Among the trips Casey Wohl racked up while researching the Girls Getaway Guide, one of the most memorable was Savannah, GA. “That’s where we had breakfast next to Robert Redford and met him afterward,” she says. “Talk about a hot girls’ getaway.”

Even when Redford’s not in town, Savannah scored in the top 10 for girlfriend getaways, according to Travel + Leisure readers. They ranked 35 metro areas for such features as walkable streetswine bars, and great theater in our annual America’s Favorite Cities survey.

Those are a few of the charms that draw groups of traveling women, whether coming to town for a bachelorette party, a book-club weekend, or a reunion of high school buddies. Whatever the trip motive, they’re a force to be reckoned with: a few years ago, an AAA study showed that girlfriend getaways generate about $5 billion annually for the travel industry.

And cities are rolling out the pink carpet. In Honolulu and San Diego, you can take women-only surfing or stand-up-paddleboard lessons. Charleston, SC, offers shopping tours with local decorators. In New Orleans, which took the crown at No. 1, you can learn to make chicken gumbo at Langlois Culinary Crossroads or check out the live-music scene. One boutique hotel in Providence, RI, offers a cut-loose karaoke bar right off the lobby.

Of course, each group will have its own definition of what constitutes a great girlfriend getaway—and there’s an intangible element that helps make a city feel welcoming.

“For me and my girlfriends, the common denominator is going somewhere where we don’t have to think about deadlines, dishes, or drudgery, but indulge in good food and conversation,” says Suz Garber, a Philadelphia-based healthcare executive who has traveled to Vegas, San Diego, and Miami with her friends. “Heck, we could probably do that in Peoria,” she adds, “but good shopping and shows don’t hurt, either.”

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: New Orleans

No. 1 New Orleans

It’s the ultimate party destination, with distinctive shopping and no shortage of beignets; the Crescent City won the girlfriend getaway contest for hitting every necessary indulgence. By day, you can browse boutiques on Magazine Street or antiques on Royal Street. Or sign up your gang for a crash course in chicken gumbo and other down-home cooking at Langlois Culinary Crossroads. After dark, there are plenty of only-in-New-Orleans spots to whoop it up. Catch a live music show at D.B.A. or the midnight burlesque show at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse. To understand why the city ranked No. 1 for desserts, do a little taste-test comparison with visits to classic Café du Monde, Morning Call, and Gracious Bakery.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: San Francisco

No. 2 San Francisco

San Francisco ranked so well with girlfriends for three reasons: great restaurantsworld-class wine, and pedestrian-friendly streets. Hayes Street is known for its chic shops and cafés, while the fast-gentrifying Mission is lined with bars. You can take guided walking expeditions, such as Gourmet Walks’ tours out of the Embarcadero, or the Victorian Home Walk in Cow Hollow. For a wine lovers’ happy hour, check out Claudine French Eatery & Wine Bar, where special vintages are showcased daily, on tap, for just $1 an ounce. And for a meal to remember, call ahead to reserve a table at Wilson & Wilson, a detective-agency-themed bar with a three-drink tasting menu.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Nashville

No. 3 Nashville

Whether your group still loves Patsy and Loretta—or binge-watches the TV series Nashville—Music City makes the top three for its mix of wild-weekend fun and down-home easy access. It also ranked in the top five for live musicbarbecue, and free things to do. To glimpse future stars, hit venues like Robert’s Western World and Bluebird Café. For a dose of camp, take the NashTrash tour, which explores various country-music landmarks from the comforts of a giant pink bus. Browse the rhinestone-cowgirl-ready boots and retro western shirts at Katy K’s Ranch Dressing in the hip 12 South neighborhood (Nashville did rank No. 3 for cool souvenirs), and head to Pinewood Social for dinner and your choice of bowling, bocce, or karaoke.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Honolulu

No. 4 Honolulu

Who cares if Honolulu also ranks at the top of our survey for romance and families? The Oahu city makes it easy to quietly ignore the couples and the kids calling out for someone else’s mom. If you stay at the Moana Surfrider, which has long been called the “first lady of Waikiki,” you can enjoy tea on the veranda and yoga on the beach. For some yoga on the water, take a stand-up-paddleboard lesson from Surf HNL. One more reason to relax: the city also ranks near the top of the survey for feeling safe.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Charleston

