Looking for the best places to travel with friends? This list of the best trips with friends is guaranteed inspiration! It includes fun trips to take this weekend and bucket list international places to visit, too.
But before you decide on a destination, be sure to keep the personalities and preferences of your friends top of mind. Some friends are awesome to lay on a beach with, but not so great for trekking through the jungle or road tripping through Europe.
My top tip: Embrace the personalities and preferences of who you’re traveling with, and let it guide your destination.
After getting trip ideas below, check out my travel planning guide to help you make it epic.
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15 FUN Places to go with friends on the weekend
I highly recommend OFTEN taking fun trips with friends near where you live. Short and sweet trips are a great way to “test the waters” of traveling with friends without putting too much stress on a relationship. Especially if your travel styles are quite different.
Here are awesome places to go with friends on the weekend, including ideas across the US and Canada.
1. HOUSEBOATING near you
My very first BIG trip with friends was a houseboating weekend in beautiful British Columbia. It was perfect!
We soaked in the hot tub and slid down the waterslide when we got too hot. Ate way too much ice cream. Met some cuties. And we even crashed. Yup, we did. There’s nothing like a little drama to pull you together! (Make sure you get insurance, ‘cause those boats are harder to steer than they look!)
Find the nearest pretty lake country near you, book a car and make it happen. It’s like camping but with a waterslide.
2. Fun LOS ANGELES weekend getaway for girls
A girls trip to LA is pretty classic. Strut your stuff like Pretty Woman on Rodeo Drive. Hit up the star-prone restaurants. And time it with the Oscars to experience the red carpet. It’s possibly THE most epic place to travel with friends on the weekend.
Or, if you’re not into the Hollywood mayhem, stay on beautiful Santa Monica Beach. Cycle The Strand bike path along the waterfront. Ride the ferris wheel on the pier. And people-watch while enjoying incredible beachfront restaurants.
Where to stay with friends in Los Angeles:
- Casa Del Mar resort and spa (Santa Monica): Right on Santa Monica Beach, with an outdoor pool, restaurants and live music on Sundays. Every room has a hydrotherapy spa tub and floor-to-ceiling windows, some with an ocean view.
- Beverly Wilshire (Beverly Hills): As close as you can get to Rodeo Drive, overlooking Rodeo Drive and the Via Rodeo fountain and steps. An epic place for a trip with friends to explore Rodeo Drive’s boutique shops and cafes.
- SIXTY Beverly Hills (Beverly Hills): Five blocks from Rodeo Drive along Wilshire Blvd, with a pretty rooftop pool and bar.
3. FLORIDA KEYS road trips with friends
A road trip from Miami to the tip of the Florida Keys is the perfect mix of beach and culture. It’s only about 3.5 hours, with plenty of time to stop along the way.
If you’re not from Miami, spend a day exploring its museums, Bayside Marketplace at the waterfront, or cultural neighborhoods like Little Havana.
Then, rent a car and head out to Key West. Along the way, stop to play with dolphins, feel the sand between your toes, and eat and drink with a view. Want more adventure? Where better to go skydiving with the girls than in Key West?!
Find all you need to plan your Florida Keys road trip with friends.
4. NEW ORLEANS weekend getaway with friends
Visiting the plantations in Louisiana would certainly make for a memorable travel experience with friends in the USA. Stay in a former plantation mansion, the elegant Nottoway Plantation that dates back to the 1850s. It’s the south’s largest antebellum mansion, located right on the Mississippi River. It features antiques and fireplaces in the rooms. Plus, an outdoor pool, hot tub, onsite dining and self-guided tours.
Plantations to visit near New Orleans, Louisiana:
- Oak Alley Plantation: Known for the stunning Oak-lined path entrance to this sugarcane plantation. Features tours of the “big house” (with a pretty wrap-around upper balcony), slave cabins, expansive garden and exhibits.
- Whitney Plantation: Famous for its ground-breaking slavery museum, with restored buildings and educational guided tours.
- Destrehan Plantation: Established in 1787, this sugar plantation was the site of one of the three trials following the 1811 Slave Revolt. Features interpretive tours, exhibits and pretty grounds.
5. Fun trips with friends to NEW YORK CITY
New York City can be anything you and your friends want it to be.
Times Square and Fifth Avenue are perfect for high-end shopping, flashing lights and nightlife. Its museums, Broadway theater and The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts are epic for the culturalists. Foodies will love exploring Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. And for those who love relaxation, Central Park, Staten Island and Brooklyn waterfront promise amazing views. I’d argue that NYC is one of the BEST places to travel with friends.
