Flying Solo: Top Single Girl Getaways

Flying Solo: Top Single Girl Getaways
Contributor
Love, Family

Escape #1: Cowboys Are My Weakness
Who: Cowgirls at heart
What: Mountain Sky Guest Ranch’s Wild West Women Adventure
Where: Paradise Valley, Montana
Why: Grab your Wranglers and ten gallon hat—and get ready for your own version of The Simple Life (hot cowboys included!). At the ranch, spend your days riding and hiking on 6,000+ acres of mountain land and bonding with other women. Together, you’ll learn how to brand cattle and tack and groom your horse. Later, test your skills on an all-day ride with lunch on the trail, which includes a tour of Yellowstone National Park. In the evening, wind down with hors d'oeuvres and a hayride—then learn to two-step with real cowboys. We know—there’s nothing like a rugged “dude” in tight denim to heal your hurtin’ heart.
How: Fly into Bozeman, Montana and a handsome cowboy will pick you up and escort you to the ranch.
Cost: Four-night package: $1,100 per person, which includes accommodations, meals, all ranch facilities and activities, airport transportation, Yellowstone Park tour, and gratuities. Additional charges include bar and retail purchases, massages and 1.75 percent accommodations tax.
Best time to go: May 5 to May 9
Contact: Gulliver’s Travel at 1-866-807-7386, because there ain’t no one home on the range; they’re out rustling up some fun.

Escape #2: Beach or Bust

Who: The surfer at heart. (It’s okay if you can’t hang ten. An abiding love of flip flops is enough.)
What: Pura Vida Surf Camp
Where: Malpais, Costa Rica—located on the Pacific Coast on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula
Why: Instant gratification! By the end of the week, you’ll be riding waves like a pro. This is a learning vacation, so you’ll leave with a solid understanding of the basics: surfing etiquette, proper surfer stance, the different parts of the board, general surf lingo, and the ultimate ego boost: How to catch a wave. (As an added bonus, you’ll also walk away with a sweet tan.) The package includes bungalow, daily surf instruction and yoga, meals, one hour-long private massage, and day trips to hidden surf spots. Want extra credit? Take advantage of the daily restaurant outings, salsa classes, and Spanish lessons.
How: Fly into San Jose, Costa Rica, then take a one-hour domestic flight to Tambor. A one-hour taxi ride later ($35), you’ll be at Pura Vida. Alternatively, there is a daily shuttle bus service through Montezuma Expeditions that leaves San Jose and Malpais daily at 9 am ($35/person for a six hour journey).
Cost: 7 days/6 nights: $1690/shared and $1930/private. Prepay 60 days in advance for a discount: $1540/shared and $1780/private.
Best time to go: You’ll find the best waves and sunshine from December through April (high season), and July and August.
Contact: For more information, visit puravidaadventures.com or call (415) 465-2162.

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Escape #3: Change-Your-Luck Vacation
Who: Gals who love Guinness
What: City-Wide Date-A-Thon!
Where: Lisdoonvarna, Ireland
Why: Because you’re through with American men—and ready to try the luck of the Irish. The tiny town of Lisdoonvarna is home to the Matchmaking Festival, which runs from August 31 to October 7. The festival includes a Speed Dating Weekend—you’ll chat with an eligible bachelor for three minutes, and when the bell tolls, move on to your next prospect. Then, while the bean counters tabulate the matches, you’re free to dance. When you wake up, you’ll have a list of successful matches to keep you busy for the rest of your stay. As for the grand finale of the Matchmaking Festival? Why, the crowning of the most eligible singles, “Mr. Lisdoonvarna” and the “Queen of the Burren,” of course. And it’s good to have goals.
How: Fly into Dublin and then take a connecting flight to Shannon Airport, which is about 40 minutes from Lisdoonvarna. The town itself is located in County Clare, on the west coast of Ireland, about 155 miles from Dublin.
Cost: Flights to Dublin and Shannon start at $600; accommodations start from $100 per night, depending on the hotel you choose. We suggest the three-star Hydro Hotel (+353 065 7074005; hydrohotel@eircom.net) or the Royal Spa Hotel (+353 065 7074288; royalspahotel.com), both located in Lisdoonvarna.
Best time to go: August 31 to October 7, for the Matchmaking Festival
Contact: For more information, visit matchmakerireland.com or call Tourism Ireland at 1-800-223-6470.

Escape #4: Walks On The Wild Side
Who: Wannabe queens of the jungle
What: Women-Only Walking Safaris
Where: Kenya, Africa
Why: You’re done with long walks on the beach and ready to try something a little more exotic. Enter African Latitude, which operates mobile, tented camping safaris. Along with your newly minted girlfriends, you’ll walk roughly five miles a day through Africa’s game parks, taking in landscape views and checking out local tribal communities. (Don’t worry—you’ll arrive back at camp with enough time to enjoy a sunset cocktail.) You’ll also get off the beaten track with a Land Rover-safari, catching glimpses of game along the way.
How: All trips begin and end in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The majority of flights from North America go via London or Amsterdam, though good options exist via Dubai as well.
Cost: $4,818 per person, all-inclusive inside Kenya, not including international airfare
Best time to go: Kenya is mostly a year-round destination, with the exception of a rainy season in April and May, which should be avoided. The Great Wildebeest Migration takes place from July to September each year, but if you miss it, resident herds in the Maasai Mara ensure guests will be able to see wildebeests year-round as well.
Contact: Sarah Fazendin, (303) 895-9583 or Sarah.Fazendin@AfricanLatitude.com.

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Escape #5: Get Creative
Who: For the next Georgia O’Keefe, waiting to bloom
What: Artista Creative Safaris for Women
Where: Carmel, California
Why: Unleashing your inner creativity takes more discipline than you think—but it can also be a lot of fun. Retreat to the art village of Carmel-by-the Sea, where you will be immersed in three days of sessions in a variety of mediums. Choose from: abstract painting, media, or hot wax (which sounds kinkier than it really is). The professional art studio provides a private, nurturing environment along with regular Chardonnay breaks to ward off creative paralysis.
How: Carmel-by-the-Sea is a two-hour drive from San Francisco, or a six-hour drive from Los Angeles. Guests may also fly into the Monterey Peninsula Airport—Artista provides airport transfers to and from there.
Cost: Double occupancy ranges from $1,050 - $1,450; single occupancy ranges from $1,450 - $1,995. The package includes airport transfers, a welcome dinner party, three nights’ inn accommodation, daily breakfast, three days of art instruction, all materials, professional equipment, and afternoon yoga. Massages and spa treatments are available for an extra cost.
Best time to go: March to October
Contact: For more information, visit artistacreative.com, call (831) 625-5748, or email info@artistacreative.com.

Teresa Rodriguez Williamson is the author of Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth For A Woman To Travel Alone