Plan an action-packed getaway with your gal pals.
You could spend a long weekend with your best friends getting hot stone massages or being chauffeured from one winery to the next, but when you like to hike, bike and spend quality time in the outdoors, you may have your sights set on a different kind of girls' getaway. If you prefer adventurous vacations to relaxing escapes, consider these 10 destinations for an active getaway with the girls.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Start your Grand Junction getaway with a hike at Colorado National Monument along the Canyon Rim Trail or Devils Kitchen Trail, both of which are good for hikers of all levels and offer spectacular views of the rock formations. Next, rent cruiser bikes from Rapid Creek Cycles & Sports in Palisade, Colorado, for an afternoon of cycling and wine tasting across multiple wineries. Or, enjoy mountain biking 15 miles from Grand Junction to Fruita, Colorado, to sample craft brews. As for lodging, for a convenient location, stay at Marriott-Downtown SpringHill Suites and wake up for Champagne brunch at Dream Café on Main Street.
Kayak or stand-up paddleboard at Waterbury Center State Park on a girls' weekend in Stowe before hiking the Stowe Pinnacle Trail for 360-degree views of the Green Mountains. Stop at covered bridges like the Gold Brook Bridge along the way. And at Cold Hollow Cider Mill, sample warm apple cider donuts, before grabbing lunch at the Apple Core Luncheonette, which boasts a crowd-pleasing Vermont to the Core grilled panini sandwich. When you're ready to turn in for the day, retreat to Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. Indulge in a maple scrub at the upscale spa, or head across the street to Stowe Bowl to get in a few frames.
Known for its craft brews, Bend offers a great place for adventure seekers craving a mix of outdoor pursuits and laid-back brewpubs and galleries. Sample the best of Bend offer along the Bend Ale Trail. Pop into various breweries on your own or try a half-day tour on board the Bend Brew Bus. If you're considering a summer trip, tubing on the calm waters of the Deschutes River is a popular pastime. In winter, hit the slopes at Mount Bachelor, or enjoy hiking at Pilot Butte State Park and exploring central Oregon's lava tube caves. For unique accommodations, stay at Old St. Francis School, which offers a soaking pool.
Austin is perfect for outdoor adventures, whether you and the girls want to take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, climb Mount Bonnell at sunset for panoramic city views or fly down the longest zip line in Lake Travis. Head to the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake for 10 miles of hiking, as well as kayaking and canoeing from points along the trail. Try out wakeboarding at Texas Ski Ranch or even surfing at NLand Surf Park. Eat dinner at one of many food trucks across Austin, before settling in for the night at the Lakeway Resort and Spa, which boasts scenic views of Lake Travis.
Huntington Beach, California
Known as "Surf City USA," Huntington Beach promises prime surfing opportunities. Book a 90-minute surf lesson at HB Surf School, and be ready to tackle the waves on your own before class is over. Stick to the surfing theme with a stroll along the Surfing Walking of Fame and a visit to the International Surfing Museum, home to the world's largest surfboard. In the evening, plan on a beach bonfire with hot dogs and s'mores at one of more than 500 concrete fire rings. Stay the weekend at the posh new Paséa Hotel & Spa.
Rapid City, South Dakota
Try Rapid City in the Black Hills of South Dakota for an iconic girls' getaway, complete with historic landmarks and national treasures. Go on the Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour in search of antelope, buffalo, prairie dogs and big horn sheep at Custer State Park, then celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mount Rushmore. Hike the Skyline Wilderness Area before strolling among life-sized bronze statues of past presidents downtown. Book a stay at Hotel Alex Johnson, and cap off a well-spent afternoon with cocktails at Vertex Sky Bar, the hotel's chic rooftop bar.
From skiing and snowshoeing in the winter to biking and whitewater rafting in the summer, Vail has a lot to offer those who like to get outdoors. In Vail Valley, you'll find miles of hiking trails through the White River National Forest. Or, take the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the top of the mountain where a number of trails begin. Book a stay in Vail Village at Sonnenalp, which offers unique weekly programs, such as a hike and paint workshop. In the morning, head to Vintage, a brasserie-style eatery with signature brunch cocktails and Champagne floats.
Bypass the Las Vegas Strip and head to nearby Henderson, Nevada, for a girls' getaway at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. Here, you'll find no slot machines and no smoking but rather a relaxing base that's perfect for exploring area rock formation, ancient petroglyphs and even desert wildlife. Book a half-day guided tour of Red Rock Canyon with reputable outfitter Pink Jeep Tours, or set out hiking along the Rainbow Vista Trail at Valley of Fire State Park. At the hotel, join a yoga paddleboard class, check out a water bike or kayak at Riatta Beach or simply relax in a private cabana at the pool.
Cleveland may seem like an urban locale, but its proximity to Cuyahoga Valley National Park makes it ideal for an active getaway. Hike to Brandywine Falls or the Ledges Overlook, one of the most popular overlooks in the park. Thanks to the park's Bike Aboard program, you can take advantage of your surroundings by biking in one direction along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and ride the train on the return leg. Try a yoga class at Balance & Brews for yoga inside a brewery followed by a tasting and tour. And a stay at the Kimpton Schofield Hotel, where you can use a loaner guitar, is a must.
Asheville, North Carolina
Kick off your girls' getaway in Asheville with a self-guided tour of the Biltmore Estate. From here, head to the on-property Outdoor Adventure Center at Antler Hill Village for biking, horseback riding and more. There's even a Land Rover Experience Driving School to enjoy off-roading. Take a scenic hike along the Appalachian Trail, then relax with a stroll through the art galleries in the River Arts District. If you're a rovering foodie, try an Eating Asheville walking food tour to sample some of the best restaurants in town. Stay the weekend at the Omni Grove Park Inn, which boasts views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.