As anyone considering a girlfriend’s getaway knows, the best time to plan an escape with your best friends is ”always.” It can be hard to nail down a location everyone feels excited about, so today we’re sharing some destinations that’ll up the ante for your next BFF getaway.
You may not be surprised to see Austin on this list, because word has gotten out about just how fun it is – year round, too. Grab your boots and head to Rainey Street where a smattering of bungalow bars like Lucille Patio serve up cocktails, board games and outdoor hammocks. The East side of Austin has a lot going on, but Central Machine Works, a new brewery with an amazing outdoor space, is a must. Head to a fancy fun brunch at Josephine House, in a charming cottage with a marble cocktail bar, great outdoor patio and a lawn for lounging. Later, test out a hybrid of BBQ and Tex Mex (spoiler: it’s delicious) at Valentina’s. For outdoor diversions, take a BYOB river float or opt for swimming at Barton Springs. Uncover vintage Western threads and boutique shopping along South Congress Ave, and consider stops at Allen’s Boots and the quirky Triple Z Threadz “required.” At night, wind down at Hotel Van Zandt where stylish blue-and-gray rooms, nightly Wine Hour and live music 365 days a year will have your girls saying “we have to come back next year.”
Blessed with fresh mountain air and 300-plus-days of sunshine, Denver has all the trappings of an immersive friend weekend. Stretch your legs with a hike inside Rocky Mountain National Park or visit the iconic Red Rocks (where a famed amphitheater also hosts top musical acts). For arty visuals, check out Museum of Contemporary Art after coffee or drinks at nearby – and highly photogenic – Union Station. For dinner, book a family-style meal at the hip Chinese restaurant Hop Alley and for dessert, Little Man scoops ice cream flavors like salted Oreo and banana pudding. Foodies can also reserve a Local Table Tour with guided stops around buzzy nabes like LoDo and the Highland. Later, drop your bags at the alpine-flared Kimpton Hotel Born whose loaner bikes and well-curated art and rug collection will keep you plenty occupied.
Thanks to its music festivals (Coachella is far from the only one), killer desert landscape and mid-century architecture, it’s never a bad time to visit Palm Springs. Take colorful cruisers on a self-guided bike tour through iconic neighborhoods like Movie Colony East (where Frank Sinatra used to live). For one-of-a-kind vintage threads, drop by Ricochet Vintage Wears and Gypsyland. East of town, the Coachella Valley Preserve lets you explore its natural springs along the San Andreas fault line. The Moorten Botanical Garden provides Instagram-worthy backdrops of cool native cacti. Later, create custom works of art under a “paint and sip” mantra at Pinot’s Palette. Back at the mod Kimpton Rowan, book a cabana and take a dip atop the town’s only rooftop pool.
For a whirlwind Windy City trip, kick start your day with some of the best retail therapy in the world along Magnificent Mile. Then, lace up your skates at Millennium Park (where on select Thursdays, DJs spin as you cruise around the rink). In the warmer months, North Avenue Beach is ideal for sunbathing and paddle boarding. Score Broadway tickets to hot shows like Waitress, or opt for some comedy at the Laugh Factory or Second City (which produced the likes of Tina Fey and Steve Carell). Later, nab a table on the rooftop patio at the Mediterranean-inspired Aba, or indulge in chef Sarah Grueneberg’s Italian-with-a-twist dishes at her West Loop wonder, Monteverde. In the morning, Stan’s Donuts doles out tasty sprinkled varieties and espresso drinks. Snag a reservation at the freshly remodeled Kimpton Monaco where the rooms feature bay windows and magnificent views of the city.
Offering easy flights from the U.S., this Caribbean island favorite is known for its crystal-clear waters. Low-key activities include swimming on the famed Seven Mile Beach, beach yoga and gentle water sports like kayaking. Beat the crowds and arrive early morning to the iconic Stingray City where you’re encouraged to frolic with these docile and graceful sea creatures. The more adventurous can enlist in scuba diving (the island boasts over 350 dive sites). Later, recharge with some conch chowder and tiki drinks at the airy, waterside Cracked Conch or head to the island’s best shopping at Camana Bay. Retreat to the snazzy Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa for sunset cocktails and ocean-views from your balcony. Psst: the hotel also lets you borrow complimentary snorkeling gear, kayaks and mini-catamarans.