Whether your daughter is four or 40, a mother daughter trip is more than just a getaway: it’s about having new experiences together, creating important memories, and bonding with each other in a new environment. Mother daughter vacations can also deepen relationships, with conversations over meals of local delicacies, while shopping for trinkets, or during hikes in a national park.
We tapped the travel agents at Fora for the best mother daughter trip ideas, worldwide and in the US. Fora’s picks include less obvious choices than, say, a trip to Paris. And, the best part is: you don’t have to travel very far to get to any of them. From exploring the great outdoors in Moab, Utah to pretending you’re in Europe in Quebec City, Canada, these are the best mother daughter vacations, according to the experts.
Pack your bags for these 8 great mother daughter trip ideas
1. New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy is perfect for mother daughter trips: while you may only remember that one bachelorette party on Bourbon Street in your pre-kid days, the city is chock-full of stunning art, lush gardenscapes, and chic, French-inspired hotels that are perfect for mothers and daughters. Take a walk along historic Jackson Square to check out the famous St. Louis Cathedral, grab a fresh bag of beignets at Cafe du Monde, then hop on a riverboat cruise on the Steamboat NATCHEZ. Duos can get their nails done sitting side-by-side on a porch swing at Southern Swings (kid’s mani/pedis are on the menu as well). For a special dinner together, check out La Petite Grocery or Mosquito Supper Club. If you’re traveling with a daughter above drinking age, you won’t want to miss Carousel Bar, the city’s only revolving bar with a magnificent carousel in the middle.
Fora recommends: Woman-owned guest house Maison de la Luz in the French Quarter, starting at $391/night, or The Chloe, a charming boutique hotel housed in a 19 century Uptown mansion, starting at $262/night.
For more… check out Fora’s advisor-curated NOLA travel guide.
2. Quebec City, Canada
Eager for a European adventure without the cost of an international flight? The cozy cobblestoned streets and historic architecture of Quebec City make it one of the best (and most convenient) mother-daughter vacations in the world. The city’s old town looks so much like small-town Europe that movie crews have actually saved money shooting there. Mother-daughter pairs should take a stroll through the Quartier Petit Champlain, or walk along one of Quebec City’s oldest streets, Rue Saint-Jean. Be sure to spend a day gazing at the art of the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, or relax at the sophisticated Strøm Nordic Spa. For a fun day trip out to the country, check out Île d’Orléans, where duos can go wine tasting and walk the vineyards at Vignoble Ste-Pétronille. Or, for a young daughter, go strawberry picking at Ferme Jean-Pierre Plante, the island’s only organic strawberry farm.
Fora recommends: The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, starting at $495/night, is a not-to-miss when you’re in Quebec, and its castle-like appearance both inside and out will amaze daughters of any age. For a smaller hotel with cool, historic-meets-modern charm, check out Auberge Place d’Armes, starting at $245/night, also in the old town.
3. Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia
With two endlessly charming cities just two hours apart, why choose just one? Mothers and daughters can opt for a Charleston-to-Savannah road trip to have the most girly, perfect time as a duo. In Charleston, spend a day exploring the Historic Charleston City Market. Grab a coffee at Bitty & Beau’s and then walk the cobblestoned streets of downtown, where pairs can learn about the area’s important history at the International African American Museum (opening January 2023). Crafty duos should take a candle-making workshop at Candlefish. In Savannah, go honey-tasting at Savannah Bee Company or shop vintage treasures at the Paris Market. Spend a day at the beach together at Tybee Island; or, have the ultimate girly dinner in a pink mansion at the Olde Pink House.
Fora recommends: In Charleston, the proudly pink Mills House, starting at $432/night, or the distinctly designed Emeline, starting at $369/night. In Savannah, the Europe-meets-Southern charm Mansion on Forsyth Park, starting at $279/night, takes the cake, but the Kimpton Brice Hotel, starting at $314/night, is high on the list, too, and kid-friendly.
