Along with sweeping sherbet sunsets, one of the perks of living in the Valley is our proximity to paradises of milder climates. It’s easy to escape the scorching days of summer for a century-old rodeo, stargazing at the Grand Canyon, or tequila tasting on a train. Here are 41 places and events to discover this summer – including 12 out-of-state adventures.
The Navajo Nation is famous for its scenery and ancient ruins. For its hotels, not so much.
Why not take an RV?
“So, where you folks headed this weekend?” the guy at the RV place asks, in that neighborly, no-judgments kind of way. When I tell him we’re driving his 31-foot Four Winds Chateau motorhome up to Navajo Nation to see the spectacular Betatakin cliff dwellings and explore Monument Valley, he evinces a mixture of enthusiasm and mild bewilderment. “Oh, I hear it’s pretty up there,” he says. “Tell me how it is.”
From beaches to the big city, SoCal is a one-stop vacation fantasy.
California is a land of dreamers, built on dreams. The iconic evidence of visionaries past is everywhere, from the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles recalling a young Broadway actor named D.W. Griffith who rolled into town circa 1913 to try his hand at a newfangled medium called movies, to the sprawling sandy beaches along the Pacific Coast that inspired pretty much every Beach Boys song. The vibes differ from breezy Orange County to bustling Los Angeles County, but the unifying undercurrent is living the dream, whether that’s a grandiose notion of being an A-list actor, or a wish as simple as watching waves crash on the shore.
For a no-holds-barred wellness gorge, Arizona’s red rock country is like an all-you-can-spa buffet.
To much of the world, the phrase “health and wellness” is clinically self-evident: It refers to that which makes you healthy, and well. However, in the hospitality industry, “health and wellness” is code for something a little more specific, and perhaps more decadent. It suggests scented oils and talented strangers manipulating your body in relaxing and soreness-relieving ways. It promises inventively-seasoned gourmet meals of organic meats and local vegetables, lovingly farmed in small quantities by ex-attorneys, perhaps, or someone who drives an old Volvo. It means an invigorating hike followed by a milk-and-honey scrub poolside.
Mark your calendar and top off the tank in your getaway car: This menu of statewide escapes serves up everything from zip lining to llama hiking to ghost busting, plus a hefty helping of hikes, scenic drives, festivals and more.
New this year: a handful of out-of-state outdoorsy meccas for every season.
With its gamut of galleries, gorgeous venues and gastronomic delights, the “City Different” delivers a triptych of artisan adventures.
When it comes to the arts, Santa Fe has a dual personality. With a population just shy of 68,000, it’s a small town with a big city feel, boasting more than 250 galleries and restaurants, along with several performing arts centers. Exhibits range from Native American rugs to futuristic steel dresses. Dining options span traditional New Mexican to innovative Italian seafood dishes, while everything from classical ballet to modern rock takes the stages. Ultimately, the city’s old world/new world duality is the special ingredient that makes the visual, culinary and performing arts of Santa Fe truly a three-course sensory feast.
The locavore revolution has spilled over into everybody’s favorite snowbound college town. Check out these great Flagstaff bites.
As the largest and most-visited town in northern Arizona, Flagstaff is a haven for wintertime ski bunnies and summertime sunbirds fleeing the blistering Sonoran heat. Though summer residency pads the city’s year-round population of around 65,000, “Flag” remains the type of place where strangers make small talk and restaurants set out doggie bowls for customers with four-legged friends in tow. It might be difficult to imagine this