On my trip with friends to NYC, we stayed in a boutique hotel in the Upper West Side. Within a block, we had a small pastry shop, grocery store and plenty of cute cafes. We could easily walk to Central Park and Riverside Park (perfect for a You’ve Got Mail walking tour). And since we were surrounded by residential streets, I got to meet so many dogs out for their walk! Plus, easy subway access to everything else.
6. SEATTLE jazz weekend trips with friends
I love Seattle, Washington. Its Pike Place Market and waterfront restaurants. Plenty of jazz clubs. And lots of excellent shopping and coffee shops, too. Seattle has beautiful waterfront parks, artsy museums, Space Needle views, and boat tours to stay busy. Time it with a concert, too!
When I visited Seattle with one of my best friends, we LOVED the comfortable beds and pillows at the Staypineapple Maxwell Hotel. You simply cannot get a better sleep! It’s colorful vibe is super fun, too, and it has an indoor pool and bikes you can use. Price includes wifi.
Now, as much as I love the Staypineapple beds, you can’t get a better location than The Edgewater. It’s right at Pier 67, with fabulous views of Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Elegant rooms have fireplaces, cozy furnishings and spa bathroom. The property features an onsite restaurant, gift shop and coffee bar. Price includes wifi and downtown shuttle.
7. Fun LAS VEGAS weekend trips with friends
I’ll admit that Las Vegas is pretty low on my list of places to visit, but I understand the appeal – especially with friends. Awesome shows. Epic shopping. Sights you just won’t see anywhere else.
You’ll also find some incredible house rentals on VRBO, both near The Strip or near the mountains.
8. Epic CANYON road trips with friends
A great add-on to a friends Vegas trip, especially for the outdoorsy adventurers at heart, is a 2-day canyon road trip. Hike the amazing canyons of Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon North Rim and Antelope slot canyon.
You have some incredible options for places to stay, too. Under Canvas near Lake Powell has lovely tents with a cozy wood-burning stove and private balcony with canyon views. Or book the luxury Amangiri spa resort, tucked right into the rocks. It has an onsite restaurant, bar, concierge, sauna and spa. And the rooms look AMAZING.
9. AMUSEMENT PARK hopping trips with friends
Are you guys dare-devils? How fun would it be to go amusement park hopping together?!
Top on my list are Coney Island in New York City and Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California. In Canada, Montreal’s Six Flags is lots of fun.
To visit a bunch on one trip, take a road trip through California or Pennsylvania. Yup, Pennsylvania! Check out this USA Today article for 17 awesome parks.
10. BEACH resort weekend getaway with friends
You can have an amazing beach resort getaway with friends even without leaving the continental USA. One of my favorite spots is about half an hour from downtown Jacksonville, Florida, at the lovely Ponte Vedra Beach seaside community. It’s also known as San Pablo Island, and is a great mixture of relaxing beaches and bustling Jacksonville nearby.
A wonderful place for a beach weekend getaway with friends is Ponte Vedra Inn and Club. Its beach and gardens are beautiful, with warm and comfortable rooms. Enjoy four heated pools, bikes, seven restaurants and lounges, and plenty of onsite shops and boutiques. Despite all of its amenities, it feels like a charming boutique inn.
Our equivalent for relaxation in Canada is Prince Edward Island. It’s super low-key and perfect for friends who just want to chill.
Dalvay by the Sea Hotel is classic and luxurious, located on the north shore. It’s inside a national park and has an onsite restaurant, bar, tennis courts and bike rentals. Or stay in one of many lovely historic inns in Charlottetown. I highly recommend the charming Fairholm National Historic Inn.
11. Fun ARTSY places to go with friends
Here are two very different types of artsy places to go with friends.
First, East Hampton Art Bed and Breakfast on Long Island. This sprawling property is perfect for art lovers and those looking for a refreshing getaway. Relax in the outdoor pool and jacuzzi while admiring the meditation garden, waterfalls, and lotus pond.
And second, head to Memphis to meet the king! If your friends are big music buffs, you’ll enjoy exploring the Memphis Rock ‘n Soul Museum, Gibson Guitar Factory, and Orpheum Theatre. And of course, the iconic Beale Street’s shops and restaurants.
Stay at the Peabody Memphis with an onsite dining room, spa, indoor pool and luxurious bathrobes. And don’t miss Peabody’s “March of the ducks” tradition!
12. LAKEFRONT retreat weekend trips with friends
Head to Upstate New York for a weekend trip with friends at the lake.
Inns of Aurora is a community of five lakefront properties. They’re beautiful and cozy, with wine tastings, yoga and painting classes. Plus, a private beach, lakeside firepits, paddling and bikes. Organic, fair-trade coffee and fresh scones in the morning. Farm-to-table restaurant during the day. Book a room with a fireplace and lake views.
