Summer Staycation Guide: Outside of the Valley

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

In part four of our Summer Staycation Guide, we reveal some great getaways that are outside of the Valley, but are still close to home.

Best In-Town Getaway that feels like it's out-of-town:  Sheraton Wild Horse Pass
This resort is only 2.5 miles off of the I-10 in south Chandler, but it feels like a remote desert oasis that offers endless, unobstructed views with glimpses of Wild Horses, sparkling pools and green golf courses. No traffic, No houses in site – just peaceful and serene beauty with cultural undertones reflecting the Gila River Indian Community that owns the resort. The state’s only 5 Star/5 Diamond restaurant, Kai, is on site as is championship golf and the Aji Spa. There are also great kids programs and packages with rates starting at $149.
Out of Town:  Williams (Rt. 66, Bearizona, Grand Canyon Railway)
Just a couple of hours from Phoenix is the gateway to one of the wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. Williams is only about 40 minutes east of Flagstaff and offers many activities that the entire family will love. Williams is located on a historic stretch of Rt. 66 and there are many soda fountains, gift shops and restaurants that take advantage of that location. The Grand Canyon Railway is an ideal way for families to experience our state’s most treasured asset without worrying about traffic and crowds and the town’s newest attraction, Bearizona, is a drive-through wildlife park where bears, bison, wolves and other animals get close enough to delight all ages.
Out of Town:  Cottonwood/Jerome/Cornville Wine Country
Who needs Napa or Sonoma when we have Cottonwood? A wonderful weekend vacation for wine lovers is less than two hours away with several Arizona wine tasting rooms within a short drive in Cottonwood, Jerome and Cornville. New hotels, high quality restaurants and a rise in popularity of Arizona wines has resulted in a tourism surge for this area that has long since lived in Sedona’s shadow. The lead singer of the popular rock band, Tool, is largely responsible for the recent notoriety of Arizona wines thanks to his investment in local vineyards and, with growing credibility, this new vacation niche shows no signs of slowing.
Enchantment:  Resort near Wine Country
The best part of Arizona’s Wine Country Trail is that is practically drops you at one of the world’s most fantastic and revered resorts, Enchantment. After spending a couple of days exploring and experiencing Arizona Wines, decompress and detox at this resort located deep in Boynton Canyon surrounded by red rocks with access to the magnificent Mii amo Spa. Recently renovated, the rooms are luxurious and the lobby, swimming pool and new restaurant are stunning, but expect to pay about $275 per night for this world-class getaway.
Miraval: Spa Mecca & Celebrity Magnet
Miraval, located just outside of Tucson, is best known as “Oprah’s favorite spa” and is frequented by top celebrities and business moguls including Howard Stern, Warren Buffet and countless more. Miraval, the Life in Balance Spa, focuses on the health and wellness of mind, body and spirit. Because Miraval is an all-inclusive resort, rates are on the high end.  Rooms start at $595 this summer (double occupancy) but that includes all meals and snacks, daily fitness, yoga and other activities as well as $150 per day to put towards services of your choice.
For more information on booking at Arizona hotels and resorts, visit
Some information in this report was provided by the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association:
3TV Summer Staycation Guide:
Best water parks, pools, family fun, places to avoid kids
Tuesday: Iconic Arizona resorts, best places for out-of-town guests, best views
Wednesday: Best value, best VIP experience, best places for "foodies"
Thursday: Best out-of-town getaways, best in-town experience that feels out-of-town