Some of our megacities are my mega favorites. I'm a huge fan of Las Vegas. I could eat all day, every day, in New Orleans. And I see a new part of New York every time I visit. Cities are magical. Also loud and exhausting. Fortunately, there are havens out there, little gem cities scattered across the United States. If you're looking for refreshing destinations for a girls' trip, look no further. Here are our four recommendations for an unforgettable, off-the-beaten-path girls trip.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor, Maine is a classic New England getaway. Located on Mount Desert Island along Frenchman Bay, Bar Harbor makes a perfect respite for the heat of summer.
Take a morning sail out of the town to see local sights such as Somes Sound Fjard, Bear Island Lighthouse, or the Cranberry Islands. Freshen up at your Airbnb and spend the evening exploring the dozen shops and fresh seafood restaurants that line the main streets near the harbor. No trip to Maine is complete without eating lobster, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to do so in Bar Harbor.
Take some time to explore the charming New England coast. Drive into Acadia National Park and visit Cadillac Mountain where you can be the first to see the sunrise in the United States. Be sure to spend an afternoon on Sand beach, a lovely cove ringed by mountains. You'll have the coldest, most invigorating swim of your lifetime if you're brave enough to try the North Atlantic waters. Even at the hottest point in summer you are ensured a very brisk swim.
San Juan Islands, Washington
The San Juan Islands are at the very northwestern most point of the United States. San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island are the most well known of the islands that make up this archipelago. It's always a little cooler in these islands than from wherever you're coming from, and it's refreshing. You'll leave this place feeling like a changed person.
Start with a whale watching charter. End with a yoga and Sexology session at Orcas Mandala Yoga Studio. Grab a handcrafted drink at The Barnacle in Eastsound, Orcas Island. Rent some kayaks and paddle around the Puget Sound. Explore Friday Harbor, the very charming seaside port on San Juan Island. There are several museums in Friday Harbor along with shops, restaurants, and seaside inns to offer hospitality. In the summers, a Farmer's Market crops up offering fresh fare. See 10 Reasons to Shop Farmers' Markets.
Only accessible by ferry, these islands feel like a world away. Locals say the ferry can be difficult, especially when it goes down, but it keeps the islands small and cozy.
Situated on the coast of Georgia, downtown Savannah is known for it's parks, most notably Forsythe Park. The parks have kept the downtown a walkable area, with shops, restaurants, and incredible mansions. Live oaks are abundant and add an elegant voodoo magic to the city.
Quick history reminder: In late 1864, near the end of the Civil War, General Sherman marched his troops from Atlanta to Savannah all the while pillaging and burning the towns and homes that sat in his way. Savannah was spared from the fires, and rumor has it Sherman had a girlfriend in Savannah who he was trying to impress who inspired this act of benevolence. Whether that story is fact or fiction, Savannah was spared from the destruction and remains a charming coastal antebellum city.
Stay in the downtown area. Have lunch at the Moon River Brewery, a local favorite. Consider buying the pass for the hop on hop off bus tour and spend an afternoon visiting museums and shops.
This mountain town is located two hours west of Denver, in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Vail has the friendliest locals and some dive bars also some very creative and swanky restaurants.
Downtown Vail is known for it's adorable, Swiss Chalet-style hotels. During the off season (think late Spring) you can often get entire hotels to yourself.
Summer is an incredible time to visit Vail as well. Consider heading into the mountains to hike a 14'er or stay in a cabin nestled into the high mountains.
An obvious choice for winter ski vacations, the mountains of Colorado call in the summer as well. In the winter, rent a "ski in" condo and enjoy riding the mountain right down to your front porch. The spas in Vail operate year round, but take advantage of the "mud season" in late spring and receive steep discounts on accommodations and spa sessions