The holidays are known to be a little hectic, so it's important to take a day or two to relax and unwind, and what better way to do that than with your best girlfriends! Be it your sister, your cousin, your mom or your best friend, take some time to reconnect with them and yourself. Howard County is the ideal place to have a relaxing girls weekend, and there truly is something for everyone here. You'll find world-class shopping, relaxing day spas and even fantastic dining options. You'll only be limited by the amount of time you can spend enjoying it all. 

Shopping is the perfect way to start your getaway and Howard County has plenty of it!

The Mall in Columbia--Maryland's premier shopping destination has a dazzling display of over 200 stores in the mall alone. Coach, Vera Bradley, Aveda, The Body Shop, and Lululemon are just some of the shops you'll find in this two level mall. 

Historic Savage Mill--This former cotton mill has been transformed into a beautiful shopping center featuring The Antique Center, Bead Soup, The Queen's Ink and more!

Historic Ellicott City--The ideal spot to spend a brisk winter day! With shops along Main Street ranging from boutiques such as Bear Fox Babe and Sweet Elizabeth Jane to antique shops like Taylor's Collective and Cottage Antiques. You will love this little part of Howard County!

steamed mussels

Food is also a big part of any girlfriend's getaway, and Howard County has some of Maryland's best dining options. 

AIDA Bistro & Wine Bar is an Italian restaurant located in Columbia. You'll find classic Italian fare, small plates and over 30 wines to pick from. Plus, AIDA is committed to using only fresh and local ingredients from regional farms whenever possible and they are committed to supporting other local businesses. 

Elkridge Furnace Inn and Garden House is located in Elkridge. This much lauded restaurant features seasonal menus monthly specials and uses fresh, right from the garden ingredients. (No really, they have a garden out back.) All butchering and charcuterie is done in house, and they work in conjunction with several area farms. The menu options change with the seasons but currently you'll find dishes like marinated lamb rack and pork osso bucco ragu. 

Tersiguel's French Country Restaurant is located along Main Street in Old Ellicott City. This beautiful French restaurant has classic dishes that include foie gras, escargot,  duck confit and more. This is a perfect dinner spot to cozy up to after a day of shopping in Historic Ellicott City.

Looking for a way to unwind and rejuvenate during your weekend away? Howard County has a number of spas for you and your loved ones. 

The Massage Boutique is located in Historic Ellicott City. They offer massages, facials, waxing and more. You're guaranteed to leave feeling more relaxed, uplifted and ready to take on whatever this hectic season throws your way. 

The Salt Sanctuary of Maryland is an unique experience in Elkridge that will surely leave an impression. Relax in their unique salt cave to relive asthma and allergy symptoms. Try their MIGUN infrared thermal massage beds to relieve tension. 

Haven on the Lake is a beautiful retreat that provides guests a chance to escape their daily lives! Try our their crystal salt therapy room cold plunge, steam bath, pilates, yoga and more. This is an ideal spot to center yourselves during this busy season. 

Looking for a built in escape? Turf Valley Resort has an Ultimate Girlfriend's Overnight Getaway Package that's perfect for a weekend away. It includes a 60 minute massage, wine and cheese and so much more!

Picture of a women getting her head massaged at the Spa at Turf Valley

Drinks are the perfect way to end a fun-filled day with the ladies. 

Pure Wine Cafe in Old Ellicott City is a charming spot with dazzling selection of wines ranging from dry to rich with everything in between. 

Head a little west to BOLDER Food/Drink and let one of their bartenders whip you up a delicious elixir. Some of their specialty cocktails include Bolder Whiskey Lemonade Mule, Mason Jar Crush and Autumn Prosecco. 

You can't go wrong with drinks at the french bistro, Petit Louis on the Lake. Featuring Kronenburg Blanc, Bourdeaux Blanc and other French drinks, you'll be saying "Oui, oui" to more!

Ready to book your weekend away? Find a list of great Howard County hotels here