The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.
Nicknamed Valley of the Sun, Phoenix is known for its sub-tropical desert climate, where temperatures can skyrocket beyond 100° Fahrenheit in the summer. With a host of museums and galleries, top-notch Tex-Mex cuisine, and cactus-dotted landscape, Arizona’s state capital is one of the most unique metropolises in the country. But the city’s 4.2 million residents need to venture out every once in a while and take advantage of myriad vacations spots within (somewhat-reasonable) driving distance. So pack your bags, crank the A.C., and hop in the car — we’ve got some miles to cover.
Road Trip #1: Phoenix to Sedona, AZ
- Total Driving Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes
- Distance Covered: 117 miles
- Take This Trip If: You need a spiritual re-awakening.
The iconic red rock formations of Sedona are surrounded by natural energy forces known as vortexes.
The Rouge Hotel offers visitors a world-class stay in an incredible setting.
The Bell Rock offers a family-friendly atmosphere for those with kids in tow.
With its iconic Red Rock landscape and spiritually-charged environment, Sedona is an other-worldly paradise for earthbound explorers. The city is practically ensconced by endless hiking trails, and has four vortexes — natural energy fields said to possess mystical powers. But Sedona is also a blossoming cultural center, filled with eclectic local galleries, Native American craft shops, and indie boutiques. For a truly indulgent experience, check out the Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa. The property boasts incredible vistas of the Rocks from the fire pit on the observation deck, as well as from the private, in-room balconies. But the hotel’s real draw is the lavish spa, with treatments inspired by the vortexes and daily outdoor yoga classes. For a no-frills yet family-friendly stay, the Bell Rock Inn is a great budget option that still has the scenery and amenities necessary for a proper Sedona stay. The inn has two heated pools, a BBQ and picnic area, and an outdoor playground for kids, all with the same magnificent views of the rocks.
- Top Driving Tip: Jerome, a 30-mile detour on the trip to Sedona, is about 45 miles outside of your final destination. Past the Old West ruins, this legendary ghost town is actually home to a thriving winery owned and operated by the frontman for the heavy metal band Tool.
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The West has some of the best scenic hiking in the entire country.
One of our favorite summer pastimes is hitting the dirt road and taking to the hills for a nice, long hike. And because of its clear skies, open pastures, and low humidity, there’s no better place in the U.S. to hit the trail than out West. Boasting countless National Parks and some of the most spectacular wildlife in the nation, the West is an adventurer’s paradise. Whether you’re in search of New Age stimulation or a adrenaline-filled adventure, grab your walking stick because we’ve found some of the best hiking spots the West has to offer.
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Can you figure out where this picture was taken?
Although the snow is melting, ski destinations can be just as pleasurable when the weather heats up — and they’ve got the serious scenery to back it. And even if you’re not into a rugged vacay, there are still plenty of spots for you to chill out with incredible mountain views. Check out our ten favorite now!
If you’re citified but like to hike, a foodie but ride your bike more than your car, or use your Patagonia Solar Wind Jacket for a city blizzard, you can consider yourself Urban Rugged by Oyster’s standards.
These destinations and hotels are rustic-chic with lots to do, whether it’s hiking, cycling, shopping, going to art galleries or eating in top notch restaurants. At these eight hotels, you can always tap into your natural — and metropolitan — side.
The Travaasa Hana hotel overlooking Hana Bay delivers rustic luxury in the middle of Maui’s lush, secluded east coast. It has incredible service, a long list of stuff to do and only 70 rooms on acres of uncrowded property. The rooms are large, clean, sleekly furnished — and stripped of TVs, clocks and radios. Though it’s hard to reach, it’s worth the trip. The gorgeous, secluded location near hikes, waterfalls and beaches, excellent cuisine using local products, one of the most beautiful spa facilities on the island and unmatched personalized touches make this hotel one of your best choices in Hawaii.
Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii
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L’Auberge de Sedona has one of the most stunning natural settings in not just the Southwest, but the country, with the picturesque Oak Creek running underneath shady trees, and Sedona’s soaring red rocks suspended in the background. The 87 guest rooms and woodsy cottages are spread across 11 acres, allowing guests plenty of privacy, and most come with fireplaces and private decks. It’s a premier destination for a romantic getaway or a corporate retreat.
View at the L'Auberge de Sedona