Friday, March 06, 2015


Utah’s National Parks

A road trip to three of Utah’s five national parks reveals breathtaking backcountry, hoodoo-filled hikes, and luscious local pies.

After three hours of canyoneering in Zion National Park (, our feet look like they’re bleeding through our socks. Thankfully, it’s just pulverized red sandstone flowing between our toes – a sign of a sated adventurer. “If you don’t leave Utah with red sand in your shoes, you didn’t have fun,” says Gerard, one of two guides from Zion Adventure Company (435-772-1001, leading our team of six on a hiking, climbing, and rappelling foray into the heavily forested vermilion cliffs of Utah’s most visited national park.

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Western Montana

From fly fishing to horsback riding to clay shooting, the wilds of Montana offer myriad adventures..

We are stalking the elusive wild cutthroat. I crouch and whisper, mimicking my guides, Nick and Ryan, as we squelch through the muck, our waders stirring up freshwater shrimp and the bugs our fly lures are attempting to impersonate. The gunmetal gray clouds above us swell and spit, threatening to burst. But first, I must catch a fish.

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Staying the Hell in Dodge

Looking for the perfect getaway, without the “away”? These staycations provide all the requisite indulgences at summer-special prices.

Hotel Palomar
Hotel Palomar’s staycation palette includes partnerships with nearby CityScape hotspots. Its “Round of Beer” promotion ($102) invites guests to slurp down four complimentary beers at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. Or guests can “Laugh Like a Local” with tickets to Stand Up Live ($112). Palomar also keeps its focus on the family with admission to the Arizona Science Center or Children’s Museum of Phoenix ($154). 2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, 602-253-6633,

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Atomic Tourism

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.

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Savory San Diego

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.

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¶lim¶2013 Summer Getaways

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.

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Northeastern Arizona

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.”

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