20 Best Vacations for a Group of Friends

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Group of friends on vacation enjoying their time

We know places like Paris and Venice are ideal for couples or that Washington D.C. and Rome are perfect for families. But we often don’t know the best places to go with friends. Where should we go with our best pals outside a party-fueled all-inclusive resort?

People are often asking this question related to traveling in groups. Despite the popularity of friend vacations, planning vacations for a group of friends is not easy.

You have to find a destination everyone loves, pick a hotel everyone can afford, and close in on a place that will meet each individual’s travel preferences.

While a group vacation can be exciting, it can also be a huge pain to plan. Even as someone who travels a lot, going anywhere with more than a few people is something I try to avoid.

Overcoming the obstacles of making everyone happy can sometimes ruin the experience altogether. But hopefully, we can help you make the best friends’ adventure by eliminating planning headaches.

TL;DR: Destinations by Category

  • For natural beauty – Napa Valley
  • For city seekers – Montreal, Canada
  • For the young at heart – Disney World
  • For adventure seekers – Reykjavik, Iceland
  • For lively nightlife – New York City
  • For bachelor and bachelorette parties – New Orleans, Louisiana

Best Places to Go with Friends

Here are the best destinations and places to go with friends that will cover all traveler personalities and ensure that each group member has a beautiful time.

These cover a wide swath of the world with cities that never sleep, nature that will inspire you, and gorgeous beaches you’ll never forget.

1. Napa Valley, California

Vineyard in Napa Valley with seating
SvetlanaSF / Shutterstock

You can never go wrong with wine country — even if the whole group isn’t devoted to vino. You can enjoy bike tours and wine tastings specially designed for large groups.

It remains one of the best vacations for a group of friends in the US. When you are not sipping on vino, you can relax at one of the villas in the area or go kayaking through the picturesque region.

If you want to enjoy metro living, head to nearby San Francisco or Sacramento. Napa Valley is not only known for wine; it has a long-standing nightlife and spa scene. You can relax, chill with your friends, and enjoy the colorful nightlife.

Napa Valley is also an ideal destination for foodies with its excellent fine dining options and gourmet shopping at Oxbow Public Market. This region also makes for an excellent girls’ trip from San Francisco to avoid the busy atmosphere of the big city. The perfect time for you all to head for Sunny Cali would be August through October or March to May for optimal weather.

Where to Stay

See Related: California Road Trips to Take with Friends

2. Montreal, Canada

City street in Montreal
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock

Those who do not have adequate time to take a complete European vacation opt for the energetic city of Montreal, Canada. Though it won’t come to mind as the top place to go with friends, this lovely metropolis deserves much more attention.

Montreal is the foremost host city for international events in North America; just glancing at the stunning architecture will give you an idea of why.

Montreal is one destination that will be loved by foodies and history nerds equally. The city’s home province of Quebec is a cosmopolitan place filled with modernism and old European charm. It is one of the most visited cities in Canada and is known as the Paris of Canada.

Montreal is one of the liveliest cities in North America. Walk around Old Montreal, listen to live music, enjoy bike tours around the Old Port, head to Mile End, and enjoy the staggering food scene of the city. And you couldn’t leave without trying poutine, my all-time favorite comfort food.

Where to Stay

See Related: Must-Know Vacation Tips to Maximize Your Trip Experience

3. Disney World

Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
BobbyWjr / Shutterstock

Theme parks aren’t everyone’s idea of a good trip for a bunch of friends. While there are many destinations you can consider with their own merits, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has many of the same offerings in spades. This is not just a theme park resort, after all.

Because there are four parks within Walt Disney World, rides, shows, and other events are going on to appease even the least magical traveler. That aside, the dining scene at Disney Springs will impress with its dozens of restaurants and live music venues that will keep everyone toe-tapping.

Who wouldn’t want a place with so many different things to do that can give everyone in the group something to write home about? I truly can’t think of a place that has more to give its visitors than Walt Disney World.

