Planning a Girlfriend Getaway to L.A.

April 24, 2006
Keri Leary
To celebrate turning 40, four friends from Idaho are going on a little adventure. Hollywood may never be the same.

Allison Hagman, Tracie Finney, Debbie Schutz, and Dalene Zieske met more than three decades ago as youngsters at Idaho Hill Elementary School in the small community of Oldtown, Idaho.

They quickly became the best of friends, and over the years have pretended to be Nancy Drew and Charlie's Angels on the playground ("Somebody always got stuck playing Bosley," recalls Dalene), joined in high school plays, and even put on a faux Go-Go's lip-synch concert. "We've been told that we have our own language," says Allison. "When we get together, no one can understand us because we're laughing so hard and we know every one of the stories by heart."

These days, the friends live within an hour of one another in Idaho and Washington, and, even though they're busy working moms, they talk a few times a week and try to have dinner once a month.

Last year, Allison's mother passed away, and her friends surrounded her with support. Also present were two of her mother's sisters and four of their close friends. The older women reminisced about girls-only trips to New Orleans, San Francisco, and the Bahamas that they had taken over the years.

Inspired, Allison and her crew decided to take a vacation together--and no better time than now, when they're turning 40. "We're looking for a place where there's lots to do," says Debbie. "But we also want to be able to just hang out and be with each other." Los Angeles quickly moved to the top of the list, because it offers everything from flashy nights on the town to peaceful (and recuperative) mornings at the beach. And, since they're only able to dedicate three nights to the trip, everyone likes the fact that the flight from Spokane is a mere two-and-a-half hours.

"The only thing that makes me nervous is Tracie driving in L.A.," says Dalene. "Let's just say her car has one speed, and it's 'get out of my way.' " Dalene is kidding, but no one is excited about city driving. Unfortunately, a car in L.A. is pretty much a necessity. There's no shortage of rental cars in the city, but we point out an option many tourists are unaware of: Fox Rent a Car has environmentally friendly Honda Civic Hybrids for about $50 a day. It's not the cheapest rental, but it'll help them save on gas, and hybrids are exempt at parking meters in the city of Los Angeles.

"Leisurely mornings mean a lot to us moms," says Allison. "We love the idea of having a sitting area with a fridge so we can make coffee and eat light breakfasts in the room." They're also hoping for a good location, in Beverly Hills or Hollywood. One option is Hotel Beverly Terrace, where the Asian-inspired rooms come in various shapes and sizes, and guests can help themselves to free breakfast and round-the-clock complimentary coffee and tea. Another possibility is the slightly more expensive Chamberlain West Hollywood, a former apartment complex that was given an elegant makeover last year by the Kor Hotel Group. Every room has a gas fireplace and a private balcony, and some include sitting areas and kitchenettes.

The destination being L.A., the ladies really want to see a TV-show taping. Their first choices are The Price Is Right and Ellen. Unfortunately, tickets for The Price Is Right only guarantee a place in a preliminary line, not entry to the show. There's always a risk of getting shut out after waiting, and with limited time in town, the women don't want to risk it. So they won't have the opportunity to "Come on down" and win a kiss on the cheek from Bob Barker. Ellen DeGeneres's show, on the other hand, offers confirmed tickets via the Internet. The ladies register in advance and score tickets to a taping. "It'll be really fun to watch Ellen live," says Dalene. "She's so high-energy, just like us."

If they're curious about seeing other shows, there are a few websites that give out tickets--including,, and Seats generally only become available 30 days prior to tapings.

"We are truly tourists," says Allison. "And if we don't stay busy, we'll just end up yapping away at the bar." A friend of Dalene's insists that they take a Starline tour through ritzy neighborhoods to peek at some 40 celebrity homes. The bus drops off riders in the heart of historic Hollywood, near Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and The Kodak Theatre, home of the Oscars. Also within walking distance is the A-list hotspot Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. "Any celebrity sightings would be cool," says Tracie, a big people-watcher and mother of three teenage sons. "I have a growing list from the boys of who to look out for." The hotel's steak house and exclusive bar are on the pricey side, but wandering around is free, and you never know which stars might be strolling through the lobby.

Though Tracie is the only serious shopper in the group, everyone agrees they'll enjoy Rodeo Drive. We tell them not to miss nearby Two Rodeo, the outdoor shopping center built to look like an old European street, where a cobblestone walkway is lined by Tiffany's, Versace, and Badgley Mischka.

For a break from window-shopping, they might grab a bite at Urth Caffé, known for its organic menu, excellent selection of coffees and teas, and celeb clientele. For dinner, the ladies simply request good food and a fun scene. Boisterous waiters, old-fashioned checkered tablecloths, big portions of Italian fare, and a crowd of old and young Hollywood make Dan Tana's a lively favorite. Dishes are named for industry bigwigs, and fans include Lakers owner Jerry Buss and actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore, and George Clooney--it's where he went after the Oscar parties this year.

"I'm looking forward to some once-in-a-lifetime event that we can talk about for a long time," says Tracie. "Anything goes, as long as we don't end up in jail." They have heard vaguely about a bar with a mechanical bull. Sure enough, two miles north of Dan Tana's is a spot that's sure to kick girls' night up a notch: The Saddle Ranch Chop House, on the raucous Sunset Strip. Inside the rowdy Western bar, "smoking" cocktails--served with dry ice so they mist--come in carafe-size glasses. Besides the mechanical bull, there's an outdoor patio and campfire pits for roasting s'mores. And the husbands don't need to know that Saddle Ranch has quite the reputation as a pickup joint after 10 p.m.

"If we were to spend one day away from Hollywood," asks Allison, "where should we spend it?" No trip to sunny Southern California is complete without a day at the beach--perhaps a night as well. If the women don't mind switching hotels, they could spend the final evening of their trip at Santa Monica's oceanfront Hotel California. It's an easy walk to the Santa Monica Pier, five minutes by car to Venice Beach, and a 30-minute drive to LAX airport.

For the ride to the coast, we recommend scenic Sunset Boulevard, past the Hollywood neighborhoods they saw with Starline Tours, and on through Westwood, home to UCLA, and Brentwood, former home of O.J. Simpson, eventually ending just north of Santa Monica at Will Rogers State Beach. They'll basically run right into Duke's Malibu, a waterfront restaurant dedicated to the father of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, and famous for seafood, mai tais, a sandy barefoot bar, and incredible views.

Everyone knows the community of Venice for its wild oceanfront walk: muscle-heads in the outdoor gyms, tattooed punks on skateboards, loads of folks roller-skating in bathing suits, performers strumming guitars or juggling flaming torches, and shops and tiny stalls selling tacos, T-shirts, sunglasses, jewelry, Mexican blankets, and more. Beyond the spectacle is Venice's quaint Abbot Kinney Boulevard, full of a much different kind of culture, with cooler shops as well as galleries, spas, and salons. Nitespa, barely a year old, welcomes clients from noon to midnight, and a free glass of wine is included with treatments.

