Best Girls Trips Destinations Your Friends Should Book NOW
April 12, 2021
Best Girls Trips Ideas for the Ultimate Friends Getaway
At every stage in life, girls trips are a good idea. Single, in a relationship, engaged, married, divorced, or widowed, there will always be a reason to plan for a trip with your closest girlfriends.
As a single person, I highly encourage you to travel solo. You will have the highest highs and the lowest lows of your life on those solo trips, but you will undoubtedly go outside of your comfort zone every day; your experience will be most affected not by the exquisite sights that you see, but by the people that you meet. With that said, traveling solo can be tiresome; I know, I did it throughout my 20s. Mix things up by taking a trip with your girlfriends. These girl trips aren’t necessarily about packing in every attraction into each day, but building upon and strengthening those relationships with your friends through these shared experiences.
When you’re in a relationship, engaged, or married, it can be easy to only allot for enough vacation time to spend with your significant other and your family. But you will find so much joy if you take some time for a girls trip with friends. Divorcees and widows often have to scroll through hundreds of photos on Facebook of their married couple friends traveling through Italy on a romantic trip along the Amalfi coast. Getting a group of girlfriends together for a girls trip is a fantastic way to support these friends.
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It is not always easy to travel with someone, but you will learn pretty quickly once you’re on that trip together if your group is suited to each other. Twos, threes, and fours each come with their own set of pros and cons. Two is a more intimate group, so you have fewer decision makers. If you don’t want to do the same activity, it is easy to each do your own thing and then meet back up after. However, you may get sick of each other more easily than with a larger group, so it may behoove you to stay at a hostel where you can meet new people if you are traveling for a while.
Threes are always tricky because there is a balance issue. One many feel left out by the other two. In order to mitigate this problem, make sure you openly discuss plans and travel preferences beforehand so that everyone is clear on the agenda. Continue this open communication strategy throughout the trip.
There will be a lot of different opinions floating around with four girls on a girls trip. It might make sense to have a different person take charge of the planning each day or have a different person plan each city. It is also much easier to split into twos — if the group is divided on what they wish to do — and then come together for dinner or drinks at the end of the day.
With all that said, let’s discuss the best trips for girls so that you and your girlfriends can stop wanderlusting and start organizing.
Best Girls Trip Destinations:
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Sintra, Portugal
- Santa Ynez, California
- New York City
- Greek Island Hopping
- Barcelona, Spain
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Miami, Florida
- Dude Ranch
- Mexican Riviera Cruise
- UK Castle
- Yacht Week in Croatia
- Paris, France
- Agriturismo in Italy
- Bali, Indonesia
- Ibiza, Spain
- Palm Springs, California
- Marrakech, Morocco
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Austin, Texas
- Disney World/Harry Potter World
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is the ultimate playground for adults which is why it’s such a popular spot for bachelorette parties. But you don’t have to attend a bachelorette party to enjoy Las Vegas on a trip for girls. If you’re into the nightlife scene, then it will be easy for your group of girls to get into some of the best nightclubs and day clubs in Vegas like XS and Encore Beach Club. But, there are also a ton of things to do for girls who don’t want to party. Take a boozy brunch food tour with Lipsmacking Foodie Tours where you will visit four different restaurants for brunch in the Aria hotel. Indulge in high tea from the best view of the entire strip — the 61st floor of the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Ride the High Roller ferris wheel, zipline down Fremont Street, laugh your a** off at Absinthe (the show), or put on your own musical showcase and sing along to the songs played every 15 minutes in a fountain view room from 8PM-12AM at the Bellagio hotel. There’s also some amazing shopping at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace and the Grand Canal Shops at the Venetian.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas: My all-around favorite hotel in Las Vegas is the Venetian Resort. But, I love the Cosmopolitan for their food options and decor, the Wynn and Encore for the bougie-ness, and the Bellagio for the fountains.
