Pack Light Pack Right Don’t get “bagged” down with a load of clothes you may or may not wear while on vacation. Go for simple pieces that combine for fashionable fun without the weight. Swimming or not, anywhere there’s sun and water pack a bathing suit. Add a sarong and you’re ready for beach nightlife. Forget the cliché’ “little black dress”, you’re on vacation not going to a funeral. A simple dress can easily go from day to night with accessories and shoes. Add bottoms such as: jeans, shorts or capris and a few tops; wardrobe complete.
Chesaning, MI, United States :
My sister’s Winter wedding was a surprise and challenge for her recommended planner; me. Fortunately, I was able to find warm, comfort for her bridesmaids to be Winter Wedding Retreat at Cropping Daze Retreat, a quaint little bed and breakfast for creative minds to meet for scrapbooking fun and relaxation. Cold outside, but the roaring fireplace kept our toes warm and toasty. It felt like a sleepover with mom; warm milk and homemade cookies before bed, home cooked meals that made us all prepare for a final fitting and popcorn with a movie ready at any moment. Between being pampered with various massages; my favorite was the warm foot scrub massage and comfy room accommodations I’m surprised we were able to create the reminder scrapbook wedding gift for the blushing bride. Book early in the year, they fill up QUICK.
Jekyll Island, Glynn County, GA, United States :
Dr Jekyll and Miss Hyde says there’s so much to do when visiting Georgia, but I have to say one of my most favorite experiences was the trip to Jekyll Island. For a few bucks my gal pals and I had a vacation within a vacation. I loved the private secluded beach and breezy trade winds. The island has access to so much one has no reason to leave outside of its pillared gates. Shopping, a historical museum rich in Georgian history, a water park that caters to adults too, kayaking; the fresh, clean air made me a bit adventurous, gorgeous mansions with tours and Fins for delicious seafood to fill our bellies. I decided to go back with my beau later in the same year and stay for the weekend. We took a charter boat for a romantic sunset ride. Perfect place for a proposal.
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort Solvang, CA :
Girls at the Grill for girl grilling fun, a weekend stay at the Alisal Ranch & Resort with the BBQ Bootcamp package is a great choice for barbecue connoisseurs who want to cook and eat. The bootcamp offers grilling workshops, use of spices and rubs and a take home book for recipes. But barbecue isn't the only thing offered at the luxury western resort. There’s a beautiful spa with options such as a de-stress massage, margarita body scrub and oxygen facial. Breakfast is served with a horseback or hay ride, history and a delicious array of foods. But don’t leave without taking a stroll through the lush vineyard and sipping the vast variety of wines.
Cape Cod, MA, United States :
Cape Cod Restaurant Week is a celebration of the best fine dining around the area for one price. The seven day celebration boasts of bigger and better each year with a wide selection of restaurants and bars to choose from for your 3 or 4 course meal. Plan for the event, but stay for the local warmth. There is so much to take in from beaches to walking tours. Of course my favorite thing to do is shopping on Commercial Street. Charming boutique type shops line the street and this place seems to always have a huge party going on. Definitely worth every penny spent for good food and great finds. Start planning early for the Fall because hotels book fast.
Asheville, North Carolina, United States :
A trip to Biltmore Estate Winery, North Carolina found me wishing my sisters were with me as my tastebuds explored every wine imaginable. A tour and wine tasting is around $50, but bring along a pair of comfortable shoes for the 250 room tour, if you’re up for the challenge. The estate used to be a dairy barn but transformed into a luxury winery and vineyard with a huge, lush colorful garden. I could sit within the petals all day sipping glass after glass of vino. But I didn’t fill up on wine because delectable nibbles were prepared for dinner service. The drive to the estate is kind of lengthy, however transport buses are available at specific locations for pickup. Some hotels offer the tour as part of their package especially for groups.
