There are real problems, like how to remedy racism and whether to defund the police force and what in the world to do about the pandemic. And then there are it’s-summer-and-I-can’t-leave-town-because-of-that-awful-virus problems, which can seem just as real when the mercury reaches 112 and your kids are tired of sitting around the house.
You deserve some time away, and you can still have a vacation without putting yourself and your family in harm’s way. For a lot of folks, air travel seems risky, but those of us trapped in the 48th state can still enjoy outdoor beauty and a change of scene right in our own backyards while staying safer, saving some dough, and supporting local businesses in the bargain.
Great Wolf Lodge7333 North Pima Road, Scottsdale
There is, for example, Scottsdale’s Great Wolf Lodge Arizona, which this year is hosting its first-ever summer camp-in. Overnight guests will stay in camp-themed rooms with rustic decor, kitschy bunk beds, and indoor-outdoor patios. There’s a newly-minted arts and crafts program and room service items based on campfire treats, too.
L'Auberge de Sedona301 L'Auberge Lane, Sedona
For fans of the actual wilds, there’s L’Auberge de Sedona, an up-north getaway that this year is pushing nature-inspired spa and wellness experiences. These include a nighttime moon meditation series, a creekside yoga class, and a fireside s’mores banquet. (Bring your own ghost stories.)
Enchantment Resort525 Boynton Canyon Road, Sedona
Also in Sedona, the newly reopened Enchantment Resort is offering special summer rates through the end of the year and is working up a list of family-themed, onsite activities and excursions for its guests.
Under Canvas Grand Canyon979 Airpark Lane, Valle
Farther up north, Under Canvas Grand Canyon is located outside Valle near the canyon’s South Rim. Its 160 acres of pinon and juniper trees are a neat backdrop for hiking, horseback riding, and Jeep tours of flora and fauna.
Hotel Valley Ho6850 East Main Street, Scottsdale
Closer to home, Scottsdale’s midcentury Hotel Valley Ho has cobbled together something called the “Sip and Splash Package,” which includes a round of cocktails at the resort’s OH Pool and breakfast for two at its own Cafe ZuZu in addition to a “secret” room upgrade if you use the online code “SPLASH.”
Talking Stick Resort9800 East Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
Meanwhile, Talking Stick Resort’s Summer Playcation package is game-centric for both kids (with on-site hosted frivolity) and adults (spa services, poolside cocktailing, and a special discount at its Talking Stick Entertainment District).
Hermosa Inn5532 North Palo Cristi Road, Paradise Valley
And the Hermosa Inn is keeping its staycation plans simple: They’re knocking big bucks off the price of their luxurious amenities. The resort’s dish is casitas with private patios and alfresco dining in—or out at Lon’s, its well-loved onsite restaurant. The Summer in Paradise getaway package includes a daily food credit, special poolside service, and late check-in and early arrival privileges.
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa5350 East Marriott Drive
The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa is reopening to guests on Wednesday, July 1. The SPLASH into Summer package is good for stays Monday through Thursday and includes a resort credit and 50 percent off VIP seating at Griffin Bay, the hotel's luxury poolside experience. Kids will love the waterslide and 1,600-linear-foot lazy river, while Mom and Dad enjoy a pair of 18-hole golf courses, a tennis center, and a full-service spa.
Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort11111 North Seventh Street
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort7677 North 16th Street
There’s even more kid-themed action at both central Phoenix Pointe Hilton resorts: Tapatio Cliffs and Squaw Peak. Poolside “Dive-in” movies, water-themed games, milkshake parties and arts and crafts will occupy the little people while their parents attend cooking lessons with master chefs and explore the resort’s Spanish-Mediterranean grounds.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa5700 East McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley
Empty nesters (as well as anyone with really great taste and a desire to rub elbows with celebrities and other elite) might consider staycationing at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, known for its Asian-inspired spa services and its long list of rare wines, served poolside or pretty much anywhere else you like.
Arizona Biltmore2400 East Missouri Avenue
The Arizona Biltmore also aims to keep kids busy with waterpark fun this summer. It’s eight (you read that right — eight) swimming pools are scheduled all day with child-friendly activities. When they’ve dried off, your kiddos can sample kids' cooking classes or a game of nighttime glow golf while you play tennis, wander through a round of golf yourself, or just kick back and do nothing. Hey, you’re on staycation.