Thanks to Instagram, we know all about the vacation habits of our favorite girl gangs, from the
Kardashian-Jenner clan to Taylor Swift's posse of models, musicians, and actors. And while they can let loose with multi-million dollar beach rentals and private air fare, we mortals have to do something a bit more low-key.
Here, we’ve rounded up awesome trip ideas for you and your crew that are both amazing and affordable. Head to wine country in Argentina, kick back in the Catskills, or hang 10 in Morocco. Whatever you're into, we've got you covered, with a hotel idea for each place. The best part: Not one trip on our list costs anywhere near $17 million.
Photo: Tourism Marquette.
Marquette, MI Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a trending outdoor destination primed for a group adventure. Marquette, the largest city in the region, offers both active opportunities and a vibrant downtown area. The four-season destination boasts one of the best single-track trail systems in the United States and has made significant investments to attract bike riders. But, as an area that often receives the most snowfall in the U.S., Marquette is truly special in the wintertime. Pack a wetsuit and board for winter surfing on Lake Superior, the biggest and coldest of the Great Lakes, or i ce climb a frozen waterfall ranging from 20 to 210 feet tall. Checking this off your bucket list is not only exhilarating — it will give your and your buddies plenty to brag about back home.
Photo: Courtesy of The Landmark Inn.
Marquette, MI (Continued) Where to Stay: Landmark Inn is an unforgettable stay that captures the small-town feel of Marquette in a luxurious setting. The hotel is restored from The Northland Hotel, a once-iconic accommodation who has hosted the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and The Rolling Stones.
Photo: Courtesy of Tourism New Zealand.
Nelson, New Zealand The sunniest place in New Zealand, Nelson is a great base for a girl’s getaway. There's a panoply of local markets, local breweries, and galleries waiting for you to explore. Well known for producing Sauvignon Blanche, the Marlborough wine region is also a short drive away. The city also offers great access to Abel Tasman National Park, which offers sea kayaking, swimming, and multi-day hiking options.
Photo: Courtesy of Edenhouse.
Nelson, New Zealand (Continued) Where to Stay: Edenhouse, an enchanting country house with lush gardens, is the ideal spot for a friendship retreat. From the hospitable owners to the farm-fresh cuisine, this stay will make you feel like you're crashing at the cozy holiday cottage of a friend.
Photo: Visit Bloomington.
Bloomington, IN B-town is the ideal getaway for a small group of friends because there's something for everyone. For adrenaline junkies wanting to go kayaking or paddle boarding, there are three lakes to make a splash in. The gorgeous Indiana University campus is a lovely setting for a fall picnic or an afternoon of chitchat. You and your squad wouldn't want to miss the city's music scene: The Bluebird and Blockhouse Bar are the best spots for shows.
Photo: Courtesy of Wampler House.
Bloomington, IN (Continued) Where To Stay: The beauty about Bloomington is that accommodation is cheap enough that you wouldn't need to share a room. Wampler House gives you a taste of the small town B&B with its warm and rustic decor and homemade treats.
Photo: Getty Images.
Hong Kong, China Hong Kong is a dynamic destination that fits the bill if you're looking for a fun city break. One of the safest cities in the world, it's supported by a vast and inexpensive public transportation system. Many signages come in English, so there's no risk of getting lost in translation. There's never a shortage of things to do in this metropolis if you look beneath its glossy exterior: The city is home to excellent hiking trails — an element that gets overlooked due to the towering skyscrapers at the forefront of the skyline. The city also makes a great home base for day trips to explore its many outlying islands: Head to Lamma Island for the seafood and Peng Chau for the authentic small-town atmosphere and locally-made handicrafts.
Photo: Courtest of J Plus Hotel by YOO.
Hong Kong, China (Continued) Where To Stay: As an important financial hub, Hong Kong is home to a large collection of business hotels operated by international hospitality chains. The first designer boutique hotel in the city, J Plus Hotel by YOO still manages to stand out from its cookie-cutter competitors. The imaginative decor is dreamed up by the a team founded by legendary furniture designer Philippe Starck. You'll be able to spot Starck's creative influence all over the rooms, from whimsical gallery walls and statues to charmingly mismatched furniture. The 24 suites are incredibly spacious for Hong Kong standards, with each of them inspired by an uplifting color, juxtaposed by elegant furniture in white and neutral tones. The highly saturated backdrop is simply made for taking squad photos, if you ask us. Each suite comes with a kitchen and marble bathroom, so it feels like you're sharing a cute apartment with your best friends rather than a hotel room. If you're coming with friends, the Blue Suite is the ideal room to book: With two sofas and a lounging area by the window, there's plenty of room to hang out and have heart-to-hearts over a glass of wine — which flows freely at the hotel lobby during happy hour. With so much to explore around the city, you'll want to stay somewhere conveniently located: You can't get better than the hotel's location in Causeway Bay, which is smack dab in the middle of the trendiest boutiques, restaurants, just steps away from subway stops and tram stations.
