery and J Vineyards & Winery.
Drink: Wine. Limit yourself to small production bottles, and hit as many tastings or food and wine pairings as humanly possible. Don’t miss Portalupi in downtown Healdsburg for its old-school, milk bottle table wines, and the legacy tasting at J Winery.
Dine: Culinary artistry is at the heart of the restaurant business in Healdsburg, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to expensive. Try Relish Culinary Adventures for a cooking class (and eat the fruits of your labors) and Bravas, a really authentic Spanish tapas bar, for small plates and tequila pairings.
Shop: Yes, you can bring wine home. Or join a number of wine clubs, and the wineries will ship their best small-production offerings straight to you a few times a year. As you make your way through the vineyards and wineries, sample the best small-production wines (even at the big-production wineries), curate your very own wine list and order to your heart’s content.
Stay: If you want the full B&B experience, try Calderwood Inn, just a few blocks off the main square. If a hotel is more your style, the green, hip h2hotel has just 36 rooms and earns high marks for service and atmosphere.
Go for: A resort getaway
Fairhope is about as charming as a Southern town can get, from its beautiful, old homes along Mobile Bay to its downtown, which is filled with boutiques and eateries. In nearby Point Clear, the historic Marriott Grand Hotel offers a true resort getaway and one of the best spa experiences ever.
Drink: The best wine list in town is at Pinzone’s Wine Bar, which offers authentic antipasti to go along with your selection. The hard part is deciding which wine to drink from the extensive list.
Dine: Wintzell’s Oyster House has been a Gulf Coast go-to since 1938, and its Fairhope location is right along the water. We don’t even like oysters, but cannot resist Wintzell’s grilled version.
Shop: Downtown Fairhope is full of boutiques and gift stores. Stay up to date with the downtown happenings on its Facebook page.
Spa & Stay: The Grand Hotel. The Grand first opened in 1847 and served as a Civil War hospital, as well as a maritime training facility for the Navy during World War II. The waterfront Grand offers traditional Southern furnishings, an incredible European-style spa, an extensive pool area, and top-notch golf and tennis.
Go for: History & gardens
The vast living history museum that is Colonial Williamsburg is surely a fantastic family trip, but it’s an equally engaging girlfriend getaway, thanks to its museums, gardens and history.
Drink: Hoist a “rummer,” dark rum with a splash of apricot and peach brandies over ice, served up at the King’s Arms Tavern.
Dine: Take a chef’s garden and tasting tour through the heirloom gardens with the Taste Studio, which offers a myriad of culinary-focused options for guests.
Visit: American and British decorative arts take center stage at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, while folk art is the focus the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Both museums (actually housed under one roof) offer a variety of curator talks and tours throughout the day.
Stay: Skip the traditional inn for a stay in one of the Colonial Guest Houses, charming one- and two-bedroom units scattered throughout Colonial Williamsburg. You get all the amenities and access as guests in the inn, but enjoy a more rustic ambience.
Traveling to one of the other StyleBlueprint markets? Find out where to eat, shop and explore with the StyleBlueprint app!