How To Spend The Perfect Staycation In Arizona
Canyons, churros, and architectural marvels await.
Sometimes there’s nothing more exciting than a staycation close to home, and if you’re lucky enough to live in sunny Arizona, you’re practically on holiday already. Whether you’ve got a long weekend off work or a few days away from the kids, we’ve got some great ideas for an amazing holiday without leaving the state. And of course, no staycation is complete without some world-class accommodation, so our Plum Guide experts have found you some of the best homes in Arizona to return to after an action-packed day.
Take a day trip to the Canyon
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Around 5.5 million people come to admire the Grand Canyon every year, and this year you’re going to be joining them. It’s often easy to overlook the tourist attractions on our own doorstep, but this one is well worth a visit – the mile-deep cavern carved by the Colorado River is an incredible natural wonder (and a pretty good photo op). As well as sightseeing, you can get active with white-water rafting, helicopter rides or the stomach-flipping Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass-bottomed ledge hanging over the canyon. Just don’t look down.
Hang out in Scottsdale
If you’re trying to decide where to spend your staycation in Arizona, make sure to throw Scottsdale into the ring. This desert city is bursting with unique character – take a tour of streets full of 1920s townhouses, spend a luxurious afternoon in one of the city’s famous spas, or strap your hiking boots on for a trip up Camelback Mountain (top tip: go at sunset for romantic views over the city). The dining scene here is fabulous, with The Mission serving up modern Latin American cuisine in oh-so-industrial-chic interiors. Make sure you save some room for their espresso churros for dessert. You can also visit Taliesin West, the property where architect Frank Lloyd Wright wintered – impressive though it is, we bet it’s not half as welcoming as your Plum home.
Spend a pleasant day at Lake Pleasant
Just an hour away from Scottsdale, Lake Pleasant is the perfect setting for an Arizona staycation – this desert reservoir is a favourite spot for holidayers looking for the ultimate relaxation. There’s lots of activities on offer like kayaking, scuba diving, or fishing. The particularly zen amongst you can even try to hold a pose in paddleboard yoga – we think that getting the perfect downward dog without falling into the lake is an achievement worthy of celebratory cocktail in one of the marina’s many bars. If you’re feeling particularly brave, you could even stay after dark and go on one of the lake’s moonlight scorpion hunting expeditions. Or you could head back to your Plum home and spend sundown in the pool – it’s really up to you, but we know which one we’d choose.
Explore Phoenix’s food scene
Phoenix is a foodie destination to reckon with; young chefs starting exciting new ventures right next door to decades-old city establishments serving food just as delicious as the day they opened. If you’re enjoying a staycation in Arizona with friends, why not take some time to explore the state capital’s best dining establishments? Start the morning with a strong coffee and freshly baked pastry at eclectic coffee shop Lux Central, and see where the day takes you; you could go on a food tour, or simply wander and see what catches your eye (or gets your stomach rumbling). Dine on incredible Mexican food at Barrio Cafe, run by James Beard-nominated chef Silvana Salcido Esparza (their guac is to die for), or try the city’s best pizza at Pizzeria Bianco (try the Wiseguy, with fennel sausage and house-smoked mozzarella) and finish with a cocktail in the Rum Bar (three guesses what their speciality is).
Relax in Paradise Valley
Celebrities as diverse as Olympic legend Michael Phelps and rockstar Alice Cooper have called Paradise Valley home, so we think it’s safe to say that there really is something for everyone in this Arizona town. It may be small, but there’s plenty on offer; tuck into charred tuna and braised short rib at iconic dining destination Lon’s, hike the Echo Canyon Trailhead, or simply lounge by the pool in your Plum home and enjoy a staycation that’ll leave you far more rejuvenated than any trip abroad.