When I was a teenager and my best gal pals were scrolling through influencers’ Instagram holiday pictures, there would be collective sighs and exclamations of “That’s going to be us after we graduate!” Nothing made me want to travel more than perfectly VSCO-ed photos of girlfriends in bright bikinis on a Bali beach or eating gelato in Florence. Fast forward a few years, and you’re all grown up with your own money, but you still have an aching desire to travel with your besties. Traveling with a group of friends creates very special memories, so here is a list of 18 places where you can go as a group!
Don’t be put off by its high temperatures and nearly unpronounceable city names. Iceland has one of the most incredible natural landscapes on the planet, with a mix of sleek, modern cities and vast wilderness. There’s adventure around every corner here, so if your group is decidedly more daring, this is the place to be. Book a guide to take you through the breathtaking Golden Circle, which includes the Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park, and spouting geysers. The world-famous Blue Lagoon spa is also nearby, so make time to swim in this natural hot spring!
If you’re on a tight schedule, Montreal is the place to be. It’s like visiting France without taking a ten-hour flight, and your high school French lessons will come in handy when you need to get around and order all the cafe lattes you want. Old Montreal is a lovely old town full of stylish shops and delicious food. The nightlife scene is also thriving here, so you can still have a wild night at the clubs. During the day, stroll through the beautiful Botanical Gardens or admire the breathtaking views from Mount Royal.
Destination Kohler, Wisconsin
This village is ideal for those who enjoy being outside. It’s filled with chic lodges and activity clubs, offering a variety of great group activities such as horseback riding, fishing, pheasant hunting, and golfing. It also has a world-class spa where you can unwind and relax with your friends after a long day of gritting it out in the American open.
Napa Valley, California
With its incredible landscapes and even better food, Napa Valley remains one of the most beautiful places in the United States. This is the place to go if you have a group of food and wine lovers. For those who enjoy a good old red, November to April is Cabernet Season, and if possible, you can even plan your vacation to coincide with the Napa Valley Truffle Festival in January. It doesn’t get any better than the Wine Train, a restored historic train that takes you on a scenic wine tour through the vineyards.
South America is always enticing due to its rich colonial heritage and tropical heat. Cartagena is America’s oldest port city and sits directly on the Caribbean, making it an ideal destination for those looking for a mix of beach and city. The vibrant, walled Old City has a bohemian vibe and is full of great restaurants, offering both fine dining and authentic street food, as well as an exciting nightlife. If you want to go to the beach, take a cruise to Isla de Baru and visit Playa Blanca. While you’re there, try a Giant Peachy Flamingo Float to get into the tropical spirit!
Los Angeles, California
The City of Angels never disappoints, and there is never a shortage of things to do. Visit Koreatown for a day of nonstop eating, then hike through Runyon Canyon to see the Hollywood sign the next day. Spend the day at Venice Beach catching a wave or watching some hot surfers. Los Angeles’ casual glamor is what makes it So-Cal, and you might even see some celebrities on their morning walk. The Giant Inflatable Beer Pong Drink Holder for your villa will be a hit with your group.
For those who appreciate architecture and design, this is a thoroughly modern city brimming with Scandinavian sleekness. You’ll be impressed by the thoughtful design of buildings all around you, and there are plenty of museums to visit. The central market is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and here you can find trinkets, souvenirs, and, of course, food. You can take a ferry to Suomenlinna to see an 18th-century sea fortress and hike through the walking trails that span the six islands.
If the weekly SoulCycle and hot yoga classes aren’t keeping the stress at bay, we recommend a retreat to St. Lucia with your yoga buddies. BodyHoliday, a spa resort with clean foods and exciting fitness regimes (why do spinning and yoga separately when you can combine it and get Spoga?), is located on this lovely Caribbean island and is ideal for a few days of cleansing and rebalancing.
Country music fans should definitely take a cultural trip to where it all began. The city is rich in musical history, with landmarks such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, as well as the iconic Ryman Auditorium, which has hosted legends such as Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley. South Broadway’s neon lights are full of coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants where you can eat your fill.