Photo: Arpad Benedek/Getty Images.
New Orleans, Louisiana There are so many ways to describe New Orleans: soulful, raucous, unexpected, delicious, fun, wild. You won't regret taking a trip here with your BFFs. Just a few tips: Go in the spring or fall, and keep in mind that it gets really busy around Mardi Gras and JazzFest. Go to Mimi's for a festive atmosphere and great food, Cochon if you're a foodie, and Café du Monde for beignets. By all means, hit up Bourbon Street to party, but if you're looking for a chiller vibe and legit live music, don't miss Frenchmen Street. Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Photo: Courtesy of Ace Hotel New Orleans.
New Orleans, Louisiana (Continued) Where To Stay: Ace Hotel New Orleans Set in the Warehouse District, this outpost of the urban-glam Ace chain brings a little bit of modern into a city that breathes with its own history. The amenities are badass: What other hotel has record turntables and acoustic guitars in the rooms? The rooftop garden — with a pool and restaurant — is another major draw.
Photo: Getty Images.
San Francisco, California Whether you and your friends are into art museums, shopping, restaurant-hopping, or all of the above, San Francisco provides endless fun. Stroll through Golden Gate Park, try one of the many excellent taquerias in the Mission, or enjoy the scenic views along the Embarcadero. And if you're tired of the city, you can always take a day trip to nearby wine country or check out one of the many surrounding hiking trails.
Photo: Courtesy of The Inn at Union Square.
San Francisco, California (Continued) Where To Stay: The Inn at Union Square The Inn at Union Square is right in the middle of the city's downtown hustle and bustle: Right nearby, you'll be able to hop on to one of S.F.'s historic cable cars, see all the main museums, and more. Plus, there are complimentary wine and cheese receptions every night and free breakfast — can't really go wrong with that.
Squaw Valley, California There's no better time to decamp to the largest ski resort in the U.S.: Over the past winter, it has enjoyed a record snowfall — 300% more than the usual amount — and the ski season has been extended through Independence Day weekend. Instead of hitting the ski lodge bar for your après-ski activities, take a 45-minute drive to Reno Tahoe for a dip in the lake or a barbecue sesh. The Reno Tahoe Midtown District, the culinary nerve center of the town, is packed with trendy gastropubs, breweries, and restaurants.
Squaw Valley, California (Continued) Where to Stay: There's a lot to unpack at Whitney Peak Hotel: The boutique resort is home to the World’s Largest Rock Climbing Wall, and it's steps away from Truckee River, where you can take an whitewater raft downstream. With these amenities and its close proximity to the slopes and local art warehouses, the $115-a-night price tag seems like a steal.
Photo: Courtesy of Kimpton.
Manchester, VT Located in the Green and Taconic mountain ranges, Manchester serves as the ideal destination for a group getaway to the great outdoors. The observation deck at the top of Mount Equinox, the highest peak of the Taconic range, boasts sweeping views of the lush Shires of Vermont. There's a range of exciting activities to experience with your squad, from biking tours to Land Rover driving lessons through the terrain.
Photo: Courtesy of Kimpton.
Manchester, VT (Continued) Where To Stay: Conveniently located near a variety of outdoor attractions, Kimpton Taconic boasts an amazing panorama the mountains. Locally-made walking sticks and hiking survival kits will be provided in your room, and the hotel also provides a wealth of outdoor activities, from fly fishing lessons to kayaking on Battenkill River. Wind down after a long day outdoors with a group outdoor yoga classes available on site.
Split, Croatia Croatia is the most underrated gem in the Mediterranean Sea. This Dalmatian capital is jam-packed with activities for every type of friend group: Active types will get a great workout from hiking the Biokovo Mountains, oenophiles will love bar hopping to sample the best bottles from the nearby wine country, while beach bums will be able to bask in sunshine at the city's iconic waterfront. If you love history, this is the place to be: The old town can be traced back to the Ancient Romans and is practically a living museum. Idyllic as it is, what makes the destination a must-visit is the price, which remains relatively affordable compared to the rest of Croatia and Europe. So, grab your passports and hit the town — before other travelers begin to catch on.
Photo: Courtesy of Cornaro Hotel
Split, Croatia (Continued) Where To Stay: Cornaro Hotel is a stone's throw away from Diocletian's Palace, a main attraction in the old town. The four-star hotel's central location also guarantees magnificent panoramas of the crimson-roofed city from the rooftop pool.
