Nothing is more timely than a getaway with your girlfriends to end the season with a celebration or to relax and get ready for the new year. It’s the ideal time to bond, raise a glass, and reminisce. While creating new memories is enough to make a trip unforgettable, finding the perfect winter destination may be your next challenge. Whether you’re looking to unwind, escape the cold, or take on some adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities, here are seven epic winter vacation ideas perfect for a getaway with you and your girlfriends.

We hope you love the winter girls’ trip we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

1. For a magical winter wonderland: New Paltz, New York

A short two-hour drive from New York City will land you at the foot of the Catskills Mountains at Mohonk Mountain House. Ice skating season officially begins once snow caps the mountaintop and the lake has frozen over. That’s your signal to gather your girls for a Hudson Valley getaway.

Once you’ve settled into your digs, you can grab your ice skates for an afternoon of lessons or axel jumps (for the professional figure skaters in your crew), immediately followed by some cozy catch-up time in front of Mohonk’s 39-foot-tall stone fireplace — with a cup of hot chocolate, of course.

In addition to the traditional winter activities like cross-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and snow tubing, this winter, the lakeside resort will throw various themed events like four-day music festival Jazz on the Mountain and Winter Yoga Weekend.

Stay your own way in New Paltz, New York

Walkable condo with outdoor hot tub

Nothing says “relax, stat” like a hot tub session overlooking Mohonk Mountain. This rental unit is fully equipped to host your crew. Stroll to town on the rail trail for dinner and drinks. Parking is included, as is wifi and a private patio.

Three guests, one bedroom
Price: $280 per night

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Modern industrial farmhouse on the rail trail

This property combines the best of everything New Paltz is known for — laidback country life and modern amenities. Located right on the rail trail, your crew will have easy access to all the amenities and when you return, plenty of space to lounge, cook, or sip wine on the porch.

Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $394 per night

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2. For connecting over great wine and food: Calistoga, California


Photo: Visit Calistoga/Facebook

Napa Valley is known for its many vineyards and Michelin-starred restaurants, making Calistoga the ideal destination for a girl’s trip focused on Cabernet, wine crawls, and fine dining. And visiting during the winter months means lower prices, more one-on-one time with local winemakers, and fewer crowds at famous geothermal hot springs and mud baths.

This winter, Calistoga is hosting its Winter in the Wineries Passport. Taking place December 7 through February 9, for just $60, you’ll gain entrance to 17 wineries. Complimentary wine tasting flights and discounts at local restaurants, spas, and boutiques are only a few of the perks. Skip the detailed planning and choose from one of the pre-defined passport itineraries like “Relax, You’re In Calistoga” or “Rustic Luxury.”

Stay your own way in Calistoga, California

Charming cottage walking distance to hot springs

Few things go better with wine tasting than a good soak. Located two blocks of Main Street in central Calistoga, this home is spacious, green, and inviting. Plus, there are the hot springs, restaurants, and wineries within a quick stroll — perfect!

Four guests, two beds
Price: $281 per night

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Victorian home for eight guests two blocks from downtown

This large yellow house is the perfect lounge pad for your girls’ getaway. There’s plenty of room for a larger group and meals can easily be prepared in the kitchen or BBQ area if you don’t want to eat out all the time. Walk to brewpubs, wineries, dining, and more — right from downtown Calistoga.

Eight guests, four bedrooms
Price: $784 per night

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3. For a once-in-a-lifetime cultural adventure: South Africa

Two people on a beach in South Africa

Photo: Ava Peattie/Shutterstock

Unlike the Northern Hemisphere, December through February in South Africa is the equivalent of summer. That means the perfect beach weather, endless sunny days, and plenty of festivals.

If you happen to be there over New Year’s Eve, head to Johannesburg to attend Afropunk. This international music festival highlights the region’s eclectic style paired with live entertainment, world-renowned DJs, and a one-of-a-kind shopping experience at the Spinthrift Market.

