If you’ve ever found yourself exhilarated by a trip to Target – alone- this is a surefire sign that it’s time you start packing. And I’m talking luggage not lunches. A getaway with the girls is calling you, and you need to go. Even if you have to start small, with say with a girl’s overnight in Annapolis. 

You don’t need to let making time to getaway with your gal pals an express ticket to Guilt City. Don’t take that trip, take an actual trip. There just happens to be science to back up the benefits of a girl’s getaway.

“It offers huge benefits,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness in an interview for Woman’s Day magazine. “Medical studies show that the bond between women is critical to emotional and physical health. Think of it as a personal tuneup.”

We tend to ignore the knocking that signals our need for a personal tuneup. I get it. You’ve got a lot on your plate. But don’t talk yourself out of taking time for your own maintenance – wellness through the bonds of friendship. The fix can be as quick as an overnight trip that allows for some recharging.

Annapolis has a certain magnetism that attracts people with a passion for what they put out into the world. There is a special sort of energy in that. You feel it as though it were a current flowing from the waterfront. It draws you in like the adorable facades of the little boutiques that dot Main Street. Plus it’s a short drive from Baltimore, making it the perfect destination for the (cool) progeny editorial team to recharge with girl’s overnight trip.

Essential to planning a girl’s getaway – no matter where the destination- is finding a place to stay that is more than just a hotel. It has to be a place that is truly relaxing (imagine trying to relax at a motor-in? … yeah, no.)

Loews Annapolis fits this bill in the ways you’d expect a luxury hotel would; plush robes, luxe toiletries, and decadent pillow-top beds. All worthy amenities, but it was the small touches and unique experiences here that truly set the tone for relaxation.

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

From almost the moment I stepped out of the car I could feel tension releasing. That’s really what it’s all about, the sigh that comes as you sink into a feeling of welcome. Letting go the that list you’re constantly updating in your head and giving over to the bliss of quiet. It’s as though Loews Annapolis was designed to give you this.

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

BAROAK Cookhouse & Taproom is the unique on-property restaurant at the Loews, founded by Chef Teddy Folkman. While we love our cocktails and wine o’clock will always be that magical time of day, Baroak turned the idea of girlfriend getaway libations on it’s head by treating us to some amazing beer pairings. (Yes, beer pairings!) When you think about it, beer is the most fitting libation for a stay in Annapolis – historically speaking.

Chef du Cuisine Maria Evans treated us to a truly personal meal accented – like her own voice – by spent years honing her craft in Rhode Island. A deconstructed New England Clam ‘Chowda’ paired with Maryland brew, Cellar Door by Stillwater Artisanal brought out the citrus notes in the beer while perfectly complementing the rich briny flavor of the ‘chowda’. A Rhode Island favorite, Dough Boy pastry finished off the meal. Dusted with rosemary scented powdered sugar and crowned with a dollop of sour cream ice cream, it was bliss. Wait, before you think, “… um, sour cream?” let me just tell you that we are still talking about that component to this day. This chewy pillow of not overly sweet fried dough was paired with a dessert beer {so, that’s a thing}. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout actually tastes of chocolate. Decadence personified.

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progenyGirls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progenyWith each dish — oven roasted duck with celery root puree paired with a fruity Belgian strong ale, beet and arugula salad set off in a burst of flavor and color from Rouge Dead Guy Ale (a Maibock) — the effervescent smile on the Chef’s face grew. “Cooking meals like this is such a different thing from the everyday job,” shared Evans. “This is my play time. I love it!” That joy was as evident on her face as it was in each bite.

When you meet someone who lives their passion it radiates from them like sun glinting off the polished brass of sailboats in the waters here in Annapolis. Fern Elliot set up shop on Main Street over a decade ago. Her boutique, Lilac Bijoux is a reflection of her breezy personality and passion for easy style. The works of local artisans and designers, handpicked by Fern, are featured alongside carefully curated pieces in this small, bright boutique.

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Connecting on a personal level is something that runs deep in this part of Annapolis. It imbues the coastal charm of this seaside village with a sense of small town hospitality. Want to know where to get the best cocktail? Kirsten at Sweet Heart Patisserie swears by Level for small bites and cocktails. Susan at Visit Annapolis turned us on to some amazing organic margaritas at Vida Taco Bar. Trust me, ask a local and you can’t go wrong. We had a great happy hour at Vida… 

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Locals and visitors alike find themselves drawn to one place when it comes to a spa-day, Varuna Aveda Lifestyle Spa and Salon. After our “tuneup” here, I understand why. If there were a tributary that fed the currents of wellbeing that can be found in Annapolis, it springs from here. 

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Lucia Steele runs Varuna as benevolent matriarch of a very happy family. Which makes sense since she was practically raised in the salon and spa industry, her father owned a popular high-end barber shop in DC. “Personal connections are the most important thing we do,” says Lucia. Here you don’t just book a service, you talk with the staff and plan a customized experience together.

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Over a soy-based manicure Heather, Lucia and I talked about how important it is that she and her staff believe in the lifestyle and philosophy that helped earn the spa both a green certification and the coveted Aveda ‘Premier Partner’ status. “Anyone can hire a stylist or massage therapist. What I’m look for though are talented people who believe in what we do here. The live what we do.” Lucia tells me.

That belief is rooted in the idea that plant-based, sustainable, earth-friendly beauty and wellness go hand-in-hand. It’s something that literally starts from the ground up here. You tread on floors sourced of sustainable bamboo, walk past walls adorned with reclaimed stone, there isn’t one whiff of ammonia in the air. Lucia goes on to proudly tout how her team raises thousands of dollars a year during earth month to benefit the American Rivers charity.

Air here is heavy with tranquility. It weighs on you, encouraging you to let go of all the exterior noise and just be here. How beautiful is that? You can’t help but leave this place looking and feeling better. I plan to come back once planned renovations are completed in April and enjoy Lucia’s personal favorite treatment. A warm oil aroma massage called Abhyanga – translated from Sanskrit it means, soaked in love. This particular massage practice has been around for hundreds of years and is said to balance doshas and enhance both wellbeing and longevity.

We can all certainly do with a bit more of both of those, and maybe some macarons too?

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Sweet Hearts Patisserie is an adorable little cafe filled with gorgeous petit four, macarons, real butter-laden croissant, cakes, and confections. The passion project of owner, world traveler and classically trained pastry chef Kristen Rowell, Sweet Hearts was the perfect place to end our Annapolis mini break. (And also allowed an opportunity to pick-up something sweet for the littles at home…)

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Chef Rowell – a Jersey girl born and bred– spent a semester studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. Falling in love with France – as one does, right? – resulted in a change of plans for Kirsten that would lead her to the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa. From there she’d go onto the kitchens of Thomas Keller and Gordon Ramsay, to name a few.

Girls Overnight Trip in Annapolis - (cool) progeny

Chatting over almond croissant {her personal favorite, and ours}, we learned that passion for what she creates is the secret ingredient in everything she bakes. Metaphors aside, we are talking pastries made by a highly skilled chef. Until you’ve had a freshly made, properly-executed viennoiserie, you have never tasted croissant. C’est si bon!

With Sweet Heart Patisserie, Chef Rowell has created a reason to trek to a small shopping center in suburban Annapolis whenever you visit. As Kristen says, “It is always better to have a small bite of something heavenly, than an enormous portion of something so-so.”

Did our girl’s overnight in Annapolis offer the “huge benefits” Dr. Lombardo talked about? A quick tuneup in the wellness department, it certainly was that. Smiles come easier. Gratitude for the people I share the dinner table with every night is renewed. I’ve gained a deeper connection to and appreciation for the amazing team I work with, and met some truly passionate women to admire in a city I adore. Overall, I’d call that a win.

My bags have yet to be unpacked, but we’ll just call that being ready for the next trip.

Jamaica next time, team?

girls overnight in annapolis

where to stay: Loews Annapolis
where to eat: BAROAK, Vida Taco BarSweet Hearts Patisserie
where to shop: Lilac Bijoux
where to relax: Varuna Aveda Lifestyle Spa and Salon

 

Editor’s note: Many thanks to Loew’s Hotel Annapolis and Visit Annapolis for hosting our team and providing excellent insider knowledge! We can’t wait to explore Annapolis more — it’s so close and the perfect mini escape. Photography by Laura Black. All rights reserved.