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Sedona provides the perfect hiking grounds for your next trek.

The Southwest is one of our favorite places to get physical thanks to its crisp, high-altitude air; gorgeous terrain; and earthy, holistic vibes. And though there may be tons of incredible national parks throughout the region — including Arches, Zion, and the Grand Canyon — other lesser-known areas prove to be just as majestic. Take a look at just a few of our favorite places in the Southwest to get fit and reconnect with Mother Nature!

 

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One of the perks of the upcoming long weekend (besides immortalizing the great Martin Luther King Jr, natch) would be that all of the 397 U.S. National Parks will offer free admission from Saturday through Monday. Sweet deal, right? We scoped out some of our favorite parks — and some amazing hotels to go along with them, of course.

NATIONAL PARK PICK: LINCOLN MEMORIAL; WASHINGTON, DC

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

Lincoln Memorial; Washington, D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech — a speech which ultimately became the defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement — on the Memorial’s steps. There are dozens of activities planned for the weekend, including a children’s recitation of the speech, an event remembering the Korean War Veterans and even a family-oriented “quest,” designed for children to learn more about Dr. King — and to have some fun, of course!

Splurge Stay: The Hay-Adams

The Hay-Adams

The Hay-Adams; Washington, D.C.

This is quite possibly the most famous hotel in the capital, and deservedly so. The Obamas here in 2009, two weeks prior to the President’s inauguration, and long before that friends John Hay (Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary) and Henry Adams (the author and descendant of John Quincy) built their homes on the plot of land where the hotel now sits. The Hay-Adams draws powerbrokers from around the world with its impeccable service, a great bar and restaurant, and elegant rooms, some of which overlook Lafayette Park and the White House.

Steal Stay: River Inn

River Inn

River Inn; Washington, D.C.

The 125-room River Inn offers great value. Its 450-square-foot suites have full kitchens and pullout couches; add in free perks like Wi-Fi, bike rentals and Bally Total Fitness gym passes, and you’ve got yourself a sweet deal.

CHECK OUT MORE NATIONAL PARKS AND HOTELS WE HEART >>

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