Every Muse has an origin—a shining gem of a person who motivated you, inspired you, and gave everything of herself to give you the best chance at life. It might have been your mom, an aunt, Grandma, a big sister, or someone else that filled that motherly role, but whoever it is, this weekend is the perfect time to honor the woman who made you the amazing creature you are.
If flowers and chocolate don’t quite fit the bill this year, take her out of town for some quality Mom-daughter time and a whole lot of indulgence. Whether you whisk her off this weekend or postpone the trip a few weeks, here are some great destinations for that “OMG it’s two days until Mother’s Day and I want to take her somewhere great” feeling.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is the southern belle of cities. With its historic charms, antebellum homes, and unrivaled gastronomic delights, it’s little wonder that it was voted 2011’s top U.S. City by Conde Nast Traveler readers. Spend two nights in the historic French quarter at The Governor’s House Inn, and enjoy a delicious brunch at any number of delectable dining establishments in the downtown district, like Poogan’s Porch Restaurant or Halls Chophouse. Charleston has a wide array of historic sites, scenic shopping, beaches, and attractions that make it a well-rounded last-minute getaway.
Stowe Mountain, Vermont
Run for the hills and into goose-down pillows for a weekend of spoiling mom (and yourself, of course) at The Stowe Mountain Lodge. Situated in the steep green hills and expansive meadows of Vermont’s ski country, the highly rated rustic retreat offers swanky accommodations and a coveted onsite spa. It’s the perfect spot to relax with some massages, facials, and manicures, or just soak in a frothy Jacuzzi. After some time in the spa, take in the brilliant acts at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and feast on some sumptuous dining at Solstice.
Napa Valley, California
All aboard for delicious wine! The Wine Train is an elegant feature of Napa Valley, offering visitors a leisurely ride through the most talked-about wine country on the continent, complete with a four-course meals and perfect wine pairings. Before boarding the train on Sunday, stay Saturday night at The Ledson Hotel. With an on-site winery, fireplaces for the chilly valley evenings, and an exquisite breakfast, it’ll be the perfect weekend in wine country!
Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe is one part rustic and one part gilded outdoors. Depending on her tastes, take mom to stay at in a cozy cabin (check out places on VRBO) or at the Beachside Inn at the Camp Richardson Historic Resort and Marina. The resort stretches your investment in mom to the max with a package that includes fragrant flowers and chocolates, credit at the onsite Grille, and continental breakfasts, all on gorgeous grounds where you can find plenty of action or relaxation. For a really special surprise, book a two-hour cruise on the Tahoe Queen, where you can dine on prime rib and champagne while gazing at the sharp glacial peaks and azure waters.
St. Louis, Missouri
Book a Girlfriend’s Getaway Package at the Omni Hotel, which includes fabulous shopping and gift certificates to Bloomingdale’s. Take mom to the excellent St. Louis Zoo, and then dine at the Millennium Hotel’s onsite revolving restaurant, Top of the Riverfront, where you can enjoy an elegant evening overlooking the arch. The next morning, wrap up your weekend with a champagne brunch at Bixby’s, the sunny restaurant attached to the Missouri History Museum.
Taos, New Mexico
For the music and arts-loving mom, the Taos Mother’s Day Music Festival, including festive Latin music, traditional foods, and lively entertainment, is a fabulous destination. Book a couple of nights in the Historic District at the El Pueblo Lodge—an authentic-styled Southwestern Pueblo with sweeping verandas and gorgeous views—at a special rate for the entire month of May. Stay a few extra days to explore the art galleries, white water rafting, and shopping that make Taos such a beloved destination of the Southwest.