Santa Barbara, CA, United States :
I'm a modern girl who likes camping, but not traditional camping with tents and weird "bathrooms". I prefer the comforts of home with the feel of camping. The Santa Barbara Auto Camp filled my needs easily. For starters, the inside of the trailer was like a cute little apartment with a claw foot tub and shower in the bathroom. Decor includes a flat screen television, WiFi, a mini bar and plants. Adirondack chairs and a grill on the porch compliment the quirky, creative design. Bikes are included in the rental for local sightseeing. A trip to Trader Joe's is right around the corner for restocking the fully functional kitchen. If grilling is out the door there are restaurants nearby with a coffee shop and a bar within walking distance.
Lutsen, MN, United States :
The Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior has a multitude of things to do for all personalities. The staff is beyond a doubt super friendly and accommodating especially when trying to find the right activities for a group. Sea kayaking, fishing and hiking are available activities for outdoorsy types. While crafts, movies and games in the game room are available for people more like me; not so interested in the great outdoors. Open the day to sunshine and sparkling water, end the night with music and bonfires. Spend the afternoon with a massage, soaking in the whirlpool and sipping champagne at the Waters Meet Center or taking a few laps in the indoor pool. Whatever you do, there's plenty for everyone.
Milan, Italy :
I recently met a lady who'd just returned from a trip to Italy; we had light conversation about her trip and she shared a few photos from her purse. I can't say if I'll ever make it to Italy, but if I do I want to visit the extremely, feminine Maison Moschino Hotel. Oh my goodness, this place is delicious for my bff's and I to stay in. When this stranger described the rooms, I was caught in the vivid imagery of coffee cup and saucer tables, cupcake pillows and lamps that looked like purses and dresses. The photos said it all. This place is so full of everything girly, I can't imagine not wanting to go shopping and returning to play dress up like 5 year olds. She spoke of exceptionally great service and knowledgeable staff who shared information on local places for eating, shopping and sightseeing. She stated how booked this place can be if waiting too late in planning. She said the food was incredible and rooms were pristine. If I have my way; Italy here I come CIAO BELLA!
Napa, CA, United States :
Auberge du Soleil Resort Restaurant is not only a five star hotel but with a five star staff and five star experience. No need to wait on a windfall to experience the grandeur of luxury, this hotel provides millionaire benefits in an affordable package. If you've never experienced a panoramic sunrise view of The Valley, please save the experience for the moment you wake up in the perfect serenity of a room at Auberge du Soleil. With several packages to choose from, the "Relaxation and Rejuvenation" is a favorite. Wine, massage, food fit for a queen and custom made bath and body products; a girls dream come true. The view overlooks gorgeous landscaping that stretches for miles and nearby towns. The handmade pistachio caramels melt in your mouth leaving the flavor of what I imagine happy to taste like.
Cottonwood, ID, United States :
Dog Bark Park Inn is bed and breakfast shaped like a beagle which makes the dog theme perfect; from the dog headboard and cookies to dog themed activities and books. Everything was clean and the bed was comfortable. The owners were spot on with snacks and a lot of treats and juice in the refrigerator. Dennis and Frances made us feel like we were hanging out with old friends and their adorable retriever, Sprocket, is the authority welcoming mascot. The bathroom was clean, big and well stocked with huge soft, towels. Everything about this place begs for a repeat visits.
Leavenworth, WA, United States :
Innsbrucker Inn is more than a bed & breakfast, it's more like a supersized bookstore for a slumber party in the middle of a Bavarian village. Each room is decorated with a special literary theme like the Shakespeare Suite, Wine Suite and Chocolate Suite; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ring a bell. Rooms are stocked with books, but there is a television available in each room. The rooms are clean and include a coffee machine with supplies. The Chocolate Suite has a kitchenette and private bathroom with a shower and tub. The walls are decorated with phrases and characters from the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory accompanied by the book.
Take the 15 minute guided tour of Austin Helicopter Tours. Comfy seating, room for 4 at time, a knowledgeable pilot and an awe striking bird’s eye view of the city is worth leaving all fears behind for those afraid to fly. I’d definitely recommend the shorter tour. However, there is a longer tour available. Communication is key so everyone is provided with microphone equipped headsets.
