By Hailey Hennessy

Sometimes a girl just needs a getaway with her gal-pals, so why not jump into the car and take off to the vibrant city of Bloomington, Indiana. Bloomington is the hometown of everything IU, but has even more to offer those who don’t spend the weekend studying. This quaint city is in Monroe County, right off highway 37 south of Indianapolis. 

There’s something for everyone from great food and drink options to entertainment and nature. Bloomington is a perfect destination for a springtime girlfriend getaway.

Nature is a great way to disconnect and catch up on quality time with birds of a feather. By staying at the Absolute Solitude Log Cabins near Lake Lemon (off highway 45) guests will get just that. “Solitude” is not synonymous with “boring” at Absolute Cabins. Absolute provides a relaxing ambiance from the moment guests step foot on the property. 

Expect a “landscaped, park-like setting with trails and a well-stocked lake for fishing” according to Absolute’s website. 

The cabin also offers a “full-length covered porch overlooking the four-acre lake” as well as a hot tub, rowboat, paddleboat, grill, and gas log fireplace. Peace, quiet, and girl-time is only a 20-minute drive from Bloomington. For reservations call 812-339-6547 or go to www.antlerlogcabins.com.

If cozy luxury is what the girls desire, look no further than Showers Inn Bed & Breakfast, in downtown Bloomington. Built by architect John Nichols in 1903, this B&B offers history alongside modern amenities such as Wi-Fi, personal Keurig coffee makers, and flat screen HD televisions in each room. After a slumber fit for a queen, guests can await a fresh gourmet-crafted breakfast. Some dishes include baked oatmeal with blueberries, bananas, and walnuts; biscuit and sausage gravy; and corned beef hash with poached eggs. With a breakfast like this, visitors can easily maintain the trend of delicious dining downtown for lunch and dinner. To book your stay, go to www.showersinn.com.

An affordable local favorite for lunch, dinner, and especially beer is Upland Brewing Company. Upland opened in 1998 and has been a Hoosier sensation ever since. Upland has 12 beers on tap starting with the summery Wheat Ale to the hoppier Dragonfly IPA. If the girlfriend getaway weekend has inspired the group to step out of their comfort zone, then try one of Upland’s sour beers for a tangy kick! Their meals are made fresh daily and the sour beers are brewed across the parking lot at the Woodshop (350 W. 11th St). The rest of the beers are brewed in Bloomington at the Production Brewery & Beer Bar (4060 Profile Pkwy). Both locations provide fun free tours. For tour times and booking go to www.uplandbeer.com/tours.

A girlfriend getaway wouldn’t be complete without a couple hours spent in Bloomington’s myriad of shops on the city Square. A great place to start is at the Fountain Square Mall (101 W. Kirkwood Ave). The Mall is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday noon to 7 p.m. Shoppers can find clothing, internationally- made crafts, board games, pottery, blown glass, a hair salon, eyebrow threading, leather goods, and so much more. Fountain Square is perfect for window and souvenir shoppers alike. The location is right downtown Bloomington, walking distance from the Indiana University campus. Afterward, try finding a bench nearby and people-watch while discussing the day’s purchased treasures.

To get some fresh air and easy exercise, continue onto the campus and explore the trails. Founded in 1820, Indiana University was once a seminary before becoming the public university it is today. According to U.S. News & World Report, IU sits on 1,937 acres and has 38,364 undergraduate students. IU is also home to the Jacob School of Music of which hosts a ballet every spring season; there is a chance to see Meredith Willson’s, The Music Man come the month of April. Tickets are on sale now at www.music.indiana.edu/operaballet. Also plan an evening attending a show at the IU Auditorium, one of the premier cultural centers of the Midwest. This opulent, 3,200-seat theatre was built in 1941. For more information go to www.iuauditorium.com.

From the peace of a cozy cabin to the melodies on campus, it’s easy to see that Bloomington is a city fit for all genres of women. The gals who enjoy getting to know a community, and those who may be in need of a little lux. Bloomington is a very inclusive and welcoming destination for the young and young at heart. Whether you and your besties are looking for a hideaway under the stars or a cold brew crafted locally, it is all a possibility in Bloomington. All that is left is filling up the gas tank and packing a suitcase. What are you waiting for; it‘s time for a girlfriend getaway!

For more information to go visitbloomington.com