Nothing soothes the soul like a weekend getaway with your girlfriends. Being tired, stressed, or simply needing a change of scenery are all perfectly good reasons to hop on a quick flight (or in the car for a road trip) and hit up a new city to explore with your friends.
Girlfriend getaway weekends don’t need to follow a specific formula to be considered a success. When I was younger, I thought girls trips had to be a big production and required coordinating the schedules of lots of ladies.
The older, and a bit wiser, me knows that a successful girls trip can be completed with as few as two participants. You can even call up a friend in a different city and meet somewhere in the middle for a few days.
I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying more than a few weekend trips with my best girlfriends over the years. Below you’ll find my top 5 US cities for a girls’ trip weekend. I’ve taken the time to outline the best places to stay, time of year to visit, things to pack, and what to do in each city.
Then, I took one extra step and added my pro tips for each destination! It’s a little something extra that will let you enjoy the city outside the lines of the typical tourist traps.
San Diego, California
Where To Stay: Gaslamp Quarter
When To Go: Anytime… the weather is amazing here 365 days a year.
What To Do: Take a swim at La Jolla Cove, snap a shot of the USS Midway’s “Kiss Statue”, or grab a fish taco and some ice cold cervezas at one of the many authentic baja style restaurants. San Diego has it all, plus amazing beach views to sweeten the deal.
How To Pack: Flip flops, lightweight dresses, shorts, and tees will suit you fine. Don’t forget a swimsuit that makes you feel fab and some sleek sunglasses!
Pro Tip: Plan your own girls weekend professional photo shoot! You can find local photographers that will be flexible to you and your girls schedule on Thumbtack.com. Sunrise and sunset shoots are incredibly breathtaking. Just head to the beach with your friends and let the pros capture amazing fun at the beach that you’ll never forget.
New York City, New York
Where To Stay: Between Chelsea & The Meatpacking District
When To Go: The holiday season is a great time to visit NYC. It might be cold, but one view of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will warm your hearts right up.
What To Do: Shop til you drop, take in a Broadway show, or hit up one of the many museums. You and your girls won’t walk a block without finding something fun to do or see. Check out the Chelsea Market for great shopping and unique finds then head to the Meatpacking District for a fancy dinner and dancing the night away with a group of cute guys.
How To Pack: Bring lots of layers, warm hats, a weatherproof jacket, and your fave water-resistant boots. Snagging a taxi, or hopping on the subway, is always an option. But you’ll find that taking a walk through the streets of Manhattan in the crisp of winter can be quite delightful for the soul.
Pro Tip: Nestled in the fabulous Macy’s Herald Square, on the 8th floor, you’ll find the De Gustibus Cooking School. Many of the worlds most amazing chef’s have graced their kitchen. They also offer a variety of classes… including wine tastings that are perfect for a group of ladies to enjoy!
Where To Stay: The Chicago Riverwalk Area
When To Go: Summertime offers mid-70’s temps… it doesn’t get better than that!
What To Do: Take an architectural boat tour on the river, snap a million pictures of your reflection at The Bean, or catch the Cubs for a home game. The winters here are so frigid that EVERYONE is excited to play in the summer. You’ll find friendly people, good times, and amazing food. Don’t miss out on enjoy fresh Garrett’s popcorn or a slice of deep dish pizza.
How To Pack: Cute but casual fits the bill in Chi-Town. Think comfortable shoes and breezy sundresses. A good humidity resistant spray will go a long way to extend your hairstyle if you’re a curly haired lady like me.
Pro Tip: A weekend in Chicago hits a new level of relaxation when you’re got a private boat to cruise around in. You can find a number of companies offering rentals or might even snag one on Airbnb. Take a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up on bubbles and brie, and enjoy a day with your best girls in the sun.
Where To Stay: River Street
When To Go: A fall trip offers scenic views and perfect weather to walk around the square.
What To Do: Sample every single flavor at Byrds Cookie Company, sip on an ice cold glass of sweet tea at Top Deck Bar, or rent bikes and take a close up tour of the town. Savannah is a great place to do absolutely nothing and everything all at once. It’s a pedestrian friendly city perfect for a girls trip when you want to chill out without a strict schedule.
How To Pack: Your most comfortable jeans, glitzy tops, and light sweaters will take you through your Savannah weekend in style. It’s the south, so be prepared for a little heat in the day with cool (but humid) nights!
Pro Tip: Stay in Savannah, but don’t miss out on beach time at Tybee Island. A 30 minute drive down Islands Expressway will bring you to the sandy shores of south Georgia. It’s a laid back beach perfect for dipping your toes in the water while leaving your cares behind.
Where To Stay: Near 6th Street
When To Go: Springtime
What To Do: Eat migas, check out a show at Stubb’s, or hike to the top of Mount Bonnell. Austin literally offers something for everyone. Being near 6th street will give you and your girlfriends a chance to tour the city by foot which will heighten the experience.
How To Pack: This trip is a perfect time to bust out the cowboy boots you’ve been hiding away in the back of your closet. Tank tops and tees will keep you cool in the Texas heat. Think lightweight fabrics and shades
Pro Tip: If you and your girls are in need of retail therapy you’ll be covered 30 minutes north or south of the city. Round Rock, Texas (north) and San Marcos, Texas (south) can both be found along I-35 and offer amazing luxury outlet experiences. A little love from Carolina Herrera, Prada, or Tory Burch might be the afternoon pick me up your friends are looking for.