Category Archives: City Guides

Our Honeymoon in Spain: Granada

After our two days in Ronda, we jumped in our rental car and headed for Granada. We decided to drop off our rental car at the airport right away and just take a taxi into the city. We were planning to stay in Granada central for the next two days, so we figured it would be a waste of money to let our car just sit in a parking garage until we were ready to fly out. I was really surprised by how huge Granada was. It’s sprawling—not as big as Barcelona, but waaaaay bigger than Cordoba or Ronda. Our hotel was right in the historic district, placing us close to the Alhambra and other major attractions. We had also heard that Granada was a great city to eat in.

Our time in Granada was part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. You can read about the rest of our trip in the posts below.

Three days in Barcelona
Two days in Córdoba
Two days in Ronda
Two days in Granada
One day in Gavà

And here’s our Granada travel guide!

We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide.

Our Hotel

We stayed at the Casa 1800 Granada in a room with an Alhambra view. We loved our room and the hotel itself, especially the complimentary 4pm afternoon tea they offered every day with sandwiches and snacks. The hotel is beautiful, with an open-air courtyard and stylish furnishings. The location is both a plus and a minus. It is a very short walk to the Alhambra, but this means it is smack dab in the middle of one of the most touristy sections of Granada. The shops and restaurants right around our hotel were not to our liking at all. We definitely had to venture into different neighborhoods for meals, especially since the hotel does not have a restaurant or bar, only breakfast and the daily tea service.

A view of the Alhambra from our hotel, Casa 1800. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Our room and the interior courtyard at our hotel in Granada, Casa 1800. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. A view of the Alhambra from our hotel room at Casa 1800. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide.

Museo Casa de los Tiros de Granada

Other than the Alhambra, this was my favorite stop in Granada. It’s a small museum with art, frescoes and carvings from the 17th-19th century. I like small museums because they aren’t overwhelming. You can enjoy a few pieces and not feel worn down by wandering through hallways for hours. The fresco work in particular was really striking. Plus, the entrance fee was quite small, so I think this museum is well worth your time.

Museo Casa de los Tiros, a nice stop in Granada. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Museo Casa de los Tiros, a nice stop in Granada. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide.

The Alhambra

Number one on any itinerary in Granada must be the Alhambra. The Alhambra is not just one location, but rather a sprawling complex with many different gardens and palaces to visit. You can easily spend the whole day there. I recommend you buy your ticket online ahead of time to avoid waiting in line. Also, the most spectacular palace in the Alhambra, the Nasrid Palace, requires a timed entry ticket, so booking online will ensure you get the timed entry that you want.

After coming through the main entrance of the Alhambra, we headed for the Generalife, which consists of a leisure palace and the most beautiful gardens.

The Generalife at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. The Generalife at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. The Generalife at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. The Generalife at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. The Generalife at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide.

Next we visited the Alcazaba, a fortress that is the oldest part of the Alhambra. There are excellent views of the city of Granada from its walls.

The Alcabaza at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. A view of Granada from the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide.

Lastly, we stood in line for our entrance time to the Nasrid Palace. The palace is most definitely worth the wait. The carvings, mosaics and intricate decorations covering the walls, floors and ceilings are spectacular. I literally could not stop taking pictures.

Inside the Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Inside the Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Inside the Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. The baths the Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Outside the Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Outside the Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Outside the Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide.

Tapas

Granada is known for being one of the last cities to honor the age-old “free tapa with your drink” tradition. While I’ve been told you can find this practice in some restaurants throughout Spain, we only really experienced it in Granada. And the best place for this experience was Taberna La Tana. We showed up a few minutes before their doors opened because we had heard the place was tiny and filled up fast. This was good advice: The bartender and cooks rolled up to the restaurant at 8:40pm (ten minutes after they were supposed to open), took a few minutes to get settled and invited us in. The two of us and one other couple were the first to arrive and grabbed seats at the bar. Literally 15 minutes later the place was packed, and stayed that way all night. We also liked Bar Poe, which is run by an English ex-pat and had a very unique tapas menu.

Taberna La Tana, one of our favorite places for tapas in Granada. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide. Taberna La Tana, one of our favorite places for tapas in Granada. We spent two days in Granada as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our full Granada travel guide.

There’s one last thing I have to tell you…

Unfortunately, Granada turned out to be my least favorite destination on this trip. While the Alhambra was fantastic and absolutely worth the visit and we had some of our favorite tapas in Spain here, we also experienced some of the most aggressive buskers and beggars I have ever encountered. Let me be clear—I live in New York City. I am a freaking expert at saying “no” to people approaching me on the street. On a day-to-day basis, four to six people will try to stop me on the sidewalk to ask for money for a sandwich or to tell me about how they lost their job and need to pay rent and buy diapers for their baby. On any given subway ride I’m likely to be approached by a mariachi band, kids selling candy for their basketball team or people shouting “showtime” and flipping around the subway cars. I am also often asked if I “have a minute for gay rights/to save the environment/to combat hunger” or if I “have heard of [insert name of start-up company here].” So I know how to say “no.” I have never, ever experienced the aggressiveness that I saw in Granada.

The most common ploy was for women to approach me on the street trying to give me a sprig of rosemary “for love.” These women would not accept “no.” They woul  d try to shove the rosemary in my purse, grab my arm to stop me, get in my face and follow me for blocks insisting I take it. I assume if I did, they would have then asked for money with the same aggressiveness, or they were trying to pickpocket me. For some reason they would only come after me, not Andrew, so a few times he literally inserted himself between me and the women to try to get them to back off. This experience really soured me on Granada and shocked me as well since we hadn’t experienced anything like this anywhere else in Spain. I had a hard time giving Granada a chance after being accosted so frequently. This really only happened around the major tourist areas, like the Cathedral and outside the Alhambra, but it still left a nasty taste in my mouth.

