Mary Margaret Chambliss, Meg McKinney
Call your best girlfriends, throw a few things in a bag, and treat yourself to a well-deserved women's getaway.
We've found three terrific Southern spots where women can eat, drink, and be merry. City girls? No problem. Kick up your heels to the music in Nashville. If spas are your cup of tea, you'll love the one at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas. If you prefer more of a quiet vibe, Blowing Rock, North Carolina, offers the perfect locale. No matter which destination you choose, grab your girlfriends and escape the daily grind.
This sophisticated city has a small-town heart that makes you feel right at home. With boutique shops, cultural stops, and hopping nightlife around every corner, it's the perfect spot for a Ya-Yas' reunion.
If there were a Shopping Hall of Fame, I'd nominate Katy K's Ranch Dressing, a rhinestone cowgirl-meets-Bettie Page shop with ridiculously fabulous ensembles of petticoats, boots, and flashy cowboy hats. It's one of the fab finds in 12South, an up-and-coming area where many of the businesses are owned by female entrepreneurs.
Nashville nightlife rocks. We hit the Broadway honky-tonks early (they can get a little rowdy later) and danced along to lively bands in Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Robert's Western World. We loved Station Inn, a down-to-earth dive with awesome bluegrass. To find out who's playing when, snag a copy of Nashville Scene, an alternative weekly.
Don your best dresses to attend a performance at Nashville's grandest music venue: the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Completed last year, this stunning building adds a whole new cultural dimension to Music City. The dazzling architecture is filled with subtle details, such as irises (the state flower) woven into the iron railing.
For the sassiest sister act in town, hop on the hot pink, zebra-trimmed bus for a ride with Sheri Lynn and Brenda Kay, the NashTrash Tour gals. More comedy than tour, their antics will have you rolling in the aisles. Reservations are required, and they usually fill up weeks in advance.
To tap into your inner Monet, sign up for Painting Made Easy, a one-day class at The Art House. At this wonderfully unpretentious gallery and studio, you don't have to be an art school grad to paint. Whatever you choose to do, celebrate your break and the glory of great girlfriends. Then make it a yearly tradition.
For more information: Contact the Nashville CVB at www.visitmusiccity.com.