Credit: Kraig Scarbinsky / Digital Vision / Thinkstock
Credit: Kraig Scarbinsky / Digital Vision / Thinkstock

Girls Only

Family vacations and romantic retreats are nice, but sometimes, you just need to leave the men and kids at home so you can enjoy some quality time with the girls. It can include lots of shopping and spa treatments, a wild party weekend or simply lounge time by the pool. Whatever it is you have in mind, there are destinations that cater to it.

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For the Jet Setter: Puerto Rico
For the Jet Setter: Puerto Rico

For the Jet Setter: Puerto Rico

East Coasters looking for an exotic locale without technically leaving the country should consider Puerto Rico's stunning beaches and tropical weather. Head straight to a resort for some R&R or soak up San Juan's nightlife with bottle service at Club Brava inside the San Juan Hotel or salsa dancing to a live band at Nuyorican Cafe. Hint: let a local lead. 960 1280

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For the Sex-and-the-City Devotee: New York City

For the Sex-and-the-City Devotee: New York City

The Big Apple is the quintessential bachelorette party destination -- no matter which borough you choose to celebrate in -- boutique shopping with a side of cronut in Soho, rooftop cocktails at The Standard in the Meatpacking District, or craft beer and pizza at hipster-haven Roberta's in Brooklyn. 960 1280

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For the Party Girl: Las Vegas

For the Party Girl: Las Vegas

The life of the party expects nothing less than a big ole' Vegas-style bachelorette. Splurge on a poolside cabana at REHAB at the Hard Rock, see some Cirque and then hit the club -- just hopefully you won't end the weekend on the Hangover Bus. 960 1280

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For the Adventurer: Vail, CO

For the Adventurer: Vail, CO

Vail is a great option for the bride who can't sit still. Off the slopes, your party can take a Cocktails & Canvas class at the Alpine Arts Center, go whitewater rafting, zip line in the Colorado Mountains or ride horses from Beaver Creek Stables. Regardless of the season, check into the luxurious Cordillera Lodge -- the mountaintop retreat's award-winning spa is renowned for its relaxation treatments. 960 1280

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For the Music Lover: New Orleans

For the Music Lover: New Orleans

Depending on the bride’s music taste, we suggest either attending New Orleans’ annual Jazz Fest or singing karaoke on stage at Cat's Meow -- they'll even provide a DVD of her performance. Dine al fresco on Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar's patio along St. Charles Avenue for traditional Louisiana seafood and Creole fare or spice things up with class at the New Orleans School of Burlesque before a Bourbon Street bar crawl. 960 1280

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For the Sun Worshipper: Miami

For the Sun Worshipper: Miami

After a day of oceanfront lounging drinking and dining in South Beach hit Blo a blow-dry bar where you can sip wine and primp for your big night out. Then prepare to see-and-be-seen at STK steakhouse and hotspot LIV. For those still feeling inspired by Channing Tatum's moves in Magic Mike Hunk-O-Mania is a Miami bachelorette party mainstay. 960 1280

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For the Foodie: Charleston, SC

For the Foodie: Charleston, SC

Consider renting a beach house in nearby Sullivan's Island or stay in downtown Charleston for Upper King Street shopping Lowcountry cooking classes at Maverick Southern Kitchens and a smattering of stylish downtown restaurants and bars like Social Wine Bar. The Cocktail Club is a foodie's dream -- the rooftop terrace houses a garden where many of the drinks' garnishes are picked daily. 960 1280

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For the Francophile: Montreal, Canada

For the Francophile: Montreal, Canada

She may only dream of honeymooning in Paris but she can get a taste of French culture (and cuisine) as you stroll by the mostly French shops and restos along rue St.-Denis. To truly take advantage of Montreal's nightlife get chauffeured around by Montreal Limousine (which offers everything from town cars to party buses). Then partake in the Saint-Laurent club scene à la Le Rouge or take in an entertaining drag queen show at Cabaret Mado. 960 1280

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For the Celeb Spotter: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