This might be a surprising choice because it’s so tiny, geographically speaking, but Sintra is the town of fairytale dreams. About an hour outside Lisbon, Sintra boasts numerous palaces and castles and sits up in the hills which is what enticed the nobility to build their summer residences in the region. And that’s what makes it so fun to explore with a group of girlfriends. I visited Lisbon and Sintra with a group of five girls and we made up our own fairytale story while we were visiting one of the famed palaces, Quinta da Regaleira. It brought us back to the days of make believe where we played dress up with ours dolls and our childlike imaginations ran wild. It’s most common to take a day trip to Sintra from Lisbon. If you only have a day, you must visit Quinta da Regaleira and the Palacio da Pena. But, I think it would be really incredible to stay in Sintra for a little while longer. If you do, you should add the Castelo dos Mouros, Palacio de Seteais, Palacio de Monserrate, and a hike to Cruz Alta to your to-do list.
Where to Stay in Sintra: Sintra Marmoris Palace
Santa Ynez, California
Grab your girlfriends for a wine tasting adventure through the six communities of the Santa Ynez Valley. Santa Ynez is an easy car ride from Los Angeles, about 2 and a half hours, and it’s Napa’s less pretentious cousin. It’s still luxurious and there are stunning vineyards all around, but it has more of a country feel to it which makes it an absolute delight to explore. Visit the Lincourt and Sunstone vineyards and go to the Saarloos and Sons tasting room for a cupcake and wine tasting pairing. The town of Solvang is also not to be missed. It was founded in 1911 by a group of Danish immigrants looking to escape the harsh Midwestern winters and the town’s architecture truly reflects its Danish roots. Stay the night because you’ll want to experience Solvang’s charm without the barrage of day trippers coming from nearby Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Central California. Copenhagen Sausage Garden is a fun outdoor beer garden to spend the evening. Also, have a meal at SY Kitchen. It’s delicious!
New York City
A girl’s trip to New York could be anything you want it to be, but because this city is so expansive and there is so much to see and do, I recommend discussing the itinerary with your girlfriends before the trip to ensure that you are all on the same page. If one of the girls has never been to New York before, she might want to visit sights like the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island; I’m specifically talking about places that once see you a first time, you generally don’t go back to over and over again. With that in mind, first timers will want to see those sights plus the 9/11 Memorial, Empire State Building, Chinatown, Chelsea Market, the Highline, the Met, and Central Park. It’s a lot to fit in, so you really need to openly communicate your expectations with your friend group.
If you girls have all been there before, there are SO many fantastic bars and restaurants and clubs to try that you can truly just have a fun NYC girls trip without worrying about seeing everything. You can still grab a coffee at Chelsea Market and walk the Highline, but there isn’t that same pressure to frantically traverse up and down the island to ensure that you see all of the iconic sights.
If you have a group of girlfriends that are really into theater and music, you can go to New York to strictly see as many Broadway shows as possible, listen to jazz at the Blue Note and laugh at the Comedy Cellar. Whatever kind of New York trip you decide to take, don’t forget to stop at Levain bakery for the best chocolate chip cookies of life!
Read More: New York City Itinerary for Repeat Visitors
Greek Island Hopping
Ferry hopping along the Greek islands is hands down one of the best girl trips you can take. Think clear blue water, historical ruins, and an unlimited supply of feta cheese. And the best news is that there is a Greek island favorite for everyone and for every sort of trip. If you are less excited about island hopping and more eager to stay in one location but still be able to explore a large island, I highly recommend Crete. Base yourself in or near Chania so you can visit Elafonissi Beach, Balos Beach, and the Samaria Gorge. If you and your girlfriends want to see the traditional Cycladic style architecture with the white washed cube houses, fly into Athens and take a ferry or flight to Paros and Naxos. These islands have the charm without the overcrowding of tourists. And if you and your girls are looking to party, then Mykonos and Ios (also part of the Cyclades group of islands) are where you’ll want to see and be seen.
