It has been a long year, and we’re dreaming of all the girlfriend getaways we should finally be able to take after all are vaccinated. From outdoor adventures to an all-inclusive beachy chill-out vacay, we rounded up the best vacations to take with your favorite group of friends.
It’s an adventure
You’ve been trapped at home between the same four walls … and you’re ready to have an exhilarating adventure. Grab your BFFs to go on a three- to five-day white water rafting trip through Hells Canyon in Idaho via Oars, an adventure travel vacation company. After taking a private plane from Lewiston, Idaho (Delta has direct flights to Lewiston) to Halfway, Oregon, you’ll jump right into Hells Canyon — which marks the border between the two states. This is the type of vacation that will finally wake you from the day-to-day sameness that you’ve experienced for the past year. In addition to white water rafting, you’ll take hikes; go fishing for Idaho trout; say “hello” to a few bears, deer and mountain goats; and set up camp along the way. Starts at $1,399 for adults plus the flight.
Details at oars.com
Relax with self-care
Between work, the kids and the pandemic stress — you’ve had very little time to take care of yourself. It’s time to indulge. Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wisconsin (just a few hours outside Chicago), offers a girlfriends’ getaway package. You’ll receive a massage, daily yoga or spin, a three-course dinner, and a bottle of wine for your room. Be sure to bring a bathing suit: There’s a relaxation pool and jacuzzi on the rooftop deck, along with steam rooms, saunas and the best.shower.ever that you’re welcome to use on your spa day. Starts at $403 per person for two nights through April; $500 May-October.
Details at destinationkohler.com
Live out your television fantasies
Binge Bridgerton during the pandemic? Or was it Vanderpump Rules? Stay at the Kentucky Castle in Versailles, Kentucky — and you can pretend you’re the star of the show. This is the spot where Brittany Cartwright and Jax Taylor got married on Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules — but it also looks like Bridgerton could have been filmed on the premises. The stunning castle, which has 14 guest accommodations, a farm-to-table restaurant and a spa, is located on a 55-acre farm. Rooms start at $230 per night, or you can glamp on site for $125.
Details at thekentuckycastle.com
Shop and play
Pigeon Forge provides a bit of everything for the ideal girlfriend getaway. The eastern Tennessee mountain town contains a water park, a Dolly Parton museum, the Smoky Mountain Opry, outlet malls, zip lines and even white water rafting. Pigeon Forge is a 25-minute drive northwest of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so you can also spend time hiking and biking. You could easily spend a week here just playing — but a three-day trip works, too. There are plenty of hotels in the area, but we love to stay in a log cabin when we’re visiting. Within Dollywood, there are more than 100 Dolly Parton-approved cabins, and these all have jacuzzis in the bedroom, an outdoor pool and plenty of fireplaces. The cabins will fit groups of people (many will accommodate eight or more), so your entire group can stay together. Starts at $179 per night.
Details at dollywood.com
Sometimes, you’re simply looking for sand, sun and the most carefree holiday ever. You’ll find that at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs, Florida. The beach is stunning, there’s a lazy river, a private waterpark, a heated adults-only pool, a jacuzzi, a spa, nature trails and five restaurants on-site. There’s even a ferry to a private island available gratis for hotel guests. You’ll spot wild dolphins, eagles and pelicans during your visit to the beachy island. There’s also plenty to do if you decide to leave the resort. A national wildlife refuge is 30 miles away on the barrier island of Sanibel, and it’s the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem.
Or, check out the Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, where you can wander through platwoods, prairie and the Bald Cypress forest.
Room prices vary; rooms with two queen beds start at $474 in mid-May.)
Details at hyatt.com