Sometimes when you need a break, the best vacation is one with your closest girlfriends. The destination possibilities of girlfriend getaways are endless. Here are a couple ideas of getaways you many not normally think of to help you start planning.
Gourmet Retreat at Casa Lana
Want to learn the basics of fine cooking or enhance your culinary skills? Gourmet Retreats at Casa Lana in Napa Valley is a great place to spend some quality time with your girlfriends to advance your culinary knowledge and skills. Casa Lana provides a range of options from a relaxing weekend to a five day boot camp for food enthusiasts at any level. Only 12 students are allowed in the class so the instructors are able to provide personal interaction. Casa Lana has their own gardens full of herbs, vegetables, and fruits to help you master your creations. You can choose to stay at Casa Lana or choose from the available bed and breakfasts, resorts, or hotels in the area.
Be sure to stop by the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts, or COPIA, in Napa. COPIA is a nonprofit center whose mission is to “explore, celebrate, and share the pleasures and benefits of wine, its relationship with food, and the significance to our culture”. Classes are held here daily. For 45 minutes and $15 you can receive cooking classes focused on the current season. Not interested in more classes? No problem. General admission to the center is free and includes daily wine tasting and a basic introductory to wine, food, and gardening.
Explore the Waters of the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands is located in northwest Washington and surrounds Seattle, Vancouver British Columbia, and Victoria British Columbia. The San Juan Islands consist of 180 islands – the most popular being Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan. All the islands welcome visitors year round. Lopez Island is ideal for bicycling, kayaking, and relaxing. Orcas Island is ideal for calmer water sports and cycling. San Juan is the most diverse island of the three and home to Friday Harbor. Friday Harbor is the center of activity with art galleries, boutiques, bookstores, water-view restaurants, and plenty of activities for water enthusiasts.
Sea kayaking is very popular among the San Juan Islands due to easily spotted wildlife both on and off shore. Outdoor Odysseys offer “Women on the Water” sea kayaking and camping tours that take you to islands only accessibly by boat. Guided by women, the ladies-only “Women on the Water” trips immerse you within the culture of the islands. Outdoor Odysseys also offers shorter and longer durations as well as coed tours.
Get Rejuvenated at Lake Austin Spa Resort
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a nice stay at a spa resort to be pampered with your girlfriends? Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas sits on 19 lakefront acres in the Texas Hill Country. You won’t get bored at Lake Austin where they have many fitness classes to participate in including tai chi, yoga, trek and spin class, canoeing, kayaking, meditation, dance, and so much more. There are also “discovery classes” in healthy cooking, nutrition, relationships, gardening, and more. The LakeHouse Spa has 30 treatment areas to perform their 100 types of therapeutic massages, body scrubs and wraps, baths, facials, and healing therapies. The Iris Salon features hair, makeup, and nail treatments. Lake Austin Spa Resort can be a bit on the pricey side, but they offer great specials. The “girlfriend getaway” special features six or more of your closest girlfriends with discounts up to 40% off.
Put your healthy cooking classes from Lake Austin Spa Resort to good use by stopping by Austin Farmers Market (AFM) and Whole Foods. At AFM you can purchase fruits, vegetables, honey, and flowers produced from the Hill Country by local farmers. They’re available Saturdays 9am – 1pm and Wednesdays 8:30am – 1pm year round. While you’re at the AFM at Lamar and 6th Street, be sure to stop by Whole Foods (on the adjacent corner) which features both organic and natural food and products.
Experience the Beaches in Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai, Hawaii, which is the fourth largest island, features over 40 exotic beaches. Kauai is also known as “Garden Isle” for their tropical greenery, beaches, exotic trees and flowers nurtured with the perfect amount of rain water, eccentric roosters, and island birds. There are four main areas of Kauai: North Shore, East Side or “Coconut Coast”, South Shore/Poipu Resort, and the West Side.
The North Shore is known for their rugged mountains, sea cliffs, and beautiful beaches, most notably Hanalei Bay. The Napali Coast State Park takes up 17 miles of the northwest coastline and can only be seen by sea, air, or by hiking.
The east side of the island is known as the “Coconut Coast” for their clusters of coconut trees and golden beaches. Kealia Beach is the beach to visit to watch surfers and boogie boarders ride the waves. Also, the east side is the best place to shop for souvenirs, especially at Kapaa Town and the Coconut Marketplace.
The South Shore is the sunny and “hopping” side of the island since the airport is located here. Poipu Beach is the area that you will want to focus on if you want a sunny beach. Poipu Beach can get crowded during the busy summer season, so if you want privacy go to Maha’ulepu which is more rugged and remote. Maha’ulepu is a beach, but it is also a research site as well as a habitat for endangered plants and animals.
The west side is best known as the location where Captain James Cook first came when he found Hawaii. The two main beaches you’ll want to hit here are Kekaha Beach Park and Lucy Write Beach Park.
There’s plenty to do in Hawaii than just beaches, so get immersed in the culture and enjoy the island culture.
Become Immersed in the Culture of Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, and a great destination for a girlfriend getaway. There’s so much to see, do, and experience in Buenos Aires: shopping, wine tasting, antique hunting, tangoing, viewing the public art, and so much more!
If you want to find some good shopping deals – Buenos Aires is where you want to go since they have both American and European clothing chains at a fraction of the cost. There are also fabulous local chains and unique boutiques that you won’t want to miss.
Argentina is the fifth largest wine producer in the world. You won’t want to miss wine tasting on the famous Malbecs, Torrontes, and Tempranillos.
In historic San Telmo neighborhood you’ll find the best antique shops. On Sundays, San Telmo’s Plaza Dorrego has a fair – Feria de Antiquedades – where you’ll find antiques, handcrafts, jewelry, and scarves.
Don’t forget to take a tango lesson before you leave for Buenos Aires! Once you’re in Buenos Aires you won’t miss seeing a tango dance on the streets of San Telmo neighborhood, which occurs every day of the year. If you forget to take tango lessons before you leave the states, you can get lessons from one of the tango masters at Piazzollo Tango where group lessons are only $6!
As you’re driving through the various neighborhoods in Buenos Aires you’ll witness the public art, especially if you’re on Avenida Figueroa Alcorta. Be sure to stop by the United Nations Park so you can see the giant, shiny aluminum flower sculpture. If you pay close attention you’ll notice the flower’s petals open during the day and close during the night.
Check out these books to help you start planning your girlfriend getaway:
Ever been on a girlfriend getaway?
If so, share where your destination was. If not, where would your top pick be?