It’s my favorite city in the world, so of course it’s going to be included on this list. Barcelona has it all; it’s a metropolitan city that boasts plenty of things to do, yet isn’t overwhelming and has killer architecture. Thanks Gaudi. There are outrageous amounts of restaurants and bars, multiple options on every street, and some of the best nightlife in the world. Oh, and it has the coast. So, what specifically should you do on a girls trip to Barcelona? I’m going to rattle off a dozen or so ideas and let you decide: Tour Gaudi’s Casa Mila and Sagrada Familia, listen to live jazz on the roof of La Pedrera, drink too much champagne at Can Paixano, have one of the most unique meals of your life at Tickets Barcelona, shop at Zara, Mango, H&M, Bershka, and Stradivarius on Passeig de Gracia, get lost in the Gothic Quarter, have a massage on Barcelona beach, watch the sunset from the Bunkers Del Carmel, sip cocktails at Old Fashioned in Gracia, and dance until dawn at Shoko and Opium Mar.
Where to Stay in Barcelona: The city has an abundance of hotels and because there is such a great supply, there are plenty that are quite affordable. Airbnbs, on the other hand, have lots of regulations so there aren’t too many. With that said, I always stay at the Hotel Europark, but if you were looking for a more lux option, then you’ve got to go with the El Palace Hotel Barcelona.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is one of the best cities in the United States; and no, you don’t have to spend time on Bourbon Street to have an incredible time on your girls trip. If you have a penchant for live music, food and booze, then this is the city for you. You’ll need to make reservations for a boozy brunch at Broussards, take a walk through the French Quarter on a New Orleans Cocktail Tour, and have an early morning breakfast or late night beignets at the world famous Cafe du Monde. Explore the Garden District, imbibe in .25 cent martinis at Commander’s Palace for lunch, take a ride on the Steamboat Natchez, and visit the World War II Museum during your girls trip.
Where to Stay in New Orleans: I would recommend staying in the French Quarter (not on Bourbon Street) or at any property where the tram line runs from your hotel directly into the French Quarter. Check out the Pontchartrain Hotel, Hotel Provincial, and the Jung Hotel and Residences.
Miami is another one of those cities that can appeal to all kinds of girls trips. You can have the crazy bachelorette party where you stay out all night at the clubs on South Beach – be sure to check out LIV and E11even. Or, you can infuse some arts and culture into the trip with a food tour in Little Havana and an afternoon exploring the incredible street art at the Wyndwood Walls. If you still have time, try and fit in a stop to the Miami Design District. You can also spend lots of time sunbathing on South Beach or hanging out in or on the water. Rent jet skis or get out on a boat tour from Bayside Marketplace; look into the Millionaire’s Row Cruise boat tour or a speedboat tour. Just make sure to start off your day with a coffee and pastry from Panther Coffee!
Where to Stay in Miami: The hotels in South Beach can be a little noisy, but it’s right in the center of all the action. Check out 1 Hotel South Beach for a super lux option, The Confidante, or Fountainbleau.
It’s somewhat of an unexpected option, but dressing up in cowboy hats and cowboy boots, eating barbecue, and riding horses might just be the perfect Americana escape that you and your girlfriends are looking for. Luckily, there is a Dude Ranch website where you can specifically filter your preferences to find a ranch that caters directly to your girl’s needs. Choose from a variety of things to do like archery, fishing, swimming, river rafting, yoga, zip lining, riding an ATV, and horseback riding (which is a given). We’ve elevated camping to glamping, and dude ranches have followed suit. If you would prefer a locale with some luxury, you can search specifically for ranches that serve gourmet food, and have a spa and/or fitness venter on the property.
Where to Stay on a Dude Ranch: Check out the Dude Rancher’s Association website to determine which dude ranch will best suit everyone for the girl’s getaway.