Our Honeymoon in Spain: Ronda

The small town of Ronda in Andalusia was my favorite destination in Spain. It’s the kind of town that makes the tour bus schedule as a photo op and lunch spot, but I found Ronda to be well worth a two-day stay. Reason 1: You will need at least a full day to explore everything this gorgeous city on a hill has to offer. Ronda has a completely unique geography; the city is built atop a hill and a deep gorge bisects it into an older historic center and a newer (emphasis on the “er”—it’s still like hundreds of years old) section bustling with restaurants and shops. The sections are connected by two spectacular bridges, which are a draw in and of themselves. The New Bridge, or Puente Nuevo, looks torn straight from the pages of a fantasy novel, with towering stone supports and a waterfall cascading through it. If that doesn’t convince you to add Ronda to your itinerary, I don’t know what will.

We visited Ronda as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. I’ve written separate posts for each destination on our trip, and linked them all below. Here is our 10-day Spain itinerary:

Three days in Barcelona
Two days in Córdoba
Two days in Ronda
Two days in Granada
One day in Gavà

So here is our Ronda travel guide!

We spent two days in Ronda as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat!

Day 1

First up: El Torcal de Antequera

This portion of our trip was a nice change from our urban explorations, as we spent the majority of our time hiking the Spanish countryside. We drove our rental car from Cordoba to Ronda, but along the way we made a stop at El Torcal de Antequera, a beautiful nature reserve known for its stunning and unique rock formations. It was actually listed as one of the New York TImes’s 52 Places To Go in 2017. The winding drive will take you up a mountainside to a parking area and visitors center. From there, you can choose one of two loop routes. The green trail is shorter at just about a mile and should take about 45 minutes to hike. We chose the longer yellow route, which is approximately 2 miles and takes about two hours to hike. The trail is winding and rocky, so you’ll definitely want to wear good hiking shoes. The vistas throughout are spectacular, meandering along rocky ridges and through valleys surrounded by stone formations that reminded me of drip sand castles.

El Torcal de Antequera. We stopped at El Torcal on our way to Ronda as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! El Torcal de Antequera. We stopped at El Torcal on our way to Ronda as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! El Torcal de Antequera. We stopped at El Torcal on our way to Ronda as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! El Torcal de Antequera. We stopped at El Torcal on our way to Ronda as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! El Torcal de Antequera. We stopped at El Torcal on our way to Ronda as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat!

Our Ronda Hotel

After our hike at El Torcal, we finished our drive to Ronda and checked into Hotel Montelirio. This was the first hotel I booked for our trip because it is one of the only hotels located right along the plateau’s edge with a view of the Puente Nuevo and the surrounding mountains. We booked a room with a view and it absolutely took my breath away. I would give the hotel 5 out of 5 stars. It’s centrally located off a charming side street and the building itself is beautiful and well maintained, with sweeping marble staircases, a stained glass front door and rich woodwork throughout. Each room is named after a city and decorated in kind—we stayed in the Marrakesh room, which featured wooden screens and a yellow and blue canopy dotted with stars. My only critique is that the wood screen door to the bathroom left a little privacy to be desired…I may be married now, but I still like some alone time in the bathroom, please. But in all seriousness, we loved this hotel. The staff was so friendly and accommodating and the location is unbeatable.

This was the view from our window:

The view of Ronda from our room in the Hotel Montelirio. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! The view of Ronda from our room in the Hotel Montelirio. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! The view of Ronda from our room in the Hotel Montelirio. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat!

Hi, I live here now.

Day 2

Exploring Ronda’s Old City and Hiking Into the Puente Nuevo Gorge

Ronda is the kind of city with a surprise around every turn. We decided to walk through the old section of the city to get to the base of the gorge (called el Tajo) for the best view of the Puente Nuevo or New Bridge. Along the way, we saw the old city walls, beautiful stone churches, charming houses and cobbled squares.

Once we left the city walls behind, we hiked a short way down a rural lane past a horse farm, and then up to a viewpoint called the Arco del Cristo, with spectacular views of the city of Ronda and the Puente Nuevo bridge. There are some more advanced hikes that you can do to get closer to the bridge and the waterfall streaming through the gorge. We did a portion of one that took us past some interesting ruins and a fast-flowing stream. Unfortunately, we weren’t prepared for the difficulty level of the hike. We hit a section that required you to lower yourself down onto a narrow wooden board and walk across it, and Andrew and I were worried about the stability of the board, and our ability to get back up without any equipment. It was frustrating because we could literally see a mountain pool just beyond the board that you could swim in…but it would have been too dangerous to attempt on our own, especially since we didn’t see any other hikers on the path. But you can do a short portion of the hike with just good walking shoes. No matter where you decide to walk, you will be guaranteed gorgeous views.

Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Puente Nuevo or New Bridge, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Puente Nuevo or New Bridge, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Hiking near the Puente Nuevo or New Bridge, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Hiking near the Puente Nuevo or New Bridge, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat!

The New City + The Bullring

After a little rest, we headed to the opposite side of the Puente Nuevo bridge to explore a bit of the new city. This side of the city has more shops and restaurants, but also quaint squares filled with people enjoying an afternoon drink. We found a lovely park with a promenade right along the cliffside, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

We also decided to stop for a visit at Ronda’s Plaza de Toros, or Bullring. There was not actually a bull fight going on there…in fact, I wouldn’t have wanted to visit if there was. But they have a bullfighting museum and we decided it was worth taking a peek since we were right there. I thought the entrance fee was much too high for what it was though and wouldn’t recommend this as a must-see in Ronda unless you’re really interested in bull fighting.

Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! A wall covered in Iberico ham in Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Plaza de Toros or bull ring, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Plaza de Toros or bull ring, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Plaza de Toros or bull ring, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat!

Dinner with a View

For our last dinner in Ronda, we made a reservation at the restaurant at our hotel, which is called the Albacara Restaurant, because it is seriously the best view in the city. Their terrace looks out over the cliff and all the surrounding country, and faces west so you can watch the sun set over the mountains. They only have about 8 tables on the terrace though, so a reservation is a must. The food was also superb. We shared an appetizer of crab in puff pastry, and then I had a salmon roulade for dinner while Andrew had a giant leg of lamb. If you are looking for a super romantic dinner, this is it. A must-do in Ronda!

