Are you ready to get out and go somewhere with your girlfriends this summer? Girls’ trips are a great way to cut loose and have 100 percent girl time without worrying about what the guys want to do. I don’t know about you, but my friends and I are already planning trips for later this summer. We like places that offer cultural experiences, outdoor options, shopping venues, and wonderful food and drink. The places below would be great spots for you and your girlfriends to chill out and do some exploring together!
1. New York City, New York
From Central Park to St. Patrick’s Cathedral to Grand Central Station to Times Square to Fifth Avenue to Chinatown, New York City has it all. If you want to be dazzled by the bright lights of the big city, go to New York. I highly recommend staying in Manhattan for your trip. It’s where so much of the action is, and staying there will make getting around really convenient. Speaking of getting around, we found the subway very easy to navigate. For the most part, we took the subway during the day and used taxis at night.
New York City can be a little overwhelming, but just go knowing that there’s no way you can do it all. Some things I would definitely recommend are seeing a Broadway show and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, for starters. Also cool are all the museums the city has to offer.
We enjoyed brunch at Tavern On The Green followed by a carriage ride through Central Park and a visit to The Met. It was a perfect day in NYC. At night, we headed up to the rooftop bar at our hotel for a glass of wine and a view of the skyline. Talk about atmosphere — it was great! If your hotel doesn’t have a rooftop bar, you need to get to one so you can look out at the city lights. There are a lot of good rooftop bars in the city, or you can head to Top of the Rock for an awesome view of the Manhattan skyline.
2. Key West, Florida
For total relaxation during the day and great times at night, you really can’t beat Key West! Key West is the ultimate spot to visit if you want to veg out on the beach all day and hit happy hours at night. If you want more activity during the day, Key West is very walkable, especially if you stay in the Old Town. Or you can rent bikes and get around that way. There are a lot of bike rental options.
Once the sun goes down, pretty much anything goes in Key West. You’ll find a plethora of live music venues and open-air bars as well as nice restaurants. Don’t miss the sunset celebration, the nightly party at Mallory Square. Also fun are all the water activities, like snorkeling, fishing, kayaking around the mangroves, and sunset cruises. The options for fun are pretty limitless.
3. New Orleans, Louisiana
If you and your girlfriends like history and good food, then New Orleans is the place for you. There’s so much to see and do. We stayed in the French Quarter and loved it. Everything we wanted to do was within walking distance or a streetcar ride away. I’d recommend going to Jackson Square to get a feel for what New Orleans is all about. You can visit the historic St. Louis Cathedral, do some serious people-watching in the park, and check out the nearby restaurants. We walked around an art show in the square while we were there.
History lovers can visit the famous National WWII Museum. It’s one of the best in the country and is well worth your time. If you like to walk around cemeteries, you’re in luck, because New Orleans is known for its aboveground cemeteries — some of them haunted — and there are a ton of tours to choose from. If you like architecture, then you’ll enjoy the Garden District, where you can take a walking tour past some gorgeous historic homes.
We also loved all the food that New Orleans is famous for! You have to go to Cafe Du Monde for coffee and beignets and try Acme Oyster House for oysters. We also had a great meal at Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar. Of course, no trip to New Orleans would be complete without a walk down Bourbon Street for some fun after dark!
4. Omaha, Nebraska
If you and your girlfriends live in different parts of the country and want to meet up at a central location, look no further than Omaha! While the location might be the first reason you think to visit, it won’t be the last once you find out all there is to see and do here. You’ll find great food, lots of bars, and plenty of shopping and culture.
I really like the downtown area known as the Old Market. Here you’ll find all kinds of shops, restaurants, and bars along cobblestone streets. It’s super quaint with lots of eclectic shopping options. And in the summer months, there’s a very large farmers market to check out. In addition, the Orpheum Theater and Holland Performing Arts Center are downtown and offer lots of live shows. Or you can try the Slowdown for live music. For art lovers, the Joslyn Museum is nearby and not to be missed. West Omaha has tons of restaurants and bars as well, especially in the Legacy and Village Pointe shopping areas. And you’ll find cute neighborhoods to explore like Midtown and Benson.
For the most walkable area, I’d stay downtown in the Old Market. But no matter where you stay, you’ll be able to get pretty much anywhere in town within 25 minutes or so.
Pro Tip: Get a steak in Omaha. Try an old-school steakhouse like Gorat’s, Cascio’s, or Johnny’s.
5. Sedona, Arizona
Before I knew any better, I thought of the desert as nothing more than brown sand. That all changed the first time I saw Sedona! If you’ve never been, you really need to go. The beauty of Sedona is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s a great place to unplug and enjoy the outdoors.
You and your girlfriends can do fun hikes that aren’t super strenuous. We liked climbing around Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock. We weren’t out to conquer any mountains, and we definitely didn’t get to the top of Cathedral Rock, because the hike is almost straight up at points! But that wasn’t our intent, anyway. If you just want to take in the scenery and get out there on the trails, it won’t matter that you’re not an experienced hiker. As long as you stay on the easier trails, you’ll be fine. And if you want to rest your feet, you can always sign up for a Jeep tour of the area. The tours take you off-roading and are bumpy, crazy fun.
For a more relaxing way to experience the red rocks of Sedona, you can sign up for an outdoor yoga class. Make sure you check out the Chapel of the Holy Cross as well. The church is actually built into the rocks of Sedona and is quite a marvel. Note that there is very little parking at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, so you’ll need to go first thing in the morning or right before it closes to avoid heavy crowds.
6. Delray Beach, Florida
South Florida is one of my favorite places. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in this area and can tell you that Delray Beach is an awesome place for a girls’ trip! In Delray Beach, you can relax all day at the beach and then go out for a fabulous dinner every night. If you stay around Atlantic Avenue, you can walk to many bars and restaurants, and you won’t need to rent a car if you don’t want to.
We usually stay at the Hyatt right off Atlantic Avenue and walk everywhere. The beach is a bit of a hike, so we opted to take Freebee, the free transportation for the downtown area provided by the city of Delray. It’s super easy to use — just download the app to your smartphone, and then request a ride.
There’s plenty to do in the downtown area, so you won’t be bored. Right on Atlantic Avenue are plenty of bars and restaurants you’ll want to hit. We liked Johnnie Brown’s for live music. The Pineapple Grove Arts District is home to many art galleries, public art displays, and unique shops. Also check out the Arts Garage, where you can explore more art and also enjoy live music and comedy. And the farmers market is held right next door on Saturday mornings. It’s a fantastic market that’s not to be missed. We especially liked the baked goods from the French bakery stand.
Pro Tip: Downtown Delray is very busy. I’d suggest making reservations for dinner if you don’t want to wait!