Mexican Riviera Cruise
A cruise is the perfect way to do a girls trip because so many of the decisions are already taken care of for you. Conflicted over which nightclub to frequent? That would be the one disco on the ship. Can’t decide on a restaurant? One of the most enjoyable experiences while cruising is eating in the dining room with the same waiter every night of the trip. And if you’re wondering…why Mexico? Because the ports are awesome! On a seven-day cruise, your ports of call will most likely be Puerta Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. You can book excursions through your cruise line or plan out an itinerary for each day with the girls. I went with a group of nine and we did an official cruise excursion in Mazatlan and did our own thing in Puerta Vallarta and Cabo. We had a blast!
Where to Stay: On the cruise ship. If you’re looking for an affordable cruise where you can party and have a really good time, then I suggest Carnival. If you are looking for something a little more upscale, I always recommend Princess Cruises or Celebrity Cruises.
Castle in the United Kingdom
If you and the girls want to live out your own version of The Crown but without all the family drama, book a stay at a castle in the United Kingdom. You’ll probably never want to leave the grounds because there is usually so much to do on the property, but it’s also fun to get out and explore the small towns that surround the castle. I have stayed at Appleby Castle which was the home of Lady Anne Clifford from the 17th century onward until it opened as a hotel in 2016. It was an incredibly memorable experience and one that I highly recommend to all. You can even tack on this part of the trip after 5 days in London and make it a 7 to 10 day trip.
Yacht Week in Croatia
The slogan? Welcome to the best week of your life…an adventure like no other. And that pretty much sums up Yacht Week to a tee. You and your girls will board your own yacht and sail around the islands of Croatia with hundreds of other like-minded explorers (partygoers). Yacht Week has since expanded their destinations to include Greece, Montenegro, Sardinia, the Bahamas, Tahiti, and the Caribbean, but their original route is to Croatia. Having been to that beautiful Baltic country, it’s the route I recommend. If you have 12 friends eager to go, then you can book a full yacht with your very own skipper. Otherwise, you can use a Crew Finder to connect with other travelers and book on a shared yacht. You’ll journey from port to port; there will be pre-arranged activities each day/night but you will also have time to explore the islands with your girlfriends.
Read More: Croatia: An Ideal 10-Day Itinerary
Paris is a massive, metropolitan city which is not a destination type that I would typically recommend for a girls trip. There’s too many important sights to see to really be able to enjoy the company of your girls. However, if all of your girlfriends have been to Paris before and seen the Louvre, Notre Dame, Museo d’ Orsay, etc. then it is the perfect girls trip destination! Paris is the city of love, but that doesn’t mean strictly romantic love.The desserts themselves are reason to go! Eat macaroons until your stomach explodes at Laduree, sip on hot chocolate at Angelina Paris, and eat ice cream from Berthillon along the river Seine. I haven’t even mentioned crepes yet! Get one anywhere you can, any time of day. Visit a local boulangerie and pick up baguettes, brie, and charcuterie for a picnic at the Eiffel Tower. Take a day trip to Giverny, France to see the water lilies at Monet’s home. Visit the grounds of Versailles, shop in the Marais, drink rosé along the Seine, and see Crazy Horse at the Moulin Rouge. I’m getting carried away and wanderlusting hard.
Where to Stay in Paris: Accommodation in Paris is tricky because it is pricey and the spaces are tiny, similar to finding an apartment in Paris. If you can find a property on Airbnb or Vrbo in La Marais or Saint-Germain, then that would be ideal. The Astotel chain also has multiple properties at affordable prices. And, if you are looking for luxury, check out Le Bristol Paris or the trendy but extraordinary, Hotel Plaza Athenee.