Though it doesn’t have the prestige of a centuries-old city or the relics of ancient people, Disney brings out the child in everyone, especially if you are all three drinks deep at EPCOT.

Where to Stay

See Related: How to Get Discount Disney Tickets

4. Reykjavik, Iceland

Aerial view of Reykjavik, Iceland with the mountains in the background
Guglielmo Cavalieri / Shutterstock

One of the most beautiful places in the world, Iceland continues to gain popularity with travelers. Unsurprisingly, it is also near the top of our list of world destinations for friends.

If you have not ticked it off your bucket list yet, we can’t encourage you to gather your friends and head to Iceland more. You won’t regret it.

It is perfect for nature and adventure lovers as well as those who love the great outdoors and want to do much more than a basic camping trip. Iceland cannot be beaten at the Blue Lagoon, black sand beaches, Ring Road, and, of course, the Northern Lights.

Your best bet to see the most here is to rent a car in Iceland; you can see the entire country in a few days.  In Reykjavik, you can enjoy concerts, art galleries, museums, shopping, relaxing in the hot springs, seeing all the puffins, and whale watching.

However, remember that it is also a very expensive place to visit. For example, you can and will spend over $100 just getting a cab from the airport into the city.

Imagine seeing the Northern Lights with some of your closest friends in a quiet, fun-filled evening. It doesn’t get much better than that. For more friend-filled ideas, check out our two-day Iceland itinerary to find the best places to explore during your stay.

Where to Stay

See Related: Where to Stay in Reykjavik, Iceland

5. New York City

Central Park in autumn
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

As the largest city in the US, New York City is an excellent locale for a group getaway. Since it’s the City That Never Sleeps, it’s easy to see how NYC is a beloved destination for travelers worldwide.

Whether you’re drawn to the marquees of Broadway, iconic Times Square scenes, Lady Liberty’s gaze, or the views from the Top of the Rock, One World Trade Center, or the Empire State Building, NYC lives up to the hype. There’s so much to do and see in NYC that you cannot hit it all in one trip.

Not only do you not have enough time, but it’s also too expensive. The good news about all those landmarks being in one spot is that your whole group can grab a New York Pass for exclusive access to all the landmarks for one flat fee. This is an excellent way for you and your friends to all get on the same page about the sites you want without spending a fortune on individual tickets.

You should also take advantage of all the places in the city to go with friends that don’t cost a dime. Central Park is an excursion if you want to explore the free public park for an hour or a whole afternoon.

At two and a half miles long, there are a lot of stops to make along the way. My favorite spots are Strawberry Fields, a memorial for John Lennon, and the zoo, which does have an entry fee.

Where to Stay

See Related: Incredible Views of New York City for Free

6. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Aerial view of the city of Dubrovnik Croatia and the shore
Brendan van Son / Shutterstock

Not that you need a reason to fall in love with the historical aesthetic of Dubrovnik, but if you are a Game of Thrones fan, you will fall even harder. You can explore King’s Landing from here since it was the main filming location for the show. Even if you aren’t a group of ‘Thrones fans, you’ll still appreciate this city, one of the world’s best-preserved Medieval cities.

Dubrovnik has some of the most beautiful European beaches for you to explore. Copacabana is the most popular of the city’s pristine beaches, which easily rival any Caribbean destination.

Besides soaking in the exceptional view of the beaches, you can indulge in the historical sides of the city and visit Fort Lovrijenac, head to Gornji Ugao Tower, or Lokrum Island. You can also head to the Old Town, explore the ancient city walls, and walk through the restaurant and store-lined Stradun.

If you are a party lover, you will thoroughly enjoy the lively nightlife of Dubrovnik. This destination also offers an opportunity to indulge in wine from the acclaimed Dalmatian Coast, particularly vino.

