Discover the Ultimate Group Getaway: Unveiling the Perfect Places to Travel with Friends
Looking to plan the ultimate vacation with your friends? Whether you're seeking a vibrant city experience, a tropical getaway, or a cultural adventure, we've got you covered. From the bustling streets of Buenos Aires to the pristine beaches of Ko Tao, we've compiled a list of the best places to travel with your pals. Get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime in these top group vacation destinations around the world.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, is known as the suavest destination in South America. With its stylish and fashionable atmosphere, this Argentine city offers an affordable taste of the good life to friends seeking a memorable experience. Its café scene is reminiscent of Paris, with a touch of history and class. Additionally, Argentina, being the spiritual home of Malbec, offers excellent yet affordable red wines. When it comes to dining, the steaks in Buenos Aires are quite famous, known for their enormous portions that often require sharing, even in renowned restaurants like Don Julio.
The city has an extensive "to do" list that caters to various interests. It boasts beautiful, well-maintained parks that are perfect for leisurely walks with friends. The nightlife in Buenos Aires is explosive, offering a vibrant party scene that can satisfy even the most enthusiastic revelers. Furthermore, the city is adorned with majestic, faded architecture, providing a captivating backdrop wherever you go. The cultural scene in Buenos Aires is equally impressive. It is home to South America's most respected opera house and offers some of the most passionate football matches in the world. As the birthplace of tango, Buenos Aires is an ideal place to learn this captivating dance without any pressure.
Ko Tao is the perfect place to relax © Matt Munro/Lonely Planet
Ko Tao, Thailand
Ko Tao, located in the Gulf of Thailand, offers a unique and unforgettable experience for friends looking to embark on an island adventure. Scuba diving is a popular activity that defines life on this idyllic island. The affordable prices and crystal-clear waters allow for a remarkable exploration of the diverse marine life, including the turtles that gave the island its name. Ko Tao is widely recognized as one of the best places in the world to learn how to dive, making it an exciting activity to share with friends. After an exhilarating dive, you can relax and discuss the fascinating marine creatures you encountered on one of Ko Tao's pristine white sand beaches.
For those who prefer to stay above the surface, Ko Tao is increasingly becoming a destination for hiking enthusiasts. Several trails traverse the hilly, jungle-covered interior, offering breathtaking views and a chance to immerse yourself in nature's beauty.
Hit up one of Munich's famous beer gardens with friends © anandoart / Shutterstock
If you and your friends are beer enthusiasts, Munich, the capital of Bavaria in Germany, is the ultimate destination for indulging in the finest brews. With its world-renowned drinking scene, Munich offers a lavish experience of quaffing exquisite beer in opulent settings. The city is home to six major breweries, each serving a wide variety of beers in ornate beer halls adorned with grand beer gardens. As the birthplace of Oktoberfest, Munich holds a special place in the hearts of beer lovers. Its magnificent drinking establishments make every day feel like a joyous celebration of this fermented beverage.
To work up a thirst, you can explore one of the largest city parks in Europe, Englischer Garten, where you'll also find a spacious beer garden. Engaging in leisurely walks around the park allows you to enjoy its natural beauty and prepare yourself for the next beer tasting adventure.
San Francisco is great to explore with friends © Getty Images
San Francisco, USA
San Francisco, a city deeply intertwined with the history of friendship and creativity, holds a special allure for groups of friends embarking on a memorable journey. Known as the hangout for the Beat Generation, San Francisco carries the legacy of 1960s counterculture and boasts a phenomenal music scene that birthed iconic bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. To fully immerse yourselves in this rich cultural history, visit the history-drenched bars frequented by literary legends Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady, such as Vesuvio Café.
Besides the vibrant nightlife, San Francisco offers an array of attractions that are perfect for exploring with friends. Discover the stunning street art in the Haight and Ashbury neighborhood, which pays homage to the city's artistic spirit. Immerse yourself in the legendary live music scene or embark on a cruise around the iconic landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. For a truly unforgettable experience, venture into the nearby Napa Valley, known for its incredible wines, and savor the finest flavors of California together.
Széchenyi Baths are a popular gathering spot for friends © Will Sanders / Lonely Planet
Discover the European charm of Budapest, Europe's only capital city with natural thermal springs, alongside your friends. Budapest offers a unique experience centered around its historic and well-known spa complexes. These thermal springs provide the perfect setting for relaxation, conversation, and even a friendly game of chess, which is a popular activity in Budapest's baths. Immerse yourselves in Budapest's bathing culture by visiting the Széchenyi Baths, a stunning example of turn-of-the-century architecture where you can indulge in massages and other spa treatments.