"Not all of us are into the spa thing," says Allison. "But this sounds good because it's more about sitting around having a few drinks during our pedicures." We can't think of a better way to end the trip: relaxed and pampered, having a few laughs--together.


Because the friends love to laugh, we hooked them up with four free tickets to Menopause the Musical, courtesy of the show. "After all, we are hitting 40 this year," says Allison. "Maybe it can help prepare us for what's ahead!"


  • Fox Rent a Car 800/225-4369,
  • Lodging

  • Hotel Beverly Terrace 469 N. Doheny Dr., 310/274-8141,, from $145
  • Chamberlain West Hollywood 1000 Westmount Dr., 800/201-9652,, from $239
  • Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel 7000 Hollywood Blvd., 800/950-7667,, from $189
  • The Hotel California 1670 Ocean Ave., 866/751-0000,, from $179
  • Food

  • Urth Caffé 276 S. Beverly Dr., 310/205-9311, latte $3.50
  • Dan Tana's 9071 Santa Monica Blvd., 310/275-9444, Sidney Beckerman (broiled chicken entrée) $25
  • Saddle Ranch Chop House 8371 W. Sunset Blvd., 323/656-2007, strip steak $29
  • Duke's Malibu 21150 Pacific Coast Hwy., 310/317-0777, mai tai $6.50
  • Activities

  • The Price Is Right
  • Ellen
  • Starline Tours 800/959-3131,, $35
  • Nitespa 1301 Abbot Kinney Blvd., 310/396-5122,, pedicure $40
  • Menopause the Musical, from $41
  • Shopping

  • Two Rodeo Rodeo Dr. & Wilshire Blvd.,
  • Plan Your Next Getaway
    Keep reading

    Table of Contents

    Highlights from the April 2005 issue of Budget Travel Amsterdam's Eastern DocklandsThe long-neglected New East is a glowing example of 21st-century urban planning with prime examples of modern architecture and high-design. Learning To Love LondonIt sounds easy, right? But the dropping dollar has London playing hard to get, so it takes the knowledge of an expert to find the deals and local secrets in this charming city. How To Buy Broadway TicketsGoing to see a Broadway show is a magical experience, but sky-high prices mean that it may take some digging to score great tickets at affordable prices. The Motel Gets Its Groove BackA new generation of moteliers is giving the roadside classic the respect it deserves across the country. 40 Best Bargain VacationsCurrent bargain vacations. Travel the World and Write it OffIf you travel for business, you can deduct nearly all of your expenses. Eat Like a Local: BostonBoston is full of fine dining bargains with plenty of fresh fish and new options. What To Ask Before You Rent an RVTraveling by RV offers the ability to personalize your travel space, avoid costly hotels and tote along bulky items. Find the answers to your RV questions before you hit the road. Northern VietnamThough Vietnam is a popular tourist destination, lose the crowds at My Son Sanctuary and Bach Ma National Park. Singapore: This Article Has Not Been AuthorizedSingapore is trying to change its image to boost tourism, but there are many things to appreciate about Singapore as it is. Crash the Party: Kentucky Derby Get in on the fun of this Louisville racing event with a mint julep and a big, overstated hat. Trip Coach: AlaskaA couple tries to figure out an affordable trip to Alaska with three adolescent sons. The Easy, Breezy Riviera MayaThis fast-growing coastal area in Mexico is home to 372 hotels. We've narrowed them down to five favorites.

    Good Friends, Great Times

    Alas, the heat probably exacerbates the stink Long before I was married, my friend and I went to Italy. We were basically looking for Italian boyfriends, and it was man heaven. We couldn't believe how gorgeous they all were. We just giggled and stared everyplace we went. A couple days into the trip, we were fighting over this guy on a bench. We decided to approach him at the same time. As we got closer, however, we realized he was smelly. He was a gorgeous Italian homeless guy. In Italy, even the homeless guys are hot! --Jennifer Belle Go on, rock that boat! Four girlfriends and I take a cruise on The Rock Boat each year. The band Sister Hazel charters a Carnival ship and invites about 30 other bands to come along. There are concerts nearly 24 hours a day, and after the scheduled concerts are over, many of the bands jam. Two trips ago, we were lounging by the pool when the guys from Sister Hazel came out and played an awesome acoustic set. The year before that, we were in a bar when another singer, Edwin McCain, materialized and serenaded us for nearly an hour. We get all the perks of a cruise--great food, spa treatments, time away from our normal lives. Plus, there's something about being on a cruise ship that makes you lose that reluctance to approach other people. --Kristin Harmel Everyone deserves a little spring break now and again I have three girlfriends I've known since kindergarten. We grew up in New York City, but now one's in Chicago, one's in London, and one's in Sun Valley. Several years ago, we were in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, when we ran into some people we knew. We all decided to go to a club. At the time, we were in our mid-20s and considered ourselves composed adults. Suddenly there we were, surrounded by spring breakers, all of whom were going crazy. My friends and I used to go dancing a lot when were in high school, and we totally got into it. You have to understand, my husband and I don't dance--ever. We didn't even have a first dance at our wedding. But with old friends, you have that comfort level. It was so much fun to let loose, have some margaritas, and know that no one's going to cart you off to A.A. --Carrie Karasyov It's safe to say that Charlotte is never going back to India My friend Charlotte and I were feeling low, so we planned a week away. I booked us a trip to Goa, India. Luckily Charlotte's not the sort of friend who has to control every detail. The highlight for me was a day at an ayurvedic spa. We got the most amazing massages. My skin was glowing for days. A doctor told us about our chakras and explained how we could live more healthfully. Poor Charlotte was admonished to eat less and to exercise alone because she has a competitive nature. I was told not to exert myself and to drink soothing beverages. That's medical advice I can follow! --Gemma Townley Spas charge hundreds for that Jamie and I have been best friends for 32 years, and every October we go to San Francisco for our birthdays. We're klutzes, so something crazy always happens. On our last trip, Jamie wanted to check out the Japanese Tea Garden. I put on overalls, and she came out in a long wool skirt and pearls. She said that she'd heard a lot of dignitaries go there. In the park, we passed signs reading Caution! and Danger! Not seeing much to be afraid of, we totally made fun of them, yelling "Danger!" and "Caution!" at the slightest provocation. Meanwhile, this woman showed up in gold lamé and stilettos. Jamie, totally transfixed by the woman, was about to step off a bridge. "Jamie!" I called out. "Caution!" She went into the pond. It was filled with green scum, and she came out like a lake monster, dripping in all of her wool. She was like a human tampon! I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my entire life. Now, everyone we know clips pictures of the Japanese Tea Garden and sends them to Jamie. --Laurie Notaro