Dinner at Albacara, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat! Dinner at Albacara, Ronda, Spain. We visited Ronda for two days as part of our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click to see our Ronda travel guide, including where to stay, what to do and where to eat!

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide

This Nashville bachelorette weekend guide has been a long time in coming. When I first visited Nashville in 2014, I saw bachelorette parties on every corner. And it’s not hard to understand why! The city is alive with art, live music on every corner and a signature Southern charm. But I wanted to ask a local expert to pen this guide to the perfect Nashville bachelorette weekend. Enter Lisa and Erin of Bachelorette Boutique. When I first spoke with the co-owners of this Nashville-based bachelorette planning service, I instantly knew we shared the goal of helping women create modern, stylish bachelorette parties that appeal to the bride’s unique personality and tastes. I asked them to share some of their favorite spots in Nashville for a bachelorette bash. Need more help? Bachelorette Boutique offers instant online booking for fun services like flower crown classes, private concerts or a “champagne bathtub.”

Here are Lisa and Erin’s recommendations for the perfect Nashville bachelorette weekend.

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink for a perfect Nashville bachelorette party

Live Music Everywhere

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink for the perfect Nashville bacheloretteThere’s nothing quite like the sun on your face, a drink in your hand and the perfect soundtrack playing through your bachelorette weekend. In Music City the playlist never stops, with live bands in every bar and on every corner. Long known for its host of top country stars, Nashville has become much more than just country music, with all genres from rock to bluegrass and jazz taking center stage.

Where to Visit: Broadway’s honky tonk bars are a must-visit for your bachelorette party. Try Tootsie’s or The Stage for a rooftop vibe and classic country. For a more personal experience, take your group to the renowned Bluebird Cafe, or check out the calendar at Mercy Lounge—they host a ’90s cover band once a month!

Southern History & Charm

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink for the perfect Nashville bachelorette

Beyond Nashville’s urban vibes, the city is filled with friendly Southerners, historic plantations and some truly Instagramable neighborhoods. For a unique experience, take your bachelorette party over to the historic Belle Meade Plantation for a wine tasting or pairing. This 1820s Southern mansion sits on 34 acres and will make you feel as though you’ve been whisked away to the Old South.

More History to Love: Grab dinner at The Standard at The Smith House, an 1840s townhouse with a hidden champagne cellar in the basement, or for a quick day trip, escape to Lynchburg for a tour of the original Jack Daniel’s distillery. Don’t forget to order a sweet tea!

Incredible Nightlife and Restaurants

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink for the perfect Nashville bachelorette

From shrimp and grits to freshly baked biscuits, Nashville does Southern food right. On a recent trip, Anthony Bourdain heralded Nashville as a “food haven with the most awesome music in the history of the world, maybe even the universe.” Long story short, Nashville knows how to eat and it knows how to party.

What the Locals Know: Make your group reservations early since restaurants fill up fast. There’s a new restaurant to try every week, but recently we’re loving Le Sel for their brunch punch bowls, Butchertown Hall for shareable tapas and Biscuit Love for some truly amazing fresh biscuits, as the name implies.

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink for the perfect Nashville bachelorette

For the best bachelorette spots to drink and hang out, grab a cocktail and a bowling ball at Pinewood Social, a rooftop rosé at the Thompson Hotel’s L.A. Jackson, bourbon and music at Skull’s Rainbow Room, or don your best boots and head to Broadway for all-night dancing. For our complete list of restaurant recommendations, check out our Nashville Restaurant Guide.

Bachelorette Insider Tips

With so many guides and reviews on what Nashville has to offer, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’re interested in planning a bachelorette trip to Nashville, here are a few tips to make your stay unforgettable.

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink for the perfect Nashville bachelorette

Hotels and AirBnb: Book your accommodations early! Nashville’s rooms book up quickly, so make sure to lock in your favorite spot as soon as you know your bachelorette party dates. Try to stay in Midtown, The Gulch or Germantown for the most convenient proximity to attractions. Many hotel rooms will allow up to four girls in a room and Airbnb houses can accommodate up to 12 or 15 guests. We love the 21c Museum Hotel for its art and design, and the Thompson Hotel for its prime location and amenities. For an indie experience, try East Nashville’s Urban Cowboy Bed & Breakfast, recently featured in Vogue.

Transportation: Nashville is teeming with Ubers and Lyfts and we’ve never actually waited more than 3 minutes for one to arrive at the door. The Nashville airport has a dedicated ride share pick-up area, and a trip to downtown’s core only takes about 15 minutes, sans traffic. If you’d rather skip that trip, groups can always grab a private SUV to transport them around in style. Champagne included.

Filling Your Weekend: Don’t waste a minute. There’s so much to see and do in Nashville that it can be easy to arrive overwhelmed or under-researched. Make a list of your top “must-visits” so you don’t get sucked into tourist traps while you’re here.

Nashville Bachelorette Weekend Guide: Where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink for the perfect Nashville bachelorette

ABOUT BACHELORETTE BOUTIQUE

Bachelorette Boutique is a luxury planning company based in Nashville, Tennessee. Launched with a mission to modernize the bachelorette industry, they offer a completely online booking experience to save you stress and time. Let them create a custom weekend tailored around you, or book your own unique services online like flower crown-making classes, a private performance with a Nashville singer-songwriter, or the Champagne Bathtub: a real claw foot bathtub delivered to your door and filled with bottles of champagne. Learn more at www.luxurybachelorette.com.

Image credits from top: Veuve Clicquot, Bachelorette Boutique-Hazardous Taste, Biscuit Love, Pinewood Social, Thompson Nashville, Urban Cowboy B&B

Our Honeymoon in Spain: Cordoba

Andrew and I took a two-part honeymoon: We traveled to Scotland right after our wedding in October of 2016 (you can read about our trip to Scotland here) and then saved up our vacation days to travel to Spain for 10 days in May of 2017, starting with three days in Barcelona, which you can read about here. Next up: two days in Cordoba!