Agriturismo in Tuscany
Have you and your girls all seen Rome, Florence, and Venice but really want to go on a trip where you can eat pasta and drink aperol spritzes on the daily? Skip the urban city sightseeing and head straight to Tuscany to stay in an agriturismo. An agriturismo is an independently-owned farm and truly one of the best ways to explore Italy’s countryside. If it sounds rustic, in fact, it is quite the opposite. Most agriturismos are luxurious with a beautiful property on sprawling grounds and they often have large swimming pools. One of the highlights of staying in a traditional agriturismo is the food. You can choose full board (dinner, room, and breakfast) or half board (dinner and room) and you’ll get a multi-course meal made from the produce, eggs, meat, etc. straight off the farm. You also have the opportunity to meet all sorts of interesting people staying on the property. During the day, you’ll be able to explore the hill towns of Tuscany at a slow, relaxing pace.
Where to Stay in Tuscany: It’s a large region, so I’d first recommend deciding where you want to be based. Siena? Lucca? San Gimigano? Pisa? Then, go to Agriturismo.it and find the best properties in that town or city. Check out the cancellation policy and pricing on Agriturismo.it website, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, and direct to see which is best. Some agriturismo favorites include: Agriturismo San Giovanni, Agriturismo La Landuccia, and Agriturismo Il Segreto di Pietrafitta.
Destinations are popular for a reason and Bali is no exception. Canggu and Ubud are a cultural and spiritual paradise. Seminyak is filled with cute cafes, shopping, and pink lattes at Coffee Cartel. The flight to Asia might be pricey so use airline miles if you’ve got them. Once you arrive in Bali, however, you’ll find it to be affordable. In Canggu, you’ll be able to watch beautiful sunsets from the epic beaches while sipping on coconuts. In Ubud, you’ll live out your Jungle Book dreams and become very zen with daily morning meditation and yoga classes. Visiting the UNESCO Tegallalang rice terraces are a must as are the holy baths at Tirta Empul Water Temple and the Monkey Forest. At night, you can let loose with your girlfriends at The Lawn Canggu and La Brisa Bali for some epic beach parties.
Where to stay in Bali: Stay in a luxury private villa in Seminyak if you want cute cafes and shopping. Base yourself in Canggu if you want beachside properties, and Ubud if you want to stay in a jungle paradise. I would recommend using Villa Bali Finder to discover the best place to stay for your group of girls in Bali.
If you and your girlfriends are looking for the ultimate party trip with the world’s best nightclubs, you’ll have to head to the island of Ibiza off the coast of Spain to find them. According to DJmag’s Top 100 Clubs in 2020, Hi Ibiza, Ushuaia, Amnesia, Pacha, and DC-10 all make the top 20. And having been to Pacha myself, I can confidently say that it was hands down the best night of my life. I think that the two girlfriends I went with would say the same. Spend the afternoons – you won’t be up before noon – wading in the water of the Mediterranean Sea. The water is so clear that you see all of the fish swimming right alongside you. It’s a bit jarring at first, but also, so incredible.
Where to Stay in Ibiza: Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza
Palm Springs, California
It doesn’t have to be Coachella or Stagecoach weekend to enjoy a girls trip to Palm Springs. The desert scape, fantastic restaurants, and mid-century modern architecture make it a fun locale for a girl’s weekend getaway year-round. Spend the day at the pool or at the spa and the evenings around a firepit. Have lunch or dinner on El Paseo at my favorite restaurant, Tommy Bahama. There are dozens of options though so check out Mama Ginas and Mastros too. If you’re looking for some activities, ride the Aerial Tramway, take golf lessons, go on a tour of the windmills, or ride a Jeep out to the San Andreas fault. Joshua Tree is also only an hour away from Palm Springs so you can cross off an awesome national park from your bucket list too. And, on your way to or from Palm Springs you’ll have to stop at the Cabazon Outlets for some crazy good shopping deals.
Where to Stay in Palm Springs: Palm Springs is just one of many desert cities in Riverside County. The names of these desert cities all kind of get lumped under the name “Palm Springs.” But, when you’re looking for accommodation, check out properties in Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Palm Desert too. The key is to search TripAdvisor under Greater Palm Springs so you get a list of the best ranked properties that includes all of these areas. Some favorites include the La Quinta Resort & Club, Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Hotel California, La Maison Hotel, and La Serena Villas.