    Where The Boys Are

    When I've gone on vacations with my girlfriends in the past, our goal has been to unwind, not hook up. But as a newly single woman in my early 30s, I've had it with being cloistered in some desert spa where the only man for miles is a ponytailed craniosacral therapist. These days, I want action! Adventure! And men! And evidently, the men are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With its frontier history and extreme skiing, Jackson Hole is legendary for having major manly appeal. (And we're talking men with money.) Hard numbers are tough to come by, but the male-to-female ratio in Jackson Hole is informally touted as 7 to 1, and it spikes to 10 to 1 in peak ski season, between December and March. But when my friend Debbie and I arrive in Jackson on a blustery, frosty Thursday evening in mid-January, the ratio feels more like 100 to 1. A flurry of men dash about baggage claim. There are hunky cowboys, stubble-chinned ski bums, moneyed mega moguls, and, if all goes future husband. Hoisting zeppelin-size duffel bags over their shoulders, they high-five each other with thunderous claps and deftly handle six-foot-long skis with the agility of ninjas. "I think our plane crashed," I say to Debbie as we stand, slack-jawed. "And we're in heaven." On our bus, we are the only two women out of about 30 ridiculously attractive men. In the row ahead of us, a quartet of 20-something professionals is so over-the-top handsome, they look like they were genetically engineered for the J. Crew catalog. The guys explain that they're buddies who met in college and trek to a different ski resort each year. "It's a dude trip, essentially," says Dan Sutherland, 26, a real estate investment analyst who lives in San Francisco. "The focus is on skiing and having a good time...." He bats his giraffe-like eyelashes. "So, are you skiers? Or 'boarders?" "Uh...skiers?" ventures Debbie, then looks at me, pleading for rescue. There's a slight complication: We don't ski. At least, neither of us has skied since junior high school. In fact, during our flight from Los Angeles, we sheepishly admitted that we both secretly hate skiing. It's simply too much hassle--the stinky boots, the unwieldy skis, the creaky chairlift, the freezing weather--and for what, 30 terrifying seconds of flailing down a mountain? So we agreed not to let skiing ruin our fun. Naturally, we're not about to advertise this revelation, because as a rule, you don't come to Jackson Hole if you don't ski. Everyone knows you go to Aspen for that. "Oh yeah, we're skiers," I fib. "Then you're going to love it," Dan explains. "At the top of the mountain, there's a sign that warns you that the skiing here is so dangerous, so treacherous, you could die." The bus lurches to a stop--as does, for a moment, my heart. Did he just say die? What have we gotten ourselves into? I had rented us a one-bedroom condo, walking distance from Teton Village, through the aptly named Rendezvous Mountain Rentals. Over the phone, when I told the rental agent about our quest, she laughed and replied, "Well, you're definitely coming to the right place. There certainly are a lot of men here." It worked for her: The native New Yorker came to Jackson three years ago and met her husband. "I'll see if I can put you in next door to some cute guys," she added conspiratorially. We arrive just after midnight at our groovy '70s-style one-bedroom, cluttered with moose-themed knickknacks. As we unpack, we count up our "conquests." On the hour-long drive from the airport, we chatted up over a dozen guys. Debbie crunches the numbers. "That works out to be," she says, "one man every five minutes." We put our coats right back on and head for a place the boys from the shuttle told us about. The Mangy Moose Saloon is a local hangout with live music and microbrews on tap (Snake River Pale Ale is a local favorite). It's a five-minute walk from our condo. A reggae band is playing to a packed house: ruddy-faced gents in ski hats swill beer and bob their heads to the beat. I strike up a conversation with Pascal, a swarthy 30-year-old from Denver wearing a faded University of Colorado at Boulder hoodie. We chat about Jackson Hole, where he's been "shredding" on his snowboard for nearly two weeks. "Guess how many days I skied last year!" he commands. "How many?" I ask. "Seventy-five! And guess how many I surfed." "How many?" "Forty-five freakin' days, man!" I nudge Debbie. "He surfs and skis," I say, with a wiggle of my eyebrows. "Isn't that great?" Back home, of course, a 30-year-old guy who calls me "man," doesn't have a job, and lives in his van isn't too great a catch. But here--well, when in Rome, dude. Debbie and I order a second round of Jäger shots and strike up a conversation with one of the few other women in the bar: Kristin, a 23-year-old cocktail waitress from Kentucky. She has lived here a year and is, we're surprised to discover, single. "We have a sayin' about all the men up here," she says. "The odds are good, but the goods are odd." We scoff at her and spend the rest of the evening snapping up cell-phone numbers like they're lottery tickets. By the end of the evening, as we strut back to our wood-paneled palace, Debbie and I are feeling so irresistible that we can barely fit our wool caps over our swollen heads. "," I pant. The cluster of mountains framing Jackson Hole has long seduced adventurers. In the early 1800s, a group of French-Canadian fur trappers gazed lustily upon the voluptuous peaks and named them Les Trois Tetons (politely translated, it means "the three breasts"). Two hundred years later, the area is known as the Grand Tetons, and in the center of it all is Teton Village--a dozen or so hotels, ski shops, bars, and restaurants. When we finally make it to the Village Center, it's nearly noon--and the place is dead. "Where is everyone?" I ask. "There," says Debbie, pointing up at the mountain, where a red aerial tram carries sardine cans of begoggled people to the 10,450-foot summit. In the distance, we can see vague sprinkles of skiers carving their way down the mountain. "If we're going to meet anyone, the skiing thing is inevitable," Debbie sighs. "But I bet they have hot instructors." We sign up for a full day of "advanced beginner" lessons at the Mountain Sports School for Saturday at 9 a.m. Then we chase away the dread with mochas at the ground-floor café. The town of Jackson is roughly a 20-minute ride from Teton Village, and a shuttle bus runs between the two. We head to Jackson--a quaint, quirky town--for dinner of miso-glazed cod and spicy salmon rolls at Nikai Sushi. The fish is surprisingly fresh, but the restaurant is like a Noah's ark of cute couples paired off in booths. After dinner, we trek several icy blocks to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar, a Jackson landmark. Inside, this gloriously kitschy dive appears to have been decorated by Liberace in a John Wayne moment. Wagon-wheel chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and