Midwest Road Trip Ideas for an Unforgettable Girls’ Getaway

No passports required.

Girl time is essential. Whether getting together for book club, a wine night, or grabbing brunch, catching up with your inner circle is a great way to focus on yourself. So why not level up from a local outing to a Midwest adventure? Grab your gal pals and take a long weekend road trip to one of these charming destinations.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

About a 4-hour drive from Indianapolis. Known for its breweries and art scene. 

What makes Grand Rapids special? It’s a smaller city that’s easy to navigate with trendy attractions like breweries, a vibrant art scene, and beach towns nearby to boot. Your girlies will have a blast trying different beer flights and touring downtown.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Named the Best Sculpture Park in the U.S. by USA Today, this is the place to visit for gorgeous gardens and jaw-dropping art (which also makes for some Instagram-worthy spots!). Think of it as the Grand Rapids version of Newfields. Make sure to check out the Richard & Helen Devos Japanese Garden and get a group photo with The American Horse (which is 24 feet high!).

Donkey Taqueria

What’s better than spilling the tea with friends over margaritas and guac? This award-winning taqueria and tequila bar–located just minutes from Downtown Grand Rapids–boasts authentic Mexican flavors, is a local favorite, and has a great outdoor patio space.

Breweries

Lovingly nicknamed “Beer City USA,” Grand Rapids has earned this reputation thanks to its 70+ unique breweries spread throughout the city. Not sure which one to hit up first? Check out the Beer City Brewsader Passport app, which allows you to explore top breweries and compete in challenges with your friends. Check-in at 8 local breweries and win an exclusive t-shirt!

Beach towns

Looking to soak up the sun and chill in the sand? A short drive from Grand Rapids you’ll find little beach towns dotted along the West coast of Lake Michigan. Favorites include Holland and Grand Haven.

Calling all art lovers

While it doesn’t take place in the summer, we must talk about ArtPrize. This is a must-see art competition where people from all over the world submit their pieces. The artwork is placed around the city, and locals and visitors are invited to vote for their favorite. If you and your girls are looking for a one-of-a-kind, low-key activity, this is it. Dates: Sept. 13–28.

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

About a 4-hour drive from Indianapolis. Relaxing beach town centrally located in the Midwest.

Searching for a beach town getaway without the hassle of flights? A weekend in Lake Geneva is the perfect Midwest summer vacation. This has long been the place for Chicago natives, but word is out, and the rest of us now get to enjoy this summer small-town paradise as well.

Magpie’s Den & Pen

Are you looking for a fun lunch/dinner spot with something for everyone that can double as entertainment? Right off the main strip, this cute restaurant is the perfect place to kick off your girls’ night out. Enjoy one of the craft cocktails while you hang at the outside bar or play a little cornhole as you wait for your food.

Boat tour of Lake Geneva

There’s no better way to relax after a night out than with a beautiful lake tour. Grab your girls and hit the lake on a two-hour cruise that gives you a fascinating history and stunning view of the giant homes. They also offer a cocktail cruise, which we’ve never done, but sounds like a great way to end the evening!

House of Bogini

Catch up with your friends over European-inspired food and incredible wine at this funky restaurant/bar with beautiful green backdrops and incredible live music.

Kilwin’s

You can’t have a beach day without enjoying a little ice cream. Grab a sweet treat and stroll by the water. There’s a reason Kilwin’s is a classic, and there’s no better smell than a fresh waffle cone. Whether you’re team ice cream or team fudge, there’s something for the whole gang.

Whether you’re planning a bachelorette or just a weekend away, Lake Geneva is the perfect girls’ trip destination. The best part is that you can make your trip as relaxing or adventurous as you want—chill on the beach or take to the water. Bop around bars or hit the golf course. You can truly choose your own adventure, as Lake Geneva has it all.

Louisville, Kentucky

About a 2 hour drive from Indianapolis. Southern charm meets vibrant culture.

Escape the bustle of Indy and enjoy unique entertainment and southern good eats with your girlfriends. Get the perfect blend of city life at a more relaxed pace. The city’s proximity to Indy makes Louisville a great weekend-long getaway or a day trip.

Horse racing

Embrace your inner Kentuckian by making a pitstop at Churchill Downs. Join in on years of horse racing tradition and place your bets. Loser buys drinks!

Comedy

Nothing bonds the girls together like an evening of laughter at the Louisville Comedy Club. From local talent to special events to social media comedy celebs, there’s a show to enjoy almost every night of the week.

NULU

This hip, artsy neighborhood in the heart of Louisville is close to everything and has enough to keep your girl gang entertained all night long. From unique cocktails to boutiques to fun activities, this space has it all and is one of our favorite spots to explore in Louisville. It’s also a perfect starting point before venturing to other parts of Downtown.

  • Fuel up for a night out with some good old-fashioned southern BBQ. Make sure to start your tour of NULU at Feast BBQ. Trust us, you’ve got to try the BBQ salad. These greens are loaded with pulled pork, fried pickles, and all the fixings to make it the best salad you’ve ever tasted. Don’t forget to wash it down with their slushy of the month.
  • We’d never seen a seltzer bar until we discovered The Local Seltzery. Create your own seltzer or try a flight while you catch up in this adorable and totally Instagrammable space. Not a fan of seltzer? No problem, they’ve got tons of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to choose from.
  • Ready to hit the town as fashion icons? Make sure to visit Six Sisters Boutique. Get influencer-ready with some big hats, or grab a custom jean jacket that’s sure to stand out. Whatever your vibe, they’ve got it, plus tons of cute gifts and souvenirs.
  • Whether catching up over cocktails or celebrating a special occasion, Gertie’s Whiskey Bar and speakeasy is a great spot for your group. Fair warning—their drinks are strong!

Safe travels!

About Sippin’ Sangria

Caroline and Lexa are a traveling duo who have visited several local, U.S., and international destinations together. Through these adventures, they’ve learned the ins and outs of traveling with friends and love connecting with other female travelers. When they’re not booking their next flight, Lexa and Caroline plan trips—honeymoons, girlfriend getaways, weekend trips, and more.

www.sippinsangria.com

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