We are so lucky to live in the beautiful Southwest. Surrounded by diverse landscapes, charming towns, beautiful National Parks and even beaches that are within driving distance if you are up for a road trip!
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has put a stop to most of our travel plans for the spring, but if you are ready to get out and explore, there is still time to save your summer vacation. We have lots of fun ideas to get you going, and we know what opens when and which health and safety restrictions have been put into place.
While many travelers were not able to take that planned two-week trip to Italy, visiting wineries and taking some cooking classes, how about exploring the wine regions near us? If you love wine, we know that you love the Verde Valley/Page Springs wineries. But, have you been to Sonoita? I fell in love with that beautiful part of Arizona a few years ago when we went there in August. The monsoon rains turned everything a lush green and I loved the rolling hills and, of course, the local wines!
Or how about combining the beaches of Southern California with the wineries in Temecula? You can swim in the Pacific Ocean, explore the coastline by kayak, maybe even spot dolphins while doing it, ride a bike between the cute beach towns and spend a day tasting wonderful wines.
Santa Monica and Santa Barbara are two of my favorite places. While in Santa Monica, visit the Getty Center, an architectural marvel with amazing gardens and, of course, be awed by the masters! No other museum displays their art like the Getty. Even if you are not into museums, this is one that you cannot miss. While the Getty Center is currently closed, now is the time to start planning your visit.
Continue to Santa Barbara for the vibrant and fun town and the mix of beautiful beaches and imposing cliffs that are perfect for long walks. From Santa Barbara, it’s not far to the Wine Country of Los Olivos and the “Danish” town of Solvang where you will feel like you are walking through a small town in Europe.
If you have some more time, continue up the stunning coastline to Carmel and Monterey. If you enjoy golf, make sure you play a round at Pebble Beach.
Nature lovers can continue to Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Marvel at imposing rock formations at Yosemite and the giant and ancient Sequoia trees.
If you could not venture out on that hiking trip to Switzerland that you have been so looking forward to and have hiked every trail on our beautiful San Francisco Mountain, we have recommendations. Want to do some fly fishing, kayaking and horseback riding? We can help you! We have an assortment of fun places in Colorado and Utah for you to explore. You can even stay in an African safari-style tent with private bathrooms and all the creature comforts you could ask for – perfect to celebrate an anniversary or romantic getaway!
Did your kids’ summer camp get canceled? Did you know there are Dude Ranches and all-inclusive resorts throughout North America that offer summer camp to their guests? Let the kids learn a new skill, make new friends and enjoy some fun family time, all in a worry-free, safe environment.
Are you looking for that special something this summer? Why not charter a sailboat for a few days to explore the California Coast from a new angle? You could rent a condo in Telluride and take the dogs hiking. How about treating the women in your life to a weekend spa getaway in Sedona or Tucson? Or, you might consider a hot air balloon ride over Scottsdale.
If you love culture, history, food and a vibrant art scene, head over to Santa Fe. Walk around the traditional Plaza, sample unique foods with influences from all over the country and the world. Did you know that Santa Fe was rated one of America’s Top Mountain Biking Towns? Go find out why!
We have relationships with hundreds of hotels, resorts and lodges that are within driving distance or a short flight from Arizona. By booking with us, you will have access to special rates and extra benefits, such as upgrades, spa or hotel credits and much more. We know which resorts are open and what health protocols are in place during your visit.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. When you are ready to rediscover the world post-COVID, we’re here to help. FBN
By Monika Leuenberger
Monika Leuenberger, owner of Avenues of the World Travel in Flagstaff, has been in business for 27 years. For questions, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-556-0853.