A few years ago I received an email promoting a hotel’s “Mother’s Day” gift package. The mother-daughter weekend included lunch at the American Girl Café, a tiny bed for the daughter’s American Girl doll and a goody bag full of, yup, American Girl swag.
To me, this sounded more like a Daughter’s Day package. It annoyed me that, given all the child-centric travel parents do with their kids during pretty much every school break, the hotel couldn’t come up with a two days of fun centered on activities MOM would enjoy.
So here are seven weekend getaways that you can do with a son or daughter, thatI would have preferred instead. There’s one for almost every vacation style. And there are hotel suggestions so you can book one of these weekends today.
The mother-daughter or mother-son getaway doesn’t have to happen on Mother’s Day weekend. On the second Sunday in May you can let mom know you have a hotel reservation or plane tickets for a date sometime in the coming months. It will give you both something to look forward to and plan together.
Moms love one-on-one time with their kids but that doesn’t mean a few siblings can’t chip in and go together. You can make it an all-girl multigeneration vacation, too. Just remember who the weekend is about (the MOMs). Trips make good birthday and holiday gifts for mom, too.
Tip: If the kids are too young to foot the bill it’s okay for dad to sponsor the trip.
7 Mother’s Day Gifts That Mom Will Love: Weekend Getaways
Spa Weekend with Mom
Your Hotel: Crane’s Beach House Boutique Hotel in Delray Beach, FL
Things You Can Do Together: You have to have one spa destination on a list of mother-daughter weekends, and I thought Crane’s had some fun twists on the spa thing. A lot of hotel spas have age restrictions at the spas. But here you can book massage, yoga and meditation sessions in the privacy of your room.
Or you can venture out of your room for spa day packages that include facials, body scrubs and pedicures as well as a massage.
Make sure to book a Happiness Box to be in your room on arrival. Each contains a shower bomb, sea salt scrub, hyaluron ampoule, de-stress relief mask, glow sunscreen, and an eye pillow from the resort’s spa partner.
Beyond the pampering, have a real catch-up over drinks in the tropical court yard, soak in the saline pools and walk on the beach. If you’re feeling really ambitious explore the galleries and restaurants in the town’s Pineapple District. Or just relax in your beach-house themed suite and have the food come to you.
Note that none of the rooms have double queens; mostly have a single king and a pull-out couch.
How to Get There: It’s a 45-minute drive from Fort Lauderdale and an hour from Miami, both of which will have plenty of flights from most of the country. It’s three hours from Orlando and four from Tampa.
Need more ideas for pampering Mom:
Take a look at My Summer Packing List just for moms
Outdoor Weekend with Mom
Your Hotel: The Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, VA
The Hotel Roanoke is a Tudor-style confection that dates from 1882. Inside you’ll find a charming bar room, southern hospitality and rooms that are far more spacious and modern than you might expect from the hotel’s exterior. Despite being a 4-star property the rates are often well below $250 a night, making it a great deal.
Things You Can Do Together: The hotel is in the center of lively downtown Roanoke, which is a hub for all kinds of outdoor activities you can enjoy on a mother-daughter or mother-son getaway.
For starters, Roanoke is a major center for mountain biking. Choose from 400 miles of downhill and cross-country trails. You’ll find plenty of outfitters to rent bikes to you and guides to get you going if you’re new to the sport.
For gentler riding you can rent road bikes in town and ride for miles along the Roanoke River Greenway, stopping along the way for excellent ice cream or locally brewed beer (or both).
Drive the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway or hike portions of the Appalachian Trail for a full day outdoors. Or do a short hike up to the Mill Mountain Star for stellar views of the city and countryside.
If you need a break from all the hiking and biking, reach out to one of several outfitters on the Upper James River and spend an easy day tubing, picnicking and chatting.
Know matter what you do during the day, make sure to venture out of the hotel in the evening to sample Roanoke’s small but vibrant restaurant scene.
How to Get There: Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional airport receives about 60 flights a day from around the country, often connecting through Charlotte, NC. It’s a three-hour drive from Richmond, VA and Charlotte. Two-and-a-half hours from Durham and four hours from Washington, DC.
Don’t leave without printing my essential outdoor packing list
Mountain Weekend With Mom
Your Hotel: The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs
The Broadmoor has been the base for upscale Rocky Mountain getaways since 1918. It’s 5,000-acre property has ways for any mom and daughter or son to take in the mountain air together.
Things You Can Do Together: If nothing says bonding like screaming in exhilaration you can traverse the resort’s zip line and rope bridge course together, learn falconry and rock climbing or try your hand at skills like ax throwing and archery.
For fun that’s active but not heart-stopping pair up on the tennis court, or hike to the picturesque Seven Falls or take a spin around the area on bicycles.
If you really want the opportunity to slow down together breathe in mountain air and admire the view while relaxing one of several patios and verandas with an iced tea. Take an easy guided walk with a naturalist, chill out in one of three pools, or head to the spa that Forbes gives 5 stars to.
Get the energy for your adventures at the Broadmoor’s 17 restaurants, cafés and lounges, including an Italian restaurant with wood-fired-oven pizzas, a gastropub with bison burgers or the French-style patisserie.
Note: One floor of the Spa is reserved for guests 16+ But guests 16 have some services available, including junior mani/pedi 6-12YOs.
How to Get There: Colorado Springs has a regional airport with direct flights on major airlines from a handful of cities. Many more flights will connect through Denver. And you can drive from Denver, which is 90 minutes away.