Or perhaps toward the end of winter sees you and your crew craving a little sunshine and you hold off until the start of the year. If so, early February right outside of Cape Town, Up The Creek takes place on the banks of the Breede River, combining soulful rock with cocktails and inflatable pool floats. Spend a few days back in Cape Town exploring the bargain markets and centenary tributes to Nelson Mandela, then book a private, luxury food and wine tour with Explore Sideways to the rolling vineyards of the Cape Winelands.

Finally, if a safari is on the agenda, a road trip along South Africa’s scenic Garden Route will land you and your girlfriends at Gondwana Private Game Reserve, where daily game drives will kick off your day. And since over one hundred bird species migrate to South Africa during this season, it’s the best time for birding.

Stay your own way in Cape Town

Clifton beach villa with pool and ocean views

This Clifton beach house is one of the most beautiful properties in all of Cape Town. You’ll swim and stare out at the sea, glass of wine in hand, as you plot each evening’s adventures. If you do decide to hang out at the pad, a gorgeous patio and large dining and living spaces await. Plus, there’s plenty of room for everyone to come along.

Six guests, three bedrooms
Price: $788 per night

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Luxury penthouse near central Cape Town and beach

Modern architecture is stunning. Especially when you’re sleeping inside of it. This upscale penthouse in Cape Town is perfect for six guests to spread out and enjoy the views, the pool, the deck, and the chef’s kitchen. Access to the city center and plenty of dining and nightlife is a breeze.

Six guests, three bedrooms
Price: $253 per night

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4. For the coolest winter festivals: Portland, Oregon

The arts and culture scene in Portland seems to come alive when the temperatures drop. Hence the many festivals scheduled during the winter months. While Portland is known for its donut shops like Blue Star Donuts, the never-ending roster of winter events make this destination a natural choice.

For brew-focused getaways, visit during December and January. Local breweries procure the best of the best in beers for the five-day Holiday Ale Festival, held December 4 to 9. Toward the end of January, the Northwest Coffee Beer Invitational will pair brewers and beverage makers to create new craft beers using locally roasted coffee.

From February 5 to 19, the Chinese New Year Celebration welcomes the Year of the Rat with lion dances, martial arts performances, and dragon processions at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. In early February, the city lights up with art installations and fire sculptures for the annual Portland Winter Light Festival. Between February 20 and March 1, Portland Jazz will host a series of jazz events supporting Black History Month.

Stay your own way in Portland

Music-themed house with a hot tub

Southwest Portland is as hip as the coolest food truck court in the city. You’ll be right in the heart of it at this home, ready to jam out to the Pacific Northwest’s legendary bands while you pregame for the awesome events. The design is modern and the hot tub temperature can only be described as “pleasantly perfect.”

Eight guests, four bedrooms
Price: $445 per night

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Eco-friendly home near city’s best restaurants

If dining is the key to your visit, this home in Richmond is the place to be. Within walking distance or a short Uber ride are several award-winning restaurants run by some of Portland’s hottest chefs. Division Street is right up the way, and a stroll along the river is doable, too.

Four guests, one bedroom
Price: $179 per night

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5. For enjoying Italy without the crowds: Florence, Italy

Friends posing for a picture in Florence

Photo: loreanto/Shutterstock

The winter months are a great time to visit this Tuscan city. Visiting Florence during the winter season means far fewer crowds and tons of deals. If you’re planning a trip before the holidays, then head straight to Piazza Santa Croce for the Christmas market. Open November 23 through December 22, it’s the perfect time to get some last-minute Christmas shopping done.

Then stop by Gilli to sip on Italian hot chocolate — the thick, velvety, deliciously decadent “pudding” served with a spoon. And when you want to escape the chill and see priceless Renaissance art, the typically crowded Uffizi Gallery will welcome you with shorter lines and discounted prices. Other must-see stops include Aquaflor Firenze, Gucci Garden, and Bargello Museum, where crowds will be limited to your crew and a few locals instead of rubbing shoulders with thousands.

If you’re planning a trip after the holidays, planning your getaway around the Italy sale season will provide the opportunity to schedule in some retail therapy. Travel during January through early March and you’ll find many shops in Florence with sales on designer clothing, bags, accessories, and home decor.

