There’s nothing like spending time with your girls. Forget about GNO (girls’ night out), in 2022 vow to go beyond an evening with your BFFs and plan for a big adventure. You deserve unfettered time to chat, chat, chat and do whatever you all love best. A girls’ getaway is the stuff that will give you memories to get you through those days when you’re whispering, “why, why, whyyyy?” when you’re trying to navigate your child’s math homework or science project or otherwise just a tad stretched.
As the world continues to navigate safe traveling, make your next assignment deciding where to go with the gals.
Karen “Lofty” Loftus, Women’s Adventure Travels Adventuress in Chief and founder, is hosting a sojourn to South Africa, Dec. 1-9, 2022. The “Seduction of South Africa” tour has a great mix of things. Start out in Johannesburg, a hip city, rich in history. Check into The Fairlawns hotel with a lovely intro dinner and a few local women of influence. You’ll also walk in Mandela’s footsteps, see the city of Soweto and dip into Maboneng, the Brooklyn of Jo’Burg. There will be local women, history, fashion, food, and new friendships made throughout your visit. Next up, a stay in one of the top safari lodges. Experience wildlife like never before. There will also be downtime so you can soak in that safari silence. Wind down the trip with a time in Cape Town. Anticipate hikes to Table Mountain and winery tours, tastings, and lunch at iconic vineyards. You will have waterfront and beachfront meals in the area. It’s the best that South Africa has to offer. Find out more at www.womensadventuretravels.com.
If you all are thinking of girl power, consider the Lithia Springs Resort’s “She Flies with Her Own Wings,” an empowerment and wellness retreat led by holistic health and transformational lifestyle coach Andréa Matteson. Reclaim personal power to further ignite your life. Work with Matteson to practice self-compassion, celebrate wins and achieve mindset empowerment. The retreat includes a two-night stay for one at Lithia Springs Resort, along with a welcome gift, including a self-reflection journal and chocolate truffles. The first day, Matteson hosts a two-hour “Discover Session,” followed by a two-hour “Mindset Empowerment Session” on day two. Guests will also receive complimentary gourmet breakfasts, afternoon tea and access to resort amenities, including the fitness cottage, outdoor jacuzzi and cruiser bikes for exploring the nearby trails.
Taos, New Mexico
Taos is in the southernmost range of the Rockies. This is ideal for those that love the outdoors. Hike, mountain bike, white water raft along the Rio Grande and go hot air ballooning. When you’re ready to relax there are wineries like Vivac and Blue Mesa or Taos Mesa Brewing. Do visit the recently reopened Ojo Caliente. Refresh and recharge in the natural hot springs with their Mud Pool, Large Pool, Arsenic Pool and Kiva Pool, each with their own healing properties and unique ambiance. Another wellness destination is Native Roots Healing, a shop that offers traditional herbal medicines, healing sessions and wellness classes at their ancestral and folk medicine collective. Taos has been home to the Red Willow people for more than 1,000 years and has a rich indigenous culture melded with the people who call it home. When hunger calls, eat up at the Farmhouse Café and La Cueva, which spotlights the flavors of New Mexican cuisine from Horacio and Juana, the husband-and-wife team originally from Mexico.
No arm twisting is needed to entice you to consider Miami. You’ve got a fab beach, nightlife, outrageous food, museums and more. The Hilton Aventura Miami is in one of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods. If you and your gals are shoppers, Aventura Mall is home to 300+ luxury boutiques, stores, and art galleries. You can find fun right at the hotel too, whether private yoga classes, dining at Gala, with its South American and international cuisine, chilling in the Lobby Bar or the Starbucks coffee shop that is also a wine bistro. The Shopping in Style package includes a discounted room rate, along with 15% off your total purchase at Bloomingdale’s, a complimentary personal shopper, a signature gift, free parking and late check-out.
Lauren Bates, founder of women’s travel company Wild Terrains, aims to put a fresh take on a girls’ trip to France. The 10-day trip includes Paris, Provence, and Côte d’Azur, connecting travelers with the incredible women shaping France today. The focus is on showing travelers the real France—so the itinerary highlights not only French women, but women from places such as Cameroon, Benin, Reunion Island, Iran, and India who have made France their permanent home. Wild Terrains partners with local women hoteliers, chefs, artists, designers, and historians to design their itineraries. Some highlights include a conversation about African immigration to France and the connections between African textiles and French fashion with Jacqueline Ngo, founder of Little Africa Paris, French jam cooking class with Nadège Gaultier and Laura Goninet—the entrepreneurs behind Paris’ famed Confiture Parisienne, day of sailing along the French Riviera, private visits to local artist studios, private dinners with top chefs, and stays at women-owned properties such as Le Ballu in Paris and Château Fonscolombe in Provence. Trip dates are available in April, June, September, and October. Find out more at www.wildterrains.com.
Located on the Caribbean Sea, in the northwestern part of the continent, Cartagena’s charm is its colonial architecture, vivid nightlife, cultural festivals, and lush landscapes. There’s plenty to explore. Las Bóvedas, originally designed as a jail, is now a row of local shops selling artisanal goods from the Colombian Caribbean region. Check out the various arts, from paintings to rugs and masks, or scoop up a hammock to bring home and hang on your porch. Take a walking tour with Foodies Cartagena, a company made up of food lovers dedicated to the design and operation of gastronomic experiences in Cartagena. In addition to tours, they also offer classes on making traditional Colombian Caribbean cuisine. Speaking of food, Carmen is in an elegant, intimate colonial house downtown. It serves up contemporary cuisine showcasing crab, lobster, red snapper and pork belly ‘chicharron.’ For over-the-top cocktails, hit Alquímico, named for their attention to ingredients in crafting cocktails that are greater than the sum of their parts. Located in a three-story building that evokes old-town Cartagena, each level has its own bar, respectively “The Mansion” on the first floor, “The Balcony” on the third floor, and “The Terrace” up on the roof. Named on the World’s 50 Best Bars list. As for where to stay, Casa San Agustin is a boutique hotel with art and architecture that recalls the city’s rich history as a 17th century Spanish stronghold. There are original frescoes in the library and centuries-old wood-beamed ceilings in guest rooms. The hotel’s Aurum Spa offers traditional Hammam treatments.
St. George’s, Grenada
Refresh yourselves on the Spice Isle. Laluna is intimate, 16 luxurious cottages and villas. The Caribbean Sea sets the stage for beachfront yoga or Pilates. Grand Anse Beach awaits you. There’s a reason it’s world renowned. Kayak, paddle board, go for a sunset sail or snorkel. Treat yourself to the spa or one of the personal healing sessions that use Reiki with Craniosacral therapy. Wednesday night is outdoor movie night and don’t miss the artwork featured in the Enchanted Forest. Venture off property for a sweet treat, the “Bean to Bar Chocolate Tour: A Chocoholic Dream” at the Belmont Estate where you learn how chocolate is made, from the bean to bar. For more good eats, the Calabash Hotel is home to Rhodes Restaurant, beloved for its handmade pasta, slow cooked pork ribs and other dishes.