Since we did so much, I’m going to write separate posts about each destination and I’ll link them all below. Here is our 10-day Spain itinerary:

Three days in Barcelona
Two days in Córdoba
Two days in Ronda
Two days in Granada
One day in Gavà

And now, on to our Córdoba travel guide! We took a short flight from Barcelona to Seville on Vueling, a very affordable regional Spanish air carrier, then rented a car at the Seville airport. Many people were surprised that we didn’t choose to stay in Seville, and I’d love to see the city someday, but I really wanted to spend more time in Córdoba, so we decided to skip Seville on this trip.

  • Tip: If you need an automatic car (like we do), make sure you book one in advance! The majority of cars in Europe are manual, so you’ll need to reserve the automatic to make sure you get one! I also recommend choosing a small compact car. While the highways in Spain were excellent with nice wide and well paved roads, the roads in cities can be pretty narrow and having a smaller car will help you navigate any tight squeezes with a bit more confidence.

Here’s our Cordoba travel guide.

Travel guide for two days in Cordoba. This was the second stop on our 10-day honeymoon to Spain. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Day 1

Our Hotel

We stayed at the Eurostars Palace in Cordoba. I’d give this hotel 4 stars out of 5. The hotel is located right outside of the old city and at the edge of a large city park. It is very conveniently located to all the major sights and the popular Victoria Market is just a few steps away. The hotel is very modern in design—it’s covered in this interesting steel structure with holes in it, which kind of obstructs the views, but also kind of looks cool. There is a nice little pool on the roof, and we also liked the rooftop bar. I’d say the one downside is that the hotel is a very popular event venue—we saw both a conference and a wedding while we were there. But I’d definitely recommend this hotel if you’re looking for a good central location with modern amenities.

The Eurostars Palace hotel in Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain!

Exploring Cordoba

Cordoba has so much charm and character and we really enjoyed just exploring the streets. It’s a small enough city to feel manageable and not overwhelming, but large enough to keep you busy for a long weekend. The streets are lined with colorful buildings and the window boxes are often bursting with flowers. Each square is paved with mosaics made of polished stone pebbles, and there’s a lovely promenade on the river. Really a charming place to visit and my second favorite city on our trip (favorite goes to Ronda, which I’ll write about next).

Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Tea shop, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain!

La Mezquita

One of the reasons I wanted to travel to Andalusia was to see the Moorish architecture that is so unique to that region. La Mezquita is a perfect example of that. The site was originally a mosque, but was transformed into a cathedral after the Christians conquered the region in the 13th century. The combination of the two types of architecture is really stunning. You enter a hall filled with red-and-white striped arches, and can find tombs decorated with Catholic icons and statues lining the walls. At the center of the Mezquita, the architecture dramatically shifts to the Renaissance with a soaring domed ceiling decorated in white and gold relief. In other areas of the mosque-turned-cathedral, you can find gold-leaf Islamic designs and tile work. It’s truly a stunning combination of two very different design styles.

La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! La Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain!

Spanish-Asian Fusion and Oxtail Churros

By the time we got to Cordoba, Andrew and I were a little burned out on traditional Spanish tapas. I mean, I love Iberico ham and croquetas as much as the next person, but I can’t eat that every night. So we tried two modern Spanish restaurants during our stay in Cordoba and loved them both. The first, La Furgo, was a fusion restaurant that included Asian and French influences. We loved the dumplings, which were filled with traditional Japanese flavors but topped with Spanish ham and saffron threads. Our second night, we dined at Garum 2.1, a modern Spanish tapas restaurant. We had a ton of great dishes here, but our favorite was an oxtail churro with a bitter chocolate dipping sauce—yum! Both of these restaurants are near the river in a really nice area that’s less touristy than the streets right around La Mesquita and La Alcazar.

La Furgo restaurant, Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain!

Day 2

Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos

The Alcazar is a medieval fortress that was one of the primary residences of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. It’s well known for its stunning formal gardens, including sculpted topiaries and fountains. We visited the Alcazar on a Sunday, when they unfortunately close the doors at 3pm…and we got there at like 2pm, so we didn’t have much time to explore more than just the gardens. Whoops!

Alcazar de Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Alcazar de Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Alcazar de Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Alcazar de Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! Fish at Alcazar de Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain!

Festival de los Patios

I specifically planned our visit to Cordoba to coincide with the Festival of the Patios. This festival is held in early May each year and residents around the city open their courtyards to the public and decorate them with gorgeous displays of flowers and plants. I’m a little bit of a voyeur when it comes to other people’s homes—I’m all about an open house—so being able to wander into people’s gardens around the city is like a perfect festival for me. You can grab a map to see which homes are participating, and there is also a pretty great website that alerts you to which patios are experiencing heavy traffic. Really helpful!

We decided to head to an area of the city away from the main tourist center to explore the Festival of the Patios, which was a great idea because we got to see more of the character of the city and the gardens we visited were a little less crowded.

The Festival of the Patios in Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! The Festival of the Patios in Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! The Festival of the Patios in Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain! The Festival of the Patios in Cordoba, Spain. Click for our travel guide to two days in Cordoba, and our full 10-day trip to Spain!

Next up: Two days in Ronda!

Our Honeymoon in Spain: Barcelona

Andrew and I took a two-part honeymoon: We traveled to Scotland right after our wedding in October of 2016 (you can read about our trip to Scotland here) and then saved up our vacation days to travel to Spain for 10 days in May of 2017, starting with three days in Barcelona.

I have been wanting to visit Spain for over a decade. It all started with a missed flight. In college, I studied abroad in London and my girlfriends and I would often take long-weekend trips around Europe. We had planned to visit a friend who was studying in Salamanca, Spain, and booked a flight on the low-cost air carrier Ryanair, departing from London’s Stansted airport, which I lovingly referred to as the seventh circle of hell. Well, let’s just say we did not budget enough time to fight through London’s rush-hour traffic to Stansted and we missed our flight. Since Ryanair only had one flight to our destination a day (this was almost a decade ago, so I have no idea what their flight schedules are like now), we had to scrap the trip since by the time we got to Spain we would have had less than 24 hours before we had to turn around and come right back. We consoled ourselves at the only Spanish restaurant we could find in London with paella and sangria.

