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Posted June 2006

Great Girl Getaways in Monterey


MONTEREY—Ditch the minivan, cancel the play dates and drop off the kids with grandma: it's time for the gals to get away. Alone.

While family vacations and romantic weekends for two are certainly wonderful, more and more women are traveling together, looking for a little she-time with friends, sisters and moms. It's a great opportunity to bond, catch up on conversation, grab a manicure (without anyone to mess it up afterwards), or just relax, relax, relax.

According to a recent USA Today article, "Gal getaways are as hot as the hunky plumber on TV’s Desperate Housewives. Whether it’s bachelorette parties in Vegas, mom-daughter spa weekends, or college pals holing up in a hotel room for Cosmos and catch-up conversations, women-only jaunts are a sizzling travel industry trend." There you go. A perfect excuse for a get away.

So, where to go? We've found some of the most girl-friendly spots on the Monterey Peninsula to rest, retreat and pal around for a few days. You'll return home revitalized, renewed and ready to face the playground a whole new woman.

For a more complete list of lodging ideas, check out Monterey's lodging listings on

Centrella Bed & Breakfast Inn
612 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove
English afternoon tea, a Swedish massage and an aromatherapy body wrap…how pampered can a girl get? The Centrella Inn, in Pacific Grove, is an elegant Victorian bed and breakfast with luxurious amenities that are anything but old-fashioned. Stay with friends in one of the garden cottages or curl up with a good book all by yourself in an upstairs suite. 800.233.3372

La Playa Hotel
Camino Real at Eighth Ave, Carmel
Girlfriends' Getaway Monterey Vacation Package
Let your cares slip away as you enter this Mediterranean-style villa in the heart of Carmel. If you need a little more encouragement, a 50-minute spa treatment and personalized makeover, followed by a day of shopping and a special wine and cheese tasting should have you basking in the lap of luxury—at least for a couple days. 800.582.8900.

For a more complete list of shopping ideas, check out Monterey's shopping listings on

Carmel Plaza
Ocean Avenue & Mission Street, Carmel
So you didn't find a little blue Tiffany box under the tree, for your anniversary…or your birthday. Take charge (and your charge card) and head to Carmel Plaza for a little retail therapy. Along with the famous Tiffany & Co., there are enough high-end shops (Anthropologie, Louis Vuitton, Sur La Table, etc.) to make you feel like the glamour-puss you know you are. 831.624.0138.

Del Monte Center
1410 Del Monte Center, Monterey
What kind of a girl's weekend doesn't include sniffing out some sweet bargains? Del Monte Center is the largest shopping center in the county, with more than 85 specialty shops and restaurants, including Macy's, Ann Taylor Loft, Express and The Body Shop. 831.373.2705.

For a more complete list of restaurant and dining ideas, check out Monterey's restaurant listings on

Pacific Coast Hwy., Big Sur
Despite a rather colorful past (Nepenthe was a favorite hippie hangout), the restaurant is now a favorite tourist stop because of its incredible ocean views. Perched high up on a cliff, you can see miles out to sea. So, head out to the deck with a tasty Ambrosia burger, grab your camera and say "Here's to leaving the kids with dad for the weekend!" 831.667.2345

L'Auberge Carmel
Seventh Ave. & Monte Verde St., Carmel
Budgeted into any great getaway is at least one major dining splurge. If you're ready to throw all financial caution to the wind, L'Auberge is a solid choice. Chef Walter Manzke is a major force in the culinary world, whipping up ten course meals that can last, well, almost as long as that long-needed catching up with the gals that you've put off for the last six months. Word to the wise: book well in advance, as tables are in short supply. 831-624-8578.

Culinary Center of Monterey
Thought you were getting out of the kitchen for a few days? Strap on an apron, and head back to the burners with a one-day course at the Culinary Center of Monterey. Someone else's' kitchen, after all, is a lot more fun that your own. And, with master chefs teaching you everything from pasta-making to sushi, you can take some newfound knowledge back home with you. 831.333.2133.

For a more complete list of spa and recreation ideas, check out Monterey's spa listings on

Body Suite Day Spa
550 Wave Street, Monterey
Get a massage…while sight-seeing. With grand vistas of the Monterey Bay, Body Suite Day Spa will spoil you rotten with massages, scrubs, wraps, and facials. Special summer specials include a two-by-two (try it with a friend!) 75-minute massage.831-375-4375

Bernardus Lodge
415 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel
Enter the lodge, and you may never leave. With 5,300 feet of spa-facilities, this resort offers open-air warming pools, a meditation garden, grape seed facials, and just about any other decadent form of relaxation your tired body can imagine. Plus, just feet away are plenty of fluffy beds, a restaurant and a winery. See? You're not leaving, are you? 888-648-9463.

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