real saddles line the bar instead of stools. In the back of the room is a modest dance floor, where couples two-step to a live band through a musty wall of smoke. Unlike the one at upscale Teton Village, this crowd is more Deadwood than Dartmouth. It's a lively hodgepodge of older locals and 40-something tourists, clinking shot glasses, smoothing down handlebar mustaches, and tipping real ten-gallon hats at any and all ladies who pass their way. A particularly weathered cowpoke nearly drags Debbie over to the dance floor, but I somehow manage to save her. It's 10:45 p.m., and time to catch the last shuttle back up the mountain. After all, we have a ski lesson in the morning. Our hot instructor is waiting for us at 9 a.m., poles in hand. Her name is Liz. She's hollering at our 10-person group (half of whom are women) to make a "cheese wedge" shape with our skis. As I wobble down the Pooh Bear slope, I consider bolting into the woods. Instead, I lose my grip on the rope tow and land on my back like a dead beetle, praying no one has seen me. After two hours of basic introduction, we're chairlifted to an intermediate slice of mountain and told to follow Liz back down. At first, it's terrifying: What if I can't stop? But a few C-turns later, I start to get the rhythm of things. All around us, guys zip past as if they're being filmed for a Mountain Dew commercial. Some give us friendly nods as they whip by. Suddenly, skiing is infinitely more fun. Back at our condo, our neighbor, whom we'll call Keanu, welcomes us with a six-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. "We're having a party at our place?" says Keanu. "You girls should definitely stop by?" We apply fresh lip gloss and chandelier earrings (hey, with so many layers involved, it's all about accessorizing) and knock on their door 20 minutes later. It swings open to reveal Keanu, his roommate, a big-screen TV, and a lamp-size bong. "Didn't you say you're having a party?" I ask. "Oh, yeah, I kinda made that up, you know?" We hightail it back to the Mangy Moose for buffalo wings and beer. Now that we're real skiers, we've earned the right to some après-ski fun. As we belly up to the bar, however, we discover that a football game is captivating the crowd: Clusters of men laugh, shout at the TV, and punch each other in the arm. It's like something you might see on the Discovery Channel: the Ski Bumus Erectus in his natural habitat. "Hey! Where are you girls from?" This is the top opening line in Jackson Hole. We make our way over to a table of late-20s/early-30s dot-com guys from Seattle who are totally our speed: sweet, cute, sporty, yet not steroidal. There are 12 of them and two of us. "We need more girls," begs Gil Zalmanovitch, a 32-year-old program manager at Microsoft. "We don't care if they can't ski. If they're cute and can do a C-turn, tell them to come!" Gil and his friends invite us to their ski-in, ski-out chateau, which has a pool table and hot tub. "Maybe tomorrow," I say, barely able to keep my eyes open. Alas, the downside to a physically rigorous vacation: I actually pass up partying with dot-com millionaires for a good night's sleep. It's not too much of a loss, however. Debbie and I are meeting so many men--while waiting for coffee, standing in line for lift tickets, trying on ski boots--that we're beginning to feel like Lucy and Ethel in that I Love Lucy episode at the chocolate factory. We are rushing conversations just to keep up with the never-ending assembly line of guys. By Sunday, our last full day in Jackson Hole, Debbie actually chooses to spend her time skiing while I sit at an outdoor fire pit at the Four Seasons Resort, drinking champagne, eating elk-meat hot dogs, and seeing what happens if I just remain still. I'm a third of the way through my Veuve Clicquot when a trio of snowboarders takes a nearby table. "Where are you from?" asks Jim Stehli, a handsome, 40-year-old Manhattan banker. Over nachos and more champagne with him and his two (unavailable) friends, we talked. He said he didn't understand why more women don't come to Jackson, instead of going to spas. "Yeah, and then we all come back complaining we can't find any men," I answer with a laugh. Still, I wouldn't mind a little Canyon Ranch action. My neck muscles whine in agony. They're sore from skiing, of course, but also, I suspect, from a touch of whiplash after repeated check-him-out double takes. I'm numb with man-meeting fatigue. As we head to the airport Monday morning, our pockets overflowing with scribbled-on cocktail napkins, we are elated--and exhausted. The men of Jackson are a pleasure to look at and a whole lot of fun, but I never did meet that future husband. And it makes sense: Back in the real world, I'm a stiletto-sporting Angeleno who won't even bother to hike two blocks to my favorite café. What would I have in common, long-term, with one of these mountain climbers, who are far more interested in L.L. Bean? My brief stint as nature babe was fun while it lasted. "Hey ladies!" At security, doe-eyed Dan Sutherland, our first friend, smiles and waves. I can almost see his arm muscles rippling beneath his Patagonia parka. "We're going to Switzerland next year. Are you guys coming?" Debbie and I look at each other. Probably not. Then again, let's wait and see how the summer pans out before we decide once and for all. Three More Spots With Great Odds Witch's Rock Surf Camp, Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica Surfers are just as sexy as skiers--without all the extra clothes. This camp was created by surfers and caters to all levels and both sexes. Weeklong beginner packages start at $768, for groups of four. 888/318-7873, The Arctic Open golf tournament, Akureyri, Iceland Every June, the world's northernmost 18-hole golf course, a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Reykjavík, is the site of a weekend of hard-core golf and late-night partying under the glow of the midnight sun. Middlemarch Singles Dance, Middlemarch, New Zealand A small town on the South Island hosts a dance every spring for lonely farmers in the area. Women from all over the world come to meet them. The transportation of choice is the "Love Train"--a.k.a. the Taieri Gorge Railway--which starts in Dunedin and stops an hour later at the veritable make-out Mardi Gras. Transportation Jackson Shuttle 307/733-4521,, $3 Cowboy Cab 307/413-1000, Teton Village to Jackson $30 Lodging Rendezvous Mountain Rentals 3610 N. Moose Wilson Rd., Wilson, 888/739-2565,, one-bedroom condos from $110 Food Nikai Sushi 225 N. Cache St., Jackson, 307/734-6490 Four Seasons Resort 7680 Granite Loop Rd., Teton Village, 307/732-5000, elk hot dog $7 Activities Mountain Sports School 3395 West Village Dr., Teton Village, 800/450-0477, ski packages available Nightlife Mangy Moose Saloon 3285 Teton Village Rd., Teton Village, 307/733-4913, pint of Snake River Pale Ale $4 Million Dollar Cowboy Bar 25 N. Cache St., Jackson, 307/733-2207, bottle of Teton Ale $4.50

