When you think of a girls’ trip, scenes of wineries, spas, or the Vegas Strip probably come to mind. While there’s nothing wrong with a leisure-focused weekend away with your crew (or a good glass of pinot!), there’s a new trend in the world of female travel: adventure weekend getaways.
It makes sense: Travel companies have noted that group adventure weekend getaways are surging among women (REI’s travel division, REI Adventures, saw its female participation jump 60 percent from 2010 to 2017). BTW, bachelorette trips are no exception. What better way to bond and relieve stress before an action-packed wedding celebration than sweating it out together over a Spartan race or rock climbing?
If you’re looking for inspiration on what to do with your best girls, try one of these ideas for active, adventure weekend getaways.
Seven Adventure Weekend Getaways Ideas:
1. Tackle a Rock Climbing Adventure
If you’re a group of adventure-loving women looking to face a new challenge head-on, now’s the best time to try rock climbing. The sport will make its debut in the 2020 Olympics, and women are dominating (Ashima Shiraishi and Margo Hayes are just two female climbers setting incredible records.) Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a total newbie, rock climbing is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping and connect with other women by conquering a serious physical and mental challenge. Not to mention there are some gorgeous, bucket-list-worthy views to be had at the summit.
2. Try a Luxe Glamping Getaway
Camping is rising in popularity, especially among millennials. Why? It’s an affordable way to spend time in nature—and a proven stress-reliever. If your group isn’t quite ready to give up the luxuries of plumbing (and is willing to shell out a bit more), consider the glamping, aka “glamorous camping,” route. Companies like Under Canvas offer luxe tents with hotel-like amenities (think: king-sized beds, en suite bathrooms, and daily housekeeping) that will make even the most high-maintenance traveler in your group feel right at home. Since Under Canvas’ glamping locations are situated near national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Moab, you can pack in tons of outdoor adventure activities—with plenty of time for eating s’mores around the campfire at night. But you can also find glamping pretty much anywhere through services like Hipcamp, which lets you find and book camping experiences at over 300,000 campsites around the country, including beaches, ranches, vineyards, and more.
3. Get Down and Dirty In a Spartan Race
If the physical, military-style challenge of obstacle course racing seems intimidating, consider this: It’s not just a male-focused sport anymore. As more and more women catch on to both the physical and mental perks of racing, the ratios of men to women within Spartan races is leveling off. In other words, it’s the perfect way to spend an active girls’ weekend—what could be better than scaling walls and throwing spears through the mud with a team of your girlfriends!? (And, of course, there’s the photo opp at the end.) Best of all, depending on where you sign up for your Spartan race, the rest of your weekend away can be spent sightseeing or getting some serious R&R—you’ll have earned it.
4. Find the Ultimate Balance On a Surf Yoga Beer Trip
No, they don’t all involve surfing, yoga, and beer—but you can expect a healthy dose of outdoor adventure and booze on each of Surf Yoga Beer’s wellness-focused trips. Whether you want to go trail running in Iceland, take surfing and boxing lessons on the beach in Sayulita, Mexico, or ride your bike through Portugal while drinking port, there’s an option that will appeal to every group of women. If a longer trip isn’t in the cards, the company also offers adventure weekend getaways (like apple-picking yoga) or local running, hiking, and yoga events in cities like New York, San Diego, and Miami.
5. Join an REI Women's Trip
Four years ago, REI launched wellness trips by women for women to help foster and strengthen the community of women seeking adventure in the outdoors. The three- to 11-day retreats are all over the world, from the African savanna to the Sea of Cortez, which makes them ideal for a girls’ weekend away. Plus, there’s practically unlimited activities for the group to choose from based on interest: Opt for sunrise yoga, get an intro to backpacking, or join workshops on wilderness survival.
6. Experience an Epic Grown-Up Summer Camp
The Outbound Collective refers to their Pursuit Series as ‘summer camp for grown-ups who love the outdoors.’ Their three-day adventure weekend getaways include hundreds of activities like slacklining, kayaking, and fly fishing, all taught by expert guides and pro athletes. Each night includes camp games, an open bar, fire pits, and live music (all of your meals, beer, wine, and cocktails are included in the price!). For 2019, weekend trips will be held at Utah’s Snowbasin Resort and in California’s Bear Valley and North Carolina’s Asheville.
7. Hit the Water for a Stand Up Paddleboarding Race
If you’re headed to the beach or a lake for your bachelorette trip, consider SUP—a water sport that can truly be as leisurely or intense as you want. If your group is up for a challenge, up the ante with official SUP races all around the country, from Portland, Maine to Lake Tahoe, California. They're open to competitors at all levels, so even those who are total beginners can participate.