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A visit to major national parks like Death Valley and the Grand Canyon is guaranteed to be memorable no matter what time of year you go – but rest assured, your experience will vary. Blistering heat, overcrowding, and rim fires are just a few ways summer visits can be compromised. Instead, consider a visit to the U.S.’s most stunning natural wonders during the colder months. Just remember to pack extra layers! Read more
Of Sedona’s 100+ hiking trails, there are four that tend to stand out from the crowd. And it’s not their natural beauty, climate, or level of difficulty that makes them special, but rather, if you can believe it, the energy of their respective locations. Though many of its residents are there for the hiking and extreme beauty of the area, the town also attracts an eclectic group of psychics, fortune-tellers, and soul-seekers who make frequent pilgrimages there to connect with a higher plane.
In 1981, a woman named Page Bryant, a psychic, author and lecturer who made her home in Sedona for 10 years, identified four “vortexes” throughout town, where she felt the metaphysical energy was the strongest. Now, locals roll their eyes at this for a couple reasons. To start, the vortexes are all conveniently located off major highways, drawing concerns that tourism might be the motivation behind their selection. Guides also like to joke is that Bryant was a bit out of shape, so she selected areas that were easily accessible. It’s also tough to tell whether these areas cause visitors to feel good because of their “energy,” or simply because they showcase Sedona’s incredible beauty.
What’s the truth? Well, I guess you’ll have to make a visit and decide for yourself. In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of the four individual sites: Read more
Towering from 400 to 1,000 ft tall, a cluster of sandstone buttes in the Colorado Plateau make up what is known as Monument Valley. Colored a beautiful bright red, the valley is made of siltstone, but gets its hue from iron oxide, which is exposed when the siltstone weathers away. The valley is located on the border of Arizona and Utah and forms part of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Navajo Nation’s version of a national park. Perhaps the valley’s most recognizable image is that of its “mittens”, buttes shaped like gloves. Read more
Just a few weeks ago, we were celebrating National Tequila Day. But that isn’t stopping bars from charging head-on into yet another booze-filled national holiday: National Rum Day falls on August 16 (a Friday, in case you were wondering), in honor of…well, no one’s exactly sure. But who cares? It’s an entire day of sanctioned drinking – and we’re OK with that. So don your pirate hat and grab a sprig of fresh mint. Here are our picks for the best rum cocktails around. Read more
As the summer hits full swing in the United States, over 2,000 federal recreation sites open up to the masses. Many of these National Parks and Monuments are inaccessible during the winter, meaning travelers who wish to capitalize on the season need to choose their destinations wisely. Admittedly, road trips aren’t as affordable as they once were thanks to rising gas prices, but for those eager to load up the station wagon (or the Prius) and visit a variety of parks, the America The Beautiful pass could prove a worthwhile investment.
At $80, this pass is valid for a full year from the time that you purchase it (in fact, I’d recommend purchasing it at the start of a new month, resulting in a theoretical usage period of nearly 13 months.) If you’re planning to visit just one park this year, it’s not worthwhile, but for the right crowd, it represents an outstanding value. Here’s a breakdown… Read more
Nothing can help you relax and take your mind off the stresses of everyday life quite like a vacation. Throw a spa into the mix, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate relaxing getaway. Whether you’re heading out to the deserts of the Southwest or the beaches of Cancun, these spa vacation deals will clear your mind and recharge your batteries – without putting a dent in your wallet. Read more
Itching to get away before the summer crowds flock to the nation’s most popular destinations? We’ve rounded up the best last-minute deals to urban centers across the U.S. and Canada, so you can explore the continent’s most popular cities while saving big bucks this spring. Read more
Winemakers rely on the soil, weather, and other natural elements to produce their wines, so it’s no surprise that many have turned to eco-friendly and sustainable practices to protect their vineyards and reduce their environmental impact. Although California leads the way, the rest of the nation’s wine-making regions are following suit. Here are five wineries that have embraced the movement. Read more
Food trails are about more than just, well, food – they provide a unique opportunity to explore a region through a specific culinary item or dish. Because trails are usually a loose collection of food-themed destinations rather than a Point-A-to-Point-B route, you can plan a vacation around them or incorporate them into existing travel plans. These six mouthwatering food trails will tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your sense of adventure. Read more
Hikers and photographers across the States are drawn to The Wave in Arizona’s Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. Iron deposits and the unique Navajo sandstone explain the mixture of orange, yellow, and red coloring characteristic of The Wave. Some have claimed the rock formations actually date back to the Jurassic period. Read more
Much like Florida, Southern California, and the islands stretched along the Caribbean Sea, Phoenix does a fine job of sidestepping winter. As snow and ice test the patience of many Americans this time of year, a lot of events and conferences are heading to the The Grand Canyon State for a climate that’s more palatable. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the comforting confines of Arizona, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. Read more
Looking for an easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily live? Drive on over to the intimate Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, and receive a $100 gas card if you stay two nights or more. Travel to the working horse ranch, which is located on 60,000 acres of breathtaking desert landscape, is valid through September 15. Rates start at $199 per person, per night, including all meals and activities such as horseback riding lessons, trail rides, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, and fishing.
Nestled between the Rincon Mountains, Saguaro National Park, and the Coronado National Forest, the ranch is perfect for anyone looking to unplug and discover the great outdoors. The traditionally decorated rooms offer spectacular scenic views of the surrounding desert and mountains.
Visit the Tanque Verde Website or call 800-234-3833 to book. Mention the Fill Up Your Tanque offer.
In honor of its 100th anniversary, the Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona, is offering special summer rates starting at $100 per night. Compared to the resort’s high season prices, that’s a savings of 40 percent.
The AAA Four Diamond resort was built in 1912 on 80 acres in the Sonoran Desert. Guests can escape the heat of the summer by taking a dip in one of three pools, or get active by horseback riding on the trails or playing tennis, basketball, or volleyball. But if none of this suits your fancy, indulge and relax in the Sonoran Spa with a volcanic earth scrub or mud wrap.
This deal is available from now through September 6, 2012. Visit the hotel’s website to book.
If you need another excuse to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather, the National Park Service is offering free admission to all National Parks – all 397 of them! – from April 21 through April 29, 2012 during National Park Week.
While most parks are free and open to the public year round, over 100 parks charge a fee to enter. The National Parks that usually charge admission include the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, the Everglades, Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, and many more. But during National Park Week, all entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees are waived. Read more
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