Fast forward to 2017 and my dream of traveling to Spain finally became a reality. I spent a lot of time trying to decide which cities and regions we should visit in Spain. It is a huge country, and we really could not see everything we wanted to in 10 days. Conclusion: We will have to go back! Barcelona was at the top of my wish list because I’ve long been obsessed with Gaudí’s art and architecture, and I knew I wanted to visit the Andalusia region in the south of Spain for its unique Moorish influence. Here is our 10-day Spain itinerary:

Three days in Barcelona
Two days in Córdoba
Two days in Ronda
Two days in Granada
One day in Gavà

Since we did so much, I’m going to write separate posts about each destination and I’ll link them all above. First up, our three days in Barcelona!

Travel guide for three days in Barcelona. This was the first stop on our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Day 1

Our Hotel

We stayed at the Hotel Catalonia Portal de l’Angel and I would give the hotel 3.5 out of 5 stars. Pros: A very central location within easy walking distance of both the Gothic Quarter and the Eixample neighborhoods, as well as a subway line. We also had a room with a large private balcony overlooking the back courtyard, which was the best feature of the hotel. We enjoyed sitting out on our patio in the evenings and sharing a glass of wine together before heading out for dinner. Cons: Though the location is very centralized, it is on a very busy shopping street with stores like Zara and H&M next door—not exactly a neighborhood with character. Also, I felt the service at the hotel was a little sub par for the price. As an example, when I asked for a corkscrew to open a bottle of wine, I was told that the hotel only had one, so I’d have to bring my bottle down to the bar to get the wine opened. I’m sorry, but it’s impossible that they only have one bottle opener… Overall, the hotel was a serviceable and comfortable base of operations for our stay in Barcelona.

The view from our balcony at the Hotel Catalonia Portal de l'Angel in Barcelona. We stayed here for three days in Barcelona during our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! The view from our balcony at the Hotel Catalonia Portal de l'Angel in Barcelona. We stayed here for three days in Barcelona during our 10-day honeymoon in Spain. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Dinner in the Gothic Quarter (+ My Gin Tonic Love Affair)

After a little rest to recover from our jet lag, we headed to the Gothic Quarter for dinner. It is true that most restaurants do not open until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. Andrew and I really didn’t have a problem adapting to this though. We just kind of moved all our meals back, and we also didn’t mind being the first people in a restaurant when it opened at 8pm. We had a very traditional tapas meal our first night at La Alcoba Azul, and it was one of my favorite restaurants that we stopped at in Barcelona. Highly recommended! We split jamón Ibérico (a must-have in Spain), manchego cheese and a few other tapas. I was also introduced to my new obsession: Spanish gin tonics.

You guys, gin and tonics in Spain are like nothing you have ever experienced. First of all, they are served in humongous glasses that look like a cross between a margarita glass and a red wine glass. Insane! Second, they are garnished with all kinds of fun extras, like pink peppercorns, thyme sprigs, star anise, orange peel, apple slices…it’s heaven! I had sooooo many gin tonics on this trip (lose the “and” when ordering in Spain).

  • Tip: Spain is a very cash-centric country! We stopped at a lot of cash-only restaurants and shops, so make sure you always have some on hand or you’ll miss out on great locations.

Tapas at La Alcoba Azul in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Day 2

La Sagrada Familia

Our first stop on day two was La Sagrada Família, the basilica designed by Antoni Gaudí that is still under construction to this day—they have been working on it over 150 years!

  • Tip: Buy your tickets online ahead of time! Entrance to La Sagrada Família is timed. If you buy your tickets online, you can show up at your appointed entry time and get right in. If you wait to buy at the basilica, you will have to stand in a ticket line and then wait around for your entrance time, which could be an hour or more of waiting time before you even get to enter. Also, make sure to book a separate ticket to visit one of the two towers! This entrance is not included with the general ticket. You need a second ticket (also with a timed entry) to go up into the towers. We got the Top Views ticket package to see everything, and visited the tower on the Passion facade.

Each side of the basilica has its own character. The Nativity facade is intricately carved with elaborate animals, flowers and figures representing the holy family. It is perhaps the most traditional of the facades, with soft, flowing lines. Once you step inside, you enter a forest of white columns that soar up to a starburst ceiling above. The stained glass windows paint the eastern side of the interior in warm sunrise hues of red and orange, while the western side is bathed in twilight colors of blue and violet. The Passion facade was perhaps my favorite because of the modern, almost surreal style of the figures. They had the feeling of chess pieces come to life—incredibly striking and eerie.

The Passion facade of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Light streaming through the stained glass at La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! The interior of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! The Passion facade of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! The Passion facade of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Detail on the Passion facade of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! The view from the Passion tower of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Gaudi Houses: La Pedrera and Casa Batllo

After our visit to La Sagrada Família, we walked into the stylish Eixample neighborhood to visit La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, both located on the busy Passeig de Gràcia. The road is a nice stroll, akin to walking down Fifth Avenue in New York City, past designer shop windows and beautiful apartment facades. We visited the interior of Le Pedrera, but were feeling a bit tired after all our walking in the hot sun, so we opted to skip the interior of Casa Batlló. My favorite part of Le Pedrera was the rooftop, which is dotted with tiled sculptures that look like giant rooks, and an undulating layout that reminds you of shifting sands.

La Pedrera in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! The rooftop of La Pedrera in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! The rooftop of La Pedrera in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Visiting La Pedrera in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! La Pedrera in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

The exterior of Casa Batllo was absolutely gorgeous. It is studded with a rainbow-colored mosaic that shimmers in the sun like dragon scales.

Casa Batllo in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Detail of the exterior of Casa Batllo in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Pintxos on Calle Blai

For the evening, we headed to the Poble Sec neighborhood to do a tapas bar crawl on Calle Blai. All of the restaurants on this road specialize in a type of tapa called pintxos or pinchos, which is a bite-sized tapa typically served on a slice of bread and speared with a toothpick. You help yourself from a bar lined with jewel-like pintxos, then the waitress counts up your toothpicks at the end of your meal to know how much to charge you. Our favorite was La Tasqueta de Blai, but we also liked Blai 9. It’s fun to stroll down the street, grab a caña (small beer) or vino blanco and a few pintxos at each bar.

