Just because you like to travel solo doesn’t mean you always travel alone, not lonely. Summertime isn’t the only time to have fun. Here are suggestions for five girlfriend getaways for Fall 2013. Grab your friends, sisters, aunties or any other gal pal for a little vacay ranging from The Big Easy to the Sunshine State.
Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, Sandestin, Fla.
A few years ago a friend and I attended a conference at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort but we arrived a couple of days early to take advantage of this gorgeous Northwest Florida paradise. What makes the resort amazing is once you’re there, you really don’t need to get into your car again because it’s pretty much self-contained with bountiful shopping, outdoor activities (biking and golf), spa, dining and of course, the beach with fabulous sugar-white sand. Rooms are ample allowing everyone to have their own personal space.
Now through Oct. 31, 2013, Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort is offering the Girlfriend Getaway Package which includes: accommodations, spa pedicure, complimentary fitness center and bike rentals, FREE VIP Coupon Book with hundreds of dollars of added savings at Silver Sands Premium Outlet and 20% off Sandestin Retail Exclusive Shops.
Prices begin at $119 a night for a minimum of three nights. Visit their website for additional information and to book the package or call them at 800-622-1038
A must for breakfast one morning is the Donut Hole Bakery Café. Bring your appetite and patience, usually there’s a wait to get in. and don’t be shy about bringing back a dozen donuts back to your room.
For additional things to do in South Walton visit their site.
Located less than a 30-minute drive west of Charlotte, Belmont is easy to access and offers up the much needed downtime from the rat race and quality time to bond with your girlfriends. I haven’t visited Belmont yet, but did have a girlfriend getaway planned over the summer with some friends from high school (it’s been 25 years since I graduated!) but unfortunately, plans changed. It’s still on my radar and someday I’ll get there!
Why plan a girlfriend getaway to Belmont? Personally, I’m intrigued by the antique shopping at Piccolo Antique Mall, exploring the 380-acre Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden with fountains and conservatory, and visiting the Belmont Abbey Basilica.
Of course, there’s the food including chicken and waffles and banana bread French toast from The String Bean Fresh Market & Deli (which also has a Bloody Mary bar!), Amish peanut butter spread – a mixture of peanut butter and marshmallow crème at the Belmont General Store and a tour of Muddy River Distillery to learn how they make Carolina Rum.
That’s just a sampling of what to do. As to where to stay, check out the Hampton Inn Charlotte/Belmont@Montcross and Wisteria Inn at Stowe Manor. Visit the Belmont, N.C. website for additional things to do and where to stay.
Key West, Fla.
Fall is the best time to visit Key West when it come to weather, crowds and budget. My little sister and I had a ball a few years ago when we took on the Conch Republic while staying at the Key Lime Inn a stone’s throw to Duval Street. Our girlfriend getaway included a self-guided walking tour of Old Town (the Key West Historic District), tour of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum and a drag queen show at Aqua Nightclub. It was sassy, spicy and loads of F-U-N!
We ate at all sorts of places but my favorite is Sarabeth’s, owned by New York Chef Sarabeth Levine. The restaurant has a sunny, cheery disposition and difficult to believe the building once housed a synagogue. Dishes are familiar but have been enhanced by fusing different flavors. Seafood dishes are a sure thing. Try Sarabeth’s for brunch, breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Historic Key West Inns, Key Lime Inn is part of the collection, is offering savings on stays on extended stays. For instance, there’s the ‘Stay Longer, Get Free Fun’ package available through December 19, 2013 for stays of 5 nights or longer. When you book this special you will receive four free passes to two attractions and two free slices of their homemade Key Lime pie. Lowest rates are available Sundays through Thursdays.
New Orleans, La.
Oh boy. The Big Easy is a fab destination for a girlfriend getaway offering activities for all the senses. When it comes to eating, the Jazz Brunch Buffet at Court of Two Sisters ranks high on my list as does a stop at Café Du Monde for a sweet beignets. It’s open 24 hours making it perfect for really late nights and really early mornings. With advanced planning, make arrangements for a hands-on cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking.
Jazz is the beat of the city so head over to the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park in the heart of the French Quarter. National Park rangers lead programs about history and culture of jazz and lead live performances. Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro offers dinner followed by an intimate cabaret-style showroom. Of course, keep your ears open for and enjoy street musicians and performers.
There are many hotel options and two places I’ve stayed and recommend. The first is Sheraton New Orleans Hotel which is conveniently located with easy access to the waterfront and the French Quarter. Hotel St. Pierre is an 18th century cozy inn just two blocks from Bourbon Street.
Learn more about a NOLA vacation by visiting the destination’s website.
Related: Girlfriend Getaway to Seattle, Wash.
Anywhere A Rental Home is Available
Okay, I realize this one’s broad but have you ever planned a vacation based on price rather than things to do? VacationHomeRentals.com offers affordable girlfriend getaways easy on the budget. In their inventory are more than 13,000 rental properties offering rates 15 to 50 percent lower than hotels or other professionally managed rental sites.
For instance, for $752 a week, you and your gal pals can rent a hideaway beach villa in Guiuan, Philippines. Or, eat your way through Italy and argue with your friends as to which gelato flavor is the best by staying in a modern apartment in the heart of Venice.
Saving on your lodging is awesome because it means you’ll have more money to spend on a dinner, experience such as a guided walking tour, or shopping splurge.
Have you ever taken a girlfriend getaway? Where’s your favorite getaway destination?