So you’ve entered our Girlfriend getaway contest, detailing why your BFF is the best pal to ever exist, and now it’s time to think about where to go when you win. From horseback riding through the rugged terrain of Western Montana to surfing in Costa Rica, we’ve rounded up some of the best locales in the western hemisphere for a weekend getaway with your bestie. You may just pick up a new skill or venture outside of your comfort zone, and — best of all — these trips and packages are catered to women only.
Lux Ranch Living
Ranch life goes upscale at Triple Creek Ranch (triplecreekranch.com), a luxurious Relais & Châteaux resort tucked among the towering pines of Western Montana. Private cabins are outfitted with wood-burning fireplaces, four-poster king beds, outdoor hot tubs, plush leather furniture and fur throws. Annually, the ranch hosts a “Klicks for Chicks” (triplecreekranch.com/events-overview/signature-events/womens-adventures) all-women horseback riding adventure through deep canyons, mountain passes and serene meadows to discover Big Sky country. If you happen to miss the annual event, the property is happy to coordinate a women-only itinerary for friend groups traveling together, complete with women-led experiences in horseback riding, archery and sapphire panning. Wrap up each day with gourmet meals, fine wine and in-cabin massages.
Bed, Breakfast and Building
Have you ever lost an entire weekend watching HGTV and thought to yourself, “I could build that”? Well, put your money where your mouth is and learn from the pros in a comforting, all-women environment. The Hammerstone School (hammerstoneschool.com) in the Finger Lakes region of New York offers a variety of carpentry courses for women, like the two-day basics class to learn the concepts of layout, cutting and fastening. Students can mention “Hammerstone” when they book a room at the quaint and cozy Inn B’tween Farm Bed & Breakfast (innbtween.com), a five-minute drive away, for a discounted rate that includes a homemade breakfast each morning.
Pura Vida in Costa Rica
At some point in our lives, we’ve all dreamed of being a laid-back, sun-kissed surfer girl. Make all your wave-riding dreams come true at Pura Vida Adventures Surf and Yoga Retreat (puravidaadventures.com/costa-rica-surf-retreats/womens-surf-and-yoga-retreats) in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. The all-inclusive, women-only retreat includes daily surf lessons for all levels (beginners are welcome!), daily yoga classes in an oceanfront studio, accommodation in a beachfront resort with swimming pool and restaurant-bar, three gourmet meals a day, and a one-hour therapeutic massage at the resort spa to ease tired muscles. In addition to newly acquired surfing skills, you and your BFF will surely make new friends on guided hikes, beachside barbecues and nights spent dancing at the local nightclubs.
Ski Season Bliss in Colorado
Hit the slopes with your best friend in one of the most popular mountain towns in Colorado at Vail Mountain Lodge (vailmountainlodge.com). The beautiful mountain retreat has everything you need for a cozy winter getaway: lodge rooms with gas fireplaces, plush down bedding and soaking tubs, a full-service spa, organic bistro and access to the Vail Athletic Club & Spa. There, Ellen Miller, an outdoor fitness expert, leads intimate, women-only fitness classes in both outdoor interval training and trail running (vailathleticclub.com/outdoor). For experienced trail runners, she provides additional physiology knowledge to help boost energy and avoid injury.
Annie Get Your Gun
The 3,000-acre Barnsley Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia is a quintessentially Southern estate, complete with golf course, sporting club, fine dining, luxury spa and winding trails for horseback riding, hiking and biking. You and your bestie can perfect target practice with the “Annie Get Your Fun” package (barnsleyresort.com/packages-special-offers), including a personalized clay-shooting lesson at a variety of wooded mine ponds and rock courses, taking down flying clays with 28- and 20-gauge shotguns. The package also includes daily breakfast for two, chic accommodations in the cottages and a $100 credit for other outdoor activities like fly-fishing or horseback riding.
A Haven for Femininity in Downtown L.A.
After a two-year renovation to restore its Spanish Colonial décor, the Hotel Figueroa (hotelfigueroa.com) reopened in February in the heart of downtown Los Angeles’s vibrant cultural scene. Built in 1926, the hotel originally opened as a YWCA hotel, intending to be a safe haven for women traveling alone. Its first general manager, Maude Bouldin, was the first female hotel general manager in the world. Today, the hotel’s mostly female staff can guide you to the most inspiring and quirky sites in downtown, like the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Grammy Museum, Little Tokyo neighborhood and the more than 50 art galleries along Gallery Row. Or, if you’d rather stay on property, you and your BFF may lounge by the outdoor pool, explore the hotel’s locally sourced art, or dine and drink in the hotel’s five restaurants and bars.