Pintxos at La Tasqueta de Blai in the Poble Sec neighborhood of Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Pintxos on Calle Blai in the Poble Sec neighborhood of Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Day 3

Park Guell

For our last day in Barcelona, we took the subway up to Park Güell, another Gaudí must-see spot. This sprawling park was originally designed as a planned community, and highlights include some of Gaudi’s best mosaic work and whimsical slanted avenues.

  • Tip: Just like for Sagrada Familia, you should purchase your tickets in advance online for Park Güell. There are two sections of the park: the free-access area, which you can explore anytime at your leisure, and the Monumental Zone, which requires a timed entry ticket. All of Gaudí’s best architectural works are in the Monumental Zone, so you definitely want to make the effort to visit this section. I recommend arriving 30 minutes to an hour before your timed entry time to explore the free-access zone before entering the Monumental Zone.

Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations! Park Guell in Barcelona. We started our 10-day honeymoon in Spain with three days in Barcelona. Click for our full itinerary and recommendations!

Still to come: Two days in Cordoba, two days in Ronda, two days in Granada and one day in Gava.

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations

When it comes time to plan the bachelorette, step one is deciding where to go. Think about what you want out of your weekend: Do you imagine yourself lounging on the beach? Partying in the club? Around a campfire under the stars? At a music festival? Enjoying spa treatments and dips in the pool? Once you know what kind of weekend you want, consult our list of the 25 best bachelorette destinations to find the perfect fit. And yes, Vegas didn’t even make the list—because we know you already thought of that one.

A note: We admit, these bachelorette destinations focus on destinations in North America—sorry international readers!

New Orleans

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: New Orleans

With delicious cajun cuisine, swamp air boat tours, late-night jazz sessions and beads galore, New Orleans has so many diverse offerings that you will find something for just about any type of bride. Indulge in an afternoon treat of beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde, take an aphrodisiac tour with Witches Brew Tours and hit up Frenchman Street for a night of jazz and revelry. Find our full guide to a New Orleans bachelorette here.

Savannah

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Savannah

Savannah has so much to offer as a bachelorette destination. The city has an almost ethereal charm, from the quaint oak-filled squares and colonial mansions to the scrumptious Southern cuisine and friendly locals. Book a ghost tour to learn about the most haunted city in America (we like this one because it involves drinking). Speaking of which, did you know Savannah has no open container laws? Which means you can take your party to the streets as you stroll Savannah’s squares with your to-go cup. Find our full guide to a Savannah bachelorette here.

CharlestonThe 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Charleston

Southern charm with a modern twist (and gorgeous beaches just fifteen minutes away), Charleston has a little bit of everything. You can spend one day strolling the walkable historic downtown and another at the nearby Isle of Palms taking in the sunshine. Dine on fried chicken at Leon’s or upscale Southern cuisine at Poogan’s Porch, then stop in for craft cocktails at the Gin Joint before getting your dance on at Trio. Find our full guide to a Charleston bachelorette here.

Amelia Island, FL

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Amelia Island, FL

Looking for a beach getaway without the crowds? Amelia Island is a hidden gem on Florida’s northeast coast. Rent a house or beachside cottage, spend the day exploring Big Talbot Island where you may spot egrets and spoonbills, then pop over to nearby Fernandina Beach to watch the sun set over an oyster po’boy and cold beer at the Salty Pelican.

Asbury Park, NJ

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Asbury Park, NJ

With legendary concert venues like The Stone Pony, pristine beaches on a historic boardwalk and lots of trendy bars and restaurants opening in the past few year (we like the Asbury Festhalle), Asbury Park will surprise you with how much it has to offer. Much more low-key than nearby Atlantic City or Seaside Heights, we love this artistic beach community for a bachelorette getaway. Plus, Asbury Park is a midcentury modern mecca—stop by Flux Modern to stock up on vintage glassware and art deco jewelry.

Bar Harbor, ME

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Bar Harbor, ME

You guys know I love Maine. And Bar Harbor may seem like an out-of-the-way choice for a bachelorette party. But for my ladies in the northeast, this could be just the relaxing and refreshing getaway you’re looking for, especially for the outdoorsy bride. Spend the day hiking in Acadia National Park or charter a boat for a sunset cruise around the Cranberry Islands. Toast the bride with blueberry beers and a lobster roll at Beal’s Lobster Pound and bar crawl in quaint downtown Bar Harbor (hit up Side Street Cafe for pitchers of margaritas at happy hour!). Find our full guide to Bar Harbor here.

New York City

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: New York City

I’m a New Yorker, so obviously I have a few suggestions for spending a weekend in my home city. See the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a new light with Museum Hack’s bachelorette tour (spoiler alert: you will look at plenty of nice, sculpted butts) or catch a discounted Broadway show with Today Tix. Take in the city with a stroll on the High Line or over the Brooklyn Bridge and add a New York slice to your itinerary (see our NYC dining guide here). Find our full guide to a New York City bachelorette here.

Nashville

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Nashville

Nashville is the bachelorette capital of the midwest, and for good reason. Downtown is a constant party, with live music at every venue on the strip—we like Tootsie’s for the bands and Robert’s Western World for the line dancing. Rent a house in East Nashville to see a different side of the city and stop for hot dogs at I Dream of Weenie and drinks at The Treehouse. Pinewood Social is our favorite stop just about any time of day—it’s a restaurant/bar/bowling alley/pool party.

San Luis Obispo, CA

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Madonna InnSan Luis Obispo makes the list because of one very unique hotel: The Madonna Inn. Each room in this throwback inn has a theme, like the Bridal Falls suite with its rock waterfall or the rococco Austrian suite that will make you feel like a princess. Its rose-patterned pink carpet and bright pink interior just scream girls getaway. Spend a night out in downtown San Luis Obispo and an afternoon wine tasting in nearby Paso Robles. Check out more from this Madonna Inn bachelorette here.

