9 Girls Weekend Getaway Ideas to Refresh and Recharge

Girlfriend getaways are like a little reset button for your friendships.
women on a girls getaway on Maui in Hawaii
(Photo: Katie Wolfe)

Time with friends is important, especially during the busy kid-wrangling years of parenthood. The best girls trip ideas are like a little reset button that deliver good times, laughs, and totally fresh perspectives so that you can get back to your crew with renewed energy. Even if you can only escape for the day, a quick girls trip can still have a restorative effect.

Girls Trip Ideas for Friends Who Need to Recharge

Ready to share some adventures with friends? Here are some girls trip ideas you can customize for your own personalized girlfriend getaways.

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1. Go Wine Tasting

Vineyard in the Napa Valley
A day or, if you can swing it, a weekend of wine tasting is a girls getaway idea that pairs well with spa treatments and hiking (Photo: @alfredomjr via Twenty20)

A day (or better yet, weekend) of sipping wine and swapping stories is a popular girls trip idea for a reason. There are more than 250 American viticultural areas (AVAs) in the U.S., and while California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma wine country are the most famous, there are options that might be closer to home as well, since more than two dozen other states also have wine regions. Whether you’re in the West, East, Midwest, or South, you’re likely not far from a wine region with tasting rooms and good time.

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The Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail is a favorite of mine in the Midwest. This collection of 21 wineries is located in scenic little towns near beaches and sand dunes, and is a girls weekend destination you’re sure to find a restful and rejuvenating. 

Another bonus of building your girls weekend around wine tasting: Wine regions tend to have good restaurants and other girls trip activity ideas like spas, hiking, live music, and even hot air balloon rides. 

2. Go for a Horseback Ride

Horseback Riding
Horseback riding at a dude ranch or even a casual trail ride offers the chance to reconnect with friends (Photo: @ivanatilosanec via Twenty20)

There’s something soothing about connecting with animals in the outdoors. For a girls trip that mixes nature, adventure, and trail riding, go big and book a dude ranch weekend escape. Even the most family-friendly dude ranches in the U.S. tend to have great offerings (like wellness weekends and spa treatments) for adults traveling together. 

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If you can escape for a long girls weekend or more, consider rounding up some friends for a girls trip to Vista Verde Guest Ranch near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The expansive blue skies seem almost as endless as the bounty of chef-prepared meals, the myriad of outdoor activities (yoga, rock climbing, paddle boarding, and more), and the herds of beautiful horses grazing outside your luxury cabin door. Spend your days cowgirling, rafting, fishing, or doing whatever your soul desires. Then toast by the campfire to days well-lived. 

3. Rent a Fancy Car 

Happy woman leaning out of a car window (Photo: @Elisall via Twenty20)
Take a road trip or hit the track in an exotic or luxury car for a high-octane girls getaway (Photo: @Elisall via Twenty20)

If a scenic road trip in a sports car gets your motor running, rent a convertible or classic ride and hit the open road (or race track!) with your friends. There are even outfits around the U.S. that offer the chance to drive exotic and luxury cars. Las Vegas’ Exotics Racing, for instance, has the largest fleet of exotic super cars in the country. Xtreme Xperience runs cars on racetracks in 35 locations around the U.S. Its motto? No speed limits and no experience necessary. 

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4. Go for a Hike Together

view of two friends taking photos in Yosemite
Make a girls getaway a hiking trip, or just add a hike to a weekend of fun (Photo: Christine Sarkis)

Hiking is one of my absolute favorite girls weekend ideas. It’s so much more fun to hike while chatting with friends rather than breaking up fights between kiddos. In most places around the U.S., you’re within a few hours of exceptional hiking, and many of the nation’s prettiest spots have great trails.

One of the most gorgeous hikes I’ve ever done was around deep blue Lake Tahoe. Among the tall evergreens, climbing toward sunny skies, and surrounded by cool mountain air, I was swept up in the calm serenity of this massive alpine lake. There are hundreds of hikes around Lake Tahoe and into neighboring Desolation Wilderness. 

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5. Trek with Goats

Goat yoga class (Photo: @jennifermccallum via Twenty20)
Frolicking with goats may be ab unusual girls trip idea, but it’s also a guaranteed good time (Photo: @jennifermccallum via Twenty20)

OK this one is a little weirdly specific, but have you considered goat trekking? With roots in the Alps, goat trekking has become a popular way for backcountry hikers to haul their loads. But for a more relaxed approach to goat trekking, try a playful stroll through forests and meadows with baby goats from Hoof It in Galena, Illinois.