If Countess Luann from RHONY can fall off a camel and still have the time of her life, then it’s safe to say Morocco should be on your radar for the next girl’s trip. Spend time shopping in the souk, visiting a hammam, and exploring architectural masterpieces like the Majorelle Gardens, Koutoubia Mosque, and the Bahia Palace. Take a day trip to Essaouira to explore the old town and have tea with a view. After spending time in Marrakech, take a guided tour through the Atlas Mountains and spend a night or two out in the sand dunes for an unforgettable glamping experience.
Where to Stay in Marrakech: If you’re looking to stay in an affordable riad in Marrakech, the Riad Matham is just that. If you would prefer a more lux property, there really are a plethora of dreamy options. Start by checking out the Riad Dar Anika or the Riad Kniza.
The mecca of country music, Nashville is a destination that is sure to please all the girls on the getaway. Between the live music, great food, and good ole honky tonk, what’s not to love?! You’ll need to visit a couple country music institutions while you’re in Nashville. Stop for a tour of the Ryman Auditorium and a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Buy tickets to see a show at the Grand Ole Opry and/or the Bluebird Cafe. For your drinking pleasure, you can choose to pedal around the city on a BYOB bike, or take a trolley pub crawl, tour the Jack Daniel’s distillery just outside of town, or sip wine to live music at City Winery. You’ll need to get some breakfast biscuits at Biscuit Love to cure that hangover and then pop in to Martin’s Bar-B-Que for some good meats.
Austin is the live music capital of the world, so with all that opportunity for dancing and singing, you can’t really dispute the fact that it would be the perfect destination for a girls getaway. Spend the night out on 6th Street at Handlebar, Jackelope, and Midnight Cowboy and head to Bangers, Container Bar, and Unbarlievable on Rainey Street the following evening. Austin has plenty of things to do during the day as well. You’ll love the BYOB river float/tubing experience and perusing the shops on South Congress Street. And, there is really good BBQ. Hit up Franklins, Blacks, or La Barbeque. But, don’t just take my word for it, check out this list of the best barbeque in Austin.
Where to Stay in Austin: Depending on the size of your group, you could get a few rooms at the South Congress Hotel or the Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt. Or, you can rent a large private house with your own private pool like this amazing property in downtown Austin on VRBO.
Disney World/Harry Potter World
As a parent, there’s a good chance you’ll take your kids to Disney at some point in their lives. And, it’s also a really popular trip for couples who want to enjoy the magic of Disney together. But, taking a girls trip to Disney World and Harry Potter World is highly underrated. Everyone can dress up as their favorite Disney princess, match in adorable mouse ears you all bought off Etsy, go “around the world” at Epcot Center, and drink way too much butterbeer. Theme parks are great for a group of girls because you can break off into smaller groups and go on different rides but then meet back up for a Dole Whip and fireworks at Cinderella’s castle. Book a cabana at the Typhoon Lagoon for a real special girls trip treat!
Where to Stay in Orlando: You’ll probably want to stay at a Disney resort hotel. If you’re looking for a great value property, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort should be strongly considered. For more deluxe accommodations, check out Disney’s Wilderness Lodge or the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
While writing this post, I came to the realization that you could make almost every global destination “girl trip friendly.” Rattle off locales that you think might not be suited like Antarctica, for instance, but a prominent travel influencer My Life’s A Travel Movie is actually hosting group girl trips to Antarctica in 2021 and 2022. And, if there are destinations in which you and your girlfriends are hesitant to plan on your own, you should look into organized tours. There are so many fantastic companies these days; you will be able to find one that suits the needs of your group. Whichever global destination you choose, make sure that each of your girlfriends openly communicates their expectations for the trip ahead of time. With compromise and communication before and during your girls trip, your travels are sure to be unforgettable!
Are there any other best girls trips locations that you think I should have included? Let us know in the comments below! And don’t forget to read these other posts on WOAW:
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