Top 5 Destinations for Girlfriends Getaways

City Travel, Finances & Savings, Group Travel, Spa & Beauty, Sports & Games, Travel Products & Services — By on December 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Girls Trip - Girlfriends GetawaysBy Amanda Pressner
LG Executive Editor

Finally! You and your best buds have a few extra days of vacation time saved up – no weddings or baby showers to attend, and a few extra bucks in the bank. You’re all dying to take the ultimate girls’ trip, but the big question is: where in the world should you go? Even if your tastes are all over the map, these hotspots make the ideal retreat. Whether you want to hit up a club, chillax by the pool or do nothing at all, all five deliver the one thing that any girl group needs to be happy on vacay—options.

New Orleans

It’s nearly impossible for you and your girls not to be charmed by the Crescent City’s rich history, renowned jazz scene and incomparable Cajun cooking. But while it’s long on culture, this town has always known how to throw once heck a party (so get plenty of sleep before you arrive!). Want to be located right in the thick of things? Book your stay at the Hotel Monteleone, a famed literary landmark that once played host to the likes of William Faulkner and Truman Capote. While it’s located on Royal, the most upscale shopping street in the Quarter, it’s just one short block away from the revelry of Bourbon. Dance on a balcony, try a neon-yellow hand-grenade, or make a break for the nearby Faubourg Marigny. In this hip neighborhood, you can join the locals in listening to live bands play at d.b.a., Snug Harbor and Blue Nile.
Trip Tip: Jump on the streetcar and ride it from the Quarter toward Tulane. The gorgeous Victorian mansions you’ll spot in the Garden District represent some of America’s best-preserved southern architecture.

Grand Cayman

Of all the Caribbean’s many gorgeous isles, this one is our fave for group getaways. Besides being ultra-safe (locals rarely lock their doors) and boasting one of the longest unbroken stretches of white sand beach in the region (seven miles from end to end!), Grand Cayman takes top prize for its unparalleled scuba diving. Not certified? Get your friends together to do the classroom training at home, then get your degree in one of the world’s most revered underwater locales. As you descend to new depths in bathtub warm seas, you’ll come face-to-face with schools of florescent tropical fish, green and hawksbill sea turtles, eagle rays, lobsters and barracuda. One little-known benefit of diving is that it burns a ton of calories, so you’ll be more than justified in treating yourselves to a massive brunch. The best on one this island can be found at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.
Trip tip: Take a short boat ride to Stringray City, a shallow water area where dozens of curious rays swim right through crowds of shrieking visitors. Don’t worry: They’re friendly, and will literally eat out of the palm of your hand (if you’re feeling extra bold, ask your guide to show you how!).

Las Vegas

When it comes to the ultimate girls’ adventure, Vegas delivers big on the four S’s: Sun, Scene, Spas and of course, Sin. Kick off your trip by checking into the new all-suite tower at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino—stay in one of the sophisticated “standard” rooms or splurge on spa villa which opens up directly onto one of the pools. Also within the hotel, you’ll find three of hottest clubs in Vegas (including Vanity, Rehab and the newest edition, SKYBAR), the Reliquary Water Sanctuary & Spa and of course, tons tables and games where you can meet other players and perhaps, get lucky yourself.
Trip Tip: Want a sure bet? You can save 30 percent on your stay at the Hard Rock (plus 25 percent at the MGM Grand and the Mirage) if you book with the new ZYNC card from American Express (just be sure to add the “Vegas Pack” to get the discount).  You’ll also get spa, entertainment and beverage credits, plus complimentary access to the Vegas.com concierge service.

Napa Valley

Sure, this surreally beautiful destination, located just north of San Francisco, is renowned for top-notch Cabernets and Sauvignon Blancs (and we suggest trying them all!) but there’s much more to do here than simply sampling wine. From your ultra-cozy home base at the Harvest Inn in St Helena, it’s just a five minutes drive to the Culinary Institute of America, where you can sign up for a 30-minute chocolate tasting, take a full-day cooking class or have an incredible multi-course meal at the school’s Wine Spectator restaurant. Since serious relaxation should be part of any girls’ getaway, treat yourself to a half-day “Spa Girl” pampering package at Silverado Resort in Napa. When you add the Spa Pack to your ZYNC Card before you take off—and book through SpaFinder.com—you’ll save 10 percent on any treatment.
Trip Tip: Got a few extra days to spare? Rent a car and head down to San Francisco. You can check out shops (and the seals!) at Fisherman’s Wharf, bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge, take a cable car tour of the city or a day trip to Alcatraz.

New York City

Full disclosure: NYC is this writer’s hometown, so I’m more than a little partial to its city-that-never-sleeps appeal (that vibe is part of why I moved here!). Nowhere in the world can you and your girlfriends stay in such ultra-chic digs (my current faves: The Gansevoort Park and The Setai both located in the trendy new neighborhood known as “NoMad”) and dance ‘til dawn and beyond at clubs like Kiss n’ Fly, Ceilo and Tenjune, all located within Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.
Trip Tip: No matter which carrier you fly, you’ll score double points on your Big Apple airfare if you add the Go Pack to your ZYNC Card before you book. If possible, try to fly in to LaGuardia, which is the closest airport to the city (you can spend the $20 you save on a cocktail or two!).

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