Stay your own way in Florence, Italy

Renascentia Penthouse on the river

When you picture lodging in Italy, a flat with a balcony overlooking the town center and complete with a small table for sipping coffee might come to mind. That’s what you get with this beautiful historic apartment in central Florence. It’s on the top floor of the building with open views of the Duomo. Wifi is included, though you can easily stroll to no less than 10 of the quaintest cafes you’ll ever visit.

Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $181 per night

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Bright, artsy rental unit just north of river

Florence is a dream destination for artists of all stripes. Your crew will feel among them in this gorgeous unit just north of the river. It’s open and vibrant layout brightens the mood before or after any excursion.

Four guests, two bedrooms
Price: $322 per night

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6. For when you want to recharge and renew: Greenough, Montana

The Resort at Paws Up

Photo: The Resort at Paws Up/Facebook

Set on 37,000 acres of Montana wilderness and 35 minutes from Missoula, The Resort at Paws Up is the ultimate adult playground. During this season, the rates are the lowest of the year, and the wildlife comes out from hiding. Accommodations include luxury homes, safari-style tents, and a private island retreat for vacations when you want space for just you and the girls.

Spend an afternoon enjoying the equestrian program where you can book arena lessons, pony rides, and a group trail ride. Enjoy a girl’s day at the secluded Morris Ranch House, go on a hot air balloon ride, or take a bike tour. For more adrenaline-pumping activities and change of pace, go skijoring, where you’re pulled by a horse while skiing.

Bring in the New Year with the resort’s New Year’s celebration and count down to 2020 with fireworks, live entertainment, and plenty of bubbly. Or, stay between January 17 and 19 for the Winter Wine Weekend with Opus One, where you’ll sample the brand’s award-winning Bordeaux-style blends.

Stay your own way in in Greenough, Montana

Blackfoot Hideaway near outdoor recreation

If you plan to get outdoors during your girls’ trip (why would you be in Montana if not?!) than this house is ideal. It’s perfectly situated near trails and forest, but not too far from civilization. It’s decorated like a classic mountain cabin and has an open living room perfect for storytelling around the fireplace.

Six guests, two bedrooms
Price: $250 per night

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Potomac yurt on 280 acres

Yurts and mountain getaways go together like peas and carrots (thanks, Forrest). This one has plenty of space for outdoor activities like snowshoeing and yoga. The indoors in quaint, clean, and cozy. The yurt is spacious enough for six guests.

Six guests, two bedrooms
Price: $275 per night

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7. For the best slumber party: Lapland, Finland

In northern Lapland, Finland, the aurora borealis shine about every other clear night between October and March. And since freezing temperatures mean limited clouds, you’ll have the greatest chance to see the northern lights during the winter months. Get comfy in a snow or glass igloo or splurge on a cabin with your crew at the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Lapland and have a slumber party with the northern lights as your backdrop.

Throughout the day, enjoy the traditional winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, and when night falls, go aurora hunting. During this nocturnal adventure, you’ll chase down the northern lights in your preferred mode of transportation — horse or reindeer sleigh, snow tank, snowmobile, and so on. You can also plan a trip to nearby Kemi for a day-long journey on an icebreaker cruise and take a dip in the icy Bay of Bothnia.

Stay your own way in Finnish Lapland

Architect-worthy lakeside cabin with amazing views

Dreams of the Northern Lights and snowshoeing through Lapland’s open country tend to include a lakeside cabin. So why not bring that dream to life? The view from this spot has been described as poster-worthy by reviewers, so you know the rest of your crew back home will be jelly.

Six guests, three bedrooms
Price: $241 per night

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Eco-lodge with an included glass igloo

Don’t lie — you’ve always wanted to spend the night in an igloo. Doing so in a glass igloo in Lapland not only fulfills that fantasy, it does so in a manner that doesn’t involve actually carving said igloo out of ice blocks and snow. This Arctic Circle eco-lodge is located on the Ounasjoki River and is the perfect spot for you and your crew to discover yourselves with some mindful relaxation.

Six guests, three bedrooms
Price: $609 per night

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