Grab your girls. It’s time for a fabulous new adventure.
Once the summer starts to wane and our tans start to fade, there are two options: Succumb to the tug of seasonal sadness, or embrace the arrival of all things fall. While either path would be infinitely better with our best girlfriends by our side, we’re partial to the one that puts us on the way to a fabulous trip with the girls.
What better way to welcome the season of changing colors, cozy fires, and cashmere sweaters than a weekend mountain getaway? Between the stunning mountain vistas, local winery tours, charming town squares, and bushels of quirky boutiques and hip restaurants, it’s bound to be a girls’ weekend getaway for the scrapbooks. Whether you’re looking for a secluded escape or a slightly urban spot, these Southern mountain getaways are begging you to call up your girls, and set a date.
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Despite being only a stone’s throw from Atlanta, Blue Ridge feels like a quiet deep dive into mountain country. Cozied up to the Chattahoochee National Forest, this town offers the rustic appeal of trout-studded streams, lush hiking trails, and breezy train rides on its Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. After, have a girls’ night at one of Blue Ridge’s good eats like Harvest on Main, which serves up farm-to-table mountain cooking.
This colorful alpine village offers a diverse quilt of attractions to dive into with your best girlfriends. After making the breathtaking drive through the Smokies, no Gatlinburg excursion is complete without hitting all of the shops, eateries, and distilleries along the Parkway. There, Ole Smoky distillery lays claim to being the first legitimate premium moonshine distiller in the United States; and you can head to Loco Burro for table-side guacamole and a breezy view with its balcony seating and a rooftop patio.
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Located 22 miles south of Asheville, Hendersonville gives the notoriously hip town a run for its money. The colorful Main Street houses more than a few shops and restaurants worth paying a visit, while the nearby Sierra Nevada Brewery offers up the views and the brews. We all have a girlfriend that’ll take a hard cider over an IPA any day, and she’s in luck. Hendersonville is a bit of a hard cider hub. Head to Flat Rock Cider Works and Mills River Cidery to taste the local ciders.
Greenville, South Carolina
If you want a girls’ mountain weekend with an urban twist, look no further than this downright charming South Carolina spot. Get your fill on outdoor adventures just 10 miles north in Travelers Rest, but enjoy the creature comforts in cozy downtown Greenville. Check out museums, art galleries, and the theater at Heritage Green, an urban arts and cultural campus in the heart of downtown. Round out the trip with a life-changing meal at Soby’s, which specializes in modern takes on Southern classics, such as shrimp and grits with charred-tomato broth and country ham.
This certifiably tiny town—seriously, with a population of 366—was also voted one of the South’s Prettiest Towns 2018. As in, it’s tiny and it’s cute. Need we say more? Set about 50 miles southwest of Chattanooga, near the base of Lookout Mountain, Mentone is as much an artists’ haven as a mountain destination, with a large collection of regionally made arts and crafts at your disposal. Make the short drive to the tumbling waters at DeSoto State Park, and catch some seasonal views while hiking at Little River Canyon National Preserve.
It’s no secret that Dahlonega is a Southern holiday favorite, but the North Georgia town hits all the right notes for a girlfriends’ getaway too: mountain scenery, charming town square, local wineries, and historic gold mines. Once everyone is good and tired from wine tastings and hiking trails—not necessarily in that order—stroll the downtown shops and grab an afternoon pick-me-up at the Picnic Café. We recommend ordering a slice of whatever cake is sitting under the glass dome on the counter that day. (It changes daily.)
If your girlfriends are more into Brad Paisley than Bruno Mars, this town will hit the all the twangy notes needed for a fun weekend. Located in the Blue Ridge Highlands region of Virginia, Bristol is home to the “The Birthplace of Country Music,” which can be found on Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. Fun fact: Bristol lies directly on the Virginia/Tennessee state line, so in the downtown area, you can be standing in two Southern states at once. (Two birds, one stone?)
Blowing Rock, North Carolina
A true mountain escape, Blowing Rock delivers everything you need for a relaxing weekend getaway with your girls. Once you have a mint chocolate chip waffle cone in hand from Kilwins' Ice Cream, find a comfy bench in Blowing Rock Memorial Park and witness the bustle of shoppers hitting the quirky storefronts across the way. Take the Blue Ridge Parkway toward the former country abode of Moses Cone, a textile entrepreneur of the Gilded Age; in warmer months, wood-carvers and textile artisans take turns providing demonstrations on the front porch of the grand Colonial Revival mansion.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Grab your girls, and hit the springs! This town might be named for the hot springs that bubble out of the Ozark Mountains, but it also offers plenty of stunning lakes and rivers for fishing, kayaking, and cruising. It strikes the perfect balance between relaxation and exploration, as any girlfriend getaway should. Dating back to 1879, this mountain town is filled with grand Victorian mansions, hotels, and storefronts that climb both sides of a narrow valley. Stay at the Palace Hotel and Bath House for a luxurious escape that still offers a glimpse into the spirit of the early 1900s.
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Feel like royalty—or at least, American royalty—when staying here at The Greenbrier, located among the stunning mountains of West Virginia. Around 27 of our country’s presidents reside on the guest list that dates all the way back to 1778. The stately white resort wows the senses with shimmering chandeliers and lavish furnishings, while the full assault of amenities is akin to summer camp for adults, but with air conditioning and crazy-luxe spas.
Just due south of Lexington, the charming college town of Berea is an antique lover’s dream. It houses a thriving artisan community that’ll send you home with hand-made furniture, hand-woven textiles, and hand-blown glass by the oodles. Stay at the historic Boone Tavern Hotel, which opened in 1909 and has hosted esteemed guests the likes of Henry Ford, Calvin Coolidge, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Dalai Lama.