13. Fun weekend trips with friends in TEXAS
There are plenty of beautiful resorts in Texas perfect for weekend trips with friends. One of my favorites is the JL Bar Ranch Resort and Spa in lovely Texas Hill Country. This estate is grand, with a full-service spa, outdoor pool and two restaurants. Plus, pretty gardens to explore, complete with a fountain. Rooms offer warm decor, with gorgeous dark wood accents, furnished patios, bathrobes and slippers. Price includes wifi.
Another favorite is Commodore Perry Estate in Austin Texas. Its manicured gardens are gorgeous, as is the massive library with floor-to-ceiling bookcases and plush couches. You’ll also spend plenty of time in its elegant tea room, pool, terrace and restaurant. Book a room with a terrace for pretty views. Price includes wifi and shuttle service.
14. WINE AND SPA getaways with friends
Do you girls love sipping wine and relaxing with beautiful views? One of the best places to travel with friends in the USA is Napa Valley, California. Napa Valley is about 1.5 hours northeast of the San Francisco International Airport. You’ll find more than 375 wineries, more than 150 restaurants, and beautiful weather year-round. Napa Valley is nestled among two mountain ranges, with incredible views wherever you look.
For weekend getaways with friends at Canadian wineries, choose from gorgeous views in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, and Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. All three locations have excellent wines, spas and views.
Where to stay for a wine and spa getaway with the girls:
- Auberge du Soleil Resort (Rutherford, California): This gorgeous resort is the ultimate friends weekend getaway, surrounded by a 33-acre olive grove. Relax in cabanas at the pool. Indulge at the spa and fine dining restaurant.
- Therapy Vineyards (Okanagan, BC): Suites overlook the vineyard and Okanagan Lake, with oversized windows, fireplace, patio and oversized tub. The property also has an outdoor fireplace and hot tub, and serves breakfast.
- Prince of Wales (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario): This elegant Victorian-style luxury hotel is the perfect base for exploring nearby wineries. Features an onsite spa and indoor pool. Enjoy traditional English tea at the onsite restaurant and local wines in the cozy lounge.
15. CRAFTING retreat with the girls
There’s something about a crafting getaway that screams “treat”! How often do you dedicate time to create together?
You can find accommodations that offer things like cooking classes or join a retreat that focuses on a particular craft, like painting. For me and my friends, we’d just bring our favorite crafting supplies to a cozy cabin retreat with a hot tub and views.
15 BEST Places to travel with friends in Europe and the world
Taking international trips with friends is a sure way to create lasting memories and bonds. But the stress of international travel will put pressure on your friendship. Make sure you choose a destination that complements your relationship and how you enjoy spending time together.
In Europe, my favorite place to look for accommodations is Plum Guide. You’ll find the coolest house rentals ever, all verified and not all ridiculously expensive.
Here are awesome places to travel with friends in the world, including Europe.
16. European CASTLE getaway with friends
Take your international trip with friends around Europe chasing castles! The biggest challenge will be narrowing your castle adventure to a geographical area, like England or France.
Pick the most iconic castle or area you most want to see and plan the rest of your friends vacation from there. Here are three ideas:
- Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany): The most classic fairytale-like castle nestled in the Bavarian Alps. Take in its stunning architecture, lush surroundings, and panoramic views. Other (relatively) nearby castles to visit include the medieval and mountaintop Hohenwerfen Fortress in Austria and
- Château de Chambord (France): A Renaissance masterpiece with elegant French architecture and vast gardens. It’ll enchant you with its grand halls and intricate details. Other notable French castles to visit include the lovely Château de Chenonceau built atop an old mill and the opulent Palace of Versailles.
- Eilean Donan Castle (Scotland): A remarkably enchanting castle among many in Scotland, with its charming bridge and moss-covered walls near the entrance to the Isle of Skye. My other favorite castles are on the opposite side of Scotland: the grand Sterling Castle and romantic cliffside Dunnottar Castle.
17. International trips with friends to AUSTRIA
Austria is a captivating blend of stunning landscapes, rich history, and cultural experiences. Start your trip with friends in Vienna, the capital city. It’s a hub of art, music and architecture, with magnificent palaces, cathedrals and museums. Pick accommodations near City Center so you can walk to St. Stephen’s Cathedral for evening drinks.
Then, travel through the Danube’s Wachau Valley before heading south to Salzburg. Wachau Valley is a beautiful area of vineyards and cute villages along the river valley. I also highly recommend a stop at Stift Melk Abbey.