No. 5 Charleston, SC

With its air of civility, plus a dense selection of ooh-and-aah-inspiring shops and eateries, the South Carolina city easily charmed its way into the top five (the locals’ lilting accents probably helped, too). A prime place to stay these days is the Zero George Hotel, which has just 18 rooms but offers small cooking classes as well as shopping excursions with local interior decorators. The delights of King Street help the city rank near the top for both antiques and home décor, but if you need to travel light, you can always pick up a few vintage baubles at Croghan’s Jewel Box.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Savannah

No. 6 Savannah, GA

This Georgia city filled with historic squares and parks gets high marks for being like the ideal party girl—fun-loving, but polite enough that she never spills her drink. If your dream ladies-night-out is spent on a massage table, The Westin in the Savannah River Street District offers monthly spa evenings, where it stays open late and offers discounts on treatments (like the oh-so-southern mint julep body soufflé). If you can’t decide between cocktails and dessert afterward, you can have both at Jen’s and Friends, a bar that offers more than 300 different martinis, including the Snickers, served in a glass with chocolate, caramel, and peanuts around the rim.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Miami

No. 7 Miami

When booking a girlfriend getaway, it can pay to look for hotel packages: at The Sagamore in South Beach, for instance, the Spring Chicks package includes spa credits, yoga classes, and nightclub VIP passes. Two of the hottest nightclubs in town these days are Bâoli, modeled after the version in Cannes, and LIV at the Fontainebleau, which features skyboxes overlooking the dance floor. Work on your tan by day, and bring your A game when dressing for a night out: Miami locals rank as some of the most stylish and attractive in the nation.

 

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: San Diego

No. 8 San Diego

Only on a girlfriends’ getaway can you risk no flack for booking a stay at an unabashedly pink hotel. We’re talking about La Valencia, the 1920s-era hotel in La Jolla that once regularly hosted Cary Grant. It’s walking distance from some of the city’s hottest restaurants like Nine-Ten and Herringbone. In this fitness-loving town, you can also take beginning surfing classes from the chicks-only operator Surf Diva. The top times of year to visit San Diego, according to readers, are spring breakand the not-so-chilly New Year’s Eve.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: New York City

No. 9 New York City

New York’s top-rated theaterluxury stores, and indie boutiques appealed to readers looking for that great girlfriend getaway. Book-group gals can set up at the ultimate literary hotel, The Algonquin, or go out for cocktails at the Library bar in the NoMad Hotel. Retail-therapy types, meanwhile, can easily fill a weekend between Barneys, the bargain-rich Century 21, the artsy stalls of Brooklyn Flea, and the near-mythic décor haven ABC Carpet and Home. And make your reservations now for one of New York’s best new restaurants.

 

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Las Vegas

 

No. 10 Las Vegas

On the Strip these days, the classic packs of wild-weekend bachelor parties are increasingly outnumbered by the veil-topped, bride-to-be groups. And while the Bellagio has lovely gardens, fountains, and art, it’s hard to out-bling the experience of sitting inside the three-story Chandelier bar at The Cosmopolitan (where you’ll also find Molly Brown’s Swimwear and Rent the Runway). Head downtown for the First Friday art party—and for the Hangover Brunch at Bar + Bistro. No surprise, Sin City also ranked near the top for its singles scene, even if the locals ranked near the bottom for being brainy or friendly.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Providence

No. 11 Providence, RI

This artsy capital city ranks well for features like classical musicperformance art, and galleries. But it also attracts girlfriends whose idea of weekend fun tends toward grilled pizza and craft brews, notably from Revival Brewing. The place to stay at the moment is The Dean Hotel—on the site of a former strip club—whose quirky room options include sleepover-style bunk beds and whose amenities include a coffee bar in the lobby and a “Let It Go”–friendly karaoke bar with private rooms.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Chicago

No. 12 Chicago

The Windy City may flaunt its testosterone in the survey—winning for both sports bars and pro teams—but traveling groups of ladies can still get the last laugh. You’ll appreciate why Chicago ranked so well for its theater after an evening of improv at the Second City, former stomping grounds of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. For feet-rehabbing after a day of shopping along the Magnificent Mile, the Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago offers the wine-meets-spa experience, with its Vinotherapy mani-pedi, which uses fresh-from-the-vine antioxidants to get your paws back in shape (and also puts a sommelier-chosen glass of something in your hand).

