Despite all that desperate drama, audiences all over have come to know and love the Real Housewives since their introduction to the Bravo Network almost a decade ago. For nine long seasons, we’ve become entangled into the nice web of vicious cat fights, sisterly bonding fests, and manic-seeming child rearing choices that seem to embody the day-to-day lives of these feisty, fashionable, and often times frivolous women.
Throughout the series, the “vacation” has become a plot standby, consistently forcing the leading ladies into new spaces that often get them more weary or wasted than they already were before. When tensions between our favorite Big Apple housewives are simmering, you can bet that some sort of luxury-ridden escape to another part of the world will be thrown into the mix. From Turks and Caicos to The Hamptons or good old Montana, the ladies of the Real Housewives of New York have hopped around the globe more than anyone could ever imagine. Not only have their fabulous trips given us too many quotable scenes to name, but they’ve also provided us with inspiration to perhaps do some world exploration ourselves. Here’s a look back at all the famous little vacations that have occurred throughout the RHONY series.
Real Housewives of New York Vacations: 7 Beautiful Places RHONY’s Leading Ladies Have Traveled To
1. St. John (Season 3)
It may be the least developed of all the U.S. Virgin Islands, but there’s no shortage of fun to be had on this tropical hill-filled natural parkland. Spend the morning tanning, bathing, and splashing around with cool waters at the beaches along North Shore Road. Get wild in the afternoon on a safari ride down to Virgin Islands National Park with one of those hunky local rangers leading the way. Snuggle in with some fishies over at Trunk Bay with some snorkeling before heading over to some evening hustle and bustle at Cruz Bay, the island’s main town where world-class luxury resorts, top-notch vacation villas, and even back-to-basics B&Bs or campgrounds await as prime relaxation spots.
Needless to say, this va-cay hottie is a place of natural beauty and utter tranquility. It’s the perfect place for any housewife to escape the pressures of modern life for a day, a week, or better yet, how about forever?!
2. Morocco (Season 4)
Get all the terrific tidbits of chic city life-- from endless shopping, fine wining and dining, and wild nights out with your girls a la Sex and the City-- at this North African hotspot. It’s one of the most cultural and diverse regions in the area, offering both high mountains, never-ending seas, and fortresses that rise out of the sands of the Sahara Desert, as well as a dazzling combination of Arab, European, and African influences.
Step into an ultimate dream world of Medieval royalty at Marrakesh’s walled medina, a mazelike quarter offering loads of entertainment within the Djemaa el-Fna square and souks (marketplaces) selling traditional ceramics, jewelry, and metal lanterns—you’ll sure to find some great keeps to take back to home sweet home. The capital Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas offers a 12th century royal fort to overlook the water at, while rows of hip cafés and high-design riads across town reflect the modern, cosmopolitan side of local Moroccans. And if you’re really up to travel like one of the Real Housewives, make sure to do some camel-riding or even go chat with a psychic—who could forget that awesome time when the fortune teller revealed that Ramona’s husband was cheating on her...which would be confirmed years later. Like whoa, right?!
3. Turks and Caicos (Season 7)
Although small is size, these tropical isles offer tons of experiences for women of all sorts to savor. There are posh beachside resorts in Providenciales (a.k.a. Provo), where most of the noise, buzz, and most popular beaches are centered at. Be sure to check out the expansive Grace Bay Beach, with its array of luxury resorts, shops, and restaurants that are hard to resist for any upscale vacationer looking for lots of low-key fun in the sun. There are also plenty of scuba-diving sites like a fouteen-mile barrier reef on the north shore, as well as over forty more gorgeous remote desert islands further out that’ll fulfill any housewives’ fantasies.
The cute little capital city of Grand Turk provides some characterful backwater to gawk at, especially on days that day cruise ships aren't in port. There are even sites like the ruins of Cheshire Hall (a 200-year-old cotton plantation) to check out, or Caicos Conch Farm (the world's only conch farm). Plus, along with over 230 miles of pristine white-sand beaches, there are some of the world's most beautiful coral reefs, historic villages that have been barely touched by tourism, and valleys of lush, rolling greenery and dry bush, especially in Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Parrot Cay, and Pine Cay. This spot is absolutely one of the best-hidden gems in the Caribbean and is only a 90-minute plane ride from Miami. Get lost in time while digging your toes into the sand with a chilled drink in hand. What could sound better?
