Raise your hand if you’re tired AF and the only vacation you’ve gotten from your kids in the past few years is that time you had to have a root canal—because same.
If you’re like me, your friends are either 100% single or all wifed up, which means the yearly bachelorette party (AKA mandatory mom getaway) you could always count on is canceled for the foreseeable future. Now, everyone’s too busy packing lunches and just trying to survive the day to plan anything other than a trip to the playground, much less a full-on girls’ getaway—a true dream, if I do say so.
That’s where we come in. We hit up a few travel planners to get the scoop on the best “momcation” spots in the US—including some hidden gems—for a little R&R and uninterrupted sleep.
Bluffton, South Carolina
If you love “Southern Charm,” you’ll love the low-key vibe of this historical (and naturally beautiful!) small Southern town. Just miles away from hot spots Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina, Bluffton is a secret celebrity hideout, according to President and Founder of Palm Beach Travel, Annie Davis.
For a luxury experience, book a stay at the Montage Palmetto Bluff or the Old Town Bluffton Inn. Then rent some kayaks and enjoy a picnic on the May River, followed by some retail therapy on Calhoun Street, suggests Davis. You can also drive over the bridge into Hilton Head and do a beach day or spend the afternoon in Savannah.
“Eat at The Pearl Kitchen & Bar for their inspired coastal cuisine. And head over to the Old Town Dispensary, an indoor-outdoor tavern, after hours, where you can experience true southern hospitality with a game of cornhole, firepits and live music” Davis adds—and don’t skip out on their delish cocktails.
From festivals and concerts to hiking and biking, Aspen has SO much to do, especially in the summer, notes Jonathan Alder, CEO and Travel Planner at Jonathan’s Travels. “Stay at The Little Nell for five-star accommodations and dining.” For a grown-up slumber party, the W Aspen has rooms with fancy bunk beds—it’s like being in camp all over again.
If you’re looking for something a little more affordable (because, well, you’ve got kids now), try r the Gant, recommends Henley Vazquez, co-Founder of modern travel agency Fora. “The general itinerary is to wake up, take a hike (the Maroon Bells Scenic Trail is great), grab lunch somewhere on the mountain and then enjoy dinners at different restaurants in town.” Some of her faves include Ajax Tavern, Element 47 (which has an insane wine selection), French Alpine Bistro and Mawa’s.
And since you literally never get to sit down, book yourself the ultimate girls’ spa day at the renowned St. Regis, followed by a tasting and much-needed craft cocktails at Woody Creek Distillers.
Okay, hear us out: Orlando without the kids is legit the happiest place on Earth. Plan your girls’ getaway in the spring and bond over your newfound love of plants at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival. Looking for adventure? “Kayak in a crystal clear spring with manatees,” advises Alder. Or just post up by the pool—in the perfect temps—doing absolutely nothing all day because you can.
Hot tip: the Four Seasons at Disney has three epic pools, including an adults-only pool and lazy river—if that floats your boat. And if you’d rather die than do anything Disney, check into the Ritz for some bougie mom R&R.
For a dinner that doesn’t include leftover chicken nuggies (IYKYK), eat your heart out at the Michelin-starred Knife & Spoon, or go all out and book a private event at Soseki for a one-of-a-kind omakase experience.
If you’ve got some preggo gals in the group (there’s always at least one), you’ll def want to check out Orlando’s newest Art Deco-inspired speakeasy, The BANDBOX: an intimate, non-alcoholic tasting lounge located in Ivanhoe Village.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wellness awaits, ladies. “Moms seeking more of a relaxing escape should check out the natural hot springs surrounding Santa Fe,” suggests Bryn Culbert, travel expert at Wanderu. If you never want to leave your hotel—and you won’t—stay at Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese-style hot spring resort, to enjoy soaking pools, indulge in luxe spa treatments and bask in the sweet, sweet sounds of silence as you destress with a shiatsu massage, followed by a meal at izanami—the on-site, small plates Izakaya restaurant where you can show up wearing whatevs.
Of course, if you want to tell your kids you did more than take a bunch of baths, explore the art scene at Canyon Road. “The street is lined with over 100 art galleries, studios, and shops that celebrate traditional Southwestern, contemporary, and Native American art,” says Culbert. You can even buy your kid’s love with a little souvenir, like handmade jewelry, from one of the many shops.
Moms gone wild! Kidding…or am I? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a bachelorette sash to party down south. Gather up the girls and relieve your college days, boozing and dancing your way down Broadway.
For accommodations, try Nashville’s newest “It” hotel, Hotel Fraye, or if you’d prefer to be steps away from all the action, book rooms at the ultra-luxe Conrad Nashville. As for shopping, you’ll want to hit Lucchese Bootmaker for signature boots or Keep Shop for expertly curated local goods and gifts.
Now, onto the food, y’all, which is chef’s kiss. Josephine comes highly recommended for brunch, or Earnest Bar & Hideaway for the bottomless mimosas, duh. If you want to escape the throngs of bachelorette parties on Broadway, def check out Sunda New Asian, where you can split the famous 32 oz Sumo Bloody Mary, topped with grilled cheese, longanisa, lumpia egg rolls, pork belly bao bun a baked snow crab handroll and more (yes, really).
End your night in one of Nashville’s trendiest neighborhoods, East Nashville, where you’ll find The Fox, a sexy lil’ hideaway with a nationally acclaimed cocktail menu. Oh, and if you want to embarrass yourselves with some karaoke (not on Broadway), Cross-Eyed Critters Watering Hole is the place to be.
More wine, less whine. If you’re too broke to do Napa (inflation, y’all!) but still want that elevated vineyard vibe, head to Wine Country, where you can pop bottles and pretend you’re childless for a few glorious days.
Stay at Europa Village for a taste (literally) of Spain, Italy and France. After taking in the Vineyard Views and too much vino, make your way over to Old Town Temecula where you can wash it all down at E.A.T Marketplace, Small Barn or Soro’s Grill.
If you don’t mind waking up before the sun (what’s new, right?), a hot air balloon ride over the rolling hills and vineyards of Temecula Valley is next level. A Moke and Wine tour is an absolute must though. Vineyard hop in a pink jeep and enjoy a day of wine tasting, mini charcuterie boards and an artisan picnic lunch you don’t have to pack.
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.