For me, a key ingredient to a super fun girlfriend getaway is location, location, location. Vegas, New Orleans, Portland, Los Angeles…all of these cities are packed with promise and stocked with fabulous finds. It’s beyond easy to plan a weekend trip in a “fun” city by layering in amazing restaurants, shopping, shows, and sightseeing. And I always feel a little extra burst of accomplishment when I visit a historic site or take in a museum or two.
But what do you do when you’re headed to a less exciting location? Somewhere with a more “relaxed” pace? I almost found myself in this situation a few weeks ago, when Ginger and I were going to meet up in Hartford, Connecticut as the result of my “hot mess” mileage run. Hartford is not a city that either of us are familiar with, and I can say with confidence that it’s not a destination that springs to mind for a weekend trip…but with a few tweaks to our big-city vacation style and a little planning, we were all set to have a fantastic time.
Unfortunately, our trip got derailed due to a flight delay and a touch of pneumonia, but I saved my planning notes because I think they are a great reminder of how you can really have a great trip no matter where you go.
As someone who has taken more than my share of “girlfriend getaways” (or is that possible?), here are my tips:
1. Yelp is your friend. I like to search for “Local Flavor” and see what comes up. This spot was definitely on our list. We were going for the blend of locals and sugar.
2. For an interesting mix of fun and creepy activities, check out Atlas Obscura. You never know what you’ll find there.
3. I always love to go consignment shopping when I’m in a new place, because fab finds vary by city. For example, New Orleans has a ton of classy dresses, while Vegas has loads of sparkles, and Los Angeles has chic basics for cheap. Again, I just use Yelp for this.
We were planning to check out Rocky Hill Uptown Consignment and Panache in West Hartford…and we will, if we ever actually make it to the area!
5. Renting bikes or kayaks is something I try to do on every trip I take with a friend. I love experiencing snippets of conversation, tantalizing aromas wafting out of doorways, and all the little things that make you smile with secret delight…the small vignettes of a neighborhood.
As I write this, I realize that our trip to Hartford would have been incredible, because at the end of the day, when you’re with a good friend, you really make your own fun, don’t you think? Everything else is just icing on the cake.
That being said, I’d love to know if you’ve got any other great “icing” ideas. What do you love to do while you’re on vacation with a friend?