The Chinese province of Hainan has some truly stunning beaches. This ultra-modern tourist destination has everything from golf courses to high-end shopping and incredible food. With features and services such as a private beach, sky bar, six swimming pools, rock climbing, and even electric car racing, EDITION Hotel is pushing the boundaries of greatness. You and your friends will be spoiled for choice here!
To have a truly relaxing trip, one must connect with their chakras. You can find inner peace in Sedona by becoming one with nature. Hike through Red Rock State Park for breathtaking views of the famous red sandstone canyon, and then unwind with a massage at L’Auberge de Sedona. Tlaquepaque and Highway 89A also have a lot of organic treats and trinkets. End your day with a picnic with your friends while watching the sunset over the desert.
Beaver Creek Colorado
Trappers Cabin at Beaver Creek Resort is ideal for a rustic luxury vacation. You can rent a lodge for up to ten people, complete with a cozy fireplace and a nightly hot tub. The skiing slopes are right outside your door, so if you’ve never gone skiing with friends before, this is an excellent opportunity. In the summer, you can mountain bike or hike through the Colorado mountains, admiring the scenic scenery. The resort will undoubtedly provide you with an exciting adventure…
Antigua, the capital, is a colorful, bustling city with colonial architecture. The landscape is a mix of volcanoes, lakes, and hills, making it ideal for daytime exploration. Visit the famous Lake Atitlan, which is framed by three volcanoes and is one of the best places to watch the sunset with your friends. You can continue your adventure by visiting Tikal National Park or the Chichicastenango Market, which sells a variety of native handicrafts and trinkets.
Game of Thrones fans, take note! The show’s filming location was the stunning walled city of Dubrovnik. A Game of Thrones walking tour will take you to the sets of Kings Landing and Meereen. Aside from that, there is so much to do in this lovely city. Take a cable car up to get a bird’s-eye view of the city, or visit one of the many beaches that line the Adriatic Coast.
Austin is the place to be if you’re all big foodies. You’ll never go hungry in the culinary heart of the South, whether it’s doughnuts at Gourdoughs, Torchy Tacos, or Franklin Barbeques. Food trucks and street stalls line the streets, making it easy to find a taco truck for your hungover breakfast after a night at the brewery. If it’s hot outside, put on your swimsuit and head to Lady Bird Lake for a cool dip.
Danube River Cruise
Europe is a great place to city-hop, but trying to cat hall your flights, trains, and buses in a group can be tedious, tiring, and stressful. Then there are the Danube river cruises. They will take you through some of Europe’s most beautiful cities, including Vienna, Budapest, Munich, and Prague, without the hassle of transportation. You’ll have slightly different experiences depending on which cruise you choose, so choose something with an itinerary that appeals to everyone. The Adventures by Disney cruise, which includes a visit to the Austrian Alps and an underground lake, is our top pick. You’ll also be able to satisfy your sweet tooth with a chocolate factory tasting!
The birthplace of pizza, pasta, and gelato… Italy will enchant you for the rest of your life. If you want to go shopping with the girls in the north, go to Milan and visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Venice is also a good choice, with its fresh seafood and haunting waterways at every turn. Cinque Terre is another fantastic coast-side town to visit, with plenty of hiking trails and beaches. If you prefer to immerse yourself in culture, history, and museums, Verona and Florence are ideal destinations. The Tuscan countryside is lush, and you can take a break among vineyards and lemon groves. Travel south to Rome and Naples for the best pizza in the world. If you have a little more money to spend, the stunning Amalfi Coast with Positano and Capri will not disappoint.
The United Kingdom isn’t just about London and Edinburgh; it also has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, which have inspired poets and artists for centuries. Cumbria’s Lake District is filled with lush, rolling hills and numerous lakes ideal for scenic walks and rowing. You can stay in a cottage, which is ideal for a group trip, to get the full English experience. North Wales is home to the Llyn Peninsula, which is full of seaside towns and surfing beaches. You can go cave exploring and marvel at the sites of ancient British history.
As you can see, there are many beautiful places to visit, so plan ahead of time and choose the activities that everyone enjoys the most. After all, it’s a group trip, so whatever you plan should be something that everyone will enjoy!