15 Great Girlfriend Getaways
"We have a sisters weekend every fall. One of our best trips was to Madison, Wisconsin. We stayed at the Concourse Hotel right on Capitol Square. We walked around the city center, seeing the capitol building, the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Monona Terrace center on Lake Monona, and State Street shops and eateries. The Saturday farmers market around Capitol Square is full of treats and a variety of people, plants, and animals. This town definitely has something for everyone, but the best was just to have time together."
—Lynda Ryan, Kenosha, Wisconsin
Fort Scott, Kansas
"My sorority sisters have an annual Mystery Trip. All we know is the time to meet, what to wear and how much money to bring. I planned our trip to Fort Scott, Kansas. We rode the trolleys, saw the historical sites and had lunch at the Lyons Twin Mansions B&B. We even had to dress in long pearls and gloves!"
—Janet Sherman, Overland Park, Kansas
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
"My friends go to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This year, we all turned 70 (ouch). The first time, we were in high school. You do the math! Great town, beautiful shops—and we love each other's company."
—Terry Wuich, Des Plaines, Illinois
"My mom and I took a road trip from Des Moines, Iowa, to Galena, Illinois. We stopped at some great small towns along the way to eat and shop and then had a fun weekend in Galena. We did a lot of shopping there! We also walked up the stairs that take you up the bluffs from downtown and enjoyed the incredible views. One afternoon we drove around to look at some of the historic sites, including Grant's home. It is just always so fun to spend this girl time with my mom."
—Jennifer Carroll, Fair Grove, Missouri
Door County, Wisconsin
"Five of us worked together for many years and vowed that we would retire together. Well, one of us moved, and the office where the rest worked was closed. But we still get together every year. One of our favorite spots is Door County, Wisconsin. We meet on a Friday and have a delicious dinner. We shop till we drop all day Saturday. Saturday night is spent in the hotel suite, catching up. On Sunday we eat breakfast and leave for our respective homes, with plans for next year already in place."
—Terry Schmitt, Lakeville, Minnesota
"My daughter and I have gone to Madison, Indiana, since she was in first grade. We stay at Clifty Falls State Park and shop, hike and play board games. I've watched her graduate from juice boxes to fine wines, all while watching paddle wheelers float by on the Ohio River."
—Cindy DiBiase, Lawrenceberg, Indiana
Amana Colonies, Iowa
"My mom and I loved taking day trips to the Amana Colonies in Iowa. I can see all the stores in my memory, though their names escape me now. Our noon mainstay was rhubarb pie, and our last stop was the meat market to buy summer sausage for my husband and cheese for my dad. Mom is gone now, but thinking of the Amanas brings happy tears to my eyes."
—Kay Porter Westendorf, Fort Worth, Texas
Lakelands of Minnesota
"We love to head for the lakes area of Minnesota: Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids, Walker. We hit all the little shops on the way. It's a beautiful drive, a day of great shopping treasures found, good food and drinks, and maybe a quick stop on the way home in Dorset (which bills itself as 'Restaurant Capital of the World'). Beware, lines for dinner in this tiny town form in the late afternoon."
—Deb Watne, Moorhead, Minnesota
"Beginning in 1984 and going strong ever since, my girlfriends and I go to Chicago before Thanksgiving to shop for Christmas presents, eat at wonderful restaurants and see the lights of the season. Not all of us have gone every year, but most of us haven't missed more than a couple. We have shared happiness (marriage, babies, retirement) and sorrow (one dear friend died of cancer). And now we're planning for the next year."
—Ann Siegfried, Huntington, Indiana
"My girlfriend Terry and I used to take our daughters for our 'girls weekends' to Duluth. We would travel up the North Shore on Saturday and then stay the night in a hotel in Duluth Saturday night. Sunday we would shop in Duluth—lots of fun places to shop there!"
—Marie Hess Keefe, Pine City, Minnesota