March is Women’s History Month — International Women’s Day is March 8 —and in the spirit of celebrating trailblazing women around the world, here are 10 destinations, museums, hotels, and events focused on throwing the spotlight on the achievements of women leaders.
Finger Lakes, New York
Much of the suffrage movement and equal rights for women happened in this bucolic upstate region of New York, which makes it a great getaway for history buffs and those who want to pay homage to the movement’s heroes. Many important figures called the area home, and those homes can now be toured.Harriet Tubman settled in Auburn. Matilda Joselyn Gage’s Fayetteville house was a stop on the Underground Railroad. Susan B. Anthony resided in Rochester (the headquarters of the National American Woman Suffrage Association) where she was arrested for voting illegally. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Center of the Rebellion” in Seneca Falls is now part of the Women’s Rights National Park, which is comprised of a visitor center, several historic homes of movement leaders, Declaration Park’s Waterwall sculpture, and Wesleyan Chapel, the location of the First Women’s Rights Convention in 1848. You can also visit the National Women’s Hall Of Fame in the same town, which has almost 300 inductees including trailblazers like Oprah Winfrey, Julia Child, Michelle Obama, and Sally Ride.
Keep the trip on theme by patronizing woman-owned or run businesses, which is surprisingly easy. Grab a beer at Young Lion in Canandaigua and artisanal chocolates at Hedonist. Wine taste at Lucas Vineyards in Cayuga Lake. Bunk down at the Inns of Aurora or at Ithaca’s Firelight Camps — where you can head straight from your safari tent to the Upper Buttermilk Falls hiking trail. You can find more women-owned restaurants and boutiques through the Brave Women FLX campaign.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, CA
The iconic five-star hotel’s famous afternoon tea is getting an empowering makeover for the month of March with help from Rebel Girls, a brand dedicated to helping parents around the world raise a confident kind generation of girls who dare to dream and reach for their goals by amplifying stories of real extraordinary women past and present like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Flo-Jo, and Jane Austen. At each of the three seatings Thursday to Sunday underneath the crystal chandelier in the lobby Living Room, the service includes themed finger sandwiches and cakes and décor featuring the colorful illustrations RG is known for. Each guest will also take home one of the bestselling books in the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series including 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World.
From The Peninsula, it’s a short walk to Rodeo Drive where you can pick up a badass look for the rebel gathering—a power suit perhaps? — at one of the many famous designer boutiques.
When tour operator Trafalgar noticed that twice as many of its solo travelers were women it introduced its Women’s Only tours to global destinations like Italy, France, Egypt, and more. The tours are led by all-women teams and include on-trip transportation, accommodations, meals, and expert guides. So round up the gals and embark on one of their new itineraries which will take like-minded women to various corners of Turkey including the fairytale-like Cappadocia, the ancient ruins of Ephesus, Trojan Horse territory of Troy, and to the war cemeteries of Gallipoli. One very special stop of the 13 cities seen over 10 days in the rural village of Demircidere, which is notable for its progressive gender equality. After electing their first female Muhtar (head of the village) in 1933, women joined men in the fields and became equal members of the community. While there, travelers will be invited inside an actual home for a look at daily life. They’ll learn how to bake traditional bread and taste local wine while chatting with new friends.
Stay a couple of extra nights in Istanbul at either end of the tour to explore this fascinating city and spend the night at the Pera Palace Hotel. Specifically, Room 411, as it was the favored quarters of frequent guest Agatha Christie, the best-selling novelist of all time (her sales were only outpaced by The Bible and Shakespeare.) She is believed to have written Murder On The Orient Express within these four walls. There’s a vintage typewriter, a replica of the Underwood she used, a library of her tomes, and original antique furniture in there so maybe her creative genius will rub off.