 

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Portland, ME

No. 13 Portland, ME (tie)

Thanks in part to the walkable Old Port—and fabulous gourmet feasts at restaurants like Fore Street—this New England city makes a natural choice for a no-stress getaway. Time your trip for early in the month and you can take part in downtown’s First Friday Art Walk, when admission to the Portland Museum of Art is free and the streets hum with performers and open galleries. Portland also topped the survey for reliably safe drivers. Hop in the car for the quick trip to Freeport’s L.L. Bean flagship, open 24/7.

 

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Portland, OR

No. 14 Portland, OR (tie)

In 2014, this quirky hipster hub beckons with its No. 1–ranked coffeemicrobrews, and food trucks. But garden-club gals have been coming here ever since vinyl records were new, drawn to the International Rose Test Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the misty hiking trails to the waterfalls right outside town. The city that loves to sleep in also serves plenty of great brunches. The Boudin Blanc omelette and French toast with huckleberry, maple, and whipped cream are two favorites at Tasty n Sons in NE Portland. For quick sugar highs, don’t miss Voodoo Doughnuts or the edgy ice creams (like the divine strawberry-balsamic) at Salt & Straw.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: San Juan, PR

No. 15 San Juan, PR (tie)

More than just rum drinks and white sand, this sunny island city increasingly gets raves for a foodie scene that rises well above conventional resort fare. To dig into the best of the local comida criolla, try the fresh empanadillas or alcapurrias(stuffed fritters) at Santaella, which sources its seafood and produce from the acclaimed Santurce Market. The Water Hotel, with its DJ-staffed rooftop pool and bar, makes a happening home base. When you’re ready for a little Zen time, take a day trip to Culebra’s mellow beach, Playa Flamenco.

 

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Denver

No. 16 Denver

The Mile High City makes a great active getaway: spend one day hiking, and on another, rent bikes from the B-cycle program to explore the city’s 850 miles of off-road trails. To cool off, try the highly ranked microbrews at the Great Divide’s cool downtown tasting room, or head over to the Cherry Creek neighborhood, which has both indie shopsand Vinue, a wine bar where you can “self sample” the vintages from a giant row of taps. And if your girlfriends want to bring their pooches along, that’s just fine: Denver ranked near the top of the survey for being pet-friendly.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Los Angeles

No. 17 Los Angeles

Despite its high-caliber shopping, spas, and artfully rendered cupcakes, the City of Angels may have suffered in the girlfriend rankings for not being terribly pedestrian-friendly. You can bypass the traffic, though, by basing your getaway in walkable, civilized Santa Monica. The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows (which once hosted dream BFF types Greta Garbo and Marilyn Monroe) overlooks the beach. It offers both an A-list restaurant, FIG, and ab-taming barre classes. For some everyday celeb watching, browse at Santa Monica’s farmers’ markets; Wednesdays are known to attract TV chefs.

 

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Seattle

No. 18 Seattle

This techy city has plenty of culture—the Seattle Art Museum and the whimsical Chihuly Garden and Glass, for starters—but also a relaxed dress codethat happily allows for your favorite jeans, flats, and windbreaker. (If you want to upgrade, make a pilgrimage to the Nordstrom flagship downtown.) Stay at downtown’s Hotel Vintage to get a primer on Washington wine country during nightly tastings in the lobby. Gay-friendly Seattle also has some fabulously inclusive partying—as seen at the weekend “Le Faux” drag shows at Julia’s on Broadway, which welcome dancing from audience members.

 

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Kansas City, MO

No. 19 Kansas City, MO (tie)

The midwestern city earned its Paris on the Plains nickname for its excellent classical musicmuseums (like the Kemper and Nelson-Atkins), and shopping. High-end department store Halls is located in fountain-lined Country Club Plaza, also the site of the beloved Raphael Hotel and Fiorella’s Jack Stack, one of the most refined places to try the city’s highly ranked burnt-ends barbecue. The best part? You and the girls can splurge guilt free in Kansas City, which landed at No. 1 for affordability.

 

America's Best Cities For Getting Away With the Girls: Santa Fe

No. 20 Santa Fe (tie)

Santa Fe won the survey’s cultural getawayscategory and scored near the top for peace and quiet. And while it’s a natural to blissfully wander through galleries, you can also come here to make your own Southwest-inspired art. The Santa Fe Creative Tourism program enrolls travelers in one-day classes for, say, weaving, pottery, or painting. Afterward, for a perch above the Plaza, check out the Draft Station, a new micropub with a rooftop patio and, come summer, free concerts.