We all love our children and grandchildren—we really do. But now and then we need a girlfriend getaway. We need a break from our daily routines, a chance to reconnect with dear friends, time to giggle and a reminder of what life was like before we were responsible for everyone’s well-being. Our Globetrotting Grandmom might not have kids or grandkids at home these days, but she still appreciates a good girlfriend getaway—especially in autumn before the busy holiday season arrives. Here are four of her girlfriend getaway ideas.
Celebrate the beauty of autumn with a girlfriend getaway
Autumn brings a crispness to the air, brilliant blue to the sky and a myriad of warm colors to the foliage, making it an ideal time to plan a girlfriend getaway. I have some girlfriends who have been part of my life’s journey for decades. We’ve seen each other through good times and bad. Those friendships deserve to be celebrated, and what better way than with a girlfriend getaway? While some girlfriend getaways focus on shopping and wine tasting (nothing wrong with that!), others include a bit more adventure. Whatever your style, here are four girlfriend getaway ideas to help you celebrate those special friendships.
Indulge in chocolate in all its forms at the Hotel Hershey
You’ve heard it before – Hershey, Pennsylvania is the sweetest place on earth. As home to Milton Hershey’s world renowned chocolate factory, Hershey is the place to go for chocolate lovers. But did you know you can celebrate chocolate without the additional calories at the Hotel Hershey’s Chocolate Spa? Indulge in a cocoa body wrap, cocoa massage, or even a cocoa facial. You’ll emerge from the peaceful serene spa facility refreshed and smelling sweet.
While you’re checking out the Hotel Hershey, sign up for an off-road Segway tour. You’ll get a quick lesson in balancing the Segway which has wider tires for off-roading, then you’ll tour the property before heading out into the colorful wooded trails on the resort property. The Segway tour concludes with time to ride up and down the hills on the resort property. I’ll never forget the look on my friends' faces as they barreled down the hills on their Segways at top speed: pure joy!
Head South to Chattanooga, Tennessee for Good Food, Art and More
Let's face it, if your girlfriend getaway leads you to the Deep South, there will be fried chicken, biscuits and gravy and probably some fried okra in your future. But never fear, you can walk all those delicious calories off with a stroll (or two) across the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. Erected in 1890 and standing 2,376 feet high, the Walnut Street Bridge connects the north shore of the Tennessee River to downtown Chattanooga. Time your stroll for sunset when the lights of the city begin to decorate the sky.
Head up to the top of Lookout Mountain to Point Park for spectacular views of the Chattanooga Valley below. While you're on the mountain, visit Ruby Falls. A guided tour will lead you through the cavern's amazing rock formations and to the stunning 145-foot-tall underground waterfall.
Stretching for one and a half city blocks on East Second Street, the Bluff View Art District is a historic downtown Chattanooga neighborhood. Its setting atop a stone cliff has gorgeous views of the city below. The area is full of art galleries, coffee shops, bed and breakfasts, courtyards and gardens.
Embrace a bad hair day at Niagara Falls, New York
The summer crowds have disappeared along with the hot summer days. And that window between the heat of summer and the snowy winters is filled with the warm golden, red and orange hues of fall foliage, breezy days and fewer crowds. It’s the ideal time to experience Niagara Falls, New York.
Plan on a bad hair day with a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist that takes you close enough to feel the water from the falls. For a seriously up close view, take a walk along the wooden platforms at Cave of the Winds. The thunderous water is just a few feet away. If you’re looking for some exercise, embrace nature with a challenging hike along the network of trails in the Niagara Gorge.
Get Down and Dirty in Southern West Virginia
It may not be the most girly thing to suggest for a girlfriend getaway, but getting down and dirty on all-terrain vehicles along West Virginia's Hatfield & McCoy Trails is a blast! One of the largest of its kind in the world, the Hatfield & McCoy Trails network consists of approximately 650 miles of adrenaline inducing off road trails through the mountains of Southern West Virginia. Traditional all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are available to rent along with the UTV – an ATV with four seats that are much like a jeep. The UTVs are easier to handle, even for a complete novice. We were able to experience the thrill of the trail without having to learn how to balance an ATV.
The trails wind through nine counties with some trailheads beginning in “ATV-friendly” towns. These towns have passed ordinances allowing ATV’s to be driven on the streets. Riders are welcome, muddy boots and all. Grab a bite to eat, shop or stay in the local inns and experience true ATV hospitality.
You’ll get dirty—really dirty, but I’m betting you’ll love every minute of it. I sure did!