I am woman, hear me pour. The Hotel Jerome is raising a glass all month long to women in its recently reimagined speakeasy Bad Harriet. Three of the best broads in the bar business — Wine Enthusiast’s first-ever Mixologist of the Year Charlotte Voisey, James Beard finalist Ivy Mix, and World’s 50 Best Bar alumni Mary Lou Mountain — have been recruited for one-week residencies to add their flair to cocktails inspired by powerful women throughout history The Auberge Resorts Collection member is also putting on a Women of Warhol photography installation in the bar. Curated by the Hedges Projects, it features Andy Warhol originals of his many muses. If you prefer Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah to spirits, the historic hotel still has you covered. On March 18, Food & Wine magazine Winemaker of the Year honoree, Helen Keplinger will lead an immersive epicurean progression through her vintages that have been specially paired with the chef’s tasting menu.
To add a touch of culture to your cocktails, grab a ticket to see Elevated, the new all-women-choreographed production being staged at the Wheeler Opera House by the company at DanceAspen in early March.
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Texas
This Fort Worth institution is the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the women of the Wild West (and from around the world) who exude the pioneer spirit and can ride, ranch, and rope with the best of them. The permanent collection houses more than 4,000 artifacts about western life, wild west shows, and more than 750 women including Annie Oakley, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, photographer Barbara Van Cleve, Miranda Lambert, and Sacagawea. Giddy up to the second floor, which was recently reopened after a $5.5 million renovation, to test out the buckin’ bronco ride (where you will be superimposed into real rodeo footage for Instagram posting) or try your hand at virtually designing boots, shirts, and horses.
Saddle up with three of the hall’s honorees April 21-24 at Montana’s The Resort at Paws Up, a high-end glamping resort set within a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch. The roundup weekend will feature scenic trail rides along the Blackfoot River, demonstrations and interactive workshops on horse-womanship and ranch skills, roaring campfires, refined rustic accommodations, and fantastic food.
Located in downtown’s South Main Arts District in the bones of a former train station, the Central Station Hotel Memphis Curio Collection by Hilton will be hosting diva-DJed dance parties in the lobby bar, Eight & Sand, throughout the month of March to celebrate the month. A few of the women turning the beat nightly include Kerri Mahoney, Janet Wilson, and DJ Alpha WhiskeyBeats. The music doesn’t have to stop when the crate-diggers call it quits as the hotel has a personal listening lounge hidden behind the bar, custom-made speakers by local company EgglestonWorks in every guestroom, and a 500-record-strong vinyl lending library, all of which connect back to Memphis in some way.
Get more into the groove by visiting the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. The legendary record label co-founded by Estelle Axton in 1959 was mostly known for its male hitmakers like Issac Hayes and Otis Redding but was also the home of The Staple Singers, Carla Thomas, and The Emotions. There is a recreation of Stax Records’ original recording studio and lots of memorabilia. To learn about women who made an impact in the civil rights arena like Rosa Parks and Memphian Ida B. Wells, spend an afternoon walking through history at the incredibly moving National Civil Rights Museum. It was impactfully built into the Lorraine Motel, the site of the tragic 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina
America’s first public sculpture garden was founded by Anna Hyatt Huntington, a sculptor and important art patron, in 1931 in Murrells Inlet, SC. Through her involvement, and because Brookgreen’s collection — the largest and most comprehensive in the nation for American figurative sculpture—boasts a number of women artists, it rightfully earned National Historic Landmark status in 1992. Through April 24, you can see American Animalier: The Life and Art of Anna Hyatt Huntington exhibit, a retrospective of her life’s work that includes her most important pieces including her statues of Joan of Arcon horseback, El Cid, the American Revolution hero Sybil Ludington, and Don Quixote, will be on display.
If you can’t get down to The Palmetto State, you can get a peep of Huntington’s most famous sculpture in New York’s Riverside Park near 93rd Street. The life-size bronze Joan Of Arc was dedicated in 1915. The pedestal atop which Joan and her horse sit are made mostly of Mohegan granite except for the few incorporated limestone blocks from the tower in Rouen where Joan had been imprisoned. Huntington also has a piece, José Martí, at the intersection of Central Park South and Avenue of the Americas.