    40 Best Girlfriend Getaway Packages

    UNITED STATES Palm Springs $595 A new special from the chic Parker Palm Springs includes two nights in a king room, breakfast daily at Norma's (plus a wake-up smoothie from room service one morning), two 30-minute spa treatments (reflexology, Swedish massage, manicure/pedicure), lunch in your robe at the spa, a round of cocktails and a game of petanque at sunset (the hotel has its own court), dinner at either Norma's or Mister Parker's (the latter only if you're staying on a Wednesday or Thursday night), and s'mores around the outdoor firepit. In addition, a selection of chick flicks, popcorn, and snacks will be delivered for an in-room pajama party. When:Sundays through Thursdays June 1--Dec. 22 ($595 per person, double). Contact:Parker Palm Springs, 760/770-5000, GET EXPERT TRAVEL TIPS AND DEALS WITH OUR FREE E-NEWSLETTERS! Manhattan for Shoppers $1,000 The Exchange Hotel near South Street Seaport has undergone a complete--and stylish--renovation. To celebrate its new look, the hotel created a Girlshop 'til You Drop package that combines airport transfers (or two days of parking at the hotel), two nights in a deluxe guest room, and a private four-hour shopping tour led by the fashion experts at Girlshop. Tours are customized depending on what you're looking for; stops may include Jeffrey, Stella McCartney, and Century 21. Also covered in the price is a six-pack of sugar-free Red Bull (you'll need the added energy!); two one-day MetroCards; a $75 credit to use at Girlshop in the Meatpacking District; 15 percent off your first purchase online at; and all hotel taxes. When:Until Sept. 4 ($1,000 per room, double), Sept. 5--Dec. 16 ($1,200). Details:Extra nights from $199. The hotel will ship home the new items you can't squeeze into your suitcase ($30 limit). Contact:Exchange Hotel, 212/742-0003, The package must be booked by phone. Boston $499 The In a Girl's World special at the Nine Zero hotel, just off Boston Common, includes one night in a "fantastic" guest room (rooms are intimate, fantastic, or spectacular, depending on size and view) with two queen-size beds, bath products by Boston stylist Mario Russo, and a martini bar (mixings, glasses, shaker, jar of olives). Also included: a personal shopper at Giorgio Armani or Louis Boston on Newbury Street, a manicure and pedicure at Salon Mario Russo, a DVD of Girls Just Want to Have Fun to watch in the room while primping, and a round of Commons-politans at the hotel's Spire bar. When:Until Aug. 31 (from $499 per room, double), except May 13--22 and July 4. Contact:Nine Zero, 866/646-3937, Chicago $455 A Sofitel and the City package combines one night in a superior room at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, a welcome bag from Bloomingdale's (with certificates good for 15 percent off anything in the store, coupons for cosmetics, a free makeup lesson at the Laura Mercier counter, and free cappuccinos at the café), either a manicure and pedicure or a facial at Equinox, a round of cocktails and a tasting-menu dinner at the hotel's Le Bar, VIP access to nightclubs like Le Passage or Reserve (arranged by the concierge, who has the cell-phone numbers of all the club managers in town), breakfast either in bed or at the hotel's Café des Architectes, and a 3 p.m. check out.When:Until Dec. 31 (from $455 per room, double).Contact:Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 312/324-4000, (You must book by phone.) Fort Worth $395 The Doral Tesoro Hotel & Golf Club is selling a Western-themed weekend called This One's for the Girls. Along with a night at the hotel (which has a pool, restaurant, bar, and 18-hole golf course, and is across the street from the Speedway Club Spa), the package includes poker and line-dancing lessons, mechanical bull riding at the Stockyards, tickets to the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame, a bucket of longnecks at the hotel bar, an evening turndown with cookies, omelets for breakfast, and a Martina McBride CD to take home. When:Until Dec. 31 ($395 per room, double). Contact:Doral Tesoro Hotel & Golf Club, 866/333-6725, Hollywood, Fla. $429 Air from Atlantic City, Chicago, D.C., New York, or Providence and four nights in a superior room at the oceanfront Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, with eight restaurants and bars, a nightclub, large pool with cabanas, spa, gym, 10 tennis courts, an 18-holf golf course, and even a marina (waterskiing, fishing, kayak and bike rentals, etc.). When:Until Sept. 30 ($429 per person, double). Other Gateways:Boston ($479), Dallas ($509), L.A. ($529), San Francisco ($549). Details:Extra nights from $99. Single supplement from $279. Contact:Leisure Link International, 888/801-8808, Jackson Hole $815 Jackson Hole Just for Gals includes three nights at the Teton Mountain Lodge in a two-story, two-bedroom suite with a kitchen and living area. The package also combines either white-water or scenic rafting on the Snake River, with a guided hike in Jackson Hole, a deep-tissue massage at the spa, dinner at the Cascade Grill House, and breakfast daily at Cascade.When:June 1--30, Sept. 1--30 (from $815 per person, quad), July 1--Aug. 31 (from $960). Details:Prices don't include alcohol or gratuity with meals. The deal can be customized for other group sizes. Contact:Teton Mountain Lodge, 800/801-6615, Las Vegas $795 Air from Chicago, transfers, three nights in a luxury suite at The Venetian, and a Grand Canal Shoppes Shop & Spa package, including a massage, facial, or manicure and pedicure at Canyon Ranch SpaClub, access to the facilities, a meal in the spa café, special offers from stores in the Canal Shoppes Mall, $5 off admission to Madame Tussauds, free admission to Vivid The Club, and more. When:July 9--18, July 23--30, Aug. 3--23 ($795 per person, double). Other Gateways:Miami ($829), New York ($839), Houston ($845). Details:Call for the extra-night price and single supplement. Contact:Liberty Travel, 877/999-3914, Los Angeles $159 Omni Hotel's Housewives on Hiatus special includes a one-night stay in a deluxe room at the property in downtown L.A., as well as a bottle of wine, a gossip magazine, and a welcome gift (with a pair of slippers, specialty bath products, and a disposable camera) upon arrival. The Desperate Housewives Dirty Laundry trivia game, poker chips and playing cards, and slumber party favorites like Twister can be borrowed at the front desk. The concierge will be on call to customize your stay (with spa treatments, limousine service, dinner reservations, nightlife recommendations). When:Fridays and Saturdays until May 29 (from $159 per room, double). Details:Similar packages are available at all Omni Hotel properties. They can be altered to suit both the group and the city. Contact:Omni Hotels, 888/444-6664, Miami Beach $889 The Girls Gone Wild Weekend includes two nights in a suite (with a king-size bed, sleeper sofa, and kitchenette) at the Aqua Hotel in South Beach, one block from the beach; drinks and snacks (a bottle of champagne, imported cheeses, chocolates); chick lit titles for bedtime reading; two-hour moped rentals; a two-hour limo rental (10 p.m. to midnight); VIP passes for some of South Beach's hottest nightclubs; a morning-after headache basket (with aspirin and hair-of-the-dog Kahlúa milkshakes); breakfast daily; and a 2 p.m. checkout. When:Until Dec. 28 (from $889 per room, quad). Blacked out May 25--30. Contact:Aqua Hotel, 305/538-4361, San Diego $430The Del Mar Racetrack Getaway package includes two guest rooms for two nights