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7 Cliché-Busting Girls’ Getaways

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7 Cliché-Busting Girls’ Getaways
We’ve come a long way since the early days of all-female expeditions (check out this ridiculous safari packing list from 1957 for proof). And yet, while booking a girls’ trip with a few friends is no longer revolutionary, a quick Google search of “girls’ getaways” still turns up pages and pages of basic spa treatments and cosmos. Sure, they’re set against sublime, far-flung backdrops, but is our idea of what women travel for really so limited? Luckily, more and more hotels and outfitters are crafting stays and getaway packages that are anything but girly. Next time you skip town with your lady friends, consider one of these more extraordinary adventures—from an adrenaline-packed extreme adventure getaway to an educational foray into the Galápagos.
By Diana Spechler
Courtesy of Barnsley Resort
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    1. Be the Next Annie Oakley

    Where: Adairsville, Georgia
    What:
    The “Annie, Get Your Fun” package at Barnsley Resort is the perfect, relaxing getaway if shooting something is your preferred way to destress. During your shooting lessons, take aim with a shotgun designed specifically for women. Later, an herbal compression massage will target (pun intended) the muscles you just used at the range. At night, sip and learn at an educational bourbon tasting session; the resort offers its own Woodford Reserve Blend that has hints of buttered popcorn, and the resident bartender makes a mean bourbon mule.

    From $680/night.

    Courtesy of Barnsley Resort
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    2. Better Than Blue Crush

    Where: Nayarit, Mexico
    What: Women who want to learn to ride the waves should book a stay at the new W Punta de Mita. Spend your mornings in surfing lessons with your friends and your afternoons relaxing at Chevicheria, a 1950s Chevy truck that’s been converted into a beach bar (don’t miss the made-to-order ceviche). At night, hang out on your private patio decorated with surf-inspired art and then fall asleep on a bed with a headboard made out of a surfboard.

    Winter rates from $500/night, summer rates from $215/night.

    Courtesy of W Punta de Mita
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    3. Find Your Own Tuscan Sun

    Where: Tuscany, Italy
    What: For a lovely fall getaway with the gals, try the three-night “Tuscany Olive Oil Tasting Package” with Luxo Italia. The trip includes a private harvesting at one of the region’s top olive groves, a traditional countryside lunch among the olive groves, and a bottle of olive oil with a personalized label. Tour one of the oldest wine cellars in Italy and enjoy a “Tuscan degustation dinner” with a view of the medieval village of Borro. Each woman in the group also gets to select a favorite olive oil for a massage.

    From $7,000 for three nights, available seasonally. You can find more information by emailing info@luxoitalia.com.

    Courtesy of Luxo Italia
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    4. Unleash Your Inner Lara Croft

    Where: Los Cabos, Mexico
    What: Grand Velas Los Cabos offers an “Extreme Adventure Getaway Package” for adrenaline– and adventure–seeking jet-setters. You and your crew can ride ATVs across the desert, dive with the whale sharks (between December and May), and zipline under the stars. There’s also an “insect basket challenge” for the truly daring—chow down on grasshoppers, ants, and worms (some of which are covered in edible gold!). Grand Velas provides plenty of relaxation for the post-adventure hours, too, at one of the most impressive spas in Mexico (as soon as you walk in, you’ll get your own guide). Work out any built-up adrenaline with the seven-step “Water Journey,” the polar pool, and an aromatherapy sensory shower.

    From $9,640 for four nights.

    Courtesy of Grand Velas Los Cabos
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    5. Voyage to the Galápagos

    Where: Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
    What: See Darwin’s famous islands through the eyes of female naturalists with Wild Women Expeditions’ Galápagos Multisport Adventure. As part of Wild Women Expeditions’ effort to turn tourism in environmentally fragile areas into educational traveling, you’ll hike to a volcano rim, kayak to see the sea lions, snorkel by a lava cone, and go bird-watching by paddleboard. You’ll also learn about Darwin, his theories, and his own trip to the Galápagos.

    From $5,495 per person for 10 days.

    Courtesy of Wild Women Expeditions
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    6. Be the Modern Little Mermaid

    Where: Maldives
    What: At Baros Maldives, ladies who want neon night vision can join the resort’s glow-in-the-dark snorkeling tour. Every night of your stay on the private island, you and your friends, armed with special UV flashlights, can climb onto a boat and head to the unrivaled coral reefs of the Indian Ocean. Underwater, you’ll see the bioluminescence up close, scan the fluorescent reef with your flashlights, and swim through thick clouds of local fish, including the super-friendly Napoleon wrasse. Gear up for your nights with a sunset dolphin-watching excursion—you’ll see so many dolphins arcing over the water, you’ll think the resort must be paying them. 

    From $1,575 per night for two.

    Courtesy of Baros Maldives
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    7. Some Friends Are Naked Friends

    Where: Negril, Jamaica
    What: Women who feel more comfortable au naturel can try a “naughty girls getaway” at Hedonism II. Don’t worry, the more reserved women in your group will be just fine, too—the all-inclusive, adults-only, clothing-optional resort has “nude” and “prude” sides, so guests can have fun at their respective comfort levels. Every night, you and your friends can dress (or not) for a different sexy theme party: togas, leather, lingerie. The resort prides itself on being a “judgment-free zone” and is the perfect place to let loose however you choose.

    From $430/night. 

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    What’s Next . . .
    Photo by Brian Miller/Flickr