15 Bucket-List Mother-Daughter Trips That Will Make You Two Even Closer

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She doesn’t quite understand TikTok and you’d rather text than talk on the phone. But generational differences aside, you and your mom have more in common than you think (and those dissimilarities just feel like bonding moments waiting to happen, anyway). Whether it’s motivating each other to keep slogging up the mountain or always being game to try a new vino varietal, you’ve got to admit that you two are pretty great travel companions. Need a little inspiration for your next vacay together? Scroll on for 15 mother-daughter trip ideas guaranteed to bring you closer than ever.


Flowers Vineyard and Winery

1. Wine Tasting In Healdsburg

  • Best For: 21+
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into SFO and drive 1.5 hours
  • Accommodations: Harmon Guest House

Some of the funniest mama-daughter convos come after the vino starts to flow. Giggles aside, wine tasting is such a pleasant activity. In between sips of terroir-driven red, white and rosé, cherish those unfiltered chats and the chance to stare out at beautiful vine-covered scenery. A few of our favorite spots to swirl in Healdsburg include Aperture Cellars, Flowers Vineyards & Winery, Truett Hurst and Quivira Vineyards. We also love Bricoleur Vineyards in the nearby town of Windsor.


2. Going To Walt Disney World

For Disney lovers, it’s not a real vacation without screaming on Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror and snapping pics alongside costumed characters. Even if you and your mom disagree on whether or not to wait in the lengthy line for Avatar Flight Of Passage again (about that…do yourself a favor and book Disney Genie+ service, which includes Lightning Lane entry), that’s about as much conflict as is likely to go down at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Daniel Chui/Getty Images

3. An All-you-can-do Culture Crawl Through New York City

  • Best For: A weekend getaway
  • Best Time to Visit: Fall
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into JFK or LGA
  • Accommodations: The Standard, East Village

New York City reigns supreme as the ultimate culture mecca with more museums, landmark buildings, parks, Broadway shows and unique pop-up experiences that you could possibly cover in a single trip. That means maximizing your time is key. Get Your Guide allows you to book a VIP pass to skip the line and gain access to the greatest hits in the Big Apple. Because who better to see the Van Gogh exhibit, the Empire State Building and a box-office-smash-hit musical all in the same weekend than your mom?

Auberge Resorts

4. A Posh And Rejuvenating Spa Weekend

If there’s one venue intended for a mother-daughter getaway, it’s the spa—and the Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection is a splurge-worthy choice. Upon arriving, turn off your devices (or maybe keep one phone handy to snap these souvenir selfies), slip into a robe and toast with a glass of champagne or a cup of detoxifying tea. In between stress-melting treatments, savor healthy cuisine made with seasonal ingredients and walk around the bucolic property.

Massimo Borchi/Atlantide Phototravel/Getty Images

5. Eating Your Way Through Chicago

  • Best For: Foodies
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into ORD
  • Accommodations: Viceroy Chicago

Are you and your mom big foodies? Why not plan an entire trip around your meals? Over the last few years, Chicago has really solidified its status as a major gourmet capital. Plan your journey one bite at a time through an organized tour or pick a few spots and do. a DIY culinary crawl. Maybe even book a cooking class to learn how to make deep dish pizza and bring your newfound skills back home.

AMR Image/Getty Images

6. Hiking In Sedona

  • Best For: Hikers
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into PHX and drive 2 hours
  • Accommodations: Casita De Los Santos

The scenery in Sedona is so breathtakingly beautiful that just stepping outside yields scenic reward. But, obviously, hiking around red-rock country is the best way to see all the formations and prettiest views. Since there are trails for every skill level, you won’t have to quarrel over the route being too easy or too challenging. To foster an even deeper spiritual connection, pick a path that passes an energy vortex.

Dana Neely/Getty Images

7. Glamping In The Great Smoky Mountains

  • Best For: Nature lovers
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into TYS and drive 1 hour
  • Accommodations: Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains

You inherited your love of nature from your mama. Nothing recharges you more than sleeping under the stars, waking up to the rising sun and breathing in the fresh mountain air. That said, you’d still appreciate some creature comforts. Glamping means you can commune with nature in Great Smoky Mountain National Park and still have a hot shower and cozy bed.

The Ranch at Rock Creek

8. Living Your Best Cowboy Life On A Dude Ranch

  • Best For: Aspiring cowboys and guided activities
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into MSO and drive 1.5 hours
  • Accommodations: The Ranch at Rock Creek

Whether it’s because everyone is binge-watching Yellowstone or because we’ve all been cooped up in the house for too long, but the idea of a Western-inspired dude ranch vacation just sounds oh-so appealing. Especially since you can go horseback riding, learn to skeet shoot, try out archery, eat real-deal cowboy cuisine, sing campfire songs, fall asleep to the sounds of crickets and let your inner Annie Oakley run wild with your OG ride-or-die.

