There’s always sunshine somewhere! Women exclusive travel companies Maui Surfer Girls and Women on a Roll are ready to prove it with trips that promise plenty of year-round outdoor adventure fun.
WOMEN ON A ROLL
Founded in 1995, Women on a Roll (WOAR) was created by Andrea Meyerson as a small faction of women meeting for weekly cycling excursions in California. Meyerson muses that back in the early days, “it seemed bars and softball were the only options [available to meet other lesbians]. So I started offering social events and soon thereafter, cultural events, and after the first year we added travel.” Now celebrating their thirteenth year of successfully serving the lesbian community through fun, fitness and fabulous excursions, WOAR has transformed from a small cycling club to a social network of like-minded women offering everything from guidance for those just coming out to extraordinary vacation-planning for over 13,000 strong.
This fall, WOAR has not only one, but two phenomenal lesbian-exclusive events that are sure to turn up the heat. From October 13 to 19, you can join Women on a Roll for their annual group excursion to Women’s Week in Provincetown. Travel packages start at $1,325 and include perk after glorious perk: roundtrip airfare on American Airlines (from LAX, or deduct $400 from the price if you choose to arrange your own transportation); roundtrip chartered bussing to and from Boston’s Logan Airport and Provincetown; five nights accommodations at the Anchor Inn Beach House (175 Commercial St, anchorinn beachhouse.com), a luxury boutique hotel located right on the water; a gourmet welcome dinner at The Red Inn (15 Commercial St, redinn.com), an award-winning restaurant boasting a breathtaking view of Provincetown Harbor; continental breakfast every morning; and a multitude of lesbian-exclusive events, including bicycling, dancing, concerts, comedy shows, singles events, couples events, whale watching, football, movies and more. (View details on travel packages at womenonaroll.com.)
To bump it up yet another notch, this year WOAR extends the fun and continues the festivities by bringing their party on the road with its newest travel offering, the WOAR-exclusive Cambria Women’s Festival in California with party central headquarters at the Cambria Pines Lodge (October 23 to 26). This inaugural event combines the organization’s vast experience in the two areas it knows best: social networking and organizing travel opportunities within the lesbian community. Says Meyerson, “traveling with Women on a Roll enables women to travel alone and not feel alone.” Shed those sweatpants and flannel pajamas, ladies—this is sure to be a weekend you won’t soon forget!
Party central for the Cambria Women’s Festival will have its headquarters at the Cambria Pines Lodge (rooms range in price depending on size, view and amenities, starting at $259 for double occupancy, 2905 Burton Dr, cambriapineslodge.com) in the serene central coast town of Cambria, California. Marking the halfway point between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Cambria is most notable for its picturesque location, planted smack-dab in the middle of California wine country. Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without performances by some of our favorite lesbian entertainers, including: Sweet Baby J’ai, Vickie Shaw, Bridget McManus and Lori Michaels & The Girls. As if that weren’t enough incentive, as guests of WOAR and the Cambria Pines Lodge, you’ll receive complimentary daily breakfast, free admission to the wine-tasting check-in reception and lawn party, and a free guided hike around the serene Cambria outback. Additionally, all guests are encouraged to attend the welcome dinner on arrival day, an eclectic mix dance party, a comedy show and guided beach walks to release that inner beach bum in all of us. (Individually-priced events as well as exclusive VIP Party Packages are available online at womenonaroll.com.)
MAUI SURFER GIRLS
Aloha surfer girls and beach Bettys alike! Remember, it’s always beach weather somewhere on the planet, and for Maui Surfer Girls (MSG), the Hawaiian beaches never close down. MSG is a first-rate surf school for beginner and intermediate surfer girls looking to improve their skills (and tan) on the breathtaking shores of Maui.
Offering year-round surf lessons on Maui’s west shore, primarily in the form of summer surf camps for teen girls, MSG’s main mission is to bridge the gap between outdoor sports and personal development by addressing wilderness adventure and physical activity on the water. MSG’s founder, Dustin Tester, states that the primary ambition of her company is “to empower girls and women through surfing.” This focus is reflected by MSG’s desire to teach girls how to surf while also helping them to gain confidence in their personal strengths and abilities. This is accomplished not only via surf lessons, but also through partaking in activities such as windsurfing and wakeboarding, snorkel trips, mystery adventures, chalk talks on oceanography, ding repair, discussions on the history of surfing and MSG’s bonding campfire counsels.
In recent years, MSG has expanded their array of summer surf camps to include year-round lessons for women of all ages and skill levels, a shift from their original focus of summer surf camps targeting the teenage girl demographic. One outing that typifies this expansion is the Weekend Wahine Warriors Surf Clinic offered in LA and on Maui. While the average age of campers and students has typically been mid-thirties to early forties, MSG boasts a clientele ranging in age from four to sixty-four.
Also providing a more extensive travel option, four years ago MSG began organizing an annual Costa Rica Catamaran Surf Trip. While there, women from beginner to intermediate levels can enjoy the surf, sun and sand while exploring the Costa Rican terrain and wilderness habitat. The highlight of that excursion may very well be the catamaran surf trip, which allows guests to sail, sport fish, surf less-crowded waves and enjoy the scenic Pacific coastline of Costa Rica on a posh sixty-foot catamaran. Crewmembers also grill up the fresh catch of the day, deliver guests to the surf breaks via the on-board zodiac boat and guide them through the Costa Rican jungle to check out the macaws and monkeys. The Costa Rica trip is typically held in April of each year.
Tester maintains that that MSG is always thrilled to organize lesbian excursions, and usually has at least one all-gay group trip a year. “Our main focus is to empower girls and women through the sport of surfing—gay or straight,” she says.
This year, MSG has lined up a winter camp from December 30 to January 6: the Jaws Boot Camp for wahines (females) of all ages. This second-annual endeavor steps up wahine skills in Maui’s North Shore waves, offering oceanfront rental accommodations, advanced surf coaching and workshops, access to MSG’s diverse array of surfboards, use of the MSG jet ski, cliff access to watch world-renowned “JAWS,” (named for the surf break with waves so tremendous that it has teeth like Jaws), healthy food, airport transfers and transportation during camp ($1,650 + tax, not including airfare).
The upcoming Pacifica Weekend Wahine Warrior Surf Clinic on September 21 is a more intimate, personalized surf-coaching workshop for beginner and intermediate surfers. “It’s the perfect opportunity to learn how to surf in a small and supportive all-women’s environment,” describes Tester. This camp includes a land lesson with surf skills training and time in the water practicing new skills. For additional information on this MSG surf camp, as well as other clinics and excursions, visit mauisurfergirls.com, and say Aloha to fun in the sun!