Where to Stay

7. Munich, Germany

Marienplatz in Munich, Germany
Paii VeGa / Shutterstock

One of Germany’s largest cities and Bavaria’s capital, Munich, has been drawing tourists for a long time. Not only is it home to some of the country’s largest breweries, but Munich is also full of history, like the stunning Neuschwanstein Castle. Your crew can also visit the lovely Marienplatz Square with its centuries-old architecture or the famous Hofbräuhaus, founded in 1589.

For the outdoorsy folks, there are even glaciers and mountains for biking, skiing, hiking, and stunning lakes to laze in during summer. When in Munich, head to Munich Residenz, BMW museum, and shop at Maximilianstrasse. And don’t forget to grab some Bavarian chocolate before you leave!

People from around the world head to Munich for Oktoberfest, where they will find themselves at some of the world’s biggest parties. If you cannot make it for Oktoberfest, though, don’t worry.

Munich is always an exciting city with history, art, and plenty of beer to enjoy throughout the year. Bring your best friend along to see both sides of the city. The one for German beer lovers and filled with architectural and historical marvels. Prost!

Where to Stay

8. Tamarindo, Costa Rica

A beach in Tamarindo, Costa Rica
EQRoy / Shutterstock

When it comes to the best places to go with friends for fresh air and tropical beaches, you can’t get much better than Costa Rica. The town of Tamarindo doesn’t have the sheer size of San José or the national parks of Quepos, but instead, it has uncrowded beach areas perfect for relaxation.

It is an ideal destination for vacations for friends to spend their days splashing in the turquoise water. Tamarindo comes to life when the sun goes down. You all can enjoy live music at one of the local party spots.

The bars and beach clubs in Costa Rica are usually packed with tourists and locals. If you avoid the tourist season, this destination is cheaper than many others in the region.

Also, the Ticos, Costa Rican locals, are some of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. So why not make some more friends during your venture?

Besides beach bumming or partying it up, your group can go deep-sea fishing, surfing, zip-lining, water sports, snorkeling, bike paths, boating, horseback riding, and even white water rafting. And don’t forget to visit Las Baulas National Marine Park. There’s truly no shortage of options. Tamarindo is an ideal place for a getaway with a group.

Where to Stay

See Related: One Week Costa Rica Itinerary

9. New Orleans, Louisiana

Decatur Street in New Orleans
Lori Monahan Borden / Shutterstock

If you want to party in a place brimming with Southern Charm, you must hustle to New Orleans (NOLA). And before you ask, Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is not the only thing the lovely Crescent City offers. It’s become one of my favorite places to visit — especially with friends in tow.

You can enjoy an unrivaled culinary experience in NOLA. Whether you’ve got finer palates destined for the delights in August or prefer the down-to-earth taste of a hole-in-the-wall po-boy, they’ve got it all. Plus, you can’t leave without trying a beignet.

For those keen to know more about history, don’t miss the French Quarter. Not to worry, even if you don’t go out of your way to take a history tour, some of the city’s local haunts might clue you into the seedier histories of NOLA anyway.

Where to Stay

See Related: Road Trip Ideas in the United States

10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Singel Canal in Amsterdam
Mr. Ngoway / Shutterstock

Also known as Sin City, Amsterdam is far from the free drinks and bright lights of Las Vegas, though it is no less friendly to partiers from all over the world. It’s known especially for its Red Light District. But there are lots of drinking, dancing, and dining scenes found throughout this canal-filled metropolis.

When it comes to nightlife, Amsterdam stands out. It may look like other water-centered cities that evolved from fishing villages, but Amsterdam is a true destination for culture and fun.

This destination will offer a unique experience to every traveler’s personality, especially if Vegas is a favorite destination among your friends. The Golden Age canals from the 17th century are lined by vibrant buildings, which is a backdrop for the treasure-packed museums.

The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most popular in Amsterdam and has the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh. There’s more to see and do here, including the Stedelijk Museum, Anne Frank House, the scenic Herengracht canal, and the incredibly quaint Jordaan neighborhood.

There are ample photo opportunities at these must-see places in Amsterdam. You will not be disappointed if you are a group of history buffs, party lovers, art enthusiasts — or an amalgamation of all three. 