Barry Winiker/Getty Images

9. Celeb Spotting In Los Angeles

  • Best For: Celeb sightings and good weather
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into LAX
  • Accommodations: Secluded Hollywood Hills Duplex

Love all the latest Hollywood gossip and seeing stars IRL? Los Angeles is called Tinseltown for good reason. It’s one of the few places your odds of seeing a celeb are actually better than not—well, as long as you’re in the right places. Kim Kardashian and Kate Upton frequent A-list hotspot Craig’s. While everyone from Justin Bieber to Channing Tatum has been spotted hiking Runyon Canyon. For down time and some privacy, there’s nothing like a rental in the Hollywood Hills. But if it’s celeb-sightings you’re after, Pendry West Hollywood isn’t just a posh place to stay, it’s also popular among the red-carpet crowd.

American Queen Voyages

10. A Leisurely Riverboat Cruise

  • Best For: Exploring the South
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into MSY
  • Accommodations: American Queen Voyages

Not your typical cruiser? Swap crowded ocean liners for a paddlewheeler that winds along scenic waterways and through diverse landscapes in laid-back yet luxurious, throwback style. You don’t have to travel to the waters of the Danube for a leisurely river boat ride. American Queen Voyages operates cruises between New Orleans and Memphis that showcase all the historic battlefields, blues, flavorful food and Southern charm that the Mississippi Delta has to offer.

Palm Heights

11. Catching Some Rays In Grand Cayman

  • Best For: Sun worshippers
  • Best Time to Visit: Winter
  • Best Time to Save: Fall
  • How to Get There: Fly into GCM
  • Accommodations: Palm Heights

Sometimes it just takes a little natural vitamin D, the ocean and your mama to make all your stress feel like it’s many miles away—which it will be when you're sipping pina coladas, eat fresh-caught seafood, sunbathing, snorkeling and posting up in an ocean-view suite at a five-star resort. We’d recommend Palm Heights, a posh and endlessly chic property that’s perched on white sands of Seven Mile Beach.

Miraval Resorts

12. Escaping To A Holistic Wellness Sanctuary

  • Best For: 360 wellness
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring
  • Best Time to Save: Summer
  • How to Get There: Fly into TUS
  • Accommodations: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

If you’ve already done (and loved) the whole spa weekend thing, take your wellness and relationship to the next level with a holistic getaway at Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa that cleanse the mind, body and spirit, expands your horizons and deepens your connection to one and other. The 400-acre property is a well-being-oriented paradise with serene desert scenery, one-of-a-kind wellness experiences, spa treatments and a robust schedule of daily activities, so you can decide what wellness means to you (and your mom) and tailor your trip accordingly.

ejs9/Getty Images

13. Cozying Up In A Cabin Near Lake Tahoe

  • Best For:: Peace and quiet
  • Best Time to Visit: Winter
  • Best Time to Save: Spring
  • How to Get There: Fly into RNO and drive 55 minutes
  • Accommodations: Carnelian Bay Cabin

Maybe you live far away from your mom and don’t get to see each other that often or perhaps you’re besties who just love that quality solo time. For duos who want nothing more than each other’s undivided attention, hunkering down at a peaceful and cozy cabin in Carnelian Bay is just the ticket. Be sure to keep the place stocked with plenty of food, booze and board games because you can’t just call Postmates to pick up any last-minute necessities.

Thorny Bush

14. A Bucket-list Safari Expedition In Hoedspruit

  • Best For:: Wildlife lovers
  • Best Time to Visit: Summer (dry season)
  • Best Time to Save: Winter
  • How to Get There: Fly into CPT, transfer to HDS and drive 15 minutes
  • Accommodations: Saseka Tented Camp

If your mom has an eye for exploration and a strong desire to peep elephants, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, wildebeests and rhinos in their natural habitat, she’ll have no qualms about taking a long-haul flight to Cape Town (and then boarding a small plane to Hoedspruit) to traipse through the bush for a few days. And don’t worry about jet lag…it’s no match for the excitement of game drives and sundowner G&Ts at Saseka Tented Camp. Plus, there will be plenty of time to unwind in your luxury tent complete with a private deck, outdoor shower and pool.

Deb Snelson/Getty Images

15. Tackling Emory Peak

  • Best For:: Adventurers
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring
  • Best Time to Save: Summer
  • How to Get There: Fly into MAF and drive 4 hours
  • Accommodations: Chisos Mountains Lodge

Sometimes you just need a few words of encouragement to keep going. And who better to be your hype woman than your mama (and, obvs, you’ll do the same for her). Emory Peak is the highest in the Chisos Mountains and Big Bend National Park (which earns our vote as one the most beautiful places to visit in Texas). The trek up to the top isn’t easy, but the gorgeous views, the amazing summit selfies, the tales of fortitude you’ll be telling for years to come and the fact that you accomplished this epic thing with your mom make it all worth it.


Lindsay Cohn

Freelance PureWow Editor

Lindsay Cohn is a travel writer and serial trip planner who has visited 46 countries across six continents (and counting). When not globetrotting, she’s most likely either doing...
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