As we all know, a woman’s work is never done so squeezing in regular self-care is crucial, and what better way to embrace it than with a wellness vacation. RAKxa, in Bang Krachao, an island across from Bangkok on the Chao Phraya River, is a fully integrative whole-body wellness and medical retreat offering a menu of services aimed at preventing and healing women’s health, fertility, and hormone conditions. The programs run from 5 – 10 nights and combine state-of-the-art tools(Cryo Saunas, photo imaging, IVs, hydrotherapy circuits) with traditional and holistic techniques (sound baths, reflexology, salt pot massages, and the Ayurvedic practice of continuously streaming oil onto your third eye). While undergoing services, you can stay on-site in their plush residences and villas, some of which even have private plunges.
The pamper palace is located in Bang Krachao, a preserved area just outside the bustling city without skyscrapers and teeming with vegetation and small walking paths. Nicknamed the Green Lung, locals flock to the peaceful neighborhood on weekends to rent bikes, get spirited away in 250-year-old Buddhist temples, and fill their bellies at the Bang Nam Phueng Floating Market.
New Hope, Pennsylvania
In the 1960s, French-American actress Odette Myrtil, a vivacious Auntie Mame type, opened a popular club, restaurant, and inn called Chez Odette, where she was known to work the crowd (cocktail in hand) every night. Now the new edgy, elegant boutique hotel River House at Odette’s, the property pays homage to its spirit animal with a lobby piano lounge and a members-only rooftop bar and for Women’s History Month it has taken its tribute up a notch. Every Monday in March, the hotel will screen Myrtil’s films and have introduced an Ode To Odette dinner menu that’s a culinary wink to her bistro and her favorite dishes including escargot stuffed brook trout and saucisson en croute. River House also partnered with the New Hope Historical Society to curate a free exhibition about the Bucks County babe. Odette Myrtil: Honoring a New Hope Legend will debut on International Women’s Day and run through mid-May at The Parry Mansion Museum.
Around the turn of the last century, this little town along the Delaware River became a haven for artists due to the endless subject matter inspired by the bounty of bucolic splendor and its proximity to the nation’s art capitals at the time, New York and Philadelphia. The art colony was known as the birthplace of Pennsylvania Impressionism, and later drew a wave of modernists, and while many were men, the area also hosted plenty of female artists including Fern Coppedge, Mary Elizabeth Price, Faye Swengel Badura, and Ethel Wallace. Their presence is still felt today in the now more gender-equal field of visionaries. New colonists’ work can be enjoyed at a variety of downtown galleries and New Hope Arts Center as well as at the Phillips’ Mill Community Association, which was founded in 1929 by the father of the Pennsylvania impressionism school William Langson Lathrop.
Miami and Palm Beach, Florida
Downtown Miami’s Kimpton EPIC Hotel will stage a new solo exhibit of never-before-seen works by artist and eco-warrior Mira Lehr in honor of Women’s History Month and the 60th anniversary of Continuum, one of the country’s first co-ops dedicated to uplifting and exhibiting women artists, founded by Lehr during a time of male-dominated artists. Her persistence on behalf of lady painters, sculptors, and photographers earned her the mighty moniker of “the Godmother of Miami’s art scene.” On display from March 3 to April 19 in the hotel’s 16th-floor gallery, it will be complemented by a panel discussion with Lehr and her creative comrades on March 31.
Not to be outshined by the Magic City offerings, Palm Beach is throwing some girl-powered events of its own. The Square in Downtown West Palm Beach is hosting an all-woman design panel focused on the area’s impressive Gilded Age roots, its stunning Beaux-Arts, and Mediterranean-influenced home and buildings, and the inception of the Decorators Club, the nation’s oldest professional interior design organization. Also in The Square is Rohi’s Readery, a social justice-driven bookstore dedicated to empowering women and the DEIA ideals (Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Accessibility). The store is hosting the Liberation of a Woman- A Place and Space to Be Authentically YOU festival on March 12 in honor of the special month which will include a market with a dozen women-owned businesses, a creative and healing writing workshop aimed at mothers and their pregnancy and parenting journeys, yoga classes, and storytelling with the artist in residence Ana Maria.