If you are looking to escape the stress of everyday life, the gorgeous state of Arizona has got you covered. Arizona is full of great places to unwind and reconnect with yourself when you need it the most. Our state is full of hidden treasures from little-known trails to luxurious spas. One of the incredible things about Central Arizona is just how easy it can be to find a peaceful retreat, sometimes without even leaving city limits!
Cottonwood and Sedona
Exploring the Verde Valley region right in Phoenix’s backyard is a great way to slip into a relaxed state of mind. Home to Sedona and Cottonwood, the area has built a reputation for itself for combining natural wonder, natural healing and excellent options for dining and lodging. Exploring the famous red rock canyons or the historic core of Cottonwood is a fun, relaxing way to shed the pressures of daily life. Sedona boasts a network of healing practitioners to help you reconnect with yourself.
Castle Hot Springs
A historic oasis in the desert, Castle Hot Springs is a luxurious resort that sits on over 1,000 acres of Sonoran Desert, including rare and wonderful natural hot springs. The hot springs resort is located just north of Phoenix, but feels tucked away in a remote pocket of wild nature. The resort boasts its own farm and inclusive escape packages that incorporate the famous hot spring pools, fresh meals and plenty of time to unwind and explore.
Japanese Friendship Garden
The official name of the Friendship Garden is RoHoEn, which combines the Japanese words for “heron”, “phoenix” and “garden”. For those living in Phoenix, peaceful serenity may be closer than you think. The beautiful grounds of the Japanese Friendship Garden in the heart of downtown Phoenix make it a great escape from the stress of life. Designed in the 1990s, the 3.5 acre site boasts lush fauna and water features that make it a gorgeous oasis in the city.
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness
Sometimes you just really need to get away from it all. When we’re looking to escape city life we head out to the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness which encompasses nearly 20,000 acres near Safford. Cut through by the Aravaipa Creek, a rare year-round desert water source this remote area is best explored by experienced hikers. In its remote lushness, the wilderness offers hikers exceptional beauty and stillness along with spectacular night skies.
Franciscan Renewal Center
Located in Scottsdale, the Franciscan Renewal Center offers visitors a quiet retreat on serene grounds. Run by Franciscan monks, the Center is open to people of all faiths. A large labyrinth walking path is the perfect way to step out of your schedule and contemplate big questions.
Canyon Ranch Wellness Spa
One of the most luxurious local options for wellness and relaxation, the Canyon Ranch Wellness Spa near Tucson combines fitness, nutrition and the chance to get away from it all. Situated in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Canyon Ranch rests on a striking Sonoran Desert property with full facilities for focused wellness. From exercise activities like yoga, swimming and personal training, to meditation, mindfulness and life coaching, Canyon Ranch is a stunning backdrop for finding some focused “me” time.
Part utopian experiment, part radical architecture site, the ArcoSanti project was the brainchild of visionary thinker and Italian architect, Paolo Soleri. Soleri initiated this forward-thinking city of the future on the ArcoSanti site which remains active today. The modern incarnation of ArcoSanti is a committed group of artists and artisans helping the community develop alongside ideas of sustainable growth and design. Situated in the hilly landscape not far outside Phoenix, ArcoSanti is an easy day trip near beautiful hiking and wildlife.
Near Arizona’s border with New Mexico sits the lovely wooded town of Greer. Taking a break from the heat of the Sonoran Desert, Greer sweeps you into lush alpine forest surroundings with tree-lined trails and sweeping vistas of the White Mountains. Tourists to Greer can stay in one of the town’s many rental cabin options or choose a more rustic campsite. Home to excellent fishing spots, spending a weekend in Greer is a great way to get away from it all.
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