Sometimes the hardest part about planning a getaway with your best friends is deciding on a destination. Do you want a beach vacation or a city? Warm weather or cold? Do you prefer a weekend of partying like a 21-year-old, or a weekend of relaxing because the thought of going to a nightclub makes you want to die?
My first piece of advice: check out my list of the 18 best girls trip destinations below, send it around to your crew, and take a vote. Then pack your carry-ons (with all of my recommended in-flight essentials, of course) and prepare for an epic vacation.
19 Girls Trip Ideas for You & Your Crew
1. Middleburg, VA
While Northern Virginia might not exactly scream “wild girlfriends getaway,” I can assure you that if you’re looking for a charming, wine-filled weekend with affordable spa treatments, chic resorts, and gorgeous scenery…Middleburg is the place to be.
I recently went for a long weekend with my mom, and the entire time we kept talking about how incredible it would be for a low-key bachelorette party or a quick getaway with girlfriends. It’s just 30 minutes outside of DC and often referred to as the Napa Valley of the East Coast. I’d recommend staying at Salamander Resort—which is the gorgeous spa-centric property seen in the photo above.
The best part about it? If you go, you won’t even have to worry about planning an itinerary—I have a guide detailing the best things to do in Middleburg that takes care of everything for you.
2. New Orleans, LA
Easily one of my favorite cities in the US, New Orleans has so much to offer for a group of gals. There are plenty of hotels to choose from, but my favorite is Windsor Court (where I’ve stayed twice.) It’s centrally located and promises a quiet escape from the chaos—plus, it’s one of the few hotels in Nola with a pool.
During your trip, be sure to make a reservation at Commander’s Palace and take advantage of their 25¢ martini (not a typo) lunch special. The New Orleans institution has been around since 1893 and has the most glamorous, elegant, old-school vibe. The waiters are so dapper—and there’s a dress code, which means everyone in the dining room looks super chic.
Go for jazz brunch on the weekends or during the week for the martini lunch. I’ve done both—and loved each experience equally. My preference is to sit upstairs in the garden room, so I’d recommend requesting that.
You’ll also want to have beignets at Cafe du Monde, eat a po’ boy at Mother’s, and a muffuletta at Central Grocery. Go to The Spotted Cat jazz club on Frenchman Street, take a walking tour of the French Quarter, and—whatever you do—PLEASE experience the dueling pianos at Pat O’Brien’s!
Other can’t miss activities: check out the French market, spend all of your money at UAL (aka United Apparel Liquidators), have cocktails at Carousel Bar, do a classic New Orleans dinner at Muriel’s.
3. Tulum, Mexico
When people ask me for bachelorette party ideas, I almost always suggest Tulum. It works for groups that are into the party scene, but also groups that are looking to unplug. You’ll find ultimate relaxation at Yaan Wellness—one of the most gorgeous outdoor spas I’ve ever experienced. And while there are plenty of hotels to choose from, Papaya Playa Project is always a fan favorite, as is Nomade Tulum (which is a bit quieter.)
Be sure to get dinner and drinks at Gitano and Posada Margherita while you’re in town.
4. Montauk, NY
For a summer girls weekend getaway, head to “The End of the World”—as Montauk is affectionately called—and prepare to indulge in more rosé than you thought was humanly possible. I’d recommend staying at the original Gurney’s (on the beach), Gurney’s Star Island (on the marina), or Montauk Beach House, which is walking distance from great restaurants, bars, and the beach. Book a table for an early dinner at The Surf Lodge (order the “I’ve Been Drinkin’…Watermelon” cocktail, which consists of vodka, watermelon, lime, basil) and then stay to watch the sunset.
You’d be remiss if you didn’t have lunch at Duryea’s Lobster Deck, where the lobster cobb salad is to die for. I’d also recommend dinner at Scarpetta Beach (get the classic spaghetti with tomato & basil), Showfish (which is a new hotspot), and The Crow’s Nest (a classic & beautiful Montauk scene).
If you’re planning to hit the beach, check out these local-favored spots: Hither Hills, Ditch Plains, Kirk Beach, and Navy Beach.
For a night out, rally your group and go to Ruschmeyers—make a right when you walk in and head to the back bar room for a sweaty/fun dance party after 12am. And for a late night rendezvous? Look no further than The Memory Motel. Expect to have no memory of it the next morning.
5. Dubrovnik, Croatia
If your girl squad can’t stop talking about the Game of Thrones finale, hop on a plane immediately to spend the day on a GoT tour. After all of that walking, drop by Sunset Lounge for drinks and a panoramic view of the Adriatic Sea.
On my own recent girls trip to Croatia, I stayed at The Hotel Excelsior, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s right on the water and walking distance from the old town, so you can explore, shop, and wander around without having to worry about transportation.