4. Moab, Utah
Mother-daughter bonding, but make it an adventure. Moab, Utah, with its splendid scenery and quintessential Southwestern charm, makes for a lovely girls getaway. Pairs should base themselves in Moab, the gateway to the stunning red rocks of Arches National Park. Here, there are plenty of hikes to explore; or, book a half-day of canyoneering, go rafting through the Colorado River, take a ride in a 4×4 Hummer or even admire the vistas from above via a hot air balloon tour. For less adrenaline-pumping mother-daughter time, head into town to browse local artisan-made souvenirs (at Moab Made) or forage through bins of fossils, rocks, and teeth at Moab Rock Shop (we promise, it’s an extra-special souvenir). Don’t miss one of the area’s best breakfasts at Jailhouse Cafe for a classic regional menu. Or, go on a food tour at the Moab Food Truck Park to sample A+ Southwestern fare.
Fora recommends: Sorrel River Ranch Resort, starting at $1275/night for a luxurious retreat and worth a splurge, or a bungalow at Moab Spring Ranch, starting at $313/night, for a family-friendly unique stay where you can spread out a little.
For more, check out Fora’s advisor-curated Moab travel guide.
5. Montego Bay, Jamaica
In need of a mother-daughter beach moment? Look no further than Montego Bay for splurge-worthy relaxation, with activities and amenities to please all ages. Beyond sunning and spa-going at the countless crowd-pleasing resorts, mothers and daughters should do some cultural exploration with a tour of the Rose Hall Great House, a restored plantation house from 1770. Or, explore the waterfalls of Dunn’s River Falls, which also has ziplines and kids’ splash pads. And after a day of adventuring, take a drive over to Sam Sharpe Square for a variety of local eateries.
Fora recommends: For a luxurious getaway that’s also kid-friendly, Round Hill, starting at $700/night, is a stunning resort with a variety of kids’ activities. For an adult daughter, check out Secrets Wild Orchid, starting at $560/night, designed with couples in mind but perfect for a girls’ getaway too.
What’s a mother-daughter trip without a lagoon and a spectacular waterfall? In all seriousness, while Iceland may sound like a bucket list jaunt, it’s more accessible than ever with easy and affordable flights from the East Coast. Bring your swimsuit for a dip in the Blue Lagoon and a handful of Iceland’s amazing hot springs, and visit the Seljalandfoss and Svartifoss waterfalls for Instagram-worthy moments. Sample freshly baked bread from the ground at the Laugarvatn Fontana geothermal bakery, and take a tour on horseback with the family-run Laxnes Horse Farm. For a memorable mother-daughter meal, the best seafood in town is found at the Reykjavik Fish Restaurant.
Fora recommends: For budget-conscious travelers, try the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon, situated between a national park and a glacier lagoon, starting at $160/night. If you’re looking for luxury, you’ll love the Reykjavik EDITION with stunning water views, starting at $500/night.
7. Paso Robles, California
If you have a daughter of drinking age and you both enjoy wine tasting, we suggest Paso Robles, situated on 101 roughly half-way between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. While Napa and Sonoma are always on the list of mother-daughter vacations, Fora recommends the quieter, more affordable Paso Robles, CA. Pairs can explore the bucolic countryside on long walks, or pop into farmers markets and relax in hot springs. For wine-tasting, Eberle Winery, Tooth & Nail, and Le Cuvier are great wineries to start. After imbibing, opt for a foodie-approved meal at Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ or dine in style at Les Petites Canailles. Finish off your evening with pastries and live piano tunes at AMSTRDM Coffee House and Piano Lounge.
Fora recommends: For a cool landmark built in 1889, check out Paso Robles Inn, starting at $179/night. For luxury-meets-wine country, try Allegretto Vineyard Resort, starting at $279/night, with an on-site spa and horseback riding.
For more, check out Fora’s advisor-curated Paso Robles travel guide.
8. Sao Miguel, Azores
You don’t have to fly all the way across the pond (or across the world, for that matter) to experience a far-flung, mother-daughter-approved destination. The Azores are a Portuguese archipelago situated in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, cutting your travel time nearly in half (compared to visiting Europe). In the Azores, mothers and daughters can stay on the main island of Sao Miguel, which offers otherworldly landscapes for hiking. Or, take ferries to some of the smaller islands like Pico, which is filled with vineyards. On Sao Miguel, visit the Augusto Arruda Pineapple Plantation (and be bewildered that pineapples actually grow out of the ground), or visit Furnas, where you can cook your dinner in a volcano.
Fora recommends: The ecologically friendly beach resort Santa Barbara, located on a black sand beach, starting at $450/night, or the elegant Terra Nostra in Furnas, featuring a historic garden from 1775 and thermal pools, starting at $250/night.
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