Where to Stay

See Related: Weekend Getaways from Amsterdam

11. Taipei, Taiwan

Gugong National Palace Museum in Taipei
vichie81 / Shutterstock

Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, is a delight for foodies with its endless street vendors and markets. Don’t you want to try beef noodles or soup dumplings right from the source? I sure do.

There is also vibrant nightlife for those who want to go out and excellent springs or beaches for those who want to sit back and relax.

There are several unmissable things to do in Taipei, including visiting Shilin Night Market, Gugong National Palace Museum, Beitou Hot Spring, and several temples.

Taipei is fascinating because it represents the island country’s past and future. In a day, you can experience thousands of years of history and sleep in a massive, modern hotel or a charming, chic boutique hotel.

Where to Stay

See Related: Hot Springs Near Manila

12. London

Aerial view of London
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock

If you have lived in London, you can never imagine living elsewhere. London is full of history, landmarks, performing arts, and shopping; visiting this beautiful city is never enough. If you all happen to be in London during Christmastime, you can visit one of the famous Christmas markets, which are so much fun.

Besides the castles, museums, and parks, there is much more to do and see in London. You will also enjoy an iconic dining experience here via the homey feel of the classic English pub.

There are several restaurants, pubs, and cafes for you to explore. You can also head out to the beautiful, charming villages in London that will give you all a glimpse of the relaxing and peaceful countryside. 

Where to Stay

See Related: Things to Do In London

13. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

El Macao Beach in Punta Cana
rarena / Shutterstock

For groups looking for an all-inclusive, truly indulgent adventure for everyone, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic (DR) is where you want to be.

Here, you’ll find a Spring break-esque holiday with dozens of hotels. Not to mention that this easternmost part of DR is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And those glorious beaches aren’t nearly as crowded as some back in the U.S.

You will find tons of luxurious resorts in Punta Cana. So many that you all may have a hard time agreeing on which one to choose.

You can indulge in zip lining, snorkeling, speed boating, cave exploration, and more. This beautiful beach destination is ideal for groups wanting to relax or engage in fun adventure activities. 

Where to Stay

See Related: Affordable Overwater Bungalows

14. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas skyline at night
Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock

Las Vegas is an obligatory addition to this list for obvious reasons. This city is known for its nightlife and debauchery, so if that’s what you want on a friend’s trip, that’s exactly what you will get.

But Las Vegas is conveniently located for great outdoor adventures, not just ones surrounded by shiny lights and big casinos.

Sin City is not just popular for its nightlife. People are from all over because it’s also the closest airport to some of the best national parks in the United States, like the Grand Canyon.

Consider renting a car in Las Vegas, as this destination is excellent for a classic road trip or day trip destination. You can do a Grand Circle road trip where you visit Zion National Park, Capitol Reef, Monument Valley, Arches, Antelope Canyon, and Canyonlands.

Where to Stay

See Related: Do You Need a Car In Las Vegas?

15. Prague, Czech Republic

Charles Bridge in Prague
JeniFoto / Shutterstock

Prague may not be high on everyone’s vacation list, but it should be. Not only is it a stunning historic city, but it fits the requirements of a whole group of personalities. It is a place that truly has scenery, history, relaxation, and adventure. It doesn’t hurt that Prague is much cheaper than Europe’s other most popular destinations.

The City of a Hundred Spires, or the Golden City, is a fairytale-like destination with several unmissable monuments and sites. You all can explore the history and rich architecture of the Czech capital city. There are several things to see, like the Charles Bridge, Strahov Monastery, Prague Castle, and Old Town Square. 

Where to Stay

See Related: Best Travel Accessories

16. Hoi An, Vietnam

River in Hoi An, Vietnam
iamtripper / Shutterstock

If you are still wondering where to go on vacation with friends, head to Hoi An, Vietnam. Not only can you all experience a whole other culture together, but you can also do so for a fraction of what it would cost to visit other places worldwide.