Sonoma County, CA Doing back-to-back wine tastings with your nearest and dearest is what friendship dreams are made of. Most people scamper to Napa Valley for their vineyard crawls, but there's another wine country you should be looking at. According to research conducted by Wine Folly, your average spending in Sonoma will be about $292 per day, which is way more affordable if you stack it against Napa's estimate of $460 per day. Compared to the touristy attention concentrated on the Napa Valley region, Sonoma is way more spread out and peaceful. You and your pals are less likely to fight for elbow room at a tasting bar. The most incredible views can be found at Kendall Jackson's chateau and the hilltop Nicholson Ranch.
Sonoma County, CA (Continued) Where to Stay: MacArthur Place Inn is a great accommodation if your group appreciates a lovely garden served with history on the side. Once privately owned by a family for five generations, the residence is one of the oldest Victorian homes in Sonoma. The on-site restaurant — one of the top-rated steakhouses in the area — is situated in a cozy barn house. Oh, did we mention there's also a full-serviced spa here?
Liberia, Costa Rica This small town is often overlooked by many travelers as a stopping point on the way to Nicaragua or other beach towns in the Guanacaste province. However, there's more to Liberia than meets the eye: Take a group hike at Rincon de la Vieja National Park and discover plenty of stunning volcanos, waterfalls and wildlife. The ethereal views at Llanos del Cortez Waterfall will blow your mind. The small town also easy to walk around and offers an authentic cultural experience in Costa Rican daily life: You'll feel right at home grabbing ceviches — a Peruvian cocktail — from street vendors, or admiring homegrown artistic creations at Guanacaste Museum.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Las Espuelas
Liberia, Costa Rica (Continued) Where To Stay: Hotel Las Espuelas has been in business for more than half a century, but its charming gardens and proximity to various camping grounds make it an enduring choice for traveling friends. You'll also get to experience Costa Rican's notably friendly service and be greeted by a panoply of animals and insects on the grounds, from hummingbirds to butterflies.
Bangkok, Thailand Equal parts grit and glamour, this capital captivates millions of visitors a year. While many may know the destination as a backpacker's haven or a place to indulge in vices, Bangkok has been quietly undergoing a metamorphosis of its own: New hipster neighborhoods are cropping up, like the tree-lined, boutique-filled sois (Thai for side streets) in Aree. If you think shopping in Bangkok is all about picking up elephant-print shorts in night markets, think again. In the recent decades, the city has seen a flush of wealth and capital, resulting in sleek retail complexes like the Siam Paragon. The best way to unwind after a day of browsing? A classic Thai massage at Oasis Spa.
Photo: Courtesy of The Siam
Bangkok, Thailand (Continued) Where To Stay: A glasshouse-chic retreat canopied by towering banana leaf plants, The Siam Hotel is a popular hideout for influencers and celebrities. The monochromatic mod-retro decor and garden views on the terrace will definitely garner you a lot of likes.
Portland, OR This is the getaway to book if you and your friends are into all things quirky. With a distinctive personality and colorful neighborhoods to match, the city is ideal for young people looking for a chill weekend. You'll be greeted with retro RVs, funky murals and interestingly-dressed locals on the streets. Artsy types will love touring Pearl District, a hyped neighborhood packed with street art and home to Powell's, the largest independent bookstore in the world. The city's culinary action happens along Divison/Clinton, where delectable bites at the likes of Pok Pok, Salt & Straw and Off The Waffle won't break your bank. Portland is also known as "The City of Roses", so your trip will be incomplete without an afternoon smelling the lovely buds at the International Rose Test Garden.
Photo: Courtesy of McMenamins Crystal Hotel
Portland, OR (Continued) Where to Stay: True to the city's whimsical persona, McMenamin's Crystal Hotel is a unique stay in the heart of downtown district. If you're a music-loving group, you'll be delighted with the funky, musician-inspired decor. Crystal Ballroom, one of the city's top venues for live music, is just downstairs.
Photo: Courtesy of Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service
Tasmania, Australia Have a joint escape to the edge of the world at this pocket of nature off the Australian mainland. With an inefficient bus system and expensive internal flights, this island is best experienced via a self-driven road trip. Some of the most unbelievable sites await, from the dramatic cliffs at the Tasman Peninsula to the sparkling shorelines of River Derwent, which earned its glimmer from bioluminescence. Your group's golden photo op lies at Bridestowe Estate, an expansive lavender field with a peak period around December. Budget in at least ten days for the most memorable car journey ever.
Photo: Courtesy of Quamby Estate
Tasmania, Australia (Continued) Where to Stay: Is there anything cooler than taking over an ancestral home with your entire friend group? Quamby Estate, a stunning luxury property dating back to the 1800s, is where you'll be able to make some quality friendship memories — whilst surrounding yourself with panoramic mountain views taken straight out of a story book.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Astoria.
