8 Weekend Escapes for Every Type of SquadBy Jennifer Nalewicki
Whether your next homestay vacation is a family getaway or a quick trip with the girls (or guys), we have your squad covered for your next weekend adventure.
Birthday Celebration: Napa and Sonoma, California
There are more than 400 wineries spread across California’s Wine Country, so the hardest part of planning a birthday celebration is deciding which ones are worth visiting. Take out the guesswork and instead celebrate with a winery focused on celebrating your big day.
Calmere Estate Winery in Napa offers a wine and cupcake pairing package. Prefer packing a bunch of winery visits into a single day without tagging a designated driver? Then reserve a limo party bus through Napa Shuttle & Limousine that can seat between 12 to 28 passengers, and travel in luxury from the front door of your homestay to each winery.
Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: Austin, Texas
Planning a prenuptial celebration in Austin is a no-brainer since the Texas capital has a little something for everyone and is dotted with homestays within city limits where you and your crew can spend ample Q.T. together.
Want a relaxing spa weekend? Then reserve a day package at one of the city’s many day spas, such as The Woodhouse Day Spa, where your gang can unwind in the relaxation room sipping herbal tea before getting a signature treatment, like the four-handed massage.
More interested in planning a fast-paced celebration? Then get ready for a weekend jam-packed with live music (check out the Continental Club or Saxon Pub) and outdoor activities galore (hiking, biking and kayaking, to name a few).
Family Vacation: Punta de Mita, Mexico
Located on the same line of latitude as Hawaii, this fishing village and resort town on Mexico’s Banderas Bay shares a similar mild tropical climate, making it an ideal destination year-round, especially for families.
Punta de Mita has a wealth of activities for all ages, including humpback whale watching tours, surfing, hiking Cerro de Mono (Monkey Mountain) or through a subtropical forest, and sampling the bounty of local seafood. Expect snapper, grouper, mahi-mahi, marlin and yellowfin tuna plucked fresh from the water — stock up at the Sunday Public Market in nearby Nayarit and grill it at your homestay.
Reunion with College Roommates: Lake Tahoe
Straddling the California–Nevada border, Lake Tahoe has long been a popular escape among city dwellers in both states, and it’s easy to see why. Surrounded by forests, the large freshwater lake makes for a relaxing respite that’s still within striking distance of civilization.
After a full day of swimming, kayaking, parasailing or SUPing by the lake, stock up on locally grown goods to cook up at your homestay from around the Tahoe Basin at one of the local famers markets, like Ski Run Farmer’s Market, which boasts 40 vendors, or American Legion South Lake Tahoe Certified Farmers’ Market, which has been around for more than 25 years.
Not in the mood to drive? You can order online via Lake Tahoe Markets and have it delivered directly to your homestay.
Multi-Couple Trip: Tulum
Located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Tulum is home to the site of a pre-Columbian Mayan city and is packed with beaches, rainforests, swimming holes, historic sites and more. In fact, there’s so much to do here that it’s nearly impossible to cram everything in during a single weekend.
So rather than try to do it all, pick the highlights, like exploring the Tulum Ruins, which once served as one of the most powerful city-states in the world. The next day, book a half-day fishing boat charter (try Jazmin Fishing Charter or Diego’s Fishing Charters) and return to your homestay to grill the bonefish and tarpon you caught.
Wedding Vow Renewal: Palm Springs
Located in California’s Coachella Valley, about 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs has been called “Hollywood’s Playground,” serving as a romantic respite for celebrities like Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin and Elizabeth Taylor since the 1920s and home to plenty of midcentury modern homes to rent.
In fact, many of the homes owned by celebrities of yesteryear have been transformed into popular venues perfect for weddings and wedding vow renewals, including Twin Palms (often called “the Sinatra House”), complete with a piano-shaped swimming pool, and Casa Elizabeth (as in Taylor), a bungalow bedecked with an oil painting of the late actress herself.
Guys’ Trip: Jamaica
While the girls are away in Turks and Caicos, round up the boys for an adventure of your own: Jamaica. The Caribbean island is chock full of things to do, from zip lining and cliff diving in Negril to simply relaxing on one of its many picturesque beaches.
But whatever you do, don’t miss out on sampling the local cuisine, which is rich in local spices and influences. Some popular dishes include jerk chicken, saltfish, oxtail with broad beans, and Jamaican patties. Skip the crowded bar and restaurant scene and instead hire a private chef to come to your homestay via Take a Chef.
Girlfriend Getaway: Turks and Caicos
Make like Kylie Jenner and Co. and jet to Turks and Caicos for your next girlfriend getaway. With its picturesque white-sand beaches and emerald-blue water, this archipelago of islands can be as relaxing or as exciting as you want it to be, and there are plenty of beachfront homestays to choose from.
For the adventurous friends in your posse, book a horseback riding excursion and then regroup in the evening with a Champagne sunset cruise with Ocean Vibes, a local adventure outfitter, that’s both relaxing and perfect for filling up your Instagram feed.
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