Don’t get me wrong — I love my job, I love my city, I love where I’m at right now. But these little spots of sunshine we’ve been getting here in Chicago are just the biggest reminder that summer is coming so soon and that means the chance for vacation! I’m looking forward to grabbing my best gal pals and heading anywhere where we can spend some quality time together and way less quality time with our work. Here are some destinations with a little something for everyone to take the girl gang for some QT and R&R.
1. For gorgeous lakeside views: Lake Louise, Alberta
Nestled in the mountains up in the Pacific Northwest, Lake Louise is best known as an amazing ski town, but it’s it’s summertime glory that makes it an ideal getaway spot. Stay in a ski lodge or an Airbnb and spend your days kayaking on the lake, going on long walks, or just sitting on the porch admiring the towering green mountains (that’s where I’ll be).
2. For a sweet southern city: Nashville, TN
Nashville and its infinite number of Insta-perfect spots have become a well-traveled girls trip locale over the last few years — but for great reason. Nashville boasts some of the best music, restaurants, and bar scenes around. It’s the perfect destination for the laid-back, cultural enthusiast ladies.
3. For a bona fide beach vacation: Destin, FL
On the gulf side and up in the panhandle, Destin is the most adorable beach town. Rent an adorable pastel beach house for the week and do nothing but bike to the ocean, relax all day, and bike back to watch the stars and nosh on some food truck eats. A quick drive will take you to some beautiful glades with lush foliage and walking paths.
4. For a bustling city adventure: Chicago, IL
Now I might be biased because I live here, but Chicago is an awesome getaway destination, especially in the summer. There are lots of discounted museums, amazing food, free live music in the parks, and lovely beaches on Lake Michigan. It’s a great city to explore (and eat your way through) but also offers relaxing options for a breather day or two in the middle.
5. For all the hiking and mountain grandeur: Zion National Park, Utah
Prepare to have your jaw open in awe from beginning to end of this trip. Zion National Park has some of the country’s most beautiful hiking paths, from the mesmerizing Narrows up to Angel’s Landing, as well as horseback riding, canyoneering, and so much more for the outdoorsy among you. Stay anywhere from camping to glamping to upscale lodging and spa retreats.
6. For major Gilmore Girls vibes: The Berkshires, MA
The tiny towns that dot Western Massachusetts are, no joke, exactly like Stars Hollow. Full of colonial inns, adorable bed-and-breakfasts, small bookshops and diners, this part of the country just screams charming and relaxing. It’s the best place to leisurely wander the downtown areas, grab a drink, and then curl up in your rental home for a movie night (or Gilmore Girls binge). Oh, also it’s surrounded by some of the most beautiful foliage and rolling hills you’ve ever seen.
7. For a nautical getaway: Newport, RI
If you and your ladies are decked out in stripes and boat shoes 24/7, this classic New England port town is the place to be. Right on the ocean, spend your days on the beach, walking from boutique to boutique, or visiting the jaw-dropping Newport Mansions, and your evenings dining at one of the so many restaurants right on the water. Take your pick of lowkey inns or rent a beach house for the weekend.
8. For a touch of Paris: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Tu parles Francais? Not that you need to to enjoy Montreal, the largest French-speaking city in Canada. With some incredible foliage, castles, museums, and gardens, Montreal is a great getaway spot for the girl gang looking to go international on a budget. Make sure to eat some poutine while you’re there!