Hawley, PA, United States :
Woodloch Pines Resort is an experience waiting to happen. The grounds are well manicured in case you want grass between your toes. Staff is friendly and charismatic; very detailed with providing quality service. There is so much to do: art classes, food and wine classes, drum circle, horse riding and themed performances; you name it you can do it. The staff will go far and beyond to cater to whatever your desire may be. Food is beyond excellent and in abundance. By the time you go home you'll need a vacation from the vacation. This was a great place for our family reunion; the package price was very yielding for our budget.
Bisbee, AZ, United States :
Shady Dell RV Park is a quirky and cute place with genuine, authentic memorabilia for décor. Upon arrival pictures are hanging above the doors with your name. A welcome package with a couple of free postcards of the place and an invite to cookies is left for all visitors. Some units don't have bathrooms but there are public restrooms and showers that are extremely clean and well kempt. A vintage TV and record player belted out tunes from a 50's station, old magazine copies of Life are scattered throughout. Everything is consistent with a retro theme from a diner to an outdoor theatre, even seating reminiscent of yesteryear. I’ll need petal pushers and a letter sweater for the next visit to fit right in.
Charleston, SC, United States :
From arrival to departure the Zero George Street Boutique Hotel had us hooked. Located far enough from busy Charleston for a peaceful and tranquil stay, but close enough to get to within minutes; not to mention a request for transportation can be arranged. It’s a beautiful time warp with all the amenities of modern day necessity. Everything was so elegant and formal without the usual stuffiness: drinks on the verandah, a 5pm wine and cheese hour, little treats left nightly and all the charm of a European trip. The staff was incredible, suggesting sights to see and always checking if needs were met. The food was worth giving up dieting rules to enjoy the daily complimentary breakfast. Well worth the cost; warrant for another visit.
Scottsdale, AZ, United States :
Not your usual fancy dining expected from the Four Seasons, Proof Canteen served up comfort foods the way “Grandma” used to make. Don’t get fooled by the term small plate, it is easily large enough for two. A nice array of food options had us asking the hostess to give us more time more than once: Buffalo Chili with Fritos, BBQ Ribs with Dr. Pepper Sauce, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup and daily happy hour from 3 to 5:30. Laid back casual vibe with an amazing view from the patio, I can see myself going again and again.
Naples, FL, United States :
Can’t wait for another trip to Naples Florida; fun, relaxing and full of things to do. There’s Lowdermilk Beach; white sand, great parking, clean restrooms and a café with monster, juicy burgers. Fifth Avenue South is a fantastic place for high end and boutique shopping and a lot of interesting artsy shops. One of my favorite things was Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens. We went to a live animal show that was very informative and fun. A boat tour of Monkey Island was a bit much; cute and all but I was still a bit afraid. Yet, I did take a chance at feeding a giraffe. Lastly, we ventured out to Celebration Community Beach Church where I was absolutely blown away. Talk about a praise service. It’s non-denominational so no judgmental views to contend with. Very casual and relaxed but the message was clear and concise. If this were my regular place of worship I’d miss a lot of Sunday football.
Suwanee FL :
A weekend vacation on water was all a joke until the reality of how great it could truly be entered my world. Miller’s Marina of Suwanee Florida provided the means to a relaxing float around Big Bend into the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine peering into crystal clear, shimmering blue water at manatees or the awe stricken silence of amazement while passing through the limestone springs. Plenty of restaurants along the way, but the boat is just as it states a “houseboat”. Equipped with a kitchen, bathroom and the capacity to sleep up to 8 people comfortably.
New Orleans, LA, United States :
We had an extraordinary time in New Orleans, including a perfect vacation rental Historic Bywater Vacation Homes. Located in an extraordinary neighborhood close enough to all the fun, busy tourist spots, yet far enough away from the downside of most large cities. House decorations are quirky, but tasteful. The place has a private fenced in backyard, well kempt appliances that seemed brand new and all the comforts of home. Pricing is great for a group.