Girls Getaway Guide 
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The Getaway Girl® Online
Spring Break in St Barths
Girl Getaway to Phoenix/Mesa
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The Getaway Girl In The News
 
Vino Vacays - Daytime TV Show
Looking for a Vino Vacation? Check out these "un-typical" places to spend your next Wine-cation! Watch The Getaway Girl on this Daytime TV Show segment for all things travel.



Singles Getaways - Daytime TV Show
Looking to celebrate your Singleness with a Getaway? Check out this Daytime TV Show travel segment for great destinations for the solo traveler!

Upcoming Events
 
March 28: Daytime TV Show Taping - Tampa
The Getaway Girl® tapes a travel segment on the nationally syndicated Daytime TV Show.   
  
Join us in Downtown Sebring, FL for the Girls Gone Wine Festival.  Wine tasting, vendors and live music by the Landsharks Band. 
Visit The Getaway Girl® Online 

Spring Break in St Barths

It's hard to believe that Spring Break is almost here!  To help families looking for that perfect Caribbean Spring Break vacation, here's an idea.

St. Barth, French West Indies

Why: The hotel's suites, bungalows, and villas are family-size, and both the main restaurant and the new
feet-in-the-sand La Cabane de L'Isle have a laid-back atmosphere perfect for dining en famille.
What Else: The concierge can arrange family activities such as deep sea fishing, kayaking, and surfing lessons and trips.
Best Family Accommodation: The two-bedroom Garden Villa (shown here) because it is in effect a family compound, a 1,586 square foot suite with a large pool, spacious deck, and plenty of privacy, courtesy of a thick screen of vegetation; yet it's only a two-minute walk from the beach.
 

 

 

No Girls Getaway is complete without wine, so how about an entire Vino Vacay?  We tracked down some of the top, under-the-rader destinations for a great Wine-cation.  And if you are looking for some wine fun this Mother's Day, join us at the Girls Gone Wine Festival.


Girls Getaway to Phoenix/Mesa
(By Amber Gibson)

 

Polar vortex? No problem. Just head with your girlfriends to sunny Phoenix and enjoy great food, spas, a surprisingly lush and vibrant botanic garden and learn where your food comes from on local farms.

 

The Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort is like a village in and of itself. The sprawling resort has nearly 600 suites available and there's so much to do, including a golf course, spa and several pools, that you could easily be lazy and stay on property for several days. One attraction that's not to be missed is Different Pointe of View, a fine dining restaurant offering a panoramic view of the valley and scrumptious food with a great wine list. What better way to end the day than watching the blazing red sunset while enjoying diver scallops and sunchokes and sipping champagne?

 

We never would have guessed the desert would have such lush and vibrant greenery, but the gorgeous Desert Botanical Garden, celebrating its 75th birthday, proved to us otherwise. Who knew there were so many different types of prickly pear? Indian fig prickly pear is the only kind you should be eating, but the other shapes and textures are fun to compare and contrast. The gardens offer an array of classes for kids and adults, ranging from photography and sketching to gardening and cooking. We had fun learning to make traditional mole sauce in a pressure cooker along with a simple and refreshing prickly pear sorbet at a class taught by personal chef Denise Clayton.

 

Agritourism is a surprisingly good reason to love the Phoenix metro area. We strongly support the movement towards eating local, organic and sustainable food so we're big fans of Queen Creek Olive Mill, Orange Patch and The Farm at South Mountain. The Farm is a pecan grove and working farm, selling fresh produce to visitors at weekly farmers markets. There are yoga and cooking classes too, plus three restaurants on site serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. We enjoyed a bountiful brunch of a kale and quinoa salad with golden raisins and pepitas and fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice with fennel syrup and mint.

 

Orange Patch is a cute citrus general store, great for fresh-squeezed pulpy orange juice, fresh fruit, honey and other local food products. Ask to peek in back to see the fruit being sorted by size during harvest season. Navel oranges are the best-seller, but we loved the kinnow mandarins, tangelos and rio red grapefruit.

