When it comes to traveling with friends, it can be difficult to settle on a destination that everyone will love and find common interests within. Some people are beach vacation folk, some people are city vacation folk, and some people are camping vacation folk — everyone, even the closest of friends, varies when it comes to their travel preferences! So, instead of basing your travel destination decision on finding out what all your friends want to do in a certain city, why not base your decision on an interest that you all surely have: Feminism? There are tons of feminist trips you can take with your friends this spring that will appeal to everyone in your group
I’m not talking yoga retreats that are made for women, or destinations “ideal” for female tourism. I'm talking about vacation destinations that will encourage you and your friends to celebrate women and empower you all — while also giving you the opportunity to take a pretty rad trip together.
Read on for a few vacation destinations around the world that celebrate women. Any of them would make a great getaway this spring if you're searching for the perfect destination to travel to with your besties.
The Jefferson D.C. — Washington, D.C.
Women have a rich history in Washington D.C., and The Jefferson D.C. is helping travelers to celebrate women with a new summer program at the hotel. With their Summer of American Democracy program, travelers can enjoy a cool, complimentary, two-day itinerary called “How Women Shaped American Life and Culture." Hotel guests may follow the itinerary on their own, and it includes some pretty awesome things, including walking in the footsteps of the 1913 Suffragette Parade.
Inns Of Aurora — Aurora, NY
A visit to the Inns of Aurora will undoubtedly leave you inspired, as the property and entire village of Aurora were revived and developed by Pleasant Rowland — aka, the founder of the American Girl Doll empire. Rowland spent many years (and more than $150 million) taking 18th century buildings on the brink of being condemned and restored them to their original grandeur. From the fine art and antiques (pulled from her very own collection) to the bathroom amenities and cookies available at the Village Market, Pleasant’s influence and attention to detail can be seen at every touch-point throughout the property. Even better: “In founding the Inns of Aurora, Pleasant not only saved the architectural gems of this tiny village, but hired women to lead the company” says Alex Schloop, Creative Director of the Inns of Aurora. Talk about girl power: “Of a senior team of seven, five are women, including its general manager, director of events, director of food and beverage, controller, and human resources director.”
National Cowgirl Museum And Hall Of Fame — Fort Worth, TX
The vibrant "City of Cowboys and Culture," Fort Worth, TX, features the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring women of the American West, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. The 33,000 square foot museum currently houses more than 4,000 artifacts, interactive exhibits and theater presentations on more than 750 influential women, including Annie Oakley, Sacagawea, and Georgia O’Keefe.
Mary Todd Lincoln House — Lexington, Kentucky
This year, Lexington, KY celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Mary Todd Lincoln House, aka the girlhood home of President Abraham Lincoln’s wife. “Women are often secondary figures in the life stories of the great men of our nation’s past” says Gwen Thomas, Director at Mary Todd Lincoln House. “We’re proud that Mary is the central focus of our historic site, which also allows us to more broadly celebrate women’s roles and varied experiences in the era.”
Finger Lakes, New York
You can follow in the footsteps of historical women in many areas of the Finger Lakes region: Seneca Falls, Rochester, Syracuse, and Auburn, NY, just to name a few. “In order to appreciate the present we must study the past. A trip to the Finger Lakes provides the opportunity to visit sites of critical importance to the women's rights movement” says Rachel Laber Pulvino the Director of Communications at Visit Rochester. Explore the centrally located region of Seneca Falls — known as the “Center of the Rebellion” — to witness the site of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. Plan a day trip to Rochester, home of the Susan B. Anthony House and Museum, the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association and the site of her famous arrest for voting in 1872. History buffs can even pay respects to Harriet Tubman at her final resting spot, and check out the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park named in her honor.
Museum Of The American Revolution — Philadelphia, PA
The brand-new, state-of-the-art Museum of the American Revolution is devoted to telling a richer and more complex story of the Revolution than most people have experienced before. Visitors of the museum will learn the stories of well-known women like Martha Washington, as well as lesser-known stories such as that of Mumbet, an enslaved Massachusetts woman who sued for her freedom and won; Two Kettles, a Native American women who fought in the Battle of Oriskany alongside her husband; and Deborah Sampson, who dressed as a man to fight in the Continental Army and dug a bullet out of her own thigh to avoid being discovered!
“At the Museum of the American Revolution,” says Dr. Philip Mead, chief historian and director of curatorial affairs at the Museum, “we tell a broader story than that of the so-called ‘founding fathers,’ and include the stories of founding mothers and the diverse revolutionary generation.”
International Women's Day Kilimanjaro Climb — Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Want to really take your adventures to new levels? Then consider Tanzania, and celebrate the achievements of women through WHOA Travel’s annual International Women's Day Kilimanjaro climb. The group-lead excursion draws women from around the world, and encourages women to stand together on the Roof of Africa in solidarity. “Reaching the peak through this bond of sharing seven days on the mountain — it's a powerful message that speaks to the strength and tenacity of women and what we can accomplish together,” explains Allison Fleece, co-founder of WHOA.
Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique — Mazatlan, Mexico
Down in Mexico, the town of Mazatlan is a destination that truly honors women. According to Concepcion Valades Valdez, founder and owner of Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique, “women are not paid less or seen as lesser than men in Mazatlan. Instead, women are revered.” From statues honoring women throughout the town to their annual Carnival (the third largest in the world!) which focuses exclusively on women, this town has it all.
Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique is a female-owned and run boutique hotel that is affectionately named in honor of Concepcion's mother, Lucila Valdez de Valades with each of the eight rooms named after one of Lucila's eight daughters. Women are the focus of the hotel in both a figurative and literal perspective. "I wanted to honor my mother, my sisters, my daughter,” says Concepcion, “to tell our story and to keep our family legacy thriving through the stories of the women in my life. When people stay at our hotel, they are staying with family that has the utmost respect for the women that keep our story alive.”
Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival — Phuket, Thailand
The Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival in Phuket celebrates two bad-ass sisters, who were fierce leaders in a period of conflict. Over 200 years ago, (way ahead of their time) Thao Thep Krasatri and Thao Sri Suntorn served as leaders, and rallied the villagers together to defend Phuket from Burmese troops who attempted to invade. Today, the sisters are honored for giving their lives to defend their community.
Through the Thao Thepkasattri-Thao Sri Suntorn Festival, “we aim to raise awareness of the history of powerful Thai women who broke down gender stereotypes long before their time” says Anchalika Kijkanakorn, Managing Director and Founder of Akaryn Hotel Group, including the akyra Beach Club in Phuket. Women (and men!) planning to visit for the festival should consider this property, where women's empowerment and women involved in Thai tourism is a focus.