Or: How I Learned to Start Road Tripping and Love the Bomb.
The end of the world as we know it could have been unleashed from this hermetically sealed, hospital-green silo 20 miles south of Tucson – and 35 feet below it. With the turn of two keys, a 103-foot-tall Titan II missile would have blasted off toward the mysterious “Target 2” somewhere in the Soviet Union. The inevitable nuclear volley would have spelled atomic omnicide. A radioactive miasma metastasizing around the world. Curtains for everything but cockroaches and creosote bushes. That was the idea, at any rate – a nuclear sword of Damocles suspended over the planet.
With its farm-to-table focus and obsession with
organics, “America’s Finest City” is well on its way to becoming “America’s Foodiest City.”
San Diego is so obsessed with local, organic, healthful foods that you almost expect your carton of hormone-free milk to display photos of MSG, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup, asking “Have you seen us?” Not around here. Restaurants source their ingredients from the generous Pacific Ocean and the proliferation of lush farms sprawled throughout San Diego County. Many eateries have private micro-farms and even make their own sodas and condiments. While the spotlight has been shining on San Diego’s tourist attractions, this beach city has quietly grown into one of the country’s most underrated culinary capitals.
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.