Roam the streets and hills surrounding the lovely city of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and setting for the Sound of Music. It’s a charming old town with cobblestone streets, lovely gardens, and the iconic Hohensalzburg Fortress looming above.
18. ENGLAND road trips with friends
Take a road trip with friends through the English countryside. There are SO many romantic castles, parks and gardens. Quaint villages in the Cotswolds. Rugged rolling hills in the Lake District. And haunting mysteries of Rosslyn Chapel. Experience England’s beauty on a drive from London to Edinburgh.
If you’d prefer a relaxing group tour rather than driving yourself, check out excellent tours of England from Trafalgar. Include a tour of Scotland and Ireland, too.
Find amazing places to stay on PlumGuide.com.
19. EUROPEAN CRUISE vacation with friends
A European cruise vacation with friends would be AMAZING. You have all the benefits of world-class service, entertainment and food. Plus the gorgeous cities, islands and rugged coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. Elegant spires off the Baltic Sea. Incredible history and the Cliffs of Dover off the North Sea. And then the more intimate cruise experience of exploring the Rhine or Danube.
20. Road trips through ITALY with friends
I’ve been to Italy only once and long to go back. There is SO much to see in Italy and it would be absolutely amazing to experience it with my best girl friends. Given the variety of sights to see, I recommend either getting a train pass for the time you’re there or renting a car.
On a road trip through Italy, start and stop in the vibrant city of Rome. Rome is a must-visit for historical landmarks like the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Trevi Fountain. Stroll its charmings streets while indulging in pastas and gelato.
Then head up to Venice, a unique floating city built on canals. On your return to Rome, stop in Florence to see the famous Statue of David and beautiful churches. Then calm things down with a few days exploring the stunning Cinque Terre coastline and Tuscany wineries.
If you have more time, continue south of Rome to explore the historic ruins of Pompeii. It’s just south of Naples, another gorgeous coastal city. Sorrento and the Amalfi coast promise more spectacular views and memories for an epic trip with friends.
21. Explore ICELAND on a trip with friends
Iceland is a magical land of fire and ice, with waterfalls, the Blue Lagoon and ice caves. It’s an amazing trip with friends who love exploring nature’s wonders … and don’t mind a remote experience. There are no Starbucks in Iceland! But you will find other delicious coffee.
Visit the famous Golden Circle, which includes the breathtaking Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and the Þingvellir National Park. Take in the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and nearby Diamond Beach. Hike through the mesmerizing landscapes of Landmannalaugar or the volcanic region of Mývatn. Discover rugged fjords and black sand beaches, and then soak in the soothing Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
If you want to explore Iceland’s famous ice caves or chase the Northern Lights, you must come in winter. Plan your friend’s trip between mid-November and mid-March.
22. Fun CARIBBEAN CRUISE trips with friends
A cruise is as easy as they come for trips with friends. Choose a destination, timing, and go!
A super easy cruise vacation for friends would be the Bahamas or Caribbean. Hop from beautiful island to beautiful island, all while enjoying luxury amenities, entertainment, and dining onboard.
A cruise is also a fantastic solution to taking trips with friends who have different interests. So long as you can agree on a cruise destination, you can go your separate ways in the afternoon and come back together at dinner.
Explore cruises on CruiseDirect.com.
23. INDIA adventure places to travel with friends
India is rich in cultural heritage, diverse landscapes, and unforgettable experiences for friends traveling together. Explore the bustling streets of Delhi and vibrant markets of Jaipur. Visit the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra. And take a spiritual journey in Varanasi.
But to see the best of India on your trip with friends, you need to leave the popular northern cities. Travel south to the popular Kovalam Beach and witness the breathtaking landscapes of Kerala’s backwaters.
Find incredible treehouses for your next best adventure with friends! Check out these treehouses on Booking.com, including in India, Chile, Costa Rica and more.
24. International trips with friends to THAILAND
Are you and your friends intrigued by Asian culture and finding the perfect secluded beach (like in The Beach movie)? Then I’m guessing Thailand is on your radar for international places to visit with friends.
My main tip for visiting Thailand is to get out of Bangkok as quickly as possible. It’s busy, smoggy and not especially friendly. Instead, head north to Chiang Mai to experience the floating markets. Climb an ancient temple and brush up against an elephant. Then indulge at a beach resort at Phuket or the Phi Phi islands. Bask on white sand beach, surrounded by gorgeous limestone peaks and perfect turquoise waters.
Interested in a guided group tour? I highly recommend Intrepid small group tours for an incredibly rich, “local” experience. They have tours into Northern and Southern Thailand, including food and beach tours!
You may also like 5 Charities in SE Asia Tourists Should Visit.
