Juggling obligations for work, school, family and relationships, a woman’s life can get hectic. When it comes time to take a breather, nothing does it better than a getaway with female family members or girlfriends for a weekend of relaxation, rejuvenation and a little retail therapy.
With your confidantes along to provide comedy, conversation and companionship, a visit to one of these three Southeastern destinations is sure to put the pep back in your step.
Jekyll Island, Ga.
Girlfriends who like to travel in style can appreciate a weekend at the grand, historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel (www.jekyllclub.com). The girlfriends’ getaway package includes a two-bed room for two nights, breakfast buffet, bottle of wine, bicycle rentals with picnic lunch, massage and Victorian tea, starting at $775.
Sun worshipers may be content to loll by the pool or on the beach all day, but more active types will find tennis, golf, kayaking, horseback riding, bicycle riding and more.
Shopping options are plentiful along Pier Road and in the Historic District. Just By Hand sells handcrafted items, and The Commissary carries specialty coffees and teas.
● Stay: Jekyll Oceanfront Resort. This Clarion beachside property features 260 rooms and villas. Rates start at $80. 975 N. Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island, 912-635-2531. www.jekyllinn.com
● Eat: Latitude 31 Restaurant & Lounge. Seafood, including fresh-caught Georgia wild shrimp and seafood crepes. $15-$25. 1 Pier Road. 912-635-3800, www.latitude31andrahbar.com
● Info: Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce. 912-265-0620, www.brunswick-georgia.com
Jackson is another city with deep music connections, only here it’s all about the blues. Fans of the state’s native musical form can find nine historic sites and markers along the Jackson leg of the Mississippi Blues Trail (www.msbluestrail.org). Meanwhile, nature lovers may want to visit the Mississippi Petrified Forest (www. mspetrifiedforest.com), where a nature trail, gem mine flume, museum, campground and gift shop beckon.
When the urge to splurge hits, bypass the mall and go to the Fondren Arts District (www.fondren.org), an in-town neighborhood where you can park your car and stroll past a variety of shops selling everything from furniture and antiques to guitars and boutique fashions.
Worn out from shopping? Soothe tired feet with a massage and pedicure at Aqua Day Spa (www.aquathedayspa.com).
● Stay: Fairview Inn. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 18-room B&B is minutes from antique shops and museums. Onsite restaurant, Sophia’s, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. 734 Fairview St. 601-948-3429, www.fairviewinn.com
● Eat: Paul Anthony’s Market. Carry-out lunches, imported cheeses and other gourmet goods. Highland Village Suite 100. 601-981-7559, www.paulanthonysmarket.com
● Info: Greater Jackson Area Chamber Partnership. 601- 948-7575 www.metrochamber.com
Country music might have built this town, but all musical genres are well represented in Music City. There’s no place better to hear some tunes than the Ryman Auditorium (www.ryman.com), former home of the Grand Ole Opry. Upcoming shows include Harry Connick Jr., Feb. 23; John Prine, March 26; and Aretha Franklin, April 25. For a more intimate musical experience, hear acoustic performances by local songwriters at The Bluebird Cafe (www.bluebirdcafe.com). Other upcoming events: the Nashville Film Festival (April 15-22, www.nashvillefilmfestival.org) and the Southern Women’s Show (April 8-11, www.southernshows.com) featuring lectures, demonstrations and exhibitions on cooking, fashion and relationships.
Shopping options at Opry Mills are plentiful. The 135-store outlet mall includes Rosetta Stone, Papaya and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Off Fifth. When hunger hits, there are more than 25 eateries including “Aquarium,” a sit-down “underwater” dining experience. After lunch, enjoy a walk through the tropical garden and take in a show at the world-famous Grand Ole Opry at the Opry Hotel next door.
Once you and the gal pals are ready to relax, Magnolia Spa (www.magnoliaspanashville.com) offers a full menu of body treatments, served a la carte or in packages.
● Stay: Daisy Bed & Breakfast. Within walking distance of Music Row, the Tudor Revival structure near Vanderbilt University is on the National Register of Historic Places. Rates start at $110, including a full breakfast. 2816 Blair Ave. 615-297-9795, www.daisyhillbedandbreakfast.com
● Eat: The Standard at The Smith House. Nashville’s only remaining grand townhouse from the 1840s offers shrimp and crayfish etouffee with basmati rice pilaf, seared sea scallops and more. 167 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. $7-$34. 615-254-1277, www.thestandardnashville.com
● Info: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. 615-743-3000, www.nashvillechamber.com