See the epic views of Petra with your pals © Sebastian Condrea / Getty Images
Embark on a remarkable journey with your friends to Petra, a striking sandstone city that holds the distinction of being one of the planet's most remarkable Unesco World Heritage Sites. Built by the Nabataeans during the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, this desert city is an astonishing feat of craftsmanship, as it was carved directly into the rocks. The entrance, known as the Siq, is a narrow and twisting passage between sheer rock walls that sets the stage for the breathtaking beauty that awaits. The Treasury, with its intricately sculpted Hellenistic facade, is the centerpiece of Petra. The Monastery, located higher up in the complex, is equally impressive and larger in size. To fully appreciate this wondrous site, start your day early to witness the sunrise and avoid the crowds, immersing yourselves in the serene atmosphere and the mesmerizing red and pink glow that bathes Petra's phenomenal monuments.
Why not go surfing with your pals in Australia © Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock
Sydney to Gold Coast, Australia
Embark on a classic Australian road trip with your friends, starting from the bustling city of Sydney and making your way to the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast. This scenic journey covers a distance of 850km along the Pacific Highway or 1000km via the New England Highway, offering stunning coastal views and the opportunity to explore magnificent national parks along the way.
Rather than focusing solely on the destinations, savor the entire experience of the road trip itself. Take the time to make magical stop-offs, allowing your long-standing friendships to blossom and grow in a relaxed and unhurried environment. Whether you choose the Pacific Highway route, where you can encounter adorable koalas in Port Macquarie, relax in serene beach towns like Byron Bay, or enjoy swimming and surfing on the golden sands, or the New England Highway route, which allows you to embark on thrilling whitewater rafting adventures on the Nymboida River or indulge in wine tastings in the picturesque Hunter Valley, every aspect of this journey will create lasting memories.
New York City will have something for you and all of your friends © Getty Images
New York City, USA
New York City, known as a melting pot of cultures and a vibrant hub of creativity, offers endless opportunities for you and your friends to explore. This city has been home to many iconic friendship groups throughout the 20th century, including the Beat Generation. Immerse yourselves in the rich cultural history by visiting the bars that were frequented by literary legends such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady, such as Vesuvio Café.
Apart from its vibrant nightlife and literary heritage, New York City offers a plethora of attractions perfect for friends to enjoy together. Admire the stunning street art in neighborhoods like Haight and Ashbury, which pay tribute to the city's artistic spirit. Explore iconic landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz while taking in the breathtaking views of the city. For a unique experience, venture into the nearby Napa Valley and indulge in the renowned wines of California, raising a glass to your enduring friendships.
Top group vacation locations in the Caribbean:
1. Negril, Jamaica
Oh, Jamaica … to vacation on your simply beautiful shores would be a dream. Unforgettable, to say the least! If what you seek is lots of entertainment, nightlife, great food, beach time, and warm weather, then you don’t need to look any further than Jamaica. This island is popular for traveling with a group of friends, and for good reason. Negril is a charming town, and one of the best places to stay in Jamaica. The vibe there is always chill and inviting, especially at one of Negril’s all-inclusive resorts. You and your friends will also find more than enough things to do in Negril, including excursions that’ll help to keep your vacation fun and exciting.
Good to know: Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is as pristine as they come. This beach is loved for its amazing sunsets, powdery white sands, and beautiful, clear waters. Having cocktails on this beach while in Jamaica is a must!
2. Nassau, The Bahamas
The Bahamas is one of those places that will have your mind drifting to scenes of beachside cocktails, lively resort parties, or the most serene boating adventures with a simple mention. Of course, these daydreams center around you on the most fabulous vacation with the people you love most. Nassau is a great place to start your Bahamian explorations as there are lots of amazing beaches waiting to be discovered, like Cable Beach, and impressive nightlife as well. While in Nassau, you can stay at a luxury all-inclusive resort in The Bahamas, which will put you right at the center of everything!
3. Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
At the top of the list for group vacation destinations is Turks & Caicos, known for its incredible diving and gorgeous beaches like the world-famous Grace Bay Beach. This is the place you go to if you want to have the type of beach days you’ve likely seen in movies or in magazines – glorious turquoise waters, gleaming white sand, and swaying palm trees. All of this will feel like a dream, but it’ll be as real as it gets for you as you soak in the sun on this paradise island.
In terms of where to stay, the island of Providenciales (one of about 40 islands and cays in this chain) is most convenient as it is not only beautiful, but it is also home to some of the best all-inclusive resorts in Turks & Caicos. There are also resorts like Beaches Turks & Caicos that have their own thrilling waterpark with gigantic water slides and a relaxing lazy river!
