25 getaways for you and your sisters, your mom, your best friends, or all of the above
First came chick flicks. Then chick lit took over bookshelves. Get ready for the hot new trend...
There was a time when men would travel in packs--on a fishing trip, say--while the women stayed home. Times have changed, and vacations for "just the girls" have become all the rage. We love it--in fact, we can't wait for the movie....
Move over, Carrie Bradshaw--there are new girls in town
New York CityThe swank Tribeca Grand hotel in downtown Manhattan has a Sex and the City themed package that's a whole lot more comfortable than a pair of Manolos--$578 for a weekend (877/519-6600, tribecagrand.com/). Included: breakfast in bed, Cosmopolitans in the hip Church Lounge, a packet of herbal tablets to cure your hangover, and a cheat sheet for area hot spots. Shopping's a good start: On Orchard and Delancey Streets on the Lower East Side, you can score European designer clothes and handbags for cheap. Then head to the free museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (27th St. and Seventh Ave.). This summer, it's exhibiting rarely seen drawings from historic couture.
ChicagoCrash high society for the weekend at the tasteful Gold Coast Guest House B&B (312/337-0361, bbchicago.com/, from $119/night), where you'll be a five-minute stroll from Oak Street Beach and the city's stiff-backed shopping spine, the Magnificent Mile. To really posh it up, pack a basket and take the $5 Metra train to the gates of Ravinia (ravinia.org/), a century-old outdoor concert pavilion 25 miles north in tony Highland Park. For $10, you can sit on the lawn and listen to music from the likes of the Chicago Symphony and the Boston Pops.
San FranciscoThe one-night Hot Mama package at the three-star Galleria Park Hotel (866/756-3036, galleriapark.com/, $149), near Union Square, comes with a bottle of champagne, a disposable camera, and a makeover with a cosmetics expert at Zendo Aveda Salon. In Chinatown, grab a scarlet cheongsam dress from one of the neighborhood's myriad shops for $25 or so. Later, pop into Yank Sing for dim sum (49 Stevenson St., 415/541-4949) and visit the Asian Art Museum, where you might pick up tips at its summer show "Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile" (200 Larkin St., 415/581-3500).
Quebec CityThe appropriate place for weekend prima donnas to stay in this Francophone town is Le Capitole de Québec--it has a decor best described as modern glam, with touches like miniature spotlights and red-velvet chaises (800/261-9903, lecapitole.com/, from $135/night). Appropriately, the Capitole is attached to a cabaret and a theater. Spend the day at the esoteric Musée de la Civilisation (85 rue Dalhousie, 418/643-2158, mcq.org/). Recent exhibit subjects: blood, sand, and the color blue.
Las VegasGo old school at one of the Strip's vintage hotels: the Stardust, where Wayne Newton sings (866/642-3120, stardustlv.com/, $85 per double), or the Flamingo (800/732-2111, caesars.com/, $99), steps from Bellagio and the Venetian. Clueless about gambling? The current hangout of the stars, the Palms (866/725-6773, palms.com/), offers free one-hour gaming lessons--including blackjack, craps, and roulette--Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of a really good massage
Whitefield, New HampshireThe 139-year-old Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa, 150 miles north of Boston, is in the perfect New England village of Whitefield (800/438-3017, mountainviewsparesort.com/ )--but its spa experience is international. Try the Champaca Bali massage with flowers and almond oil ($145 for 80 minutes) or soak in the Japanese-style cedar Ofuro tub in the resort's observation tower, which overlooks the White Mountains and Vermont's Green Mountains ($60 for 25 minutes). Quintessentially local, however, is the maple sugar body scrub ($70 for 25 minutes). Even during peak season--weekends throughout the summer--rates start at $129 per person double.
Calistoga, CaliforniaDrive an hour from San Francisco through the Napa Valley and you'll wind up at Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort, where days of wine tasting are followed with a wallow in earthy goo: volcanic-ash mud mixed with Canadian peat moss (707/942-4102, drwilkinson.com/). The spa's two-hour signature treatment, the Works ($99), delivers a mud bath and face mask, a steep in mineral waters, a steam, a blanket wrap, and a half-hour massage. Lodging varies from motel-style rooms that sleep two (from $109) to kitchen-equipped bungalows that sleep four (from $119).
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