Girlfriend Getaways: The 40s Itinerary
Updated April 2021
Rally your forever friends and get ready to recharge. With Archer Hotel Austin’s Girlfriend Getaways, you can easily capture the essence of living well — hair down, hearts open and wine glasses filled to the top.
In your 40s, you discover that the best life story is your own. The people, places and moments that define you — they’re yours to choose. Quiet reflections. Wild laughter. A deeper purpose and greater sense of self. A stronger resolve to be present and live fully. Somehow it’s more real sharing with the spirited, courageous women who touch your life.
Get centered. Get celebrated. Get going!
Choose your adventure, ladies.
While neither cranky nor a granny, the young entrepreneur baker has quickly made her mark serving “buttery, sweet and fluffy” sweet rolls. Just a sampling of flavors: Cookies N Cream, Peach Cobbler, Strawberry Shortcake Crunch, Mocha and (naturally) the Classic, with its one-of-a-kind glaze.
A welcoming, Texas-chic space at Archer Hotel Austin, Second Bar + Kitchen serves up a sampling a sweets, healthy bowls, eggs and breakfast staples, created by award-winning chef David Bull. Or order in-room dining for breakfast in bed. Strawberry lavender scones and a spring onion + goat cheese quiche? What a delicious way to start the day.
Delicious, healthy, balanced and guiltless. With a fresh, chef-driven menu from the restaurateur behind True Food Kitchen, its organic produce is guided by the wisdom of the Environmental Working Group and its proteins are naturally raised. Fresh and fast without cutting corners — and you can taste it. Organic, gluten-free and vegetarian-driven items.
Modern, from-scratch Italian and a menu of culinary delights for lunch, happy hour or dinner. The indoor-outdoor space is reminiscent of a neighborhood side street and a great place for catching up over cocktails and delicious apps. We love the grilled artichokes and funghi pizza.
This sustainably sourced seafood grill and oyster bar is the real deal — with a fun ocean-themed space. Both of the seafood towers evoke serious celebratory vibes. The soft shell crab sandwich is casually awesome, and weekend brunch serves a crawfish omelet (yes, please). Toast to friendship with an Island Hopper or Plank’s Mule.
Part of the Conscious Earth program, Blue Sushi offers creative sushi and grill creations meant for sharing. They happily stagger the plates for maximum enjoyment of each bite, and they’re known for their vegan maki. Don’t forget a premium cold sake, or experiment with a sake flight.
The smooth ice creams at Jeni’s have a buttercream body, with bright flavor and clean finish. They don’t use synthetic flavorings, dyes or off-the-shelf mixes. And the flavors? Some are expected but elevated (think cookies in cream, with scratch-made darkest-chocolate cookies with flecks of white chocolate in vanilla-scented cream), while others are wholly unexpected — middle west whiskey & pecans, cold brew with coconut cream or wildberry lavender, anyone?
At Sweet Paris, “Life is for enjoying.” Whether you sit inside the Parisienne-inspired café or enjoy the umbrella’d patio, you’re sure to appreciate your time with friends savoring the beautiful crêpes. To try: Apple Cinnamon Crème Brûlée and Dulce de Leche sweet crêpes, Chicken Florentine and Croque Madame savory crêpes and a Mayan Hot Chocolate.
This contemporary store curates the latest trends and products and partners with leading designers to deliver clothing and accessories to make women (moms, especially) look hot and wholesome (if that’s your thing).
Luxury retail with an influx of daily new additions is the real deal at RealReal. You can also extend the life of your luxury purchases with specialized cleaning, repair and bespoke alterations, as well as getting a free valuation of your fine jewelry, watches and handbags.
These are not your average jeans. They feel soft and comfy from the moment you put them on and come in a variety of styles, colors and, yes, even prints. Pick up a cute top to go with and a fun shoulder bag to complete the look.
You’ll find just about anything at Nordstrom, and the customer service is tops. Grab a classic bistro bite at Bazille and then get ready to shop till you drop. Take a break at Anastasia Brow Studio, then return to the hunt. Treasures await.
For those who still love the smell of paper or the promise of a beautiful new notebook. Get inspired with a “build your own life planner” complete with customized quotes, colors and images.
A four-story showroom featuring the luxury brand’s chic, timeless furniture, lighting, textiles, décor, outdoor and garden. Each floor is dedicated to a different concept to get your design wheels turning.
Happy Hour + Beyond
James Beard award winners Tyson Cole and Aaron Franklin have teamed up to deliver Texas barbecue with a smoky Asian twist. The counter-service restaurant has a large outdoor patio, plus a tasty selection of snacks and veggies (the crunchy sweet corn fritters are yummy).
The largest outdoor restaurant in Texas is also the Sunset Capital of Texas. Located on a cliff 450 feet above Lake Travis, it serves up Tex-Mex, salads and cocktails while the sun trails across the sky and dips into the lake each evening. Have your cameras on the ready. These are keepers.
Your Texas distillery tour experience should start on DistilleryTrail.com — an online magazine dedicated to the distillery and craft spirits business. The website has a comprehensive list of farm, craft and established distilleries tours.
Modern, farm-fresh interpretations of Southern classics in an elegantly restored home. With an eye to seasonality and locality, co-executive chefs Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas have topped national lists since opening. Try the Carolina Gold Rice Hush Puppies (Benton’s country ham vinaigrette, tarragon, catsup). Ask for the less-than-secret, off-menu biscuits. Near the Texas State Capitol.
South Congress + Lamar
Where the Colorado River meets Barton Creek, Austin comes to play. This 350-acre epicenter of recreation is the perfect place to take in sculpture gardens, swimming holes and nature preserves. Explore trails on foot or by bike or cool down on kayaks or paddle boards.
See the big red boot sign? You know you’re at Allens — one of Texas’ favorite cowboy boot stores. Aisles are plum full of craftsman boots from a bevy of brands and for every occasion. Naturally, you’ll need a coordinating belt and hat to go with those beauties; Allens has those, too.
What’s an adventure in Austin without a real, custom-made Texas hat? Choose your style and accoutrements (bands, feathers, pins) while being assisted by an engaging staff. They also stock a curated collection of soaps, fragrances, jewelry and home goods.
Soak up some history and live music at this legendary venue with a reputation the size of Texas. Since 1955, it’s entertained and hosted some of the Texas greats. Rock, country, jazz and blues acts, national and local, are found at this fabled South Congress club.
This atypical “department store” has an always-rotating selection of products and more than 100 brands that typically aren’t found in other stores. A casual restaurant — Prim and Proper — fuels your shopping adventure.
The nationally recognized historic district in Fredericksburg is home to 700 historically significant structures. Many of these buildings today are museums, restaurants, shops, lodging options and churches. After your tour, be sure to visit at least one of 100+ wineries and vineyards in the area (aka Texas Wine Country).
Just 25 minutes west of Austin in Dripping Springs (aka The Gateway to Hill Country and The Wedding Capital of Texas). Discover natural wonders, historic treasures, unique shopping, eclectic live music venues, a plethora of wineries, craft breweries and local distilleries. Then stop for a bite at Texas Hill Country Olive Co. — a local and visitor favorite.