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best arizona vacations – 33 summer getaways
Things To Do
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Things To Do
Best Arizona Vacations – 33 Summer Getaways
June, 2011, Page 106
Photos by Diana Elizabeth
We all need to skip town at some point this summer (‘dry heat’ be damned), but there’s no need to leave Arizona entirely. Whatever floats your summer boat – be it a private B&B, luxury resort or rustic dude ranch – Arizona has it. Here are 33 of the state’s best places to hunker down this summer.
Resorts for Foodies
Ultra Private B&Bs
Wine Country Spots
X Diamond Ranch
Off Highway 260 between Eagar and Greer
(CR 4124), Greer
As you crest the foothills that tower into the White Mountains, your trusty steed won’t be out of breath, but you will. Spread out below you is the tapestry of South Fork Canyon, a verdant sanctuary on the Little Colorado River near the village of Greer. All the stresses of the city are blotted out by the vast robin’s-egg-blue sky; the ponderosa pine-scented air; and the soothing silence punctuated only by birdsong, the rhythmic clip-clop of horseshoes and, if you’re lucky, the bugle of an elk.
With full-day trail rides, cattle drives, fabulous fly-fishing and skiing, X Diamond Ranch offers urbanites a raft of ways to reboot. And there’s no better host than Kym Johnson, great-granddaughter of legendary hotelier and Arizona settler Molly Butler, who entertains with tales of history, lore and salty wisecracks.
After a day on the trail, ease that saddle-sore you-know-what in the comfort of one of the working ranch’s secluded cabins, decked out with fireplaces, cushy beds, full size kitchens and – yes, city slicker – Wi-Fi.
: Cabins sleep two to eight and range from $110 to $300 per night through October 31. Seven-night stays get a 10 percent discount. Other savings include 20 percent off summer rates for military personnel and 5 percent off when paying with cash.
Apache Spirit Ranch
895 W. Monument Road, Tombstone
The frontier may have disappeared, but you can still find a slice of it at this 272-acre Wild West ranch near Tombstone. Owner Peter Stenger has built a replica 1881 frontier town with a faux Main Street lined by 17 themed guesthouses designed to look like period-piece locations, such as Blacksmith Shop, Post Office, Bordello and Jail. Inside, each one is decorated to reflect its theme – with the exception of the luxurious furniture, modern bathrooms and flat-screen TVs. When they’re not wrangling horses, guests hang out in the “Old Trappman” saloon and dining hall, or in the pool and Jacuzzi – and if you haven’t said “Howdy, pardner” to a man wearing a Speedo, you haven’t lived.
Of course, this dude ranch gives its guests some giddyup with 25 horses awaiting riders of all levels. Saddle up and ride along rolling, ruggedly scenic terrain backdropped by the boulder-strewn Dragoon Mountains while guides share chilling tales of bloody Apache Indian battles. Bonfire singalongs, staged gunfights and modernized chuckwagon meals (think Caesar salad and rack of lamb) offer city slicker appeal, while American Indian cooking classes, lassoing lessons and historical seminars round out the educational experience.
: Prices start at $370 double occupancy, including accommodations, one guided trail ride per day, three meals daily with non-alcoholic beverages, and Western entertainment. There is a 10 percent discount on regular rates offered June 1 through August 31, while an “Experience the Spirit!” special features an overnight stay with room, breakfast, dinner and a trail ride for $315 per couple, valid through August 31.
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