I’d highly recommend renting a boat for the day, which, in Dubrovnik, is shockingly affordable—a small boat will run you about $350 for a daylong charter with a skipper. Of course, the fancier boats will cost more. If you’d rather spend your trip on land, I’d recommend either Buza or Banje Beach Club.
As for nightlife? Culture Club Revelin will blow your mind. It’s a night club located within a medieval fortress that looks like it was frozen in time.
6. Cartagena, Colombia
One of my all-time favorite girl trips was to Cartagena, and I’ve been convincing groups of other friends to do the same ever since. From tropical island day trips to salsa dancing nights out, the city has so much to offer—and while it seems like a far-flung and exotic locale, it’s actually just a five hour flight from NYC…plus, Jet Blue flies direct.
Among the must-do’s that I always recommend for groups? A boat trip to Islas del Rosario, fresh ceviche at Anthony Bourdain’s favorite ceviche restaurant La Cevicheria, drinks at the hipster hotspot Demente, and salsa dancing by the bar at Cafe Havana. (I have a full list of the best restaurants in Cartagena here.)
You’ll also want to watch the sunset at Cafe del Mar, which is set on top of the old fortification walls overlooking the sea. The Movich Hotel is another great spot for sunset drinks, and La Movida is the place to be for a wild night out.
7. Austin, TX
Known as the live music capital of the world, Austin is the perfect place to indulge in fabulous music and really, really good barbecue. Book a room at either South Congress (a boutique hotel with 83 rooms) or the adorable Austin Motel (which is way more hip and sophisticated than the name would lead you to believe.) In term of activities? Even if you’re not the “outdoorsy” type, you’ll love a river float experience—it’s BYOB and a guaranteed good time.
Stubb’s BBQ is an absolute can’t-miss, as is a night out on Sixth Street, aka bar heaven. Check out Midnight Cowboy for fantastic cocktails and an upscale ambiance.
8. New York City
I can’t tell you how ideal New York is for a group of girlfriends. Between the shopping, the food, the cocktails, the classic New York City instagram spots, and the people-watching, there’s truly no better place to spend a long weekend than NYC. I’d recommend staying downtown at a boutique hotel like The Bowery Hotel (if you’re balling out) or the Indigo (if you’re on a tighter budget.)
Make a reservation at one of my all-time favorite “girls night out” restaurants Indochine (a NYC mainstay) and then wander around Greenwich Village. Blue Note is a fab jazz bar if you’re looking for something low key; Comedy Cellar is ALWAYS a good time (be sure to order your tickets online in advance).
For a true taste of New York nightlife, head to 1Oak—and if you’re feeling scandalous, a late night at The Box will be an experience you’ll never forget. Trust me.
During the day, have a leisurely brunch in Soho or Nolita (try Balthazaar or the Butcher’s Daughter) and then shop the boutiques nearby.
9. Palm Beach, FL
Just picture it: palm trees, the beach, and your besties. What more do you need? Oh right—my guide to the best things to do in Palm Beach.
A few highlights: The Colony Hotel (which looks like something out of a movie); Cucina for late night dancing; and Skinny Dip for the best preppy shopping.
10. Santorini, Greece
Though you might write off the Grecian paradise as a spot for couples, I can personally attest that it makes for a fabulous girls trip. I went last summer with a best friend, and we had a blast.
Island hop through this Mediterranean paradise on a Caldera sailing tour with Captain Ted’s, then spend the rest of your vacay girl’s trip lounging on the beach (or at your hotel) sipping Aperol Spritz. Check out my ‘Best Things to Do in Santorini‘ guide for more inspo.
11. Las Vegas, NV
Time to make memories you may or may not remember! With your best girls by your side, you know what happens in Vegas will most definitely stay in Vegas. Sin City is something of a bucket list destination that every group of friends should do once in their lives (or twice if you’re still in your 20s.)
Start happy hour early at Drybar at Miracle Mile for a blowout accompanied by a cocktail. Fans of Vanderpump Rules might be tempted to check out Vanderpump Cocktail Garden at Caesars Palace, and the day party at Encore Beach Club (in the Wynn) is like a rite of passage. Dinner at CUT by Wolfgang Puck is a personal favorite, as is Nobu.
12. St. Barths
My “special place.” I’ve visited over 10 times, so I’m basically a St. Barth’s expert at this point. I’m not going to sugarcoat it: St. Barths is expensive. But, if you’ve got a generous budget to work with, there’s no place IN THE WORLD that even compares.
The hotels and resorts in St Barths are truly some of the best I’ve ever encountered, and the beaches are second to none. A few favorites for a group of girls include the Hotel Christopher, Le Barthelemy, and Le Sereno. Another great option would be to rent a villa — check VRBO, Airbnb, St. Barth Properties or WimCo.
Book a table for Sunday brunch at Nikki Beach for a wild afternoon of debauchery; dinner at Bonito and Orega are absolute musts.
13. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Experience Buenos Aires’ eclectic Latin American flair by rounding up a group of culture-seeking girlfriends for this epic bucket list-worthy trip. You’ll want to experience a tango show at the Faena Hotel, go shopping in Palermo, and dine at a “puerta cerrada” or “closed door” restaurant where you can dine in the privacy of a chef’s home.
For more inspo, my list of the Top 10 Things to Do in Buenos Aires should help flesh out your itinerary.
14. Phuket, Thailand
While planning a trip to Thailand requires a bit more coordination and a bit more time off, it’ll be well worth the trek—I promise. Plus, if you’re on a budget, you’ll be able to stretch your dollar much farther her than you would in any other destination on this list. (Thailand in general is a great value for your money.)
Phuket is a “choose your own adventure” destination: looking for a weeklong yoga retreat at a private beach villa? Phuket has it. Or do you prefer cabaret shows and wild parties that’ll have you out until sunrise? Phuket has that too.
Prepare for the most Insta-worthy beaches you’ve ever seen in your life, and a vacation you’ll never forget.
15. Palm Springs, CA
You’ll find nothing but laidback Cali vibes in Palm Springs, especially if you splurge and stay at The Parker (one of my favorite boutique hotels of all time.) Or, if you’d prefer to be in the center of all the action, the Ace Hotel is great for a group of girlfriends.
Prepare to have an absolute blast at Toucan’s Tiki Lounge, where some of the country’s best drag queens come to perform nightly, or for a more low-key evening, head to the piano bar at Melvyn’s, the classic restaurant where Hollywood stars like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe used to hang out.
With pastel-painted houses and Mad Men-era vibes, Palm Springs is, in my opinion, the most visually appealing city in the US. Be sure to check out my guide to the Most Instagrammable Spots in Palm Springs before you go!
16. Lisbon, Portugal
One of Europe’s most affordable, and easiest cities to navigate, Lisbon is a fantastic option for a girlfriend Eurotrip. The food is next level, the wine is fantastic, and you’ll get the perfect mix of culture and indulgence. There are plenty of direct flight options from the US, so getting there is fairly seamless.
While you’re in town, be sure to check out Sky Bar at Tivoli Avenida Liberdade for major views, and head to A Tasca do Chico for the city’s most authentic fado. For more food and activity recommendations, check out my Insider’s Guide to Lisbon.
17. The Bahamas
Whether you’re planning a bachelorette party or you’re a group of moms in desperate need of a getaway, the Bahamas is one of my top recommendations.
The recently-opened Baha Mar is one great option that makes things insanely easy—you can spend your entire trip bouncing between all three of Baha Mar’s properties without having to worry about transportation, and you’ll have more bars, casinos, beaches, and restaurant choices than you’ll know what to do with. Of the three hotels within Baha Mar, the SLS is great for party-seekers; the Grand Hyatt is great for low-key fun; and Rosewood is for fancy five-star lovers.
Alternatively, I’d recommend The Cove at Atlantis, which has an adult’s only pool and a sophisticated vibe (compared to Atlantis’ other properties that cater to families and children.)
18. Maui, Hawaii
What do you get when you combine gorgeous weather, epic road-trips, flower crowns, and island vibes? The ultimate destination for a girlfriend getaway. I recently got back from a trip to Hawaii with one of my best friends, and I can tell you from personal experience it’s an amazing place to travel with your crew. We took hula dancing lessons, drove around the island with our windows down and music blasting, and ate some of the most amazing poké I’ve ever tasted in my life. (Follow my exact 4-day Maui itinerary if you’re in need of inspo!)
One thing to note is that you’ll DEFINITELY want to rent a car. There’s so much to see and so many activities that require a bit of a drive (which, to me, was part of the fun.) Make a reservation for lunch at the iconic beachfront restaurant Mama’s, and spend an evening or two watching the sunset in Wailea. I’d highly recommend checking out the Big Beach at Makuna State Park as well. Pack a picnic, a bottle of rosé, and a camera—you’ll want to document every single moment. Trust me.
19. Miami, FL
If you read my ultimate Miami guide, you know I had to put this city at the top of my list. From its white sand beaches to bustling outdoor bars, Miami is a guaranteed good time for a girls weekend. It’s the kind of city that caters to just about any type of vacation you’re in the mood for—whether it be a bachelorette party or a chill trip filled with spa treatments and Soul Cycle classes. In Miami, you can hit the town until 5am at clubs like LIV or E11even, or have a fabulous dinner and be asleep by 10.
For a daytime activity beyond the beach, check out the Wynwood Walls and you’ll be treated to incredible art plus endless Instagram photo opportunities.
Depending on how much time you have, you might consider a road trip to Key West after a few days in Miami. I did this recently for a friend’s bachelorette party and it was absolutely PERFECT.