City Weekend With Mom
Your Hotel: The Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Phoenix, AZ
The Kimpton is a true urban oasis in downtown Phoenix. The rooftop pool, lounge and bar have clear views of the mountains, open desert sky and city rooftops. The cozy second-floor living room has a fire for chilly desert nights.
Things You Can Do Together: The hotel features local artists in its ArtLab pop-up that happens every six weeks. And it offers bicycling for exploring the city.
The surrounding CityScape neighborhood offers restaurants, shopping and arts & culture venues steps away. Chase Field is nearby should mom and son (or daughter) want to take in a baseball game. The famous Heard Museum, Art Museum and Science Center are nearby, too.
Take in all the food, culture and sports you both will enjoy while also taking time to chill.
How to Get There: Phoenix is a long drive from the nearest major cities, but it’s easy to find inexpensive flights from most of the U.S.
Consider a weekend in Flagstaff or Santa Fe with these FamiliesGo! posts.
Coastal Retreat Weekend With Mom
Your Hotel: The Wylder Hotel on Tilghman Island, MD
Check into a bungalow with nautical blue and white colors. From there take a swim in the heated saltwater pool or take in the shore and marina views while you catch up with each other from the lawn or the hotel’s expansive porch.
If the nights are chilly warm up in the sauna or by the outdoor firepit.
The hotel’s Crab Shack serves up shrimp, oysters and crabs that are steamed, fried, boiled or mixed into soups and dips from a waterside pavilion.
Things You Can Do Together: The Eastern Shore is one of those coast lines that is rugged and scenic and worth visiting in spring and fall as well as in summer.
You can enjoy riding bikes along the island’s quiet streets (bring your own or use the hotel’s), and take walks in the waterfront park or the Black Walnut Nature Preserve.
The protected Bay is calm and the hotel has kayaks and stand-up paddleboards to borrow. Take a scenic cruise by day or at sunset. Or charter a fishing boat and try your luck catching your own dinner.
Learn about the island’s fishing and oystering community at the Watermen’s Museum. And then eat your fill of local crabs and oysters.
The island is short on public beaches but if you want a stroll in the sand or a dip in the ocean there are Eastern Shore beaches nearby.
Note: The resort is dog friendly but not all of the island’s public park areas are.
How to Get There: The island is a bit more than two hours from Baltimore and Wilmington, DE; two-and-a-half hours from Washington, DC and three hours from Philadelphia. The nearest airport is Baltimore-Washington International.
Don’t Miss my beach vacation packing list
The A-Little-Bit-of-Everything Weekend With Mom
Your Hotel: Salamander Resort in Loudoun, VA
The resort has 340 acres of lawn and forest in northern Virginia’s wine country, not far from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Check in, slip into the cozy bathrobes that comes with your spacious room and relax with an afternoon coffee or glass of local wine on your private patio or terrace. If the evening is chilly settle down in front of your room’s fireplace instead.
Things You Can Do Together: I don’t many moms who are interested in wine Or hiking OR shopping OR relaxing yoga and spa treatments. Most of us like a little bit of everything and this is what a weekend at the woman-owned Salamander Resort offers.
The resort offers a full-service spa, indoor pool and outdoor infinity pool horseback riding, yoga, art classes, zip-lining, tennis and archery. Explore the resort’s trails by foot or bicycle.
If you want to explore further afield, grab a wine-trail map and try a few of the 20 wineries nearby. Borrow bikes to ride into charming Middleburg for lunch and shopping, or hit any number of local hiking and biking trails.
Alexandria, VA, Mount Vernon and the Manassas and Bull Run battlefields are a short drive away for mom-and-child history buffs.
How to Get There: The resort is an hour from Washington, DC, 2 hours from Baltimore and Richmond, three hours from Philadelphia and four from Pittsburgh.
There are plenty of flights to Dulles International or Reagan National airports, which are 40 minutes and one hour away, respectively.
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Caribbean Escape With Mom
Your Hotel: Montpelier Plantation & Beach on the island of Nevis
It’s easy to associate the Caribbean entirely with crystal clear blue water and beaches and to forget its long (and not always pleasant) Colonial history and plantation culture.
The boutique Montpelier hotel gives you a mix of both, with its large plantation property nestled into the island’s foothills, and its own private beach a few miles away.
Rooms offer a modern interpretation of Colonial comfort. The vibe is relaxing and the service is reliably attentive.
Things You Can Do Together: Chill. And Chill some more. Or explore the plantation grounds, keeping your eye out for tropical birds, monkeys and wild donkeys. Swim in the fresh water pool and, of course visit the beach.
Beyond the resort there are rain forest hiking trails, road-bike cycling trails, horseback riding stables and the usual complement of water excursions including sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, waterskiing and windsurfing.
Charlestown is a well-preserved Colonial Caribbean port town with characteristic 18th and 19th-century Georgian buildings. Don’t miss The bath hotel, with a history dating to the1780s, and the ruined chapels and plantations homes that dot other parts of the island.
How to Get There: Nevis has a single-runway airport that can accommodate small planes and regional flights, so you’ll most likely fly into Vance Amory airport in St. Kitts. From there it’s a short ferry or water taxi ride to Charlestown and then a flat-rate taxi trip to the hotel.
Here are more ideas for a Caribbean Vacation
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Roanoke photos by FamiliesGo!© All others are courtesy of the respective hotels. The Feature photo at the top is the Wylder Hotel