Homestyle getaways for girlfriends

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Oxford, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to a fun night out or a good old fashioned getaway with your girlfriends.

Research shows that meeting up with your best gal pals twice per week is good for your health, citing that both your emotional and physical well-being can benefit. And for mothers and daughters, it can even improve life expectancy.

While not every one can find the time for a vacay midweek, there are plenty of options on the home front that are perfect for planning a little quality time.

Here are a few options you can check out, right in your backyard:

Relaxing retreats

Potosa Spa | 200 Main St.

From facial treatments to massages, body and bath treatments, manicures, pedicures, makeup and hair, Potosa Spa, located in the Hotel Julien Dubuque, aims to offer an idyllic setting for girls’ day retreats.

A special Girlfriends Getaway day package, including 60-minute Potosa Massages and Beyond Bliss Facials, also is available for $295.

More info: 563-588-5570 |

Body & Soul Wellness Center and Spa | 2728 Asbury Road

Services range from massage to waxing, skin and nail care, yoga and fitness.

A Lady’s Retreat, including a 30-minute facial and 60-minute foot massage, is available for $119.50, as well as a Rejuvenation Retreat ($156), a Relaxation Retreat ($128.50), a Restorative Retreat ($142.61), the Body & Soul Deluxe Spa Retreat ($213.87) and more. Each include complimentary Champagne and chocolates.

More info: 563-556-9642 |

Galena Day Spa | 9853 U.S. 20

Located within The Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel in Galena, Ill., this full-service day spa accommodates groups for everything from massages and body treatments to facials, nails, makeup, waxing and more.

More info: 815-776-9905 |



Iowa Wine Tours

Love a little grape-infused libation? With Iowa Wine Tours, you can select from three experiences.

• The Blackhawk Wine Tour includes facility tours and tastings at three wineries, as well as pizza at Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery in Hanover, Ill., cheese at Massbach Ridge Winery in Elizabeth, Ill., and more at Galena (Ill.) Cellars Vineyard & Winery. The tour runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and is $70 per person.

• The Winery/Council Hill Station Tour shows off two wineries, complete with tastings, pizza and cheese. Council Hill Station, an old railroad depot dating back to 1854, also boasts 99 varieties of beer, as well as wine, mixers and live entertainment. Additional wineries on the tour are Rocky Waters Vineyard & Winery and Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery. Tours are available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, or 4-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The cost is $70 per person.

• The Mississippi River Wine Tour features three wineries, as well as tastings, woodfired pizza from Park Farm Winery in Durango, Iowa, and cheese from PromiseLand Winery in Gutterberg, Iowa. Eagles Landing Winery in Marquette, Iowa, also is part of the tour, available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday for $75 per person.

More info: 563-581-8123 |

The great outdoors

Driftless Adventure

With a goal of bringing women together to share, celebrate, have fun, take in new experiences and meet new people, Driftless Adventure — led by Toni Kettner — includes a variety of pre-planned workshops through outdoor areas in the tri-states. Activities include everything from yoga to hiking, biking and more.

More info:

Dirt Dames

Got a group of girls that loves mountain biking? Consider hooking up with this Dubuque-based group geared for women who enjoy getting a little gravel under two wheels.

The group frequently hosts group rides in the area and encourages newcomers to the sport of cycling.

More info:

Let the creative juices flow

Board & Brush Creative Studio | 875 Jackson St.

Make and take something home during your next girls’ outing. Choose from a selection of signs and templates, as well as workshops, and create everything from wooden signs to clocks, doormats and more. Beer and wine is available for purchase, and select occasions even include free mimosas.

More info: 563-580-4754 |

Pinot’s Pallette | 955 Main St.

You don’t need to be Picasso to create something beautiful on canvas — and with the perks of beer, wine and girlfriends to boot. Pinot’s Pallette provides the materials for a night out.

More info: 563-587-8466 |

Captured on Canvas | 3003 Asbury Road

Enjoy a paint and sip party with your best girls, and create a step-by-step masterpiece. You can attend a public event, or book a private party.

More info: 563-663-4370 |

Shake Rag Alley | 18 Shake Rag St., Mineral Point, Wis.

Arts and crafts workshops run abundance at the center for the arts. Gather your best girlfriends and learn the finer points of everything from fiber arts to home and garden, jewelry making, mixed media, painting, pottety, photography, writing and more. There are a variety of workshops, with youth and adult programs, from which to choose. Moms: You can even round up their young daughters for a unique fairy garden workshop.

More info: 608-987-3292 |

Shop (local) ’til you drop

Regardless of where you go or what you do — even if you’re sticking close to home — cap off your girls day with a little retail therapy and a memento or two to commemorate your shared adventure.

In Dubuque: Cable Car Square on Bluff Street features an assortment of fashion boutiques such as Fig Leaf and Gotta Have It, as well as Shamrock Imports and Calico Bean Market for a few treats off the beaten path.

From there, venture over to Main Street, where you’ll find Outside the Line Arts Gallery, River Lights Bookstore, Freddie’s Popcorn Company, Yarn Soup, Living on Main, HJ’s Fashion Emporium and more. A variety of food and drink spots also dot the street, such as Jitterz Coffee & Cafe, Salsa’s Mexican Restaurant, Barrel House, the Riverboat Lounge, Caroline’s Restaurant, Vinny Vanucchi’s, Lot One, 1st & Main and Dimensional Brewing Co., as well as nearby Wicked Dame and Jubek New World Brewing, among others.

Take a gander even further down to the Millwork District to check out places like RF2 Furniture Warehouse and Namaste Athleisure Wear. Stop for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine at Inspire Cafe. Or, grab a bite to eat at Brazen Open Kitchen + Bar or 7 Hills Brewing Co., which features an assortment of local craft brews.

In Galena, Ill.: Historic Main Street prides itself on a plethora of specialty shops, clothing and jewelry boutiques, restaurants and more.

In Mineral Point, Wis.: For the artsy type, there are a wealth of galleries — most owned and curated by a host of local artists who sell everything from one-of-a-kind paintings to pottery, jewelry, home decor and more.

Megan Gloss writes for the Telegraph Herald.

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