This feature originally appeared in the April 2017 Issue of ESSENCE Magazine.
Known for its stunning beauty, luxury riverfront hotels and southern hospitality, this city is ideal for a girls’ only escape. Have a blissful Arnica Healing Soak at The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort’s Heavenly Spa. Luxuriate in the Blue Water Vichy body wrap at Mansion on Forsyth Park’s Poseidon Spa. Bask in a L’Athene Microderm facial at Savannah Marriott Riverfront’s Magnolia Spa. Start the day shopping downtown, then tour the historic squares and eat at Narobia’s Grits & Gravy. In the evening stroll along world famous River Street, dine at The Pirates’ House and take a ghost tour in this historic town.
Enjoy the splendor of the countryside, as you journey through the heartland of America. Take several days to indulge at fascinating locales, including hiking and biking in Peninsula State Park. Crash that night at Eagle Harbor Inn before making your way to Fox Cities. There you’ll adore Lamers Dairy, Mulberry Lane Farm and Simon’s Specialty Cheese. The Copper Leaf Boutique Hotel & Spa is a sophisticated place for a cocktail. Next stop: Discover Native American history in Elkhart Lake, and visit Henschel’s Indian Museum & Trout Farm to learn about America’s original residents.
We don’t know where we are going until we know where we have been. Rich in culture, history and fine architecture, the birthplace of America’s independence is just the spot to expand your knowledge. Catch the Wawa Welcome America! festival of free concerts, museums and a block party during July 4 week. Walk through Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. See the Liberty Bell by Independence Square. Be sure to retrace the steps of our ancestors at the African American Museum, the Underground Railroad Museum and the nearby Kennett Underground Railroad Center, where you can tour underground railroad routes.
Explore your wildlife-, nature-loving side with a tri-city parks expedition to revel in the country’s lakes, mountains and trails. Hot Springs, the oldest federal reserve, is world-renowned for its soothing, healing waters. Canoe, hike, hunt or picnic at scenic Buffalo National River. Relish the striking camping, fishing and swimming sites at Ozark National Forest. After a casual day of sightseeing, drop in at DeLuca’s Pizzeria and rejuvenate at the stately Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa.
Take a thrilling ride with Wine Country Bikes, pedaling through Dry Creek Valley while visiting several distinctive wineries. Plan a tour and tasting of stellar wines at the splendid, picturesque Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery. Sample signature vintages at the Dry Creek Vineyard. Book a room at Healdsburg’s elegant Haydon Street Inn featuring a delectable three-course breakfast and evening wine reception. Visit Oakville Grocery—founded in 1881—for lunch and shopping. Delight in the great vibe at Café Lucia specializing in Portuguese wine and cuisine. Cheers to you.
Most everything on your and your girls’ shopping lists can be found at one of these outlet stores. Get your favorite brands at a fraction of the price. All in the Phoenix metropolitan area—Phoenix Premium Outlets, Tanger Outlets Westgate, Power Square Mall and Arizona Mills— these outlets boast all your must-have brands like Coach, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, J.Crew, Hugo Boss and DKNY. Reserve your stay at trendy Tempe Mission Palms Hotel.
This hot spot is known throughout the Midwest for dining, culture and shopping. Check into the pet-friendly Graduate Ann Arbor hotel. Dine at the Taste Kitchen with its ever-evolving, distinctive menu and other top restaurants such as Mani Osteria & Bar, Frita Batidos and Pacific Rim By Kana. Learn about ecology at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Watch imaginative indie films, stage productions or musicals at the Michigan Theater. The University of Michigan Museum of Art awaits enthusiasts.