Visiting Hoi An for your group may be a first, but this charming town will leave you asking for more. Explore the Old Town, grab some divine street food, visit the temples and the Japanese Bridge before heading to the Central Market, and enjoy the rural surroundings.

Hoi An also has several beautiful beaches for some much-needed R&R. If you want a holiday to relax and soak in the natural surroundings, this is it. 

Where to Stay

See Related: Cheapest Places to Fly Around the World

17. Madrid, Spain

Part of the Madrid, Spain skyline
ESB Professional / Shutterstock

Madrid is known for its abundant art, music, and outstanding local cuisine. More than that, it’s known for its gorgeous cityscapes you will never forget. Many travelers have Madrid at the top of their bucket lists as one destination to visit before they die.

This picturesque destination is an ideal blend of colors and cultures. It is a pleasure to explore, from its beautiful parks to world-renowned historical gems like the Madrid Royal Palace.

You can enjoy history, art, and culture in Madrid like no other. It is an architectural delight with some of the most popular buildings. It’s also home to some of the best art galleries in the world, like The Prado or the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, and will undoubtedly leave your group planning their second visit. 

Where to Stay

See Related: Places to Visit in Spain

18. Park City, Utah

Deer Valley Ski Resort and skiers in Park City
David A Litman / Shutterstock

So far, we’ve covered a lot of destinations that truly shine in the warmer months, but Park City is a different spot. This is one of the spots you will want to visit in the winter, especially for avid skiers and snowboarders. This ski resort is conveniently located near Salt Lake City and features some of the best skiing in the entire world.

This popular destination is home to some of the country’s best skiing, making it a staple for group vacations with your friends or family. It offers excellent powder skiing and steep mountain slopes. There are also two mountain ranges, each with six different resorts depending on your needs.

Where to Stay

See Related: Places to Visit in Utah

19. Miami Beach

Aerial view of Miami Beach
Mia2you / Shutterstock

When you want to escape the world with your best friend, why not head to one of America’s beach party capitals? Miami Beach in South Florida is an island connected to Miami.

This destination has been party-central for decades, and why shouldn’t it be? With surf, sand, and luxury hotels all along the coast, you don’t have to go far to find some fun.

South Beach, in particular, is known for its fun-filled atmosphere. When you’re recouping or if you aren’t a partying kind, you can enjoy the city’s Art Deco Historic District, visit Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, or get artsy at the super modern Wynwood Walls.

Don’t even get me started on the designer shopping here, either. You all will never want to leave.

Where to Stay

See Related: Things to Do in Miami

20. Boston, Massachusetts

View of Boston in autumn
GCC Photography

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston has quite a lot of history to tell. This is for sure where a group of history travelers should be. You’ll be at home between the Boston Tea Party Museum, the Freedom Trail, Old North Church, and much more.

Pair that with an autumnal trip, and you’ll be surrounded by history and the lively colors that leaf peepers are known to travel across the country to see.

When you all want to step away from tours but remain steeped in history, head over to Acorn Street. Visitors love this cobblestone street because it remains largely as it was centuries ago.

Gas lamps will even light your way if you walk the street at dusk or later. And don’t forget that lobster roll while you are here, either!

Where to Stay

FAQ

What are the best budget-friendly destinations for group travel?

If you aren’t opposed to international travel, some more budget-friendly options are worldwide. Hoi An, Vietnam, and Prague, Czech Republic, are places where you’ll get much more for your money. Costa Rica is another excellent option as well.

What are the most popular destinations for group travel?

Miami Beach and Las Vegas will be some of the most popular spots because of the ease of getting there and the party atmosphere. New York City is another good option because all groups have much to do.

What are the top destinations for adventure-seeking groups?

Two excellent adventure-seek options are Taipei, Taiwan, and Tamarindo, Costa Rica. The first, Taipei, has a ton of ancient exploration to do, while the other is full of outdoorsy adventures you can enjoy together.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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