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On a recent girls trip, my good friend and I wandered prairie trails with goats that would nibble and munch leaves along the way, then scamper along to catch up. Round out the day with a post-goat-trek bonfire and wine tasting. 

6. Explore Food Trails and Festivals

Woman eating street food (Photo: @kaimittak via Twenty20)
Head to a food festival or hit a food trail for a delicious girls weekend together (Photo: @kaimittak via Twenty20)

Even better than going out to dinner with girlfriends is taking your time on a food trail, trying all sorts of different dishes along the way, and turning a meal into an entire girls trip. In Buffalo, New York, sample your way along the Buffalo Wing Trail. In Kentucky, hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Love cheese? You’ll find plenty to enjoy on a tour of Wisconsin Cheese or while exploring the Sonoma Farm Trails in California.

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Want to ditch the car and celebrate food in one single spot? If you’re on a Midwest vacation with friends, try Chicago Gourmet, one of my absolute favorite food festivals that takes place each September. Other fun food and drink celebrations that make a great place for a girls getaway include Colorado’s annual Great American Beer Festival in October; Walt Disney World’s Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, which runs from late summer into fall; and Atlanta’s Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off and Bluegrass Festival in November. 

7. Bliss Out at a Spa

Relax on a Family Beach Vacation on Hawaii’s Big Island (Photo: Shutterstock)
Spa trips are among the most popular girls getaway ideas (with good reason) (Photo: Shutterstock)

To me, there are no better girlfriend getaways than a day of pampering that includes a deep tissue massage. Plus, what’s a better girls trip idea than blissing out together at a day spa?

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You and your girlfriends can find amazing day spas and resort spas around the country, but if you’re looking for a spa worth traveling for, I love Aji Spa at Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass. In the heart of the Arizona desert, this revitalizing luxury retreat features services that draw on Native American healing practices and local ingredients. Plus, you can see wild horses roaming in the distant landscape as you lounge poolside. If you can escape for a whole girls weekend or weeklong getaway, bravo to you.

8. Go for a Walk on the Beach

Girls on the beach in San Diego (Photo: @debb_alba via Twenty20)
Relaxing beach vacations can be just the right pace for a girls trip with friends (Photo: @debb_alba via Twenty20)

No matter the weather, there’s something refreshing about a walk on the beach. And while family beach vacations are always fun, my friends and I can walk and talk for hours on a coastal girls getaway with ocean views (and without the kids tagging along).

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Beautiful beaches (and U.S. beach resorts) abound across the country. I love the squeaky sand in Gulf Shores, Alabama; the seaside cliffs of Monterey and Big Sur, California; the impressive beaches of North Carolina; the coastal beaches of New England, and of course the colorful beaches of Hawaii. If you have the time and resources for something more tropical, nothing beats the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean for a girls getaway, too (just be careful of traveling to a beach destination during hurricane season).

9. Kayak, Paddleboard, or Bike

Kayaking (Photo: Shutterstock)
Adventurous groups of girlfriends can get together and rent kayaks, paddle boards, or bikes (Photo: Shutterstock)

Sometimes a different mode of transportation is all you need to reset your mind. That’s why renting a kayak, paddle board, or bike is a fantastic girls trip idea. One of my favorite bike rides with a gal pal was in Anchorage, Alaska. We pedaled 11 miles on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, enjoying nature, scenery, and good conversation the whole way.

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Not only were we surrounded by snow-capped mountains and serene waters, we also encountered a mother moose with her young, fuzzy-antlered babies munching leaves along the trail. Grab your favorite girlfriends and paddle or pedal your way to a new view of the world full of natural beauty.

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Cortney Fries
Cortney Fries is a seasoned travel journalist, with her writing and expertise appearing in Redbook, MSN, Parents, FamilyVacationist, Family Vacation Critic, Chicago Parent, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and several AAA magazines. Exploring the outdoors, learning, and trying new things are her favorite activities, best accompanied by family and friends. When she’s not hiking, sleeping in an ice hotel, or soaking up different cultures, she can be found cooking and creating with her husband and two children in the Chicago area.