Ghent, Belgium This charming European city offers plenty for you and your BFFs: You can explore historic sites like the Cathedral of St. Bavo, stroll the downtown and go shopping, and take walks along the river, which is beautifully illuminated at night. There's also an excellent food scene. Try Oak for its 65-euro five-course menu of gourmet Belgian fare; it also offers vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Astoria.
Ghent, Belgium (Continued) Where To Stay: Hotel Astoria This charming hotel has cozy rooms, an extensive homemade breakfast buffet, and a cute garden in which to enjoy your breakfast. Plus, you can rent a bike (only 10 euro) onsite and explore the city on two wheels.
Photo: Courtesy of Pestana Vintage Porto.
Porto, Portugal The charming, historic center of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll spend hours browsing at the shops and relaxing in the cafés — make sure to try some salted cod, a local specialty. The riverside Ribeira district offers plenty of port wine cellars (hence the name of the city), so you can taste and sip to your heart's delight.
Photo: Courtesy of Pestana Vintage Porto.
Porto, Portugal (Continued) Where To Stay: Pestana Vintage Porto In the heart of the Ribeira district, this trendy hotel offers unique, vintage-style digs with prime views of the Douro River. It's walking distance to plenty of restaurants and nightlife — although there's an excellent cocktail bar on site, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Ion Adventure Hotel.
Iceland There's a reason this tiny country is on everyone's bucket list. Its natural beauty is something everyone should experience at least once. Plus, an adventure trip is always more fun with friends! You can dive, snorkel, explore volcanoes, see horses, gaze at the Northern Lights, trek through an ice cave, swim in the famous Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and so much more.
Photo: Courtesy of Ion Adventure Hotel.
Iceland (Continued) Where To Stay: Ion Adventure Hotel Less than an hour’s drive from capital city Reykjavík, this luxury spot is your starting point for adventure. There are endless ways to explore Iceland's majestic beauty — horseback, Jeep, helicopter, whitewater rafting — and you can book all sorts of tours that start at the hotel. Then, relax in the warm, outdoor pool while enjoying the Northern Lights, or maybe get a relaxing massage with Icelandic herbs.
Photo: Tetra Images/Getty Images.
Costa Brava, Spain Located to the northeast of Barcelona, the Costa Brava region has gorgeous beaches where you and your friends can scuba-dive to your hearts' content. Don't miss the famous Salvador Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres, where the surrealist artist is buried in a crypt below the stage. Besides the culture, history, and magnificent beaches, there are restaurants and bars to please every palate.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Casamar.
Costa Brava, Spain (Continued) Where To Stay: Hotel Casamar Hotel Casamar is located on a hilltop in the tiny fishing village of Llafranc, and surrounded by plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and adventure sports. (Yes, the views are to die for.) It's just steps from the beach and plenty of restaurants and cafés — although the hotel itself is attached to a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Photo: Getty Images.
Key West, Florida To get here, you can either fly into the teeny-tiny airport from Miami or take the most scenic 3.5-hour drive, ever, also from Miami. We suggest renting a bike to explore all the charming nooks and crannies — this quirky island really is that small. Stroll Duval Street and try one of the many restaurants and bars, like the buzzy Nine One Five. The art-gallery scene is also worth exploring. Feel like making some NSFW jokes while you're off the clock? Book a table at Better Than Sex* and share some chocolate dishes with saucy names (Truffle Tongue Bath, anyone?), as well as a bottle-of-wine special. If you're a bunch of literary buffs, the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum offers a treasure trove of interesting tidbits — along with about 50 six-toed cats. Don't forget the beaches: Park your towels right by The Southernmost House for some prime people-watching action. *no, not like the mascara
Photo: Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts.
Key West, Florida (Continued) Where To Stay: The Reach, A Waldorf-Astoria Resort This luxe beachfront resort offers Key West's only private beach, and there are plenty of water sports (snorkeling, diving) right on site. Or you can just relax in the oceanfront pool and watch the sunset. Oh, and there's a giant chess set for all your wacky-photo needs.
Photo: Getty Images.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts Heels off, flip-flops on. This is your chance to enjoy the great outdoors, whether for your crew that means laying out on the beach all day (no shame in your game, just bring a giant communal tub of SPF) or doing the active-lifestyle thang. For lovers of the latter, may we suggest the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail, where you can bike, hike, rollerblade or ride horseback to your heart's content? The Instagram-worthy views, paved surface, and few hills make it ideal for a bike tour. Where to stay? Provincetown — a hub of LGBT culture with excellent restaurants, galleries, and nightlife — is your best bet. For a nostalgic, quintessential-New England evening, check out the Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, built in 1957, for a double feature (it's open during the warmer months).
Photo: Courtesy of Dyer's Beach House.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts (Continued) Where To Stay: Dyer's Beach House Watch the sunset, Cape Cod in hand (naturally), from this inn's private beach. It's super-close to all the restaurants and nightlife of Provincetown, too, so you won't need to corral the crew into an Uber every time you go out.