 

I'd never have guessed that olives would grow so well in the desert, but nearly all of the chef-driven restaurants in the area use local extra virgin olive oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill, including Rico's American Grill. Sit on the patio by the garden and soak up the rays. Chef Ken Arneson somehow managed to feed us a four-course lunch including a decadent buttery triple grilled cheese, pork belly and dessert that clocks in at under 1,000 calories. Arneson is an expert on grilling, gardening and composting and he's happy to chat with guests and share tips.

 

Head to the Biltmore for a classy afternoon in the historic Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired property. It's been a playground for the rich and famous since 1929 and has more gold leaf ceiling than any building in the world, save the Taj Mahal. Enjoy afternoon tea here and some quality girlfriend bonding. We loved the made-to-order finger sandwiches even more than dessert and it's rare we favor savory over sweet. Kevin, the tea sommelier, guided us through an extensive tea selection with knowledge and passion for his craft. After eating, head to the Biltmore Spa and allow your stomach to digest while you enjoy an oxygen infusion facial, where hyraluronic acid and Intraceuticals customized serums are infused into freshly cleansed skin with what looks like an airbrush makeup spray gun. Finish with microcurrent technology from NuFACE that causes facial muscles to tighten and lift. Both Florence and Silvia deserve shoutouts for incredible service at the spa, something I've come to expect from Waldorf-Astoria properties. Plus, right around the corner is the Biltmore Fashion Park including  UNION, a collection of fun locally-owned independent retailers and eateries.

 

For a more affordable option, head 25 miles east in Mesa. Fuchsia Day Spa has a blow dry bar and salon for manicures and pedicures as well as treatment rooms for massages and facials. The massage therapists and aestheticians are upbeat and friendly

 

Clearly, we ate very well in Phoenix and one of our favorite restaurants was Beckett's Table for its casual, affordable but delicious Southwestern cuisine. Although customers rave about Chef Justin Beckett's short rib, his vegetable platter blew us away. The dish masquerades on the menu as "seasonal organic vegetables, inspired daily," a simple description that doesn't do this carnivore-converting entrée justice. Everything from asparagus and romanesco to sea beans, tomatoes and foraged greens were presented raw, cooked, roasted and pureed mimicking a multi-course vegetable tasting menu. Just because we started out virtuous doesn't mean we didn't save room for dessert. The signature dessert here is the buttery fig and pecan pie complemented by tangy cream cheese citrus zest ice cream. Share a slice and you won't feel quite as guilty.

 

Whether you prefer beer or wine, there are plenty of local options for imbibing. Hit Arizona Brewery Tours, the state's only brewery tour, to sample craft brews from a selection of tasting rooms. You can easily customize a private tour and the variety and quality of beers to sample is impressive. We especially enjoyed brews from Desert Eagle, The Perch and Arizona Wilderness, recently rated the best new brewery in the world by ratebeer.com. For wine, Postino Wine Cafe has three locations and a great selection of wines and fantastic bruschetta. With our gaggle of gals, we managed to try just about all the bruschetta flavors. You can't miss their house tomato jam with sheep's milk cheese or the prosciutto, fig and mascarpone spread. On Mondays and Tuesdays, you can choose any bottle of wine and a bruschetta board for just $20.

 

Arizona is a place for relaxing and savoring life over great food and even better conversation. We'd come back next year with our men to catch a Cubs spring training game and dine at Quiessence at The Farm at South Mountain, supposedly one of the most romantic restaurants around.

 

Author Amber Gibson is a Food/Travel Writer, Model & Actress from Chicago currently contributing to the Girls Getaway Guide. To find out more about Amber, visit www.AmberGibson.com.  

Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you soon.  Safe travels!      
Sincerely,    Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl®
Author of the Girls Getaway Guide series
Travel Correspondent for the Daytime TV Show