Group Vacation Ideas

Going on a vacation with your friends is one of the best ways to travel. There are many benefits of group travel — you can explore a new city and culture with your favorite people, make new memories and strengthen your relationships. The first step of planning your group trip is picking the perfect destination.

There are so many beautiful cities and countries around the world that make perfect group travel destinations. Whether your group’s travel goals include digging your toes in the sand, indulging in the local cuisine, hiking in the mountains or visiting a museum, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Find some inspiration for your next group vacation with these group travel ideas.

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20 Ideas for Group Travel Destinations

Are you wondering where to travel with a group? Here are our top picks for the best destinations for group travel.

1. Montreal

Montreal is a city in the province of Quebec that brings European charm to the Canada & New England region. Montreal has a heavy French influence since the city was once a French colony. The city’s European roots are firm in Old Montreal, the historic district that has Montreal’s best shopping and dining options. Montreal also has several wine bars with extensive wine catalogs. After your dinner and wine, be sure to visit the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, a beautiful church built in 1824.

The city also has many European-style markets. One of Montreal’s oldest and most popular public markets is Jean-Talon, a farmer’s market that offers the best produce direct from the countryside.

2. St. Lucia

St. Lucia is an island country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea surrounded by the Pitons volcanic peaks. Your group can climb these structures, explore their underwater cliffs or view them from afar. The island is plentiful in natural beauty, with many waterfalls, rainforests, reefs, mountains and beaches for visitors to enjoy. 

Besides the natural attractions, St. Lucia’s historic attractions include Pigeon Island State Park. The area used to be a British lookout when France and England fought for control of the island.

3. Napa Valley, California

Napa Valley is a region north of San Francisco known for its wine produced by hundreds of vineyards. Wine connoisseurs and casual fans alike flock to Napa Valley to taste the region’s most popular varieties, including cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and pinot noir. Napa Valley offers many wine tours, including the Napa Valley Wine Train that stops at several of the area’s best wineries.

Besides visiting wineries, your group can take in Napa Valley’s beauty by riding a hot air balloon, hiking the area’s mountain ranges or biking through the valley. Be sure to browse the local boutiques and shops for jewelry, sweet treats and other goods.

4. New York City

New York City is on the U.S. coast and is the most populous city in the country. “The City That Never Sleeps” is filled with famous attractions, upscale restaurants and unique culture. View the famous skyline from the Top of the Rock observatory in Rockefeller Center, then head to Times Square for shopping and entertainment. Near Times Square is Central Park, the city’s most famous urban park.

Experience the city’s culture by taking in a Broadway play or viewing priceless artwork at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Your group’s visit to New York City is not complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York Harbor.

5. Tuscany, Italy

Though Tuscany, Italy, is a well-known wedding destination, it’s also a popular spot for group vacations. The region has bustling cities and quaint villages, all surrounded by a breathtaking landscape. Its capital city of Florence is home to famous Renaissance art, including the David statue by Michelangelo. In the province of Pisa, your group can see the famous Leaning Tower.

Tuscany is famous for its local wine varieties, such as Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti. The Mediterranean climate offers the perfect growing conditions for Sangiovese grapes that make these prestigious wines.

6. Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, which translates to “smoky bay,” is Iceland’s capital city in Northern Europe. It’s the place to go if your group is looking for adventure. Reykjavik has many restaurants with local specialties like minke whale, cod’s head and deep-fried franks. After your meal, wander downtown to browse boutique shops and see street art and outdoor sculptures.

One of Iceland’s most popular attractions is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa with mineral-rich seawater that rejuvenates the skin. Iceland is also one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. If your group visits between late August and early May, be sure to find a spot away from the city’s light pollution to enjoy this natural phenomenon.

7. Phuket, Thailand

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and has some of the world’s most pristine beaches and premium resorts and spas. One of the most well-known is Patong Beach, where your group can do nearly any water sport. One famous landmark is Laem Phromthep, which offers panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. Be sure to visit in the evening, since the area is known for beautiful sunsets.

Your group can get an introduction to Thai culture by eating local dishes, visiting museums and exploring Buddhist temples. The island also has cultural influences from elsewhere in Asia, like China.

8. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio is located on the central Pacific coast in the Costa Rica & Panama Canal area. Since the area has such a diverse landscape, it is the perfect group travel destination if you want various activities.

The main sight to see in Manuel Antonio is the national park of the same name. It has beautiful beaches for snorkeling and jungle trails to explore the rainforests and wildlife, including monkeys, iguanas and sloths. Besides swimming, snorkeling and hiking, your group can go scuba diving, zip lining, horseback riding and more.

9. Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach sits on the eastern U.S. coast and has many beaches, parks, museums and venues for your group to enjoy. In the daytime, relax on one of many pristine beaches or paddleboard in the Atlantic Ocean. The city also has many institutions and exhibits for art enthusiasts.

After the sun goes down, Miami Beach has a thriving nightlife scene. Get a cocktail, listen to live music and dance the night away at one of the many clubs or bars throughout the city.

10. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is a coastal town situated on the Adriatic Sea. Its architecture has medieval inspiration, with stately buildings, ancient walls and cobblestoned streets. These walls date back to the sixteenth century and surround the Old Town area of Dubrovnik. Walk through the Placa pedestrian thoroughfare and stop in one of the area’s cafés to try the local cuisine. Be sure to stop by the Church of St. Blaise, built in the 1700s.

