Every mother–daughter duo needs a little one-on-one time with each other, no matter how old they are, and one of the best ways to find that time is through travel. Sure, brunch is always an option, but travel connects us on a deeper level, creating an opportunity to escape and slow down. These cities offer a variety of different activities for all kinds of mothers and daughters, whether they’re looking to get out of town for Mother’s Day, celebrate a special birthday or occasion, or spend some quality time together just because.
Downtown Culture and Heritage
Despite Gotham’s modern-day glamour, pockets of old New York still exist, and many can be found below Houston Street. Start the day with brunch at The Odeon (145 W. Broadway; 212-333-0507; brunch for two, $30*), the pioneering brasserie that defined Tribeca back when it was wild. Afterward, join the clever folks at Big Onion Walking Tours (212-439-1090; tours, $25 a person) for a journey into Lower Manhattan’s bygone eras—its roster includes everything from a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge to a multiethnic “nosh” through the Lower East Side. From 1892 to 1954, the Statue of Liberty welcomed more than 12 million immigrants to New York Harbor. Take the Statue Cruises (Castle Clinton National Monument, Battery Park – Liberty Island; 877-523-9849; tickets, from $18.50 a person) ferry to the new Statue of Liberty Museum (1 Liberty Island; 212-363-3180; admission, not available at time of publication), which opens May 2019 and offers an up-close look at the monument’s original torch. Later, make your way to Chinatown’s Nom Wah Tea Parlor (13 Doyers St.; 212-962-6047; dinner for two, $40) for some of the city’s most authentic dim sum.
Crescent City Gastronomy
The Big Easy has long been celebrated for its culinary prowess, making it a great destination for a food- (and drinks!) focused getaway. Kick things off with breakfast at the delightfully kitschy Molly’s Rise and Shine (2368 Magazine St.; 504-302-1896; breakfast for two, $22), the latest undertaking from chef Mason Hereford following the success of his sandwich joint, Turkey and the Wolf (739 Jackson Ave.; 504-218-7428; lunch for two $25). Foodies can dive into the region’s gastronomic history at The Southern Food & Beverage Museum (1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.; 504-569-0405; admission, $10.50). Later, whip up your own Louisiana specialties—like gumbo, shrimp étouffée, and pecan pie—in a class at the New Orleans School of Cooking (524 Saint Louis St.; 504-525-2665; classes, $139 a person). On her Drink & Learn (504-578-8280; tours, $50 a person) walking tours, drinks historian Elizabeth Pearce shares 300 years of history alongside iconic NOLA cocktails.
Most people consider a visit to the theme parks a must, but there’s plenty to do beyond their gates as well—including the Orlando Museum of Art (2416 N. Mills Ave.; 407-896-4231; admission, $15), whose current exhibitions range from a study of figurative pieces—all of which depict the human form—to a collection of works by mid–20th-century artists such as John Chamberlain and Jules Olitski. Or, if you’re more of an outdoors-type, the Tibet-Butler Preserve (8777 Winter Garden Vineland Rd.; 407-254-1940; admission, free) has hiking trails, a butterfly garden, and the Vera Carter Environmental Center, which offers naturalist-led programs every weekend. In the Audubon Park Garden District, don’t miss the East End Market (3201 Corrine Dr.; 321-236-3316), a vibrant food hub that champions local growers and producers. You can grab a bite at Florida & Co. (Suite 105; 407-790-7758; lunch for two, $30), which showcases eight Florida brews on draft and hyperlocal eats.
Set the Stage
The Windy City is home to more than 250 performance venues and has designated 2019 the Year of Chicago Theater. From the spectacular Auditorium Theatre (50 E. Congress Pkwy.; 312-341-2300) to snug storefront spaces such as The Den Theatre (1331 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-697-3830), Chicago theaters feature a lengthy menu of musical showstoppers, innovative dramas, dynamic dance, and clever improv. Get a behind-the-scenes look at them on a theater tour with Broadway in Chicago (312-977-1710; tours, $16 a person) before heading to Lincoln Park for a waterside lunch at the beautifully refurbished Theater on the Lake (2401 N. Lakeshore Dr.; 312-414-1313; lunch for two, $30). The venue’s Chicago Summer Theater Festival (312-742-7994) kicks off in June, and chef Cleetus Friedman’s fresh Midwestern fare combined with gorgeous skyline views is worth the visit. At sunset, Chicago’s Riverwalk (877-300-6746) dazzles with the Art on the Mart (Chicago Riverwalk; admission, free), a spectacle of sound and light launched last year and best viewed between Wells and Lake Streets. The artists project a two-hour digital display on the facade of the landmark Merchandise Mart building five nights a week.
Wellness beckons from this beguiling town encircled by the soaring Colorado Rockies. Start the day with breakfast burritos and smoothie bowls at Jüs (501 E. Hyman Ave.; 970-710-7063; breakfast for two, $22). Grab a few chocolate coconut protein balls for the road and head to Four Mountain Sports (520 E. Durant Ave.; 970-920-2337; half-day bike rentals, $40) to rent bikes for a cruise on the Rio Grande Trail (970-925-3445). Or set out on one of Aspen’s spectacular hiking trails with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (100 Puppy Smith St.; 970-925-5756). ACES also arranges private guides who will tailor an outing especially for you ($60 an hour, two-hour minimum). One favorite is the trek to the Pine Creek Cookhouse (11399 Castle Creek Rd.; 970-925-1044; four-course meal, $70 a person), where you’ll dine alfresco surrounded by Rocky Mountain splendor. Later, soothe tired muscles with a relaxing yoga class or an oxygen-infused massage at O2 Aspen (408 S. Mill St.; 970-925-4002; 60-minute massages, from $165).
Art Meets Nature
Arizona’s stunning gateway to red-rock country has captivated artists, musicians, and writers for decades, so it should come as no surprise that Sedona remains a hub of creativity. Begin at the beginning with a visit to the Palatki Heritage Site (Forest Rd. 795; 928-203-2900; daily Red Rocks Pass, $5 a car), one of the region’s largest cliff dwellings, with ancient pictographs dating back to 1125 A.D. While away a few hours wandering the warren of cobbled paths at Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village (336 State Rte. 179; 928-282-4838). Tlaquepaque is made up of boutiques, restaurants, and several galleries. Inspired? Glass artists at The Melting Point (1449 W. State Rte. 89A; 928-554-4754; classes, from $80 a person) help novices create their own unique works. For some culinary artistry, try Mariposa (700 W. State Rte. 89A; 928-862-4444; dinner for two, $48), celebrated chef Lisa Dahl’s Latin grill. On a bluff with incredible views, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
- *Estimated meal prices do not include drinks, tax, or tip.
- NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
- Published: April 2019