at the Hotel Solamar (pool, poolside cabanas, rooftop bar) in downtown San Diego's East Village neighborhood; a welcome basket of beauty products; one breakfast at Jsix Restaurant (adjacent to the hotel); admission to the San Diego Museum of Art; and a day at the famed Del Mar Racetrack (with Clubhouse tickets and a table at the trackside restaurant). When: July 24--31 and Aug. 11--Sept. 6, except Aug. 20 (from $430 per person, quad). Details: Use promotional code PWOM when booking. Contact: Hotel Solamar, 877/230-0300, Snowmass Village, Colo. $118Snowmass celebrates its 3rd Annual Snowmass Wellness Experience from August 4 to 6, an event featuring guest speakers (such as celebrity chef Cat Cora), fitness and cooking classes, an outdoor concert, wine tastings, naturalist-guided hikes on the mountain's 40 miles of trails, and more. The many lodging packages include a special from the Timberline Condominiums that covers airport transfers, a one-bedroom unit, sunrise yoga on the hotel sundeck, a chairlift ticket for hiking and mountain biking, a pass to the events (allows access to all speakers and activities on Saturday and Sunday), and a Blazing Adventures excursion (sunset backcountry dinner, white-water rafting, etc.). When: Aug. 3--6 (from $118 per person per night, double). Contact: Snowmass Village, CANADA New Brunswick $510 Two days of fly-fishing with Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures, on the Little Southwest Miramichi River. The special women-only trips include round-trip transfers from Moncton airport, three nights in a lodge room, a welcome smoked-salmon-and-wine reception, all meals, two days of fly-fishing instruction (tying flies, fly casting), all equipment, an afternoon massage, and an afternoon of kayaking or tubing. When:June 23, July 21, Aug. 25 ($510 per person, double). Details:The price does not include airfare to New Brunswick. Single rooms in nearby cabins (with shared baths) cost $50 less. Contact:Upper Oxbow Outdoor Adventures, 888/227-6100, Ontario $715 A four-day kayaking adventure for women in Stony Lake, an hour and a half northeast of Toronto. Includes four to six hours of paddling a day (beginners and intermediates are welcome), four nights at B&Bs, all meals, kayaking gear, and a pass to the Canadian Canoe Museum. The trip departs from Gilchrist Bay and explores some of the 1,100 islands that dot Stony Lake. When:Sunday departures June 4--Sept. 24 ($715 per person, double).Details:Airfare and transfers to Gilchrist Bay are not included. Contact:Paddling Ontario, 877/877-2735, Vancouver $275 The Pacific Palisades Hotel--on Robson Street, Vancouver's main shopping drag--is selling a Girls Night In special that includes one night in a South Beach Suite (king-size bed, queen-size sofa bed, kitchenette, balcony); a 60-minute spa manicure; a free in-room movie rental; a room-service delivery of popcorn, licorice, and Häagen-Dazs ice cream; an evening wine reception; morning coffee; and a newspaper. When:May 1--Oct. 15 ($343 per room, double), Oct. 15--Dec. 31 ($275).Contact:Pacific Palisades Hotel, 800/663-1815, MEXICO Cancún $695 Air from Detroit, Memphis, or Minneapolis; three nights at the beachfront Omni Cancún Hotel & Villas (with six restaurants and bars, three pools, two tennis courts, a gym, and spa); a two-and-a-half-hour jungle tour (includes a speedboat ride through the mangroves and snorkeling on a coral reef); and a daylong cruise to Isla Mujeres (with breakfast, snorkeling, lunch, and open bar). Rates are based on six women sharing a 2,000-square-foot, two-bedroom villa.When:Monday departures July 10--Aug. 17 ($695 per person). Other Gateways:New York (from $745). Details:Extra nights from $93. All-inclusive stays start at $1,025 per person. Contact:NWA WorldVacations, 800/800-1504, Colonial Mexico Tour $1,750 A nine-day, eight-night, women-only tour, round trip from Mexico City. Includes airport transfers, transportation by private bus, most meals, all entrance fees, and an English-speaking guide throughout. The itinerary calls for two nights in Mexico City (Frida Kahlo's studio, the artists' market in San Angel's plaza, the National Anthropology Museum), four nights in Oaxaca (tickets to the Guelaguetza indigenous dance festival, and visits to Monte Albán, Mitla, Teotitlán del Valle, and el Tule), and two nights in Cuernavaca (tours of colonial sites and lounging by the hotel pool), as well as stops in the cities of Puebla and Taxco along the way. When:July 21 ($1,750 per person, double).Details:Flights to Mexico City are not included. The $35 membership fee will be waived for BTreaders who book this or any other WTC trip. Single supplement $375. Contact:Women's Travel Club, 800/480-4448, Playa del Carmen $494 Four all-inclusive nights in a standard room at the Riu Playacar, a beachfront resort with two restaurants, four bars, two pools, two tennis courts, water sports, a gym, and a spa. When:July 1--Aug. 22 (from $494 per person, double).Details:Airfare is not included. Single supplement from $255. Seven-night stays start at $834. Optional excursions include swimming with the dolphins at Wet'nWild ($73), a dinner cruise to Isla Mujeres ($75), and a day trip to Chichén Itzá ($75). With Riu's "stay at one, play at all" promotion, guests can also enjoy the amenities at any Riu property at no additional charge. Contact:Funjet Vacations,, or book through a travel agent. Puerto Vallarta $485 Air from Phoenix, transfers, three all-inclusive nights at the Hacienda Hotel & Spa across the street from the beach (with three restaurants, three bars, and a pool), and all taxes and fees. Also includes a 35-minute massage or a 35-minute reflexology foot massage and a $10 discount on another spa treatment. When:Select Monday and Tuesday departures until July 31 (from $485 per person, double). Details: Extra nights from $75. Single supplement from $124. Other Gateways:L.A., Las Vegas, San Diego ($525). Contact:US Airways Vacations, 800/455-0123, CARIBBEAN Anguilla $269 A bachelorette party at the Arawak Beach Inn, including transfers, three nights' lodging (in two oceanfront rooms), breakfast daily, a six-pack of Carib beer upon arrival, "bachelorette paraphernalia" (veil, feather boa, and disposable camera), a full-day excursion to an uninhabited island (picnic lunch and transportation on a boat captained by one of Anguilla's most eligible bachelors), a one-day car rental, and a five-minute phone call to the groom. When:June 1--Oct. 31 ($269 per person, quad). Contact:Arawak Beach Inn, 877/427-2925, Dominican Republic $600 Air from Chicago, Detroit, or St. Louis, transfers, and three all-inclusive nights in a Platinum Club suite at the Princess All Suites Resort & Spa in Punta Cana. The beachfront property has seven restaurants and bars, two pools, four tennis courts, and a gym. Also included: a 20-minute massage, one hour of motorized water sports, one open-water dive (for certified divers), and a dinner at either La Cava or El Pescador, specialty restaurants not covered by the all-inclusive plan. When:July 5--Aug. 23 (from $600 per person, double). Other Gateways:New York, Philadelphia (from $740). Details: Extra nights from $100. Single supplement from $100.Contact:Apple Vacations,, book only through travel agents. Nevis $995 Five nights in a two-bedroom superior suite at the Mount Nevis Hotel (with a terrace, living room, and kitchen), transfers, a welcoming rum punch, breakfast daily, three dinners, a five-day car rental, one in-room massage, a snorkeling trip to St. Kitts on a catamaran, and a professional photo