Besides walking the Placa, your group can view the city from a cable car that runs down Mount Srd. Game of Thrones fans may recognize some areas from the hit TV show, as many scenes were filmed in Dubrovnik.

11. New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a vibrant southern city that blends American, African and French cultures. “The Big Easy” is famous for its Cajun and Creole foods like gumbo, crawfish and jambalaya. The well-known Café Du Monde is a popular dessert stop for beignets.

Visit the French Quarter to get a sense of New Orleans’ culture. Be sure to explore Jackson Square and the beautiful St. Louis Cathedral. New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz music, so your group can stop by the iconic Preservation Hall to listen to a live jazz band.

12. Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu, Hawaii

Oahu is the most populous island in the Hawaiian Islands, and Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located here. Enjoy the sand and sunshine at Waikiki Beach, where your group can surf the Pacific Ocean waves. Hanauma Bay has excellent snorkeling to see green sea turtles and around 400 fish species.

Besides the beach, your group can take in the natural beauty by hiking in Oahu’s mountains that feature waterfalls and tropical vegetation. Learn about the local history at Pearl Harbor, a National Historic Landmark from World War II. 

13. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen is a coastal resort town located on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It has beautiful beaches with white sand and turquoise waters, so it’s the perfect destination if your group wants water adventures. Across the bay is Cozumel, which is famous for scuba diving. Snorkel in the barrier reef to see aquatic life and sail the Mexican Caribbean waters.

On land, your group can learn about the local culture by taking a tour of Chichén Itzá, an archaeological ruin from the Mayan civilization. Dine on fresh seafood or Mexican cuisine at a local restaurant.

14. Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands in Northern Europe. The city is famous for its canals and biking, which are excellent ways to see Amsterdam. Your group will see beautiful narrow homes with gabled facades along the way.

You can learn more about Amsterdam by visiting the city’s Museum District. Popular museums include the Van Gogh Museum, which has the world’s largest Van Gogh painting collection, the Rembrandt House Museum, the former home of the painter Rembrandt, and the Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II.

15. Nashville, Tennessee

If your group loves getting down to country music, Nashville is the place to go. “Music City” is a major music industry center, especially for country music. Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium. There are museums dedicated to famous singers like Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell.

Besides music, your group can learn more about the local history by touring The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home. You can also dine in one of the city’s many trendy restaurants or go to a cocktail bar in the Germantown area.

16. London

London is the most visited city in Europe and a top group travel destination. The city is filled with iconic landmarks. You can admire the architecture of Westminster, which houses the famous Big Ben clock tower. Be sure to visit at the top of the hour to listen to it chime. And if your group wants to kick back and relax, you can also see these popular sites on a Thames River cruise.

Another must-do outdoor activity in London is a stroll through Hyde Park to watch the swans and paddleboats on the water. And any Harry Potter fans in your group will want to visit Platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross train station.

17. Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena is a port city along the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The city is one of the best destinations for group travel if your group is looking for beautiful scenery and vibrant culture. One popular area of Cartagena is the Walled City, which has colonial architecture, art exhibitions and world-class dining.

Cartagena also has an active nightlife scene with many salsa clubs and tapas bars. As the evening winds down, be sure to grab a drink and sit on the wall to catch stunning sunset views.

18. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas in Mexico is known for its luxurious resorts. Lounge poolside with a margarita at the resort, or book a villa if your group is large. Besides the resort, the area has many beautiful beaches for swimming, surfing, kayaking and more.

Many resorts offer excellent dining options, or your group can try the authentic Mexican food in the San Jose del Cabo area. Popular activities in the area include watching whale migration and viewing the Land’s End rock formation.

19. The Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve is a region on the southern coast of Portugal in Northern Europe. It’s a popular travel destination for Europeans since the weather is pleasant, the beaches are beautiful, and the towns are charming. Many of the beaches have rock features with hollows, caves and cliffs to explore.

The Algarve is also one of the top golfing destinations in Europe, so the 42 courses at 35 golf resorts in the region are sure to please the golf enthusiasts in your group. After the eighteenth hole, enjoy piri piri chicken, a local dish of chicken basted with piri-piri chili sauce.

20. Greece

Between the ancient history, delicious cuisine and stunning landscape, Greece is a popular group travel destination. The beautiful islands feature white sand beaches set against the deep blue Aegean Sea and are perfect for an afternoon of sunbathing, swimming and windsurfing. Besides the beach, your group can find natural beauty in the forests, mountains and rivers in the two national parks of the Zagori region.

Visit the capital city of Athens to see the blend of history and modernity. View the ancient Acropolis ruins and other temples throughout the city. After your tour, stop in a local restaurant for a traditional meal of moussaka, pastitsio or souvlaki.

Plan Your Group Vacation With Windstar Cruises

One of our top tips for vacationing with friends is to go on a cruise. Planning a cruise only requires booking an excursion to your travel destination. Once onboard, you and your friends can focus on enjoying your vacation without thinking about the details. There will be activities on board for everyone to enjoy, delicious meals every day and plenty of opportunities for relaxation — everything a group vacation is all about.

Windstar Cruises journeys to the best destinations for group travel around the world. Your group will enjoy the small ships that create an intimate, uncrowded environment and dock in unique areas around the world. While onboard, you can indulge in our world-class dining or relax in your elegant stateroom as we take you to your destination.

Contact us today to start planning your next group vacation.

Plan Your Group Vacation With Windstar Cruises

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