One of my favorite places to get together for a weekend with girlfriends is Orlando, Florida. The weather is great year round and there is so much to do on a girls’ getaway without having to go too far.
Where To Stay For a Girls’ Getaway in Orlando, Florida:
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando is my first choice for a weekend getaway with the girls. It’s obviously not cheap, but if you’re splitting the cost with three or four other women, it’s a great opportunity to spoil yourself. Nobody does luxury like The Ritz and their spa is the perfect place to spend a day pampering yourself with some of your closest friends.
Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort is next on my list of places to stay for a girls weekend in Orlando. The rooms are beautiful, the staff is amazing, and the location is excellent for access to other things to do in the area. The best part about staying at a Universal hotel is that you can get to and from Universal’s City Walk at night by water taxi. It’s a safe way for a group of girls to travel back and forth after a night of drinks and dancing.
Hilton Grand Vacations Club on International Drive is the least expensive hotel on the list. It still provides a great central location with easy access to shopping and entertainment. And with rooms at about $98 a night, you’ll have more money to spend shopping!
Speaking of shopping…
Things To Do On A Girls’ Getaway in Orlando:
Shopping, of course! What, too cliche? Whatever. Girls love to shop together. And the shopping in Orlando is fantastic! Oggle things you’d never dream of buying – or splurge on a pair of real Jimmy Choos – at the Mall at Millenia. Do your power shopping and bargain hunting at one of the two area outlet malls. Yes, two. Did I not tell you the shopping in Orlando was wonderful?
Check out the Orlando Shopping Guide for the inside scoop (and details on which outlet mall is better).
Go to the spa! Is there anything more girly than a trip to the spa with your girlfriends? I can feel my estrogen levels rising at the mere thought. The best spa in town is at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando. And the good news is, you don’t have to be a guest to partake in the spa services.
I am constantly hounding my girlfriends to go to the spa at The Ritz with me. My favorite part is that you can spend the entire day there with the purchase of any service. So once you’ve enjoyed your manicure (or pedicure, or deep tissue massage, or massage where people walk on your back!!), you can spend the rest of the day lounging in the zen like atmosphere. Soak in the jacuzzi or go for a swim in the pool. Cleanse your pours in the steam room and then rehydrate with orange water. The fluffy robes alone will make you feel like a princess. This place is my own personal nirvana, I swear.
Go to the beach! Sure, your hotel will have a pool. And you can always head on over to one of the local water parks. But when I’m hanging out with my girlfriends, I’d much rather lay out on a white sandy beach and watch the ocean. The closest beach to the Orlando area is Cocoa Beach. It’s about 40 minutes east of Orlando, but worth the drive if you’re a sun worshiper.
Of course, shopping and the spa and the beach are great things to do during the day. But when the sun goes down…
Girls Night Out Nightlife in Orlando:
Universal Studio’s City Walk is my favorite place for nightlife in Orlando. It truly has something for everyone. Upscale or casual dining, dance clubs, and dueling piano bars can all be found in Universal Studio’s “entertainment complex”. You absolutely have to stop into The Rising Star, a karaoke bar that features a live band and back up dancers. The people watching is fantastic and you’re sure to have a great time.
I also think City Walk offers a safe environment for women out on the town. The entire area is well lit and crawling with Universal staff and security guards.
Downtown Disney is Walt Disney World’s answer to City Walk. I don’t think it offers quite the same nightlife experience as City Walk and Disney recently closed most of the bars in the Pleasure Island section. However, Ragland Road – a very popular irish pub with waitresses who river dance on your table – is still open.
The Parliament House is an all gay resort – with a wickedly fun gay bar scene. Of course, you don’t have to be gay to hit the clubs. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, there’s a female impersonation show in The Footlight Theater. You will laugh until it hurts, and laugh some more. After the show you can dance and drink and not get hit on if you’re a straight married woman. I guarantee you will have the most fun you’ve ever had with your girlfriends here.
Church Street is the bar district in downtown Orlando. To be an honest, I’m too old and fat to be hanging out on Church Street, except for the occasional girls’ night out. Women are younger and thinner in packs. The biggest concern here is going to be safety. Try to catch a cab back to your hotel about 30 minutes before closing time if possible. It’s not top on my list of recommendations, but it’s an option.
See why I love a girls’ getaway in Orlando? There’s so much to do and a million ways to bond with the girlfriends you don’t see often enough. Relax, gossip, be safe, and have fun!