Photo: Getty Images.
Savannah, Georgia Ah, Savannah. The South at its peak charm, an intriguing art scene thanks to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), and a rollicking night life, to boot — what's not to love? For a fun group activity, take a movie tour, Black history tour, or ghost tour through Savannah Movie Tours & More — you can learn about the city's history and see where famous flicks like Forrest Gump and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil were filmed. For the more party-inclined, there's a martini tour as well. And speaking of martinis, definitely head to Jen's & Friends if you're into the idea of hundreds of different types. (It's basically the Cheesecake Factory of martinis — think espresso, Oreo, and even Rice Krispies Treats flavors! It'll give you an excuse to try all your friends' drinks.)
Photo: Courtesy of The Mansion On Forsyth Park.
Savannah, Georgia (Continued) Where To Stay: The Mansion On Forsyth Park This 1888-built Victorian Romanesque mansion, one of the city's most recognized landmarks, is set in a quiet neighborhood that's just a 15-minute walk from downtown. (A note about walking in Savannah: There are lot of cobblestones, so be careful with those heels if you choose to wear 'em.) If you're looking for a relaxed vibe where you can actually talk, and perhaps enjoy some jazz, stay here and be sure to dine at the mansion's restaurant, 700 Drayton. With delicious Southern fare, handcrafted cocktails, and a salted-caramel cheesecake that won't disappoint, it's a no-brainer for a group dinner. There's also a spa, an art gallery, a cooking school, and a courtyard pool, plus some rooms have soaking or whirlpool tubs.
Photo: Getty Images.
Santa Fe, New Mexico You likely know that line from Rent: "Let's open up a restaurant in Santa Fe..." Jonathan Larson's wayward bohemians weren't lying; it really is a desert haven for the artistically inclined. If you and your posse are looking to spend a laid-back few days browsing art galleries and boutiques, this is the spot. Check out the galleries along Canyon Road, and be sure to get in some museum-hopping — the world-famous Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is free from 5 to 7 p.m. every first Friday of the month. During the summer, the Santa Fe Opera hosts outdoor performances in the most stunning setting, which used to be a sprawling dude ranch. Be aware that it's a dry town (relax, not like that) with an elevation of about 7,000 feet, so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate (and schlep along all the moisturizer) — and bring layers because it can get chilly at night.
Photo: Courtesy of Inn on the Alameda.
Santa Fe, New Mexico (Continued) Where To Stay: Inn On The Alameda Set in a quaint little adobe compound, this cozy inn is just a block from the galleries on Canyon Road and a 13-minute walk from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum: perfect for all your downtown-strolling needs. The appropriately named Girls' Getaway package includes the Breakfast of Enchantment (Locally roasted, organic, fair-trade coffee? Sign us up.), as well as a $75 voucher to the Ten Thousand Waves Japanese bathhouse, which is basically outdoor-hot-tub heaven. Enough said? Well, there's also a daily complimentary wine-and-cheese reception.
Photo: Getty Images.
Asheville, North Carolina Nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina, Asheville is perfect for both the outdoorsy and the indoorsy crew. If you enjoy roughing it, there's no shortage of opportunities to hike, bike, or raft. Rather enjoy the mountains from a safe distance? You can stay busy just exploring the city. Check out one of the breweries throughout town — Wedge Brewing Company also has food trucks so you can have a bite with your beer. The nearby River Arts District has over 180 working artist studios to explore. And no girls' getaway would be complete without a visit to downtown's aSHEville Museum, devoted to exhibits on women.
Photo: Courtesy of Grove Park Inn.
Asheville, North Carolina (Continued) Where To Stay: Grove Park Inn Don't choose between urban vibes and natural vistas — at the Grover Park Inn, you get gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains only two miles from downtown. The inn is also home to one of the locations of the Nanathala Outdoor Center, an outdoors company offering full- and half-day rafting trips (including all gear and lunch!) for all skill levels, including beginner. If you'd rather just stay put, relax at the hotel's spa, whose dip pools, treatments, and relaxation rooms evoke its serene mountain setting.
Photo: Getty Images.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania There's way more to this vibrant city than just the Liberty Bell. Foodies could keep themselves busy just eating their way through their vacation. Yes, there's always those eponymous cheesesteaks, but also fine dining ( Abe Fisher, a take on international Jewish cuisine is a must-visit) as well as a bustling BYOB scene. For street food, hit up the 9th Street Market in South Philly, where generations of Italian-American shopkeepers have been selling specialty goods to hungry customers. For an easy way to please a group, pay a visit to the Reading Terminal Market, where you can pick up everything from DiNic's famous roast pork sandwich to Peking duck.