25. Epic CAMBODIA trips with friends
Ancient temples, jungle and Tomb Raider. And an incredibly resilient people that carry an awful history of genocide. Cambodia is a place that will touch your soul and guarantees a friends trip you’ll never forget.
You’ll want to visit both the capital of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, home to the famous temples. In Phnom Penh, visit markets, temples and gardens. But hold onto your food, because those monkeys are gutsy! And my opinion is that tourists should pay their respects at the genocide sites. How else can we begin to appreciate what their people have been through?
In Siem Reap, explore the gorgeous temple ruins of Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm. A local guide can also take you to lesser-known temples you can climb with a jungle view all to yourself. Be sure to have a drink at The Red Piano and ask for a Tomb Raider drink. Cheers!
When I was in Siem Reap, my sister challenged me to do more than visit, so I will challenge you. Read about my experience of donating blood in Cambodia. (Yes, it was safe.)
26. JAPANESE MONASTERY places to travel with friends
I’ve only had a taste of visiting Japan on a layover in Tokyo on our way to Vietnam, but they completely charmed me with their hospitality! Japan is now on my bucket list, and specifically the zen experience of staying in Japanese monasteries.
Two iconic Japanese monastery communities to visit on a trip with friends include Kōya-san (Mount Kōya) and Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). Mount Kōya is in a mountainous region about 7 hours southwest of Tokyo. It’s home to over a hundred temples including the famous Kongōbu-ji. Stay in shukubo (temple lodgings) with traditional Japanese-style rooms, vegetarian meals, and the opportunity to participate in morning meditations.
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) is right in Kyoto. It’s known for its stunning golden exterior, and creates a breathtaking view as it reflects off the surrounding pond. Explore its exquisite gardens and the historic tea house inside the complex.
27. Fun AUSTRALIA beach road trips with friends
Australia is known for powdery white-sand beaches. So, rent a car and go beach-hopping on a road trip with friends!
Fly into Sydney and start your trip with friends at the iconic Bondi Beach. It’s known for its vibrant atmosphere, excellent surf and coastal walks. Take in the lively beach culture as you sample the many beachside cafes.
Then, head south for about 3 hours to Hyams Beach in Jervis Bay. It holds a Guinness World Record for having the whitest sand. Swim and snorkel at these beautiful clear waters and enjoy the laid-back coastal vibe.
28. International trips with friends to BRAZIL
Have you heard of Iguazu Falls? Iguazu Falls is the world’s LARGEST waterfall, made up of a massive 270 separate falls! Check it out for yourself in the best virtual tours of waterfalls around the world. Iguazu Falls is right on the Brazil and Argentina border.
Along with Iguazu Falls, experience Brazil’s beaches, rainforest and Rio de Janeiro. Make the epic climb up to Christ the Redeemer for epic views.
If you’re interested in a guided tour, check out Trafalgar’s tours in South America. This would be an easy way to explore the best sights on a trip with friends.
29. COSTA RICA best places to travel with friends
I SO want to experience the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica. And stay in treehouse resorts. It sounds incredible.
Costa Rica is a tropical paradise known for its incredible biodiversity and natural wonders. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve offers breathtaking views, misty forests, and the chance to see rare wildlife. The nearby Arenal Volcano National Park provides thrilling hikes and hot springs for relaxing afterwards.
For a beach experience, head to Manuel Antonio National Park. Manuel Antonio National Park is renowned for stunning beaches and lots of wildlife, perfect for relaxing and snorkeling. It’s on the Pacific Ocean and accessible by road.
With its lush rainforests, stunning coastlines, and eco-friendly practices, Costa Rica offers a memorable and sustainable travel experience for friends.
30. Fun MEXICO beach trips with friends
There’s a reason why North Americans flock to beautiful Mexico! Mexico has some of the world’s finest beaches, best preserved Mayan ruins and fascinating, colorful cultures. But with all the options, where should you travel with friends? I suggest two.
First, Cancun is an obvious choice. It’s a world-class destination with something for everyone. Exquisite beaches, first-class hotels, a more authentic downtown area, Mayan ruins and fantastic weather year-round. For an incredible trip with Mom to Cancun, stay at the adults-only all-inclusive Le Blanc Spa Resort.
A second, quieter choice is Playa Maroma. About 30 miles from Riviera Maya, Playa Maroma has arguably the best beaches in the world. Plus rainforests and snorkeling right off the beach. A beautiful all-inclusive resort to check out is Catalonia Playa Maroma.
You may also like:
- How to travel with friends: Trip planning
- How to find better accommodations
- Trips with Mom and Trips with Dad
Featured photo: Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash.