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GETAWAY #1: New River Gorge, West Virginia / Image: Jen Seiser
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5 Perfect Road Trip Ideas For Your Gal Pals

Come spring, things heat up quick! And that's a good thing.

Cincinnati is, of course, a fabulous home base. But winter (including a mild-ish one like the season we just wrapped) can make even the most positive women feel a little restless.

What better way to shake off the last of those humdrums than to plan a little getaway? Round up your best lady pals and get an escape on the books. Here are a few destinations within reach that promise to deliver some fresh energy.

1. RAFT THE NEW RIVER

If adventure is part of your agenda, the New River Gorge in West Virginia is a "must-experience." That's right, folks, one of the nation's best whitewater rivers is right in our backyard. The water is fast and refreshing, which makes for a legitimately exciting day. Fly over rapids, swim through gorgeous terrain, and (if you feel up to it) spend the day in an adult summer camp.

For safety reasons, trips are professionally guided. So book up quick and start planning.

2. ENJOY THE LAKE LIFE IN BEVERLY SHORES

About an hour away from Chicago (just around the Lake Michigan bend on I-94), you'll discover a truly one-of-a-kind, historic neighborhood. The strange homes of Beverly Shores, Indiana seem straight out of a mystery novel. In fact, the entire little town feels a bit surreal, touting some of the most unexpected architecture in the Midwest. Many houses here were constructed for the 1933 Chicago World's Fair and remain intact to this day.

Couple your sight-seeing excursions with a run on the beach at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and you're in for an ultra-memorable outing. On a clear day, you can see the entire Chicago skyline from across the lake. And hey, if you're loving the view, pitch a tent and settle in as the Windy City sparkles its way into the night.

& Speaking of tents and views...

3. FIND YOUR SPEED IN RED RIVER GORGE

Whether you're looking to bask in the region's majestic scenery from the cozy comforts of your cabin or work up a sweat while exploring the terrain, Kentucky's Daniel Boone National Forest has you covered. The area also happens to be one of the country's premier climbing destinations (just in case you're looking for an even more intense challenge).

My vote? Gather the gals and rent a cabin. That way, you can fire up the grill and recover from the day (whatever it entailed) with an evening in the hot tub. ... Or you could always head to Miguel's to hang with the cute climbing crowd.

4. HIKE TO A REMOTE UTOPIA

A charming and well-maintained historic settlement sits high on a mountain, deep in the woods near Cumberland Gap. Happening upon the Hensley Settlement community can feel like a total "time travel" experience. The grass here is bright green and the property is littered with fruit trees. The log cabins, which are open for visitation, tell the story of a time of living off the land. This little world feels untouched by modernity.

And yes, it's 100% worth the long hike to explore this true gem in the forest.

5. GO ANTIQUING IN BURLINGTON

(Sure, it might not be everybody's cup o' tea. But for my money...) Perusing the endless wares of some of the country's most admired antique vendors makes for a pretty special day. Kentucky's Burlington Antique Show is the perfect spot to hunt for eclectic furniture, jewelry, rugs, and d├ęcor with the ladies. The season kicks off in April and is open the third Sunday of every month, all the way to the fall.

Word to the wise: Be sure to arrive early in the day so you can find your treasures before things get too picked over.

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Whatever adventure you & your girls end up getting into, here's wishing you exactly what you're looking for!

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