With my besties Kai, Melissa and Kate in San Diego!
Raise your hand if you are in DESPERATE need of a girls’ trip!
(Aren’t we all!?)
Thanks to vaccines, a girls trip can finally be on the table again!
A few weeks ago, a reader asked me for location suggestions for a domestic girls’ trip in March — specifically for places that offer access to the outdoors and a variety of dining/shopping/activity options. While there is so much to love about much-frequented destinations like Nashville, Florida, NYC, LA, and of course–Vegas–it’s great to get some fresh, new ideas that provide a bit of a slower, more relaxed pace. (Not to mention, can be done more affordably than most of the aforementioned cities!)
Real Women Approved: Your Destination Reccos For a Spring Girls’ Trip!
I love the idea of a girls’ trip any time, but especially in March when the urge to escape never-ending winter temps is at an all-time high! (Not to mention, being able to spend most of your time outdoors is much safer from a pandemic perspective!) And as many of us probably haven’t seen our non-local friends in quite a while, getting a girls’ trip on the books just hits different these days!
It sounds like so many of you are also craving some spring adventure, so I turned to you all for your best destination suggestions and as always, you delivered in spades! I’ve rounded up the most popular locales below that we can all refer back to when we need to book a spring escape! (Of course, a lot of these places are wonderful in a variety of seasons, too!)
Whether you’re meeting friends who live all over in a new destination, or you want to mix things up with your local friends and get a road trip on the books–we’ve all earned a girls trip–don’t you think?
Let’s get into your top 12 suggestions!
By far the state with the most suggestions, March is the perfect time to visit Arizona. You all suggested Scottsdale, Phoenix, Sedona and Flagstaff! Warm, but not hot, and the food is wonderful! There are also endless outdoor activities. I can vouch that Arizona is a WONDERFUL place to be in winter and spring. (I grew up there!) Phoenix is also pretty easy to get to, and depending on where you are staying and your itinerary, you likely don’t need to rent a car either!
Some of you mentioned Denver and nearby towns, like Boulder and Breckenridge, with the caveat that March in Colorado can be very unpredictable (and can actually be the snowiest month of the year!) Denver is a great option for go-with-the-flow/extra adventurous groups as it could be warm or could be freezing! It’s also a pretty central location depending on where your group is traveling from!
The Smoky Mountains
While the Rockies might be covered in snow in March, the Smoky Mountains are a great, less snowy alternative for those who are looking for some outdoor adventure. A lot of you suggested renting a cabin and exploring the charming small towns!
So many votes for Austin and for good reason! Great spring weather, endless live music venues and so much to do both in the city and just outside! Stop by Fredericksburg (Texas wine country) if you have time! See some of my favorite spots in Austin here. Austin is also an easy direct flight from most major US cities, and you don’t need to rent a car–which is a big plus!
March is an ideal time to hang in Palm Springs before it gets too hot! Hang by the pool, hike and enjoy amazing outdoor dining! Make sure to hit Joshua Tree National Park while you’re there too!
Napa or Sonoma
You can’t beat wine country for a girl’s trip (especially if you all love wine!) While it may not be warm enough for pool before May–there are lots of leisurely activities to keep you busy! Wine tasting (look into doing this by bike!) hiking, picnicking, or even hot air ballooning. Wine country can be pricey, so GG readers suggest checking out Sonoma County for the best deals.
Head to North Carolina for another popular GG reader suggestion! Explore Asheville’s vibrant brewery scene, visit the Blue Ridge Parkway and choose from endless hiking options!
A great destination for those in or around Chicago. Quite a few of you mentioned Traverse City for a girls’ trip! Indulge in wineries, outdoor adventures and explore a cute downtown! (And stop by Traverse City Whiskey and say hi to our friend Chris–who is one of the owners!)
If you’ve never been to New Mexico, consider meeting your friends in Santa Fe! It’s a fun little city to explore — amazing food, lots of art, culture and tons of outdoor and hiking options! (Santa Fe is high on my personal bucket list!)
Many of you suggested California beach towns like Santa Barbara and Carmel by the Sea for perfect mild weather, beautiful beaches, hiking, wine tasting, and charming downtowns.
Portland + Seattle
While the Pacific Northwest could be a tad rainy in March, that’s part of the charm! Enjoy city life with breweries, coffee shops and shopping or go for a nearby hike lined with waterfalls! These two are also easy to get to destinations from a variety of cities–so if you’re meeting friends from all over, it’s nice for everyone to be able to have a direct flight! You can also get away with not renting a car in these cities (unless you’re looking to hike outside the city) as they’re so walkable, which is great!
I absolutely LOVE San Diego–it has everything you could possibly want in a vacation! Beautiful weather, beautiful beach towns, great shopping, farmers markets, dining, lots of hiking. It has something for everyone! One of my best friends lives in Solana Beach just north of Del Mar–highly recommend scoping out that area for an Air BnB! Like Portland and Seattle above, it also wins points for accessibility! (But you likely will want to rent a car, because SD is a pretty spread out city!)
Some helpful parting notes:
Turo for car rental: For those destinations that require car rental, look into Turo! I have only used it once, but it’s basically like AirBnB for cars, and it can be a LOT cheaper than renting a car from a traditional car rental company! Plus, it’s a lot easier as you can pick it up close by and only rent it for the time you actually need it!
Please only travel if you are vaccinated, and get your booster ASAP! Highly recommend checking out ZocDoc for booster appointments in your area! It was really hard for me to find availability on pharmacy websites (Walgreens, CVS, Osco, etc) but I found tons of same-day and next day appointments at lesser-known clinics through ZocDoc!
Consider testing before/during your trip: Luckily at-home testing kits are available at pretty much any pharmacy these days! (I buy mine at Walgreens!) It’s easy for everyone on your trip to pick up a kit or two to test themselves right before the trip and potentially during the trip depending on how long the trip lasts. (We did this before and during our Paris trip out of an abundance of caution!) It doesn’t cost much and it takes only a few minutes, and is the best way to protect all of your friends!