Photo: courtesy of Hotel Monaco.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Continued) Where To Stay: Hotel Monaco Philadelphia Located in the heart of Old City, Hotel Monaco is also located close to several major bus and subway lines. You'll also be a short walk from Penn's Landing, an outdoor park that hosts events, pop-up bars, and restaurants in warm weather. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell are free to visit just steps away, but there's also a bit of Americana even the biggest history hater can't argue with. Nearby Franklin Fountain is a throwback ice cream shop straight out of the 1900's serving up epic sundaes and shakes meant to be shared.
Photo: bakerjarvis/Getty Images.
Montreal, Quebec For European vibes without the transatlantic crossing, look no further than Montreal. You'll still need a passport, but it could be no more than a short Amtrak ride or car trip away. With the modern, urban feel of a city and the French-inspired architecture of days past, you can both sightsee and enjoy the amenities of city life. Munch on Montreal bagels (beware: they're smaller than their New York City cousins) and try your hand at poutine, the iconic gravy-covered French fries. When you're done with city life, head out to the Mount Royal, the mountain at the center of the city, and find peace in its elevation.
Montreal, Quebec (Continued) Where to Stay: Casa Bianca Situated on the Parc du Mont Royal (the mountain from which the city gets its name), this airy bed and breakfast keeps you in the thriving center of Montreal proper. With hipster-cool Mile End just a block away and Downtown Montreal at your fingertips, you can explore the French Canadian city with ease.
Lake Placid, New York This rustic upstate ski town casts a vintage vibe, thanks to Olympic facilities from years past (Lake Placid hosted the winter games in 1932 and 1980.) Trails abound for cross-country skiing or scenic hikes in the warmer months, perfect for an outdoorsy girl gang. The interlocking network of picturesque lakes also provides opportunities to explore the area by boat, either on a tour or in your own canoe.
Lake Placid, New York (Continued) Where To Stay: South Meadow Farm Beginning at $115 a night, the rooms at the South Meadow Farm lodge are cozy, quilt-covered dreams. The stay also includes a complimentary country breakfast and a ski pass to the Olympic Trails.
Photo: Sergio Salvador Photography / Courtesy of Los Poblanos Historic Inn.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Meeting your friends for a farm-to-table brunch is one thing, but staying on a working farm with lavender fields and crafty workshops is the ultimate. At Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, which sits on 25 acres just outside of Albuquerque, you can fulfill all your childhood Laura Ingalls Wilder fantasies. Lend a hand in the vegetable fields, take a class on baking bread, and learn the art of aromatherapy. There’s also a farm shop where you can stock up on lavender salve, Navajo blankets, and hangover tonic (hey, you never know). As for that farm-to-table meal, eat up on-site at La Merienda restaurant.
Photo: Mike Crane Photo / Courtesy of Los Poblanos Historic Inn.
Albuquerque, New Mexico (Continued) Where To Stay: Los Poblanos Historic Inn Take your pick between rooms in the original ranch house (with kiva fireplaces and beamed ceilings) and farm suites (with private patios). There are also bikes to borrow and a saltwater pool.
Photo: Rex USA.
Mendoza, Argentina If you’ve already done Napa, Sonoma, or Long Island’s North Fork, it’s time to direct your vino-loving pals south — to South America. For a souped-up wine-country getaway, head to Mendoza, which is less than a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires. There, you’ll find some 1,200 wineries (Malbec is king in these parts), a love of barbecued meats and oven-baked empanadas, plus plenty of boutiques where you can shop for Argentina’s covetable leather (check out Prune). And, because Mendoza is at the base of the Andes, there’s plenty of outdoor action to be had. Hire a local gaucho to take you horseback-riding through the hills and vineyards, or go rafting on the Mendoza River.
Photo: Courtesy of Finca Adalgisa.
Mendoza, Argentina (Continued) Where To Stay: Finca Adalgisa This winery, restaurant, and hotel is about 20 minutes outside the city of Mendoza in the village of Chacras de Coria. You’ll never go thirsty at Finca, as the property produces 5,000 bottles of Malbec on-site. Each of the 11 rooms is unique, and the hotel offers cooking classes, bikes to borrow, and a vineyard-side swimming pool.
Photo: Cosmo Condina / Stock Connection/REX USA.
The Catskills, New York Two words: Dirty Dancing. Yes, upstate New York was the backdrop for Penny’s problems, Baby and Johnny’s love, and that epic lift. But aside from being a destination for Jennifer Grey fans, the Catskills make for a laid-back weekend just a couple hours from New York City. During warmer months, head for a hike at Kaaterskill Falls, where the main event is a waterfall that drops 260 feet. In the winter, Hunter Mountain is where it’s at for skiing, snow tubing, and hot toddy-drinking. A stop at Mama’s Boy Burgers in Tannersville is practically mandatory, for beef patties smothered in a secret house sauce, as well as frozen custard and fries. There’s also Phoenicia Diner, where the waffles will make you consider moving to the Catskills permanently.