Expert tip: There are many amazing things Turks & Caicos is known for and Coral Gardens in the Turks & Caicos Islands is absolutely one of them. Explore this attraction while on a girls' trip or guys' trip on the islands.
4. Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia is that fair-weather destination that has it all – everything from nature-oriented experiences to the ones that are decadently indulgent and marked by luxury. Life is laid back on this small island and a vacation here can be as serene or as involved as you’d like.
Rodney Bay is a popular town where you’ll find some of the best entertainment, nightlife, restaurants, bars, and all-inclusive resorts in Saint Lucia. Other fun things to do in Saint Lucia with friends include hiking, deep-sea fishing, taking boat and snorkeling tours, hopping on sunset cruises, seeing waterfalls, and just exploring the island!
Insider tip: Your Saint Lucia vacation can include unlimited cocktails and a wide array of dining options if you stay at any of the Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia, such as the Sandals Grande St. Lucian all-inclusive resort in Rodney Bay.
5. Ocho Rios, Jamaica
If you want to have a little bit of everything in your vacation, you might want to look in the direction of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Ocho Rios is located on the north side of Jamaica, and it is a fantastic place for anyone looking to unwind and explore at their own pace. This part of Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches and also for adventure – you’ll easily be able to sign up for ziplining and ATV tours, and even go bobsledding down a mountain!
There are lots of other thrilling things to do in Ocho Rios, Jamaica with friends including going to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville or to the beautiful Dunn’s River Falls. If you want to be near the best attractions in this area, stay at one of the Ocho Rios resorts. At some of these resorts, you’ll be able to plan tours and excursions with no hassle.
6. Exuma, The Bahamas
A vacation in Exuma might feel a bit too good to be true when you get there. You might wonder just how you were able to stumble upon this slice of paradise, which includes what are probably the clearest waters in the world, amazing snorkeling, gorgeous landscapes, secret caves, and swimming pigs! When you finally accept your wondrous reality, you’ll be able to fully sink into your Exuma experience with friends, which can be as adventurous, luxurious, and peaceful as you want it to be. Staying at Sandals Emerald Bay can be the cherry on top of this sublime experience as you’ll have access to multiple bars, including swim-up bars, gourmet dining, day and night entertainment, land and water sports, and so much more!
Top group vacation locations in North America
Away from Caribbean shores and towards North America, here are some of the best vacation destinations for friends looking for good times!
7. Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley promises a sophisticated vacation filled with wine tastings, bike tours, and fine dining. All of these are things best enjoyed in a group, so it would make sense to plan a trip there with friends. After your wine tours, you all can return to the comfort of your villas to relax and reconnect, and once you’re all energized again you might even consider some hiking.
8. Montreal, Canada
One of the best vacations for a group of friends is a trip to Montreal, Canada, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Montreal vacations are ideal when you’ve only got a few clear days on your schedule, and you’re looking to have a memorable time with friends. While you’re there, definitely take some time to immerse yourself in the history of the city, indulge in the food, and explore areas like Old Montreal, Old Port, and Mile End.
9. Nashville, Tennessee
In recent times, Nashville, Tennessee has gained popularity for not only being a great getaway for bachelor and bachelorette parties but also for getaways with friends. The growing enthusiasm travelers have for this city has a lot to do with its vibrant nightlife, great food and music, and the fact that Nashville seems to have something everyone can fall in love with. During a vacation in Nashville with friends, be sure to stop by at least one live music event, try some of the city’s best restaurants, and learn more about the intricate things that make this city as wonderful as it is.
10. New York City, New York
If you’re looking to travel with friends to a place filled with opportunities for exploration, New York City is a great option. Whether or not you’ve been to this city before you likely won’t have a hard time finding new things to try or reliving favorite experiences. During your NYC visit, you can also go to popular attractions like the Empire State Building, Times Square, the World Trade Center, and the Statue of Liberty. MoMA, the Met Gallery, and some of the museums in this city are quite fun to pop into as a group.
11. New Orleans, Louisiana
Partying with friends on Bourbon Street in New Orleans is sure to be a blast - but that isn’t the only thing this southern city has to offer! You can also expect to indulge in food, music, and multi-cultural events during your vacation in New Orleans. In all of these categories, this vibrant city more than hits the mark. Don’t expect Mardi Gras year-round though. This city tends to cool down a lot once that popular festival is over, leaving behind a more mellow but still enjoyable ambiance.