The Florida Keys

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Florida Keys

While Key West gets all the fame and glory, we love the idea of island hopping to some of the quieter keys as well for a balance of low-key island vibes and party time. Book a night at Cheeca Lodge on Islamorada where you can swim in the saltwater pool, relax in the sun or take a snorkeling trip. Then head to Key West for a night out on Duval Street or the all-day pool party at Dante’s. Find our full guide to a Key West bachelorette here.

Austin

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Austin

Spend an afternoon strolling on South Congress Street to get in a little vintage shopping. Afterward, make sure to stop by Gordough’s Food Truck for a sweet treat (we love the strawberry shortcake donuts!). For a night out, Rainey Street is the place to go, with quaint old houses that have been transformed into a street of bars with backyard games and live music. Or time your visit to coincide with one of the many festivals that Austin hosts throughout the year.

Palm Springs, CA

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Palm Springs

Whether you’re there to relax poolside at one of the many gorgeous rental homes in the area or hike in nearby Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs is a revitalizing destination with a balance of trendy eateries and gorgeous natural sights. You could even plan your getaway during festival season and spend a day at Coachella for the music-loving bride.

San Clemente, CA

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: San Clemente, CA

Make your bohemian bachelorette dreams a reality with a stay in the 1960s vintage trailers at beachside The Holidays in San Clemente, California. Swing by MRK Public or Board and Brew for an after-beach meal. Then cook out on the campfire and stargaze with your favorite ladies into the night (get more camping bachelorette ideas here).

San Francisco

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: San Francisco

Each of San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods has something to offer, meaning you’ll be on the go your whole weekend. Go ahead and check off must-sees like a walk over the Golden Gate Bridge and a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf, but then venture outside of the norm to see all SF has to offer. We recommend you rent a surrey in Golden Gate park, take a street art tour in the Mission District and shop the trendy boutiques in Hayes Valley. Find our full guide to a San Francisco bachelorette here.

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, has been on my list of must-see destinations for awhile. The gorgeous lake in Banff National Park is a year-round destination, with skiing, sleigh rides and dog sledding in the winter, or rock climbing, hiking and canoeing in the summer. Stay at the iconic Fairmont on the lake’s shore, or rent a rustic cabin at Baker Creek Mountain Resort. See a winter girls getaway to Lake Louise here.

Napa Valley

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Napa Valley

A classic girls getaway, and for good reason, Napa Valley will intoxicate you (both literally and figuratively). Stay in downtown Napa so that you can walk to bars and restaurants in the evening (you’ll be tired of driving after a day spent traveling between wineries). We like Angele for seasonal fare with a French flair and Goose and Gander for a swanky cocktail or two. Want to make the weekend even more special? Consider booking a Classic Convertible Wine Tour to get your group around in style.

Glacier National Park, MT

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Glacier National Park, MT

With gorgeous lakes, breathtaking waterfalls and miles and miles of trails to explore, Glacier National Park is an idyllic getaway perfect for the outdoorsy bride. Accommodations range from rustic campgrounds to luxury resorts, or somewhere in between. We love Glacier Under Canvas for a glamping getaway or Bar W Guest Ranch for its classic Western lodge feel.

San Juan, PR

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: San Juan, PR

Get the feeling of an international vacation, minus the passport. Lounge on the white sand beaches, take a cave tour or book a tasting at the Barcardi distillery. Try dinner at La Perla Restaurant to enjoy oceanfront dining in an utterly striking setting. Club Brava is the place to be for nightlife.

Disney World, Orlando, FL

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Disney WorldWith great restaurants, stunning pools and hotels and world-class entertainment, Walt Disney World has a lot more to offer than princesses and talking mice. Travel around the world at Epcot Center trying a different food and drink at each country’s showcase, or embrace your inner child with a fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom. We love the idea of theming your outfits with T-shirts or custom magic bands. Check out our full Disney bachelorette guide here.

Tulum, Mexico

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Tulum, Mexico

Tulum has all the beauty of the Caribbean, minus the crowds. Stay at Be Tulum, a gorgeous boutique hotel on the beach that features over-the-top suites with natural stone walls and private plunge pools. If you can pull yourself away from the crystal blue waters, take a day trip to the Mayan ruins of Tulum.

The Catskills, NY

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: The Catskills, NY

Plan a mountain weekend in New York’s Catskills region. Take a day hike to the top of Overlook Mountain to explore an abandoned hotel or wander the fields of Storm King Sculpture Park. Check in to one of the luxury lodges hipster New Yorkers are opening up throughout the area (Scribner’s looks pretty idyllic) or rent this renovated barn outside Tivoli that I am mildly obsessed with. See our full guide to a Catskills bachelorette here.

Asheville, NC

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Asheville, NC

Bordering North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is an eclectic city with a local craft beer scene and a downtown arts district filled with galleries and museums to explore. Tour the Biltmore Estate’s gardens and do a wine tasting at their winery or go tubing on the nearby New River.

Seattle

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Seattle

Start your day by stocking up on flowers at the iconic Pike Place Public Market. Rent a boat and cruise the harbor or take the water taxi across Elliot Bay and grab fish tacos at Marination Ma Kai. The Museum of Pop Culture is a unique stop and located right next door to the Space Needle and Chihuly Gardens, a must-see for art lovers. Dine at Westward on Lake Union to enjoy the best of the Pacific Northwest’s seafood.

Sedona

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Sedona

Sedona is perfect for a zen bachelorette getaway. The city is known as a place of spiritual healing thanks to its energy vortexes, but whether you believe in its healing powers or not, you’ll love hiking amongst the gorgeous red rocks or taking advantage of the many spas that cater to those in search of peace and tranquility. Book treatments at the gorgeous Mii Amo spa, nestled in the red rocks the region is known for. To take the weekend over the top, take a hot air balloon ride!

Telluride, CO

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations: Telluride, COGuys, I’m a little bit obsessed with Dunton Hot Springs, a ghost town turned resort where you can go glamping in a luxury tent, explore the Colorado Rockies on foot or by horse and relax in the mineral hot spring.