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Dylan.
The Catskills, New York (Continued) Where To Stay: Hotel Dylan The motto at Hotel Dylan is “Peace. Love. Stay,” which makes sense because it’s located in the hippie haven of Woodstock, NY. Each of the colorfully quirky rooms features a photo by Elliott Landy, the rock 'n' roll photographer who shot the Woodstock Festival back in 1969.
Photo: Courtesy of Surf Maroc.
Taghazout, Morocco Here’s a trip where you can make new friends and hang with the ones you already have. On the west coast of Morocco, there’s a small fishing village named Taghazout that’s gained a rep for surfing. There, Surf Maroc — a hub for rentals, lessons, and full-fledged surfing vacations — hosts all-women retreats. Sign up for a week and you’ll learn to work the waves, plus meet women from all over the world (though the groups tend to skew British). In addition to surfing, the camp includes yoga, shopping at a local souk, and a trip to Paradise Valley — a lush spot 45 minutes away, with natural pools and rock-carved waterslides.
Photo: Courtesy of Surf Maroc.
Taghazout, Morocco (Continued) Where To Stay: Taghazout Villa Your week-long foray includes a stay at Surf Maroc’s original villa, which overlooks the Atlantic. Yoga classes happen on the top-tier balcony, and dinners — which consist of Moroccan tagines, kebabs, and fresh fish — are served family-style on the lower, beachfront terrace.
Photo: Rex/REX USA.
Chicago, Illinois Feasting on deep-dish pizza at legendary joints like Lou Malnoti’s or Pequod’s is always a good idea, but the city has more foodie tricks up its sleeve. This fall, chef Richard Sandoval will open Latinicity, a 20,000-square-foot Latin-American food hall (think Eataly with tortas, ceviche, and tacos). Enchilada enthusiasts should also head to the Pilsen neighborhood for some of the best Mexican food in the Midwest, plus plenty of top-notch vintage shopping. Another hip ‘hood is Logan Square. Hit up Sink | Swim for oysters, and then boogie the night away at Slippery Slope, a dance-centric bar with Skee-Ball.
Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Athletic Association.
Chicago, Illinois (Continued) Where To Stay: Chicago Athletic Association A boutique hotel built in a historic 1890s building, the Chicago Athletic Association has personality in spades. It also has a game room with a bocce ball court, a rooftop restaurant, and a prime location near Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago.
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Sayulita, Mexico If Tulum is the bohemian epicenter of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, then Sayulita takes the flower-covered crown on the Pacific side. But while some complain that Tulum has become an outpost for Williamsburg scenesters, Sayulita, a surf town that’s about 25 miles northwest of Puerto Vallarta, isn’t quite trending on Instagram yet. Spend your days lazing away at beaches like Playa Centro and Playa de Los Muertos, then grab fresh fish for dinner at waterside Don Pedro’s. Another mainstay is ChocoBanana, a café where the main event is chocolate-dipped, sprinkle-covered bananas. And for all your fringed and feathered needs, there’s Pacha Mama, a boutique geared toward the caftan-wearing crowd.
Photo: Courtesy of Casa Ninamu.
Sayulita, Mexico (Continued) Where To Stay: Casa Ninamu Book your crew into this cobalt-blue casita and have the run of the place. There are two bedrooms, an infinity pool, and a rooftop terrace with views of both the jungle and the beach. You can even have a chef drop in to make a pie in the villa’s pizza oven.
Photo: D. L. Thompson & Jon Johnson / courtesy of the Ace Hotel & Swim Club.
Palm Springs, California When you need a quality catch-up, the ideal destination is one where there’s a pool — and where it never rains. Palm Springs, which is a quick two-hour trip for Angelenos, is that place. On average, the area gets 350 days of sunshine a year. Should you and your group emerge from your poolside cocoon, there’s hiking at the Coachella Valley Preserve, Wild West-style trips through the desert with Covered Wagon Tours, and high-flying excursions on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. As for where to eat, Chi Chi at the Avalon Hotel serves up Central and South American favorites with modern flair. You can even get a mini “Latin fruit cart” delivered to your table, complete with lime wedges and chili salt.
Photo: D. L. Thompson & Jon Johnson / courtesy of the Ace Hotel & Swim Club.
Palm Springs, California (Continued) Where To Stay: Ace Hotel & Swim Club Here’s your pool, plus a bonus: On weekends, there’s a DJ to provide the soundtrack to your getaway. Some rooms have private patios and fireplaces, plus the hotel’s Amigo Room bar has a full calendar of music and comedians.