12. Las Vegas, Nevada
Going to Las Vegas, Nevada with friends is the ultimate bucket list item for many people. This reality has a lot to do with the city’s reputation for being an adult playground. In this city known for its nightlife, sleep probably won’t be a priority during the time that you’re there, but, hopefully, you do take some time to rest in between day and nighttime activities. Some of the things you might enjoy doing in Las Vegas with friends include going to some of the most popular bars, restaurants, and nightclubs or taking a road trip to explore the Grand Circle (Zion National Park, Capitol Reed, Monument Valley, Arches, Antelope, Canyon, and Canyonlands). Single-day day trips to nearby attractions will also be a possibility, depending on how much time you all have at your disposal.
13. The Hamptons, New York
Going to The Hamptons, New York can be a great getaway for friends, especially if you’re looking for something a little more extravagant. This destination is ideal for special occasion trips, but a spontaneous vacation with friends can also be well worth it. Your days in the Hamptons can be spent relaxing, shopping, lounging on the beach or poolside, and strolling the towns in this area.
14. Miami, Florida
Miami is known for being a party city and it is a great option if you’re looking to have a vacation that includes lots of beach time and shopping with friends. Night and day, you’ll find things to do in this energetic city whether you want to dance the night away at some of the popular clubs like Cameo, LIV, Mynt Lounge, and Mansion, stroll around the Art Deco District, do some fun tours or chill on Miami Beach.
15. Seattle, Washington
Dubbed the ‘Emerald City’, the best time to visit Seattle is in the summertime, specifically during the months of July and August. At this time of year, you and your vacation crew will find Seattle at its most beautiful and the skies at their bluest. Popular things to do in Seattle include visiting the Space Needle and going to the Pacific Space Center. You might also want to check out Pike Place Market or take a ferry ride to one of the islands in Puget Sound for a water adventure.
16. Oahu, Hawaii
If the mention of a Hawaii vacation doesn’t make your eyes pop, then perhaps you aren’t ready for a vacation at all. Known as the ‘Aloha State’, everything about Hawaii says fun, relaxation, and good times. This can be your friend group vacation experience with just a little planning. Oahu, Hawaii is a great option for a beach vacation where you can relax on postcard-worthy beaches, go diving, learn to surf (if you feel like it), and explore the island.
17. Orlando, Florida
If you’re looking for a great place to visit with a group of friends, keep Orlando high on your list! This is one of those destinations where you can expect to have a great time any time you go. No matter how many times you visit there always seems to be a new experience to try. Whether you want to get into the party scene or you want to let your inner child loose at the theme parks, Orlando, Florida is a top choice for a friend group getaway.
18. Boston, Massachusetts
The bold and fun personality of Boston, Massachusetts is apparent from the minute you get to the airport. This U.S. city is known for many things, but most people go there after hearing great reviews about the food, seafood in particular. A cool seafood spot you can check out in Boston is Faneuil Hall. Try their bread bowl of clam chowder, and then spend the afternoon exploring places like the Boston Tea Party Museum, Old North Church, and the Freedom Trail, which appeal to those who love history. The Boston Common and Public Garden make for a good stroll, and you can also find places nearby to go skiing depending on when you go.
19. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta can make for a great getaway whether you’re looking to explore somewhere new just for the weekend or a bit longer. This city is beautiful and welcoming, and there’s a lot to do night or day. Whether you decide to take in a concert or two, hike Stone Mountain, visit the World of Coca Cola, or just take in as much of the entertainment and dining scene as you have time for, you’re bound to have a memorable vacation in Atlanta.
20. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas has a lot to offer, and it is known as the “live music capital of the world” where two major annual music festivals take place. It doesn’t have to take a concert to lead you to Austin though as there’s lots more to appreciate about this U.S. city, including its natural beauty and the many outdoor activities available. During an Austin vacation, you and your friends or family can visit the urban parks, experience the live music happening nightly at top city bars, test out the dining scene and hopefully find a way to enjoy an old-fashioned Texan barbeque!
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and rich cultural heritage. This vibrant city offers a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to every taste and interest. Among the must-visit sites in Lisbon are the Torre de Belem, the Tile Museum, the Monastery of Jeronimos, Sintra, St George's Castle bulwarks, and the Padrao dos Descobrimentos.
An extraordinary experience awaits you at the Lisbon Oceanarium, where you can immerse yourself in the underwater world without having to swim. Get ready to marvel at the majestic sharks, playful penguins, and enigmatic moray eels in their natural habitat.
