11 Southern Getaways Perfect for Your Next Girls' Trip

This story originally appeared on southernliving.com - Once the craziness of summer has come and gone, our excitement for all things fallcan sometimes be accompanied by a small tug of seasonal sadness. Summer is a time of long-awaited vacations, weekend getaways, and fun in the sun-but we don’t always carry that attitude into cooler weather. With a new season, however, comes a new reason to get together with your best girlfriends and plan a getaway. When it comes to perfect girls’ weekends, the possibilities are endless. You can visit an exciting city (without the summer heat), relax at a beautiful beach (again, no sweltering heat), explore a cozy mountain town (it's cool there, you know), or anything between.

This much is certain—you’re bound to have a great time with your gal pals no matter the place—but a little planning definitely helps! Some iconic destinations that you haven't yet visited make great picks, but lesser-known places can be just as fun. Your friends are the perfect sidekicks for blazing a trail to new adventures. (Even destinations that you've already visited offer entirely new possibilities with your girlfriends along for the ride.) We’re here to get you started with lots of ideas for a stellar trip with your ladies. Here are some great Southern girlfriend getaways to take this fall.

1. Savannah, Georgia
This city is rich with historic character, as it's one of the oldest cities in Georgia. Savannah's Southern charm, cobblestone streets, and river views make it a great getaway for girlfriends who want to see and do it all—from photo-op squares to trendy restaurants. It gets muggy here in the summertime, so fall is a much nicer time to visit if you’re planning on exploring historic downtown. Stay at the historic Hamilton-Turner Inn (former spot of some infamous parties) or find a space just for your group through Lucky Savannah Rentals. Take your ladies to The Florence for house-made pasta and craft cocktails, and finish the weekend with brunch at The Collins Quarter (with live jazz music).

2. Florida's 30A
The great thing about bringing a group to this spot in the Panhandle is that there are terrific restaurants and shops at every neighboring beach, all within short drives or bike rides from each other. You can go for the

Seaside Seeing Red Wine Festival (November 9-12) or for a less crowded weekend in Grayton Beach, the saltier sister town just down the road. Go to Chiringo  in Grayton for a Latin-inspired lunch with a view or Bud & Alley's in Seaside for dinner with yet another gorgeous view (and amazing crab cakes). The best option is to rent a condo or house in these two spots, but you can stay at the Watercolor Resort on Santa Rosa Beach or The Pearl Hotel for an easier booking that's still close-by.

3. Asheville, North Carolina
From Biltmore to breweries, this funky town has much to offer you and your friends. You can stay at the award-winning Inn on Biltmore Estate or at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville. Stop by Wedge Brewing Company, where the atmosphere is super hip and the food trucks will hit the spot. Eat at Rhubarb for upscale Southern cuisine and Biscuit Head for biscuits topped with your choice of SEVEN gravies.

4. Key West, Florida
Key West is one of those places that can make you feel like you’re far, far away—if only for a few days. Located at the southernmost tip of Florida, the island has low-key beaches where anything goes. The fresh air and "Conch Republic" attitude are enough to make your trip with your gal pals a true getaway. Stay right in the thick of things, just off Mallory Square, at  the Ocean Key Resort & Spa. Take a day trip to the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery for a little education and libation. Dine at The Stoned Crab for fresh seafood and Cero Bodega for Latin flair. During the fall, that Key West breeze will send you into a state of utter calm, even with your crazy girlfriends.

5. Austin, Texas
Austin is known as an arts and culture hub in Texas, and it’s full of innovative businesses, up-and-coming restaurants, and a thriving music scene. This is definitely a more urban getaway for you and your girlfriends—and completely worth it for the experience. It’s one of those towns where you can hit the ground running if you have some pals that are up for anything. It will still be warm when you’re visiting in the fall (this is Texas, after all), so be ready. There are a lot of fall festivals there, depending on which month you go. We recommend checking out Airbnb for a great location downtown and plenty of space for your group. Don't miss the food at either Olamaie or Dai Due while you’re there. Trust us. But you can’t go wrong with an authentic taco food truck either.

6. Highlands, North Carolina
If you and your crew are more interested in a calm, cozy getaway this fall, Highlands is a great option. With hiking, scenic views, and plenty of modern amenities, this mountain town offers the perfect spot for some R&R. Stock up with some wine and the fixings for a good cheese plate, and the stage is set for some quality time with your girlfriends. Stay at Old Edwards Inn and Spa or the Highlands Inn for a nice retreat, and you can eat dinner at Ristorante Paoletti or Wolfgang's Restaurant & Wine Bistro for a gourmet dinner.

7. Oxford, Mississippi
Whether you select a weekend with or without a home football game is completely up to you. Your choice most likely will rest on whether someone in the group is an Ole Miss fan. There will be a bigger variety of things to do (and much smaller crowds) if you choose a weekend with no home game, and you’ll get to fully enjoy the Square and all of the shopping, dining, and exploring you could want with your favorite girlfriends. We suggest staying at The Graduate and hitting up shops like Cicada and Square Books while you’re out and about. Grab a bite at City Grocery for your Southern food, Oxford Canteen for your greasy food, and Bottletree Bakery for your sweet treats.

8. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is one of those Southern cities that you have to visit—Southern Living readers didn't name it The South's Best City for nothing. It’s full of great food, beautiful historic homes, and a lively atmosphere that’s perfect for a girlfriend trip. Planning your trip in the fall ensures that you won’t be stuck in summer's steamy heat as you’re strolling down King Street and gawking over the gorgeous homes. Stay at Charleston Place or The Dewberry for impeccable service. There are almost too many places for delicious food and drinks to choose from. You can’t go wrong at Husk for mouthwatering Southern dishes or The Belmont for a well-made cocktail.

9. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is known as a girls’ weekend staple, so take your group if you haven’t been there together before. There’s much more to this city than Broadway, and we recommend trying the more laid-back spots before venturing to the Vegas-esque strip. Pinewood Social is a fun place with an outside area outfitted with group games to help entertain you during your wait. There's also a large refurbished industrial-style dining room and a cool (adult) bowling alley. Get the lobster mac-and-cheese, at least for everyone to share—it's extremely decadent and so delicious. Head to L.A. Jackson, a rooftop bar and restaurant at the Thompson Hotel in The Gulch, for after-dinner drinks and a great view of the city at night. Want a spot on Broadway? Try Acme Feed & Seed for a good crowd and cool atmosphere.

10. Fairhope, Alabama
We recommend staying in nearby Point Clear at the Grand Hotel Marriot Resort, a pre-Civil War resort that's dripping with Southern charm. Among the amenities and activities are resort-style pools, tennis courts, afternoon tea, Bingo, a daily ceremonial cannon firing—you name it. All this and delicious food. During the day, venture over to Fairhope just a few minutes away for shopping in the quaint village. This getaway is ideal for a group of girlfriends looking for a relaxing trip with some leisurely shopping, great coastal views, and some pampering spa treatments. Lucky for you, it will be much less crowded in the fall.

11. Charlottesville, Virginia
Head to Charlottesville for a bonafide girls’ wine weekend. Charlottesville has made its name as a respected wine producer and a major stop on the Monticello Wine Trail, which features many different wineries that offer tastings and tours. The wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail were inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s vision of grape growing and wine making, so that counts as getting a little history too—right? Grab your girls and enjoy a weekend of wine and good conversation. Explore Stay Charlottesville first to book private carriage houses, apartments, estates, and historic homes for your group. Source: here

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