Photo: Paul Brown/Rex/REX USA.
Tokyo, Japan If you followed Lena Dunham’s recent trip to Tokyo with pal Aidy Bryant (of SNL fame) and suffered a healthy dose of FOMO, you are not alone. There, Dunham dabbled in nail art, “giant baby fashion,” and BFF septum piercings — and it all looked delightful. If you want to shop in Dunham’s footsteps, check out clothing stores Titty&Co. (which is quite demure, despite its name) and One Spo (which stocks furry sweaters and bralettes with blinking eyes on the chests). For nail art, make a pilgrimage to Nail Room Poche, which is basically the birthplace of 3D finger-bling. For ramen, there’s Ichiran; for tempura, there’s Tsunahachi (it’s been around for over 50 years). And for a shrine to Totoro, there’s Hayao Miyazaki’s Ghibli Museum in the western suburb of Mitaka.
Photo: Courtesy of Claska.
Tokyo, Japan (Continued) Where To Stay: Claska Part hotel, part gallery, part event space, and part boutique, Claska is in Tokyo’s shop-filled Meguro district. Of the five room categories, the Tatami abodes — with their tatami mats and paper lanterns — might be the coolest.
Photo: Alex Segre/REX USA.
Cartagena, Colombia If you’re pressed for vacation days but really want an adventure, Colombia is the gateway destination for a South American jaunt. Direct flights from NYC to Cartagena are just five hours (that’s shorter than a trip to L.A.), so you can make it happen over a long weekend. Once you’re in the colonial walled city, fill up on citrus-cured seafood at La Cevichería, frozen fruit pops at La Palettería, and arepas from the street. Shop for mochilas (colorful woven bags) on the sidewalks and gold-dipped jewelry at Galeria Cano. Late at night, head to Café Havana for salsa tunes. Also, save one day for the beach; ride by boat for about an hour to Islas del Rosario, for clear waters and coral reefs.
Photo: Courtesy of Casablanca B&B.
Cartagena, Colombia (Continued) Where To Stay: Casablanca B&B Don’t think doilies — this restored colonial house is a B&B with style. There are whitewashed walls, a courtyard with palm trees, and two pools: one on the first floor, and the other on the rooftop terrace.
Photo: Peter Wilson/DK Images/REX USA.
Park City, Utah Make it a slope-side retreat for hot toddies, white Russians, and Irish coffee by the fire. Oh, and there’s skiing, too. Park City Mountain has 7,300 acres of powder-covered terrain. But for the non-skiers / non-boarders in the bunch, there’s shopping on Main Street ( Crosby Collection has vintage jewelry, and Atticus has used books), as well as distillery tours at High West. There’s also ice skating, sleigh rides, and snowshoeing in the great outdoors. But, of course, you can always just laze away the afternoon soaking in a hot tub.
Photo: Courtesy of Washington School House.
Park City, Utah (Continued) Where To Stay: Washington School House Here’s a dreamy ski chalet that was once a 19th-century school. Washington School House has 12 rooms filled with crystal chandeliers and white marble, plus a fireside lounge and an outdoor heated pool that’s open all year.
Photo: Getty Images
Vancouver, Canada With stunning views and a widely-known culture of friendliness, America's neighbor to the north is an ideal place to hit up with your squad. Vancouver, in particular, has an intoxicating blend of city life and outdoor adventure to offer. To wit: Stanley Park, one of the city's greatest attractions, houses 1,000 acres of wildlife just south of the city's downtown. The city is also an up-and-coming destination for beer lovers. Check out 33 Acres Brewing, a popular new brewing company, located in the center of Vancouver.
Photo: Courtesy of Skwachays
Vancouver, Canada (Continued) Where to Stay: The Vancouver Native Housing Society runs a lodge called Skwachays near Gastown/Railtown in Downtown Vancouver. As Gastown is known as the "young person" neighborhood in Vancouver, the area is dotted with nightlife and activities. On top of that, Skwachays is a socially responsible choice: the hotel funds supportive housing for the homeless in Vancouver.
Kent, Connecticut Hit the trails with your best pals and experience the scenic, cascading waterfalls at Kent Falls State Park. Downtown Kent is ideal for culture vultures, with galleries featuring quality contemporary and classic art. One unique stop to make is House of Books, a charming upscale bookshop located in a historic building that once served at the town’s post office. The town is also a surprising destination for winery hopping: Hopkins Vineyard in New Preston, overlooking Lake Waramaug, is the perfect place to enjoy an afternoon, and is the perfect starting point along the Connecticut Wine Trail.
Kent, Connecticut (Continued) Where to Stay: The Inn at Kent Falls is a highly-rated bed and breakfast in New England. The inn, surrounded by lush gardens, features four luxurious suites, private baths, and an outdoor pool.