Furthermore, there are certain experiences in Lisbon that you simply cannot miss. Take a ride on the Funiculars, explore the bustling Mercado da Ribeira, hop on tram 28, indulge in the delectable cuisine and cocktails in the Barrio Alto, and lose yourself in the enchanting streets of the Alfama district.
London, United Kingdom
London, the iconic capital city of the United Kingdom, is a global hub of history, culture, and commerce. This diverse metropolis offers a plethora of attractions and activities that cater to various budgets and interests.
No visit to London is complete without witnessing the grandeur of Buckingham Palace, the striking presence of Big Ben, the architectural marvel of the London Bridge, the famous Downing Street, the observation experience at the London Eye, and the adventure of navigating the underground transportation system. London is also home to world-renowned museums and art collections that will leave you in awe.
Sports enthusiasts can catch an exhilarating football match at one of the iconic stadiums in the city. Moreover, London's multicultural environment ensures a delightful culinary journey, with a wide array of cuisines to satisfy every palate. Some restaurants are known for their innovative fusion of flavors from different cultures, offering dishes that will truly amaze you.
Paris, often referred to as the "City of Love," is an iconic destination that entices visitors from all over the world. Renowned for its fashion, art, and cultural heritage, Paris offers a plethora of activities and experiences that will create unforgettable memories with your friends.
Immerse yourself in the world's largest art collection at the Louvre Museum, enjoy a picturesque picnic beside the majestic Eiffel Tower, marvel at the architectural wonders of the Arc de Triomphe and Pompidou Centre, and indulge in a shopping spree along the glamorous Champs-Elysees.
In addition to these iconic sites, Paris hosts the famous Paris Fashion Week, attracting fashion enthusiasts, designers, and models from all corners of the globe. Parisian cuisine is celebrated worldwide, so be sure to savor the exquisite pastries and explore the city's culinary delights. For a romantic experience, visit the Pont des Arts, also known as the bridge of love.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana, located on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, is a tropical paradise that captivates visitors with its natural beauty and vibrant culture. As the most visited Caribbean destination, Punta Cana offers a 30-mile coastline filled with opportunities for water and underwater activities.
Embark on thrilling adventures like snorkeling, diving, flyboarding, jet skiing, exploring underwater caves, and cruising along the crystal-clear waters. Along the coastline, you'll also find world-class casinos, golf courses, and water parks for endless entertainment.
Immerse yourself in the local culture by sampling delicious Dominican cuisines and experiencing the unique way of life. Beyond the pristine beaches, a visit to the UNESCO-listed Colonial Historic District of Santo Domingo with your friends is highly recommended. The rhythmic sounds of the Guiro, Tambor, and Accordion in the air add an irresistible charm to Punta Cana.
A city renowned as the live music capital of the world, Austin, Texas, offers a unique blend of vibrant culture and outdoor adventures. This city is home to world-class museums and art pieces, showcasing the rich artistic heritage.
Live music fills the air in Austin, making it a haven for music enthusiasts. Two annual music festivals, SXSW and Austin City Limits Festival, attract artists and music lovers from around the globe. The lively nightlife scene is an ever-present spectacle, with numerous venues offering live performances.
Texan heritage comes alive in Austin's barbeque scene, where you and your friends can indulge in mouthwatering flavors. Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to enjoy, including biking, boating, hiking, and more. The city's sunny weather throughout most of the year is another reason to fall in love with Austin.
Prague, Czech Republic
Dubbed the city of superlatives, Prague is a historical gem where every street exudes the charm of the past. The city boasts remarkable landmarks, including Prague Castle, the world's largest ancient castle, the oldest astronomical clock, and the fascinating Old Town Prague. One cannot overlook the John Lennon wall, a historical symbol adorned with vibrant graffiti art.
To truly experience Prague, the customary drinking of Czech beer is a must. The city's vibrant nightlife awaits with over 600 bars and more than 100 nightclubs. Notably, Prague is home to the world's largest nightclub. Karlovy Lazně, a five-story club with different music genres on each floor, stands as an iconic venue.
Prague's enchanting qualities make it an essential destination for unforgettable adventures with friends.
Whether you and your friends are craving adventure, relaxation, or a blend of both, there is no shortage of incredible destinations to choose from all around the globe. From the vibrant streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to the stunning beaches of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, each location offers its own unique charm and endless possibilities for creating unforgettable memories with your squad. Whether you opt for the exotic landscapes of Petra, Jordan, or the lively atmosphere of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, you can be sure that any of these group vacation destinations will provide a trip of a lifetime. So gather your friends, pack your bags, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in one of these incredible places.
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