If I had to rank all my favorite travel memories, laid-back mother-daughter getaways always top my list.
Y’all, I love traveling with my mum. Our girls’ trips are shopping filled, relaxing itineraries peppered with long drives and cozy coffee stops. My mum’s young-at-heart, patient, kind and downright fun (she has the best college stories).
And with Mother’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d spill some ideas for memorable mother-daughter getaways around the USA.
Geneva, New York
Belhurst Castle & Winery is one of the best luxury mother-daughter getaways in America. Located on the rolling hills of Finger Lakes, The Castle is a historic property known for its on-site spa, Isabella Spa & Salon.
Go in May or September (during off-peak season) for a soothing mother-daughter experience. Stay at the Vinifera Inn. Explore the property (including the gift shop) at a loose-pace. Sit by Lake Seneca, chat, and just enjoy the views.
If you and your mum are theatre buffs (I still remember when my mum and I watched our first live-on-stage performance – Legally Blonde – together), catch a matinee show at the Smith Opera House, a performing arts venue dating back to the mid-1890s.
Even though my mum and I traveled down to Waco as Fixer Upper fans (we both binged the show a few years ago), the highlight of our trip turned out to be the Armstrong-Browning library, a quiet Baylor Campus building curating canonical works in a low-lit space.
It was a classic us moment: go to a city for the tourist attractions, come back obsessing over the local library or bookstore.
Start your tour at Magnolia Market anyways. First stop of the morning: Silos Baking Co (the line gets long mid-day). Gift your mum some cupcakes (and a coffee). My personal favorite flavors are lemon lavender and nuts & bolts and my mum enjoys toasted coconut!
Take some time to explore Magnolia Seed & Supply (a cute garden center next to the silos) before hitting up the store. Magnolia Market is classic Joanna Gaines (Chip has a corner, but let’s be honest, this store is very JoJo).
The prices are exorbitant, but Magnolia Market did put me and my mum in a find-cheap-hidden-gems-with-a-rustic-touch shopping mood (a throwback to Joanna’s original shopping style). If you can, take a day trip to Waxahachie (roughly 1 hour from Waco) and explore all the flea markets and antique showrooms (my mum and I love Red Barn Flea Market Antiques & More, a huge multi-room, all-in-one shopping stop). If you can’t, hit up Spice Village, a decades-old Waco boutique with over 60 stores under one large roof, instead.
If you and your mum are foodies, bookaholics, or museum nerds (or all-of-the-above), you’ll love Jackson, Mississippi.
Jackson sits at the crossroads of the past and present. It’s a living, breathing historic destination. My mum and I wandered through ALL the museums in Jackson and I remember watching her fall in love with the city, more and more, throughout the trip.
Start with a food tour. Jackson’s food scene is incredible. I don’t cook much beyond smoothie bowls and standard breakfast recipes (read: oatmeal), but my mum is an amazing cook. I eat like a horse at her house (I can’t help myself. Her food is dangerously addictive).
Jackson presented an opportunity for me to turn the tables and treat my mum to warm, large-portioned home-cooked meals. Y’all, we ate soul food for days.
And we returned from Jackson with a newfound love of grits.
Our Top Jackson Foodie Stops:
Santa Fe, New Mexico
If you’re looking for mother-daughter spa getaways, Santa Fe is the perfect spot. Everything about the atmosphere, from the warm-toned city walls to the down-to-earth friendly vibe is calming.
Santa Fe is the reigning treat your self queen. Plan for a spa day or two:
- Ten Thousand Waves Spa: Ten Thousand Waves combines Japanese spa style and New Mexico(ish) architecture into a unique experience. The spa manifests relaxation into a full-day experience. Go during off-peak season (even though Ten Thousand Waves is nestled away from the main city, the spa can get crowded) and book early. The spa is gorgeous, inside and out, and masters the art of little details: complimentary hot tea, access to a quiet meditation room, etc.
- Absolute Nirvana Spa & Gardens: Absolute Nirvana is a small space that makes a big impression. Calm, bliss, and happiness are common words here, but for good reasons: the staff is kind and accommodating. And the facials offered are incredibly soothing.
- Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda & Spa: Check into a Hacienda suite in the hotel (you get your own butler) before heading down to the spa. Hotel Santa Fe’s spa, unassumingly relaxing, is centrally located so it compliments a heavy itinerary.
From the rustic architecture to the sweeping green landscape, Aspen is all charm. But there are a few bucket list experiences that make this upscale mountain town the perfect mother-daughter getaway.
Window-shopping here is a tourist-defined institution. Browse through the displays. Poke through the stores. Enjoy the glossy magazine worthy layouts.
If you are looking for a mother-daughter spa day, head to Remede Spa, Heaven on Earth, or Aspen Vida Medi Spa. Then splurge on lunch with a view (alternatively, opt for a coffee from Ink) before riding the gondola.
If you’re visiting in the summer, wrap up your vacation with a day trip to Maroon Bells, unforgettable snow-capped mountains projected onto a mirror lake view.
Ocean City, Maryland
A family-friendly east coast break spot, Ocean City, Maryland is one of the best mother-daughter beach getaways.
Known for its warm sand and cool water, the coastline is a popular place to kick back and relax. Grab some fries from Thrasher’s. Play mini-golf. Cool down with a relaxing evening at the beach. Rinse. Repeat.
If you love shopping as much as my mum and I do, hit the North End of the 3-mile boardwalk (y’all, the shops here, as touristy as they are, have the cutest knick-knacks).
Little Rock, Arkansas
For a quiet offbeat option, try a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas. Little Rock has a bit of everything – historic joints, outdoor escapes, and eye-opening museums.
It’s also a surprising foodie destination (I’m convinced some of the world’s best ice cream is found here).
Eat at Three Fold Noodles And Dumplings Co before sprinkling in a tour of Loblolly Creamery. Then, head to the River Market District, a lively string of boutiques in downtown Little Rock.
One of my favorite mother-daughter getaways took place eight years ago in Orlando, Florida.
Traveling to Disney World with my mum at age 12 is easily one of the best experiences of my life. You see, my mum introduced me to Disney movies. We watched all the classics together. We sang along to the Pocahontas soundtrack. We laughed till our bellies hurt during Hercules. We cried during The Lion King. In other words, visiting Disney World with my mum was surreal.
The set up is just as magical as everyone says. In Florida, you have the option of four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
My mum and I love Epcot the most (no surprise). It’s a little slower paced than the other parks and not as ride-heavy.
The real reason we’re obsessed? Epcot is a shopper’s paradise. Every store is filled with aesthetic made-for-home pieces (on our last visit, my mum and I spent hours debating which ones to tug back to Virginia).
In terms of offbeat mother-daughter getaways, Davis tops this list (sorry, Little Rock). Nestled within Chickasaw Country, Davis is a quiet, upbeat mountain town.
Plan for a laid-back day trip to Turner Falls, an overwhelming spot of beauty in Oklahoma’s Arbuckle region. With bright blue-green water, hidden caves, and a castle, Turner Falls is quickly evolving into a popular tourist attraction (and is well worth the hype off-season).
After a hike (or drive), head to Bedré Fine Chocolate, an I Love Lucy style chocolate factory that adds a gourmet touch to staple flavors.
Satisfy your inner sweet tooth by picking up some treats for the road (my mum loves the raspberry chocolate bars) before exploring some of the surrounding towns (Ardmore, Sulphur).
With upscale dining, cheap tours, and free museums, Washington D.C., a fast-paced versatile city, is an ideal destination on any budget.
If you’re looking for a girly trip (I always am – *insert sheepish grin*), start off at the United States Botanic Garden, a surgically aesthetic plant museum near the Capitol Building. Spend the rest of your day, away from the heat of DC’s work center, in the cooler, hipper district of Georgetown. Cobblestone streets and waterside paths? Yes, please.
Grab some cupcakes from Baked & Wired. Then cherry-top your girls’ trip with a quick wind-down at Thomas Sweet, a classic ice-cream spot popular amongst locals.
Did you enjoy this list of mother-daughter getaways? What’s your favorite mother-daughter getaway? Let me know in the comments below!