This week, we're launching Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. Four times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips, near and far, for making your trips more pleasurable. So enjoy and let us know if you have any hints for us—email

When we think of girlfriend getaways, we usually imagine heading off to Mexico, Miami, and the Caribbean. Good luck scheduling that with your chronically busy New York girlfriends. If you want a quick, easy, budget-friendly weekend escape, here are a couple of itineraries to get you started

Montreal (via Facebook)

Hop on a plane to Montreal. Book a seat on Porter Airlines, which operates out of Newark and has several flights a day (you have to connect in Toronto) at reasonable rates. An added plus for those who are watching their budget, at the moment the US dollar is a bit stronger than the Canadian dollar.

Check into the Le Saint Sulpice Hotel in historic old Montreal, nestled on a cobble stone street filled with boutiques. A standard suite starts at $202/night (Canadian dollars) or splurge for an executive suite with a fireplace at $367.

Spend the day aboard Bota Bota, a spa housed on an old boat permanently docked at the Old Port (don’t worry it can’t move, they gutted the engine room). Indulge in a Nordic bath followed by a relaxation massage. A package including both starts at $130 (Canadian dollars).

In the evening, medicate yourself with cocktails at Baldwin Barmacie, a pharmacy themed bar, in Montreal’s Mile End. Filled with restaurants and bars, Mile End is home to Montreal’s hipster scene and also where you can score some really tasty bagels at either St. Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel and decide if you prefer Montreal bagels to New York’s.

Take a road trip to Saugerties. Pack up the car and head to Saugerties, voted one of America’s cool small towns from Budget Travel Magazine, just a couple hours from NYC. Check into an apartment at Diamond Mills Hotel. Rates for a two bedroom with pull out sofa is $300/night.

Relax at Emerson Spa in Mt. Tremper. Emerson is also home to America's largest kaleidoscope. Get a ticket for the rather trippy Kaleidoscope show, which runs every ten minutes and costs five bucks.

Have a meal in town at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen, for comfort food made with fresh local ingredients. The casual atmosphere is the perfect setting for a laid back brunch of challah French toast with local apple compote or a Vietnamese bahn mi Sandwich. The dinner menu is a bit more upscale but worth indulging. The restaurant also has a three-bedroom guesthouse available for rent.

You can easily spend an afternoon browsing the shops that fill the town. Search for housewares at Lighthouse or summer clothes at Dig.

Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News,, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her at twitter @cityweekendsnyc.