of your group. The Mount Nevis Hotel is on a hillside overlooking the sea and has a large pool and two restaurants; shuttle service is provided to a nearby beach club. When:Until Dec. 15 ($995 per person, quad). Details:Airfare is not included. Extra nights $125 per person, room only. Guests will receive a free night at the hotel if they return next year--alone or with their girlfriends. Contact:Mount Nevis Hotel, 800/756-3847, St. Lucia $590 Four nights in two garden-view rooms at the Coco Palm boutique hotel in Rodney Bay Village; dinner and dancing at an authentic Caribbean fish fry/street party (includes transfers, drinks, meal) or dinner at Ti Bananne, a new creole restaurant in Rodney Bay Village; a one-hour outdoor massage or a manicure and pedicure; a private yoga or tai chi class for your group; and a picnic lunch on the beach. When:Until Dec. 21 ($590 per person, quad). Blacked out May 7--14. Details:The price does not include airfare. Extra nights from $125. Contact:Coco Resorts, 758/456-2800, St. Thomas $668 Five nights in an ocean-view room at the oceanfront Bolongo Bay Beach Resort; one half-hour massage; shuttle to the town of Charlotte Amalie for duty-free shopping; an island tour; one dinner (West Indian Carnival Night buffet or beach barbecue); a full-day trip to St. John on a catamaran (includes lunch and open bar); introductory scuba-diving lesson; use of the Sunfish, paddle boats, windsurfers, kayaks, and snorkeling gear; and all taxes and service charges. When:Until Aug. 31, Nov. 1--Dec. 22 ($723 per person, double); Sept. 1--Oct. 31 ($668). Details:Price does not include airfare. Seven-night packages start at $207 more. Contact:Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, 800/524-4746, CENTRAL AMERICA Belize $1,089 American Airlines flights from Miami, a five-day car rental, and five nights in a jungle-lodge room at duPlooy's, a family-owned hotel in the rain forest near San Ignacio. All rooms have two queen-size beds, a private bath, and a screened porch with chairs and a hammock. An herbal wrap or massage and facial at the hotel and a horse-and-buggy tour of the nearby Belize Botanic Garden are also included. When:May 1--June 30, Sept. 1--Dec. 1 ($1,089 per person, double); July 1--Aug. 31 ($1,149). Other Gateways:Dallas ($1,134/$1,194); New York ($1,188/ $1,248); Chicago ($1,291/$1,351); L.A., San Francisco ($1,351/$1,411); Seattle, Portland ($1,393/$1,453). Details:Add $50 for weekend travel. Extra nights from $73. Single supplement from $535. The hotel can arrange guided tours to nearby Mayan ruins (from $75), canoe rentals (from $10), and shopping excursions to Guatemala (from $95). Contact:Capricorn Leisure, 800/426-6544, Costa Rica $1,975 Seven days at the women-only Surf Diva camp in Costa Rica. The price covers ground transportation from San José airport to Playa Guiones on the Nicoya Peninsula, six nights' lodging in the Casa Tucan guesthouse (which has a poolside restaurant and bar and is a two-minute walk from the beach), brunch and dinner daily (including beer and wine), one massage, two surfing classes each day (you'll also get one private lesson during the week), board rental, afternoon yoga, a Surf Diva logo rashguard, and a welcome goodie bag. When:May 14, 28; June 4, 11, 18; July 2, 9 ($1,975 per person, double).Details:The price does not include airfare to San José. The camp is for women 18 or older. Singles can be paired with other singles. Surf Diva also offers weekend ($149) and weeklong ($369) clinics year-round at its headquarters in La Jolla, just north of San Diego. Contact:Surf Diva, 858/454-8273, SOUTH AMERICA Buenos Aires $749 Copa Airlines flights from Miami, transfers, five nights at either the Regis Orho Hotel or Gran Hotel Argentino, breakfast daily, a half-day city tour, two hours of tango lessons, an Evita tour (includes visits to the new Eva Perón museum, her mausoleum in Recoleta cemetery, the Perón home, and the Juan Perón National Institute), a full day outside the city at a ranch horseback riding with the famous Argentine gauchos (with lunch and a fiesta featuring dancing and gaucho skills demonstrations), and a shopping excursion to the city's best discount leather factories. When:Until June 17, Aug. 16--Dec. 6 ($749 per person, double); June 18--Aug. 15 ($849). Other Gateways:New York (add $190), L.A. (add $230). Details: Extra nights from $27. Single supplement from $160. Contact:Escapes Unlimited, 800/243-7227, Peru $1,199 Copa Airlines flights from Miami, transfers, two nights in Lima at the Hotel Leon de Oro, four nights in Cuzco at Hotel San Agustin Plaza, breakfast daily, a full-day guided trip to Machu Picchu (includes transportation on the Vistadome train, entrance fees, lunch), a half-day tour of Cuzco and the Inca ruins outside the city, a half day of rafting on the Urubamba River (with lunch), a half-day excursion delivering school supplies to remote village schools in the Andes, and your choice of one of the following lessons: salsa dancing, cooking, or music. When:Until June 17, Aug. 16--Dec. 6 ($1,199 per person, double); June 17--Aug. 15 ($1,299). Departures are on the second and fourth Monday of each month. Other Gateways:L.A. (add $200), New York (add $335). Details:Extra nights from $29. Single supplement $250. Add $110 to overnight at the Machu Picchu Inn. Contact:Escapes Unlimited, 800/243-7227, EUROPE Amalfi Coast $1,599 Alitalia flights from Boston or Philadelphia to Rome or Naples; six nights in Sorrento in a standard room at the five-star Bellevue Syrene (with a pool, gym, Roman bath, and private beach); full-day tours of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast; and a half-day tour of the countryside, including a visit to a cheese maker, with tasting. When:June 15--July 10 ($2,239 per person, double), July 11--30 ($2,099), Aug. 1--31 ($2,239), Sept. 1--30 ($1,899), Oct. 1--31 ($1,799), Nov. 1--15 ($1,599). Other Gateways:New York (from $1,599); D.C. (from $1,649); Atlanta, Miami (from $1,699); Chicago, L.A., San Francisco (from $1,779). Details:Transfers from $132. Add a car rental starting at $120. Extra nights from $90. Single supplement from $699. Contact:Foreign Independent Tours, 800/248-3487, London $799 Air from New York to London, three nights at the Adare Hotel near Paddington Station and Hyde Park, breakfast daily, and a full day at The Sanctuary spa in Covent Garden. Includes the use of all facilities (pools, gym, sauna, steam rooms, hot tub, lounge, etc.), a two-course lunch, and one 55-minute treatment. When:June 1--Aug. 31 (from $999 per person, double), Sept. 1--Oct. 31 (from $799). Other Gateways:Boston ($1,029); Philadelphia ($1,039); D.C. ($1,059); Chicago ($1,119); Miami ($1,209); Atlanta ($1,219); Dallas, L.A. ($1,259); San Francisco ($1,279). Details:Extra nights from $60. Single supplement from $80. Contact:EuropeASAP, 415/750-5449, Paris Tour $1,850 Air from Boston, D.C., New York, or most other East Coast gateways and a seven-day fully guided, fashion-oriented tour of Paris. The price covers transfers, six nights' hotel (and taxes), breakfast daily, a half-day orientation tour of the city, and a fashion tour. The trip may include visits to Givenchy, Hermès, and up-and-coming designers in the Marais; watching a live fashion show; trolling the antique clothing stalls at flea markets; or a tour of the Louvre's Musée de la Mode et du Textile, where there's a Balenciaga exhibit until early 2007. When:Nov. 2 ($1,850 per person, double). Other Gateways:Add-ons are available; call for details:. Details:Call for the extra-night price