My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend

I recently celebrated my bachelorette weekend in Charleston with my best girls and I am still buzzing with excitement. It was absolutely the perfect bachelorette for me, full of relaxing beach walks, classy specialty cocktails, delicious Southern cuisine, a little bit of dancing and hours talking and laughing with the ladies I love most. You can find my complete list of recommendations for a Charleston bachelorette at the bottom of this post.

The Details
I met up with my MOH Meryl and bridesmaid Michele at the Charleston airport Thursday evening and we headed straight to dinner at Leon’s Oyster Shop, a cool, eclectic space downtown that specializes in oysters and fried chicken. After a delicious meal, we made a pit stop at the grocery store to stock up on the essentials—aka copious amounts of wine, an entire watermelon, and breakfast foods—while we waited for the rest of the ladies to arrive. (Side note: We ran into what was clearly a bachelor party on the boy version of our grocery trip, filling one cart with beer and a second with canned chili.) Our home for the weekend was the Wild Dunes resort on the Isle of Palms. Meryl’s aunt and uncle own a three-bedroom beach cottage there and were so, so generous to offer to let us use it. It was absolutely perfect—gorgeously decorated in beach-chic blues and whites and the perfect size for our group. They even had party cups and a stuffed shark to act as our weekend mascot!

Meryl put together adorable Charleston-themed gift bags for all the guests and Michele was almost instantly dubbed art director for the weekend when I found her artfully arranging the items for a photo. And she did an amazing job styling our photos for the rest of the weekend! Personalized cup in the sand? Her idea. Constantly shifting us around to get good light? She was on it. Though assistant art director Lexy is responsible for the sand writing 🙂

Friday morning, after sleeping off way too much wine, the girls made an amazing breakfast at home and we headed out to the beach for a stroll, followed by pool drinks and snacks at the Wild Dunes Grand Pavilion. It was just a little bit too chilly for sunbathing or swimming, but it was still lovely and the perfect time to catch up, which is just one of the best parts of a bachelorette weekend. Fellow bride Jae and I got to compare notes on our upcoming weddings. I’m pretty in awe of her—she planned her wedding in four months whereas I will be coming up on a year of planning! Definitely more to come from her summer wedding soon!

After a very important power nap (what, we’re old!), we started the evening at Poogan’s Porch, which serves modern twists on Southern classics (I had the crab and shrimp linguini because, hi, learned my lesson from wine on night one: carbs needed!). All of Meryl’s restaurant choices and the schedule she planned for the weekend were amazing and spot-on me. This is probably the only vacation I’ve ever taken in my life where I haven’t planned one thing, Yelped one restaurant or pulled up Google Maps once in a fit of “where the heck do we go next.” It was heaven! Next, we had drinks on the roof of the Vendue and then headed to Trio for some dancing, where the DJ was spinning 90s jams as if he knew we’d be there (plus, JT’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” because I’m obsessed right now).

Saturday was my bridal shower brunch, and beforehand my friends planned a scavenger hunt for me in our beach house. Each clue was written by my bridesmaid Amanda, who is the queen of cute poetry and emoji usage—she created the poems for our popular wine basket shower gift. The clues led me to the shower gifts, which were all travel-themed, referencing places Andrew and I have visited together. The last clue led to my shower, hosted by my amazingly generous friend Nichole, in the back garden of Eli’s Table in Charleston, where we enjoyed a hearty brunch and some much-needed mimosas in the Charleston sunshine. I was so touched by the thought that everyone put into the shower—it was so personalized to Andrew and I and resulted in me making many silly faces while opening my gifts!

After our outdoor brunch, we were in need of a little AC time. Luckily, Nichole had wisely made a midday reservation at The Gin Joint. Because what’s the best thing to do after you finish two pitchers of mimosas? Have a specialty cocktail, duh! The Gin Joint makes cocktails for you based on a selection of words on the menu, so I asked for a “fizzy and refreshing” drink and received an awesome combo of gin, muddled strawberries, lime and ginger beer. Maybe one of my favorite spots we stopped in Charleston!

Next, we took a stroll along the waterfront of downtown Charleston and through the historic quarter to get a look at Charleston’s rainbow-colored homes. The city really has so much charm and there’s a gorgeous garden or wrought-iron gate around every corner. To end our weekend, we headed over to nearby Sullivan Island for a dinner of wood-fired pizzas and on-tap cocktails at the Obstinate Daughter. I cannot believe how fast the weekend flew by, and I already miss my girls. But I’m even more excited for my wedding this October!

My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid My Charleston Bachelorette Weekend | Ultimate Bridesmaid

My Bachelorette Guide to Charleston

Stay
Wild Dunes
: We were lucky enough to have access to a house, but Wild Dunes has tons of vacation rental properties as well. The beachfront community has tons of pools, a golf course, tennis, dining—it’s a really wonderful home base with a lot of Charleston charm.

Eat & Drink
There are so many amazing restaurants in Charleston—you can hardly go wrong. We loved:

  • Modern twists on Southern classics in a historic Charleston home at Poogan’s Porch. Try the shrimp and grits and the fried green tomatoes.
  • Brunch in the back garden of Eli’s Table. Their hearty meals and pitchers of mimosas are perfect the day after a night out. 
  • Fresh oysters and fried chicken at Leon’s Oyster Shop. We loved the eclectic vibe of this joint.
  • Wood-fired pizzas at Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan’s Island. Try the Old Danger pizza topped with pancetta, mozzarella, a white sauce and a farm egg and one of their cocktails on tap.
  • With creative cocktails like The Studmuffin and The Debutante, The Gin Joint makes for a perfect happy hour stop. We especially loved the “bartender’s choice” option.

Wear
My bridal shower look: Dress | Shoes

Give
Our Charleston bachelorette gift bags: Polka-Dot Totes | Custom Party Cups | Bride Tribe Sunglasses | Koozies: Best Day Ever & I Wanna Party | Mini Champagne Bottles | Charleston Chews

Thank you a thousand times…
Meryl Dann: COO/Team Captain | Michele Fogel: Art Director | Amanda Leith: Creative Director | Jae Haley: Stylist | Lexy Harrison: Medical Advisor/Asst. Art Director | Nichole “If You Won’t Do It, I Will” Burnap: Chief Instigator