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En español | Whether it’s a spa vacation, a shopping excursion or a step back in time, a mother-daughter getaway can provide a golden opportunity to bond, reconnect, or just have some fun as a duo. A few days away in one of these seven cities would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift – or gift any time of the year — whether the giving is from mother to daughter or from daughter to mother.
1. Charleston, S.C.
Best for: History buffs and bird watchers
For a weekend getaway in the southeastern United States, few destinations rival Charleston. Founded in 1670, this city’s historic district is like strolling around a movie set. Gaze at pastel colonial houses while walking down cobblestone streets or riding in a horse-drawn carriage. After a day of touring, take advantage of all the fabulous restaurants here. Looking for good southern barbecue? Try Lewis Barbecue, with outdoor and indoor seating. Beyond the historical aspect, the city also offers some of the most pristine beaches around, from Folly Beach to the Isle of Palms. If it’s birds you’re looking for, travel to the seven-mile-long undeveloped barrier island and wilderness habitat known as Bulls Island, home to nearly 300 species. Travel there by ferry or kayak via a Coastal Expeditions tour. And enjoy the solitude!
2. Phoenicia, N.Y.
Best for: Shoppers and old hippies
When you think of destination cities, you might not think of Phoenicia, N.Y., a tiny nook in the Catskills usually overshadowed by the neighboring town of Woodstock. But this beautiful hamlet holds its own with a nice array of hotels, shops and restaurants. Stay at the Graham & Co., an old-school, one-story motel that’s been carefully remodeled with a hip Brooklyn vibe. In the winter, there are bonfires around which guests sip wine. In the summer, there are outdoor movie nights. Other freebies include bikes and beer on check-in. And the best part? You can eat right next door at Tavern 214, a fabulous farm-to-table gastropub. There’s also plenty of outdoorsy stuff to do: tough hikes, easy strolls, and tubing and kayaking down Esopus Creek. Finally, Woodstock is an easy drive away. Go back in time by visiting the Museum at Bethel Woods, where interactive exhibits celebrate the 1969 Woodstock music festival and the entire decade it came to represent. No wonder the Catskills has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent years.
3. Columbus, Ohio
Best for: Kids at heart and walkers
The state’s capital and largest city boasts many miles of multiuse trails stretching from Bicentennial Plaza in the south to North Bank Park in the north, perfect for taking a long stroll. Also made for walking is the German Village Historic District, a neighborhood with architecture dating from the 1840s to 1890s that has been beautifully preserved. Get lost in 32 rooms of books at the Book Loft. Enjoy tasty German food at Schmidt’s. If you don’t want German, dine out at Lindey’s Restaurant & Bar. Also, be sure to take a walk through the 23 acres of ponds and paths that make up Schiller Park, the heart of German Village. Outside German Village, Columbus also offers the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, often cited as one of the best zoos in the world. The site – which features an 18-hole golf course – draws more than 2 million visitors a year.
4. Monterey, Calif.
Best for: Those who want to be pampered
If the stunning shots of Monterey shown in the HBO series Big Little Lies didn’t make you want to visit this seemingly perfect paradise, nothing will. Not only can you take a stroll down the locals’ beach of Del Monte, where many of the show’s jogging and flashback scenes occur, but you also can eat like the crew and cast. According to Vogue, they dined often at Rio Grill in Carmel and at Restaurant 1833 in downtown Monterey. If the film’s not your thing, Monterey is still the perfect spot for those who like to be pampered. The Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa bills itself as providing the “quintessential Monterey experience.” Close to the airport and downtown, the Hyatt Regency offers a 12,000-square-foot full-service luxury spa.
5. St. Petersburg, Fla.
Best for: Beach bums and arts enthusiasts
Nicknamed the Sunshine City, St. Petersburg is much more than its breathtaking beaches. Florida’s fourth-largest city has enjoyed a cultural revival in recent years, evident in the lively downtown area and along the redeveloped waterfront. See famous French impressionist paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts or surrealistic Spanish art at the stunning Dali Museum. Another interesting stop is the Morean Arts Center, which houses the gorgeous glass sculptures known as the Chihuly Collection. You can also watch artists create glass art at the Morean Glass Studio and Hot Shop. And when you’re hungry? Go to Locale Market, a 20,000-square-foot marketplace offering the region’s freshest artisanal foods.
Best for: History buffs and museum lovers
There’s no doubt Philadelphia is one of America’s most important historical cities. But it’s also jam-packed with museums. Indeed, there’s so much to do in the City of Brotherly Love that your first stop should be the Independence Visitor Center near 6th and Market streets, for information and walking tour maps. For those into history, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Pavilion are not to be missed. But also pay a visit to the Barnes Foundation, which holds one of the finest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modern paintings, as well as to the Morris Arboretum, a 92-acre site that features a formal rose garden, swan pond, glasshouse fernery and colorful gardens. A permanent exhibit there takes visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing. For eating and sleeping, check out the new Logan hotel (formerly the Four Seasons) near Rittenhouse Square. It has a nice rooftop bar, Assembly, and a farm-to-table restaurant, Urban Farmer.
7. Fredericksburg, Texas
Best for: Wine drinkers and pretty scenery lovers
Nothing beats traveling through Texas Hill Country in spring – wildflower season. But even if you go another time of year, there are plenty of breathtaking scenic drives to keep you satisfied. Arguably the most beautiful area of Texas, the Texas Hill Country is also home to more than 45 wineries and vineyards and Fredericksburg – which has a main street filled with charming shops and cafes — is the region’s epicenter. To get you started, check out Grape Creek Vineyards, with its Tuscan Villa tasting rooms, or Lost Draw Cellars in downtown Fredericksburg. If wine’s not your thing, try a mother-daughter hike at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, home to a towering pink granite rock. In the evening, visit the Albert Ice House and Dance Hall. If you don’t want to two-step, there are plenty of spots to sip a cold one and watch.