and single supplement. Contact:Fashion Perspective Tours, 804/649-0562, Tuscany $999 Alitalia flights from Boston, New York, or Philadelphia to Rome; six nights in a deluxe room at the Arco Naturale Country House in Cetona, Tuscany; a welcome cocktail; breakfast daily; two days of cooking classes; a wine tour at the Podere Casa al Vento; and a 10 percent discount at the hotel restaurant and a nearby spa. When:June 15--July 31 ($1,599 per person, double), Aug. 1--31 ($1,629), Sept. 1--15 ($1,099), Sept. 16--Oct. 31 ($1,169), Nov. 1--15 ($999). Other Gateways:D.C. (from $1,049); Miami (from $1,099); Chicago, L.A., San Francisco (from $1,179). Details:A car is necessary; add from $120. Extra nights from $80. Single supplement from $499. Contact:Foreign Independent Tours, 800/248-3487, AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST Egypt Tour $1,820 Air from New York to Cairo (via Amsterdam) and an 11-day women-only tour including transfers, local transportation (bus, train, air), eight nights' hotel (three in Cairo, three in Aswan, two in Luxor), one night on a train in a first-class, two-person compartment, and English-speaking guides throughout. Along with tours of the pyramids at Giza, Abu Simbel, and a sunset sail on the Nile, the trip includes visits to Queen Nefertiti's tomb, the Valley of the Queens, Queen Hatshepsut's temple, and a special dinner in Cairo with a belly dancing demonstration and lesson. When:June 3, 29, July 27, Aug. 10, 24 ($1,820 per person, double). Other Gateways:Cincinnati (add $195), L.A. (add $200), Denver (add $239).Details:Add approximately $350 to cover entrance fees and meals. Extra nights in Cairo from $85. Single supplement $150, but Djoser will try to pair singles with other singles. Stop over in Amsterdam ($150, flight only). Contact:Djoser, 877/356-7376, Kenya Tour $2,645 Air from New York to Nairobi (via London) and a nine-day, five-night, women-only safari. Includes one night at the Serena Mountain Lodge, one night at the Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, three nights at the Sarova Mara Tented Lodge, transfers, all meals, all game drives and activities, a visit to a school en route to Mount Kenya Natural Forest, an afternoon spent with Masai women learning their customs and traditions, a cooking class with a Sarova lodge chef, a visit to the Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) estate, and an candlelit bush dinner. When:Sunday departures June 4--25 ($2,645 per person, double), July 2--Sept. 10 ($2,875). Other Gateways:Chicago, D.C., L.A., Miami, San Francisco (add $195). Details:Stop over in London in either direction for $150. There's no single supplement in June. In July, August, and September, singles must add $300.Contact:2Afrika, 866/462-2374, ASIA Women-Only Tour of China $1,799 China specialist Champion Holidays has created a tour exclusively for female BTreaders. The package includes air from L.A. to Beijing, all local transportation, 12 nights at four- and five-star hotels (five in Beijing, one in Hangzhou, three in Suzhou, three in Shanghai), most meals, and an English-speaking guide throughout. Along with the highlights of a regular Champion Holidays tour (Great Wall, Forbidden City, cruise on the Grand Canal, etc.), this very special itinerary includes a home visit with a Beijing family, a trip to see the pandas at the Beijing Zoo, a lesson in the art of Chinese paper cutting, a visit to a silk factory (where you can choose fabric and have a traditional Qipao dress made), a tour of the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute, optional spa services, and much, much more. When:Sept. 6 and Oct. 25. Other Gateways:New York ($1,899). Details:Extra nights from $130. Single supplement $580 (but Champion will try to pair singles upon request). Contact:Champion Holidays, 800/868-7658, Bali $829 Singapore Airlines flights from L.A. or San Francisco to Bali (via Singapore), transfers, five nights' hotel in either Sanur Beach (Ari Putri Hotel) or Ubud (Pande Permai Bungalows), breakfast daily, a half-day island tour, and your choice of any two of the following activities: Balinese dance class, cooking class, batik class, two-hour spa treatment, mountain biking, rafting on the Ayung River, walking through the rice paddies and villages, and hiking on Mount Batur. When:Until June 4, Aug. 21--Dec. 4 ($829 per person, double); June 5--Aug. 20 ($1,054). Other Gateways:Seattle (add $175), New York (add $250), Dallas (add $275), Philadelphia (add $350). Details: Extra nights from $20. Single supplement from $120. Contact: Escapes Unlimited, 800/243-7227, Hong Kong $1,298 Cathay Pacific flights from L.A. to Hong Kong, transfers, four nights at the five-star Langham Place Hotel in Kowloon, breakfast daily, a 90-minute massage/facial at the hotel's spa, a half-day walking tour of the markets, free admission to the Hong Kong Tourism Board's Cultural Kaleidoscope classes (tai chi, feng shui, cake making, Chinese medicine, etc.), a pass to the Hong Kong Museum of History, hotel taxes and service charges, and the $100 air-fuel surcharge. When:Monday--Thursday departures May 1--June 14 ($1,298 per person, double), June 15--Aug. 15 ($1,498). Other Gateways:San Francisco (add $75), New York (add $125--$250). Details:Add $25 each way for weekend travel. Extra nights from $95. Single supplement from $275. Contact:Globotours, 800/988-4833, Singapore & Ho Chi Minh City $949 Singapore Airlines flights from L.A. or San Francisco to Singapore, transfers, two nights at the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel (or similar), an onward flight to Ho Chi Minh City, four nights at the Metropole Hotel (or similar), and breakfast daily in Ho Chi Minh City. In Singapore, enjoy a reflexology massage, shopping excursions to Little India and Chinatown, and visits to the National Orchid Garden, the Singapore Art Museum, and the Asian Civilisations Museum. In Ho Chi Minh City, you'll receive a one-hour deep-tissue massage, a cooking class at the Vietnam Cookery Center, and a shopping excursion and fitting at Khai Silk.When:Until June 5, Aug. 21--Dec. 4 ($949 per person, double); June 6--Aug. 20 ($1,174). Other Gateways:Denver, Seattle (add $175); New York (add $200); Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh (add $300). Details:Extra nights from $34. Single supplement $220. Contact:Escapes Unlimited, 800/243-7227, SOUTH PACIFIC Fiji $2,999 Air Pacific flights from L.A. to Nandi; transfers; four nights at the Sheraton Fiji Resort; a massage and facial at the hotel spa; a four-day, three-night Blue Lagoon small-ship cruise through the Yasawa islands aboard the Mystique Princess; breakfast daily; and all meals on the boat. When:Until Aug. 1 ($2,999 per person, double), Aug. 2--Dec. 8 ($3,009). Other Gateways:New York ($3,449/$3,459). Details:Call for the extra-night price. Single supplement from $760. Contact:Jetabout Island Vacations, 800/327-3857, AUSTRALIA Sydney & Cairns $1,995 Qantas flights from L.A., transfers and flights within Australia, four nights in Sydney at the Vibe Hotel on Goulburn Street (includes one free night), three nights near Cairns at the Mango Lagoon Resort & Wellness Spa (in a one-bedroom courtyard suite, near Palm Cove Beach), 20 percent off a one-hour spa treatment, and a half-day Vespa scooter rental to explore Palm Cove. When:May 1--Aug. 31 ($1,995 per person, double). Other Gateways:San Francisco (add $50), Chicago (add $260), New York (add $300). Details:Extra nights from $71. Single supplement from $645. Contact:Springboard Vacations, 866/447-7746,