By Katie Moosbrugger
Girlfriend getaways: It’s a guilty pleasure we all should indulge in and not feel guilty about. Even if you’re only able steal one night away a year, you should try everything in your might to make it happen! Without a doubt, I think a mini vaca away from my family makes me a better mother and wife. It doesn’t have to be a fancy trip or a long trip. Just a break – however long – from reality and the daily grind. No laundry, no cooking dinners, no packing lunches, no picking up, no getting-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night, no work, no stress.
Fortunately for us, we don’t have to go far to find a great girlfriend getaway. Whether you stay close to home or want to travel a little by car, our area offers a number of amazing girls’ trip ideas. On a recent overnight trip with friends, we came up with the following list of ideas for TMoM readers – as well as destinations for our future trips! Take a look at what we came up with and let us know if you can add to our list!
Beaches and Lakes
This is the most obvious choice for a fun and relaxing girls’ getaway – no matter the season of the year. I don’t have to tell you about all the wonderful Carolina beaches that are just hours away. TMoM also has a Favorite Beaches directory you can consult for ideas HERE. A trip to a local lake is also a great idea. Click HERE for fun suggestions in Lake Norman or click HERE to plan your trip to Davidson. If you’re up for a further drive, consider Lake Lure, NC. This is where I got engaged – and while it’s romantic – it’s also ideal for just friends too!
Sometimes the most fun can be had when you’re out of your comfort zone. I’ve been on girls’ weekends like these and they are always the most memorable. There are several options nearby you might want to consider, including team building retreats (how fun would it be to do classes like Urban Fear Factor, a smartphone scavenger hunt, and culinary challenges!), paddleboarding, cabin camping, and kayaking or tubing.
Spas and Pampering
This is another easy (and always welcomed) idea for a successful girls’ getaway. You could stay close to home, book a session at any of the many spas we have here in the Triad (click HERE to see which spas were voted readers’ favorites in our Choice Awards) and end the night with a great dinner and overnight at a local hotel. Or, you can go all out and try the famous Grove Park Inn in Asheville, Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte, or The Greenbrier in West Virginia.
I have never done a trip like this but I think the idea sounds amazing. Have your friends agree to read a book such as Gone with the Wind or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil – and then plan a trip to tour all the places mentioned in the book. You can find guided tours for Gone with the Wind in Atlanta HERE or for Garden of Good and Evil in Savannah HERE. Similarly, you can take self-guided tours of famous locations seen in Homeland (Charlotte) HERE or Hunger Games (Asheville) HERE or Sleepy Hollow (Wilmington) HERE.
Historical, Architectural & Ghost Tours
Along the same line as themed trips, consider visiting a historical city and take a unique tour by foot, carriage, trolley, or other transportation. I did a carriage ride (featuring history and architecture) with girlfriends in Savannah (they also offer trolley tours), as well as in Charleston by carriage. Ghost tours are also offered in Charleston, Savannah – and believe it or not – in Mount Airy too!
Another twist to a fun weekend is to schedule your getaway around a race – either a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, triathlon race! Click HERE to see a list of upcoming running races of all distances throughout NC and HERE for races in SC. For a schedule of triathlons in NC, click HERE. And for triathlons in SC, click HERE. One of my favorite race trips was to Charleston to run the Cooper River Bridge race and then have the rest of the weekend to enjoy the city!
For those who’d rather not partake in exercise, plan a trip to a local winery! You can literally take your pick among the many wineries located HERE in the Piedmont. One of my friends recently took a trip to JOLO Winery & Vineyards in Pilot Mountain where she and her girlfriends took an evening cooking class and then had dinner afterwards in the winery!
Keep it Quaint
A few years back, a few of us from TMoM visited River House Country Inn in West Jefferson for dinner, and we could not stop talking about how much fun a weekend there could be. Just about every weekend beginning now through summer, they feature live bands or festivals. And there are many other B&Bs nearby to choose from. Click HERE to see a great list from VisitNC.com. You can also set your search parameters to find other B&Bs throughout NC. BedandBreakfast.com has another list HERE.
Get Away with Murder
What happens on a girls’ weekend, stays on a girls’ weekend. So how about a Murder Mystery night or weekend? Just Google murder mystery dinners in North Carolina and a whole line up of sites hosting such events from the coast to the mountains, and down in Charlotte will pop up. Some places close by that feature these events include the Bella Collina mansion in Belews Lake and the Graylyn Conference Center in Winston-Salem.
You don’t have to travel far to have a great girls’ weekend, and the O’Henry Hotel in Greensboro is one of the best kept secrets for a staycation getaway. They are always featuring wonderful packages (perfect for a weekend away with your significant other too!) that combine evenings with the symphony, theatre, prominent speakers, and amazing culinary selections, plus a la carte options (like spa treatments) and afternoon teas! But you can organize a girls’ weekend at any Triad hotel and couple it with art or cooking classes, a great dinner, a night out on the town, a movie, a concert, or just about anything you want to do!
What were some of your favorite girls’ trips? Leave a comment with your ideas below!