The Best Trips to Take With Your Girlfriends in 2019
Calendar looking a little empty? Wanderlust got you Google mapping nearby destinations for a quick weekend getaway? Same. If you and your friends are itching to pack your bags, jump in the car, and get away from it all for a few days, we have a few ideas for you. Whether your ideal itinerary includes shopping, dining, museum hopping, outdoor adventure, or a little bit of everything, the South has a destination perfect for you and your friends. The new year brings 365 new opportunities (give or take) to make memories and explore places you’ve never been before. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite destinations for girlfriend getaways. These Southern cities, towns, and islands have something for everyone, and they’re calling your name. (And, as a big bonus, they’re also easy enough to do on a budget.) So start packing, and read on to find out where you should point your compass in 2019.
Charleston, South Carolina
Port City Charm
Historic Charleston, South Carolina: It's a charmer. Walk the city and shop ‘til you drop, or settle in on a carriage or minibus tour to see the sights sans Google maps. Grab a park bench or a patch of grass in Riley Waterfront Park, and watch the boats come and go. If gardens are your speed, you won’t want to miss the gorgeous landscaped ones at Middleton Place. Later in the day, wander over to FIG or Husk for a delicious dinner with your best pals—and don’t even think about skipping dessert. Need more reasons to visit Charleston? Here are 23.
Charlotte, North Carolina
A Getaway Fit for a Queen (City)
Set your sights on the Queen City for a low-key vacation in a metro hub with plenty to do, eat, and see. Check out Freedom Park for a long walk, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center for a fun show, and SouthPark for plenty of shopping. Don’t miss Kindred, Good Food on Montford, and Nova's Bakery for delicious eats. In Charlotte, you’ll have your pick of places to stay; we’d recommend The Ivey’s Hotel or The Park Hotel. Want more Charlotte recs? We have you covered.
Choose Your Own (Texas) Adventure
This sprawling Texas city should be at the top of your to-visit list. There are a million things to do in Houston, so choose a neighborhood, book a hotel, and explore a pocket of this ever-growing metropolis. For a manageable slice of the city, book a room at the swanky Hotel ZaZa, shop your way through nearby Rice Village, and meander the Museum District, which is just blocks away. Then set your sights on Montrose or Upper Kirby. The time to head to Houston is right now.
Hear that? Jackson's calling your name. For a fun weekend getaway, visit Mississippi’s state capital, which has plenty of up-and-coming areas to explore. No visit to Jackson is complete without a stop in the Fondren District, where you’ll find cool shops and restaurants like Saltine, Fondren Public, and Brent’s Drugs diner and soda fountain. In the evenings, the latter turns into The Apothecary at Brent’s Drugs (pictured), where you can find a menu of expertly mixed cocktails. Don’t miss Lemuria Book Store or the Mississippi Museum of Art, either.
Key West, Florida
Southernmost and Feeling Fine
Point your compass south for a visit to Key West, and you’ll be greeted with charming streets, gorgeous architecture, and tropical trees as far as the eye can see. Rent bikes to pedal around the island, or settle in on a public beach after buying a box of Kermit’s Frozen Key Lime Pie on a Stick. (It lives up to the hype.) Take a photo at the Southernmost Point (pictured), stop into the Hemingway House, and catch the sunset at Mallory Square. Even better? Make a week of it and plan a Keys road trip from Key Largo to Key West.
A Riverside Escape
Don’t knox it ‘til you’ve tried it. Knoxville is the lesser-traveled Tennessee city that will win you over. (You’ll also feel like a local in no time.) Take a hike along the Little River, or take to your paddleboard and float along the placid water. There are also plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, and rock climbing nearby. Take in a show at the Tennessee Theatre or the Bijou Theatre, and be sure to schedule some time just for meandering the city’s art galleries. The Emporium Center for Arts & Culture and the Knoxville Museum of Art are not to be missed, and don’t even get us started on the Knoxville eats. We’ll let you discover those gems all on your own.
College Town Classic
This college town has plenty of draws for a weekend away, and it’s quickly becoming known as a dream dining destination. City Grocery, Oxford Canteen, Snackbar, Ravine, and Saint Leo’s are just a few of the restaurants you simply must sample when in Oxford. (Also check out Oxford, Mississippi in 10 Bites for more menus to inspire your travels.) Make Graduate Oxford (pictured) your home base, and entertain the literature lovers in your group by browsing Square Books and stopping by Faulkner’s Rowan Oak.
Georgia on Your Mind
If you plan a trip to Savannah, then Georgia's sure to be on your mind. This port city is a gorgeous coastal gem with leafy parks, plenty of great shopping, and a bustling historic district and riverwalk, where you’ll find great restaurants like Huey’s and Vic’s on the River. Don’t even think about skipping a trip to Moon River Brewing Company, River Street Sweets, or the Savannah Bee Company either. It’s a lovely destination for a three-day getaway—have you heard about the secret gardens?
The Pioneer Getaway
Pawhuska, Oklahoma, is the home base of Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, and she has turned this tiny town into a fun weekend destination. When planning a pioneer getaway in Pawhuska, book a room at Drummond’s boutique hotel The Boarding House, and be sure to stop into the Mercantile (pictured), a restaurant and shopping hub that'll charm you as soon as you set foot in the door. (Just be sure to book early—Pawhuska is becoming more popular by the day!) Still working on your itinerary? Check out these four things everyone should do when visiting Pawhuska.
When in Waco
Visit the Gaineses in Waco, and while you’re there, be sure to make stops at some of the best-loved spots in town. You’ll definitely want to check out the Magnolia Market Silos (pictured), where you can do some shopping and grab lunch. You and your friends will also love a visit to the Dr. Pepper museum and a show at the Hippodrome Theater. Cameron Park Zoo and the Waco Mammoth National Monument (mammoth fossils!) are fun stops too. Charge your phones—it’s a city full of photo ops.