For the Celeb Spotter: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

With dreams of marrying Justin Timberlake now out the window she can still vacation like a celebrity in Cabo San Lucas Mexico. Rent a yacht from the Love Shack and spend the day snorkeling swimming and lounging margarita-in-hand on deck. Just a 2-hour flight from Los Angeles there's no telling how many A-listers you might run into (infinity) poolside especially if you splurge on a suite at Las Ventanas al Paraiso. The hotel -- and spa -- are said to be among Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez favorites. 960 1280

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For the Quirky Girl: Austin, TX

For the Quirky Girl: Austin, TX

"Get weird" in a town that embraces it. Yes it has a dueling piano bar and Cherry Bomb party bus but we suggest focusing on daytime activities like floating down the Guadalupe River beer in hand with River Sports Tubes or sipping cocktails at the W Austin's rowdy pool party. Indulge in mouthwatering Tex Mex at La Condesa (where you can book a private dining room for up to 20) before heading out into the "live music capital of the world." 960 1280

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For the Oenophile: Napa Valley, CA

For the Oenophile: Napa Valley, CA

Your friendship is like a fine wine it keeps getting better over time. Check into the scenic Carneros Inn where you can lounge by the pool in between spa treatments. After a weekend of Napa Valley wine tours catch the sunrise from a hot air balloon with Balloons Above the Valley that also offers a champagne brunch upon landing. 960 1280

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Jacques Cousteau put Sipadan on map with his film Borneo: The Ghost of the Sea Turtle (1989): “I have seen other places like Sipadan, 45 years ago, but now, no more. Now, we have found again an untouched piece of art…” 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

More than 3,000 species of fish and hundreds of coral species have been classified in this ecosystem off the island of Sipadan. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

Channeling Charlie’s Angels, Jen, Holly and Amanda get pumped for their underwater adventure. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“Always be respectful of the underwater world. One of the most amazing feelings is to be able to swim alongside a Barricuda or see a shark up close. But you have to remember that you are in their world now, and to not touch the fish you see, you don’t want to hurt yourself or the wildlife.” -- Holly 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

If you plan to dive off Sipadan, stay in the handful of dive resorts in Mabul. Tourists are not allowed to sleep on the protected island of Sipadan, and the government allows only 120 passes to the island a day (which you should secure prior to traveling from a dive resort). 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

The Lost Girls dove with Borneo Divers, the original operators for the region who first introduced ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau to Sipadan, which then turned the area into a world-famous diving destination. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

When diving Sipadan, you’ll see turtles everywhere, dining on the sponges and algae, or lounging on the wall ledges. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

The camouflaged crocodilefish found hiding in Sipadan waters is much tamer than its lookalike reptile. 960 1280

  

The best-known snorkeling and dive islands are Mabul and Sipadan, located at the southern end of the archipelago. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

Sipadan draws divers from across the globe, with famous dive sites such as Barracuda Point where you can swim alongside a school of circling barracuda in a tornado-like formation. 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“The second I took that giant stride from the boat into the water, descended down to about 30 feet, I looked up and saw the entire sky above me. It was this incredible, open, free feeling of floating in the water. “ -- Amanda 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“Scuba diving for me, no matter where I go and how I dive, is always a new experience.” -- Jen 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“I live so much of my life in automatic pilot, and I love that diving puts you in that mindful mode, like yoga, where you focus on your breathing -- you’re living totally in the moment. “ -- Holly 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“With any sport, scuba diving takes practice. If you are interested in learning to dive, I recommend what I did a few years ago. I fully immersed myself in diving by going to an all-inclusive dive resort, which helps you to hone your skills and be more comfortable as a diver. “ – Jen 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

“No matter where you go in the world, you’ll always find other people who love scuba diving, too. It’s like a secret club that you will be a part of the second you get your scuba certification. If you go to Borneo or Mexico or anywhere in the world where there’s great scuba diving, you’ll find this incredible group of people to share the experience with.” – Amanda 960 1280

Budd Riker, lightinthesea.com  

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