4. St. Barths (Season 5)
It’s where all the rich and famous go for the holidays—which makes it all the more perfect for any Real Housewife, especially the kind that hails from New York. The elite Caribbean hotspot is an all time fave amongst celebrities, is the region’s most expensive island, and is no doubt the ultimate adult sandbox. From twenty-two uncrowded white sand beaches to the array of gingerbread-trimmed cottages, designer shops, and yacht-filled harbors in the tidy capital city of Gustavia, there’s truly a distinctly Gallic ﬂair to this charming island favorite. An entirely separate coastal area of the island called St.-Jean also offers a diminutive strip of colorful boutiques and beach bars that’s been compared to the likes of St. Tropez.
Get Frenchie with the girls with a one-of-a-kind sun vacation, all at a relaxed pace. Watch the sunset in Lurin from a hilltop café such as Café Santa Fe, or shop for high-end designer pieces and hard-to-find-anywhere-else boho keepsakes at the original location of the famous Calypso boutique. Even party it out on Baie de St.-John, a beach ringed with the island’s top hotels and clubs. There’s tons to do and much to see-- it’s definitely one of the hoity-toitiest of Caribbean islands that’ll for sure bring any lady to their ultimate happy place.
5. The Berkshires, MA (Season 6)
Enjoy the great outdoors with rolling hills, endless trees, loads of lakes, miles of narrow winding roads, and gallons of pinot grigio for entertainment. It’s the ultimate summer-in-the-country destination within the great United States, offering a unique brand of artisanal sophistication that has long inspired the greatest of artists and writers—such as Norman Rockwell, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville.
It really is the storybook image of rural New England, with bunches of compact historic villages to explore, as well as cultural events to attend, including the renowned Tanglewood classical music festival in Lenox. In the wintertime, skiing is super popular, and come springtime, be sure to dig in for some maple sugaring. Trek across the scenic Mohawk Trail while passing everything from modest-looking mustard-yellow farmhouses to palatial summer retreats constructed by millionaires in the post-Civil War Gilded Age. The area’s certainly maintained a significant sort of panache that’s continued to attract wealthy New Yorkers and Bostonians every year—they flock to this va-cay favorite “looking for more than just sylvan beauty,” and often find what they’re looking for within the homegrown, neo-bohemian atmosphere that’s offered. It’s certainly got a whole different sort of worldliness than the typical craziness you feel in urban jungles like Boston or NYC. Check it out for yourselves.
6. The Hamptons (Season 6)
This spot is a regular favorite for any of the Real Housewives—it’s New York’s best beachy destination, with dramatic dunes, shingled windmills, and a famous sort of light that’s attracted artists from Jackson Pollock to Winslow Homer. Inns in Amagansett, Sag Harbor, East Hampton, or Montauk offer fantastic coastal getaways, and with the variety of low-key seafood shacks, quirky antiques shops, and placid bays around town, it’s the perfect place to also do some beachcombing. You might just even run into Paul McCartney at the local café or spot Gwyneth Paltrow shopping for local bounty at the endless array of fresh farmstands in the area.
Why not enjoy some free Friday jazz music at sunset while overlooking the vines at Sagaponack’s Wölffer Estate Vineyard? Better yet, try on some arresting and form-flattering swimwear by Tomas Maier (the creative director of Bottega Veneta!), or take a tour of Guild Hall, a center for visual and performing arts where board member Alec Baldwin often hosts live readings and theater performances. This is the place for the stars—the ultimate a celebrity summer playground-- so ladies, get yourselves ready for some fun at this legendary cluster of wealthy enclaves on Long Island’s South Fork. With tons of splashy restaurants, snazzy nightclubs, lovely beaches, as well as fishing and kayaking opportunities, there’s nothing stopping any A-list lady from hitting up this fabulous vacation favorite.
7. Montana (S6)
So you’d probably think: Who would want to go on vacation to Montana? Well, apparently the ladies of RHONY. They may not exactly be your ideal camping enthusiasts—not even glamping enthusiasts— but rest assured, there was tons of fun had on their quick getaway to this western state. There really is much to do in this outdoorsy state, making it a great va-cay destination, especially if you do happen to like biking fifty miles or riding some wild horses.
It’s been called “Big Sky Country” for a reason, with huge expanses of rugged countryside, stunning glaciers, trout-filled streams, ski slopes, and high plains—the perfect place to really discover how beautiful the night sky can be, or what "dark" truly looks like (with the limited city lights available in the area!). In addition to all that natural beauty, not to mention the infamous Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, there are also tons of welcoming places to explore, filled with locals who love harping on their state's natural mining history and thriving cultural communities with outsiders. Be sure to visit popular spots like Billings and Bozeman, where you and the ladies will find Wild West-style fun at its very best. Giddy on up!
This article was written by Pamela Chan.
Image Credit: Anna Demianenko