Arizona didn't replace Florida as the Baby Boomers' and ex-hippies' retirement home of choice for nothing. With its dry, warm desert climate, the burgeoning arts scene, the Native American culture, the red mountains of Sedona, the hundreds of golf courses between Phoenix and Scottsdale, the restaurants and the outdoor shopping malls, who can blame them. Did we mention the resorts? They're good, too. So are the travel deals.
Travelocity (tel. 888/872-8356; www.travelocity.com) has a host of last-minute deals to Arizona, specifically the Phoenix/Scottsdale corridor. Out of New York, a three-night package to Scottsdale starts from approximately $547 per person leaving on a Thursday and coming back on a Sunday. Accommodations are at the Best Western Scottsdale Airport Suites, a fine place to stay if you don't mind driving a short distance to the many area golf courses and local sites. For more of a resort feel, an additional $180 per person gets you one of Arizona's most luxurious and heralded resorts, The Boulders. Originally a Rockefeller Resort, The Boulders' extras include a spa, tennis courts, a swimming pool, hiking and horseback trails and a 36-hole championship golf course. Each room is a large adobe casita, and the resort even boasts its own marketplace with cafes, restaurants and galleries. From Chicago, a golf escape package to Phoenix with lodging at the Westgate Painted Mountain Golf Resort starts from approximately $410 per person. The hotel has a championship 18-hole golf course, a nine-hole course, practice areas, putting greens, a pool and state of the art fitness center with sauna and spa.
Northwest Vacations (tel. 800/800-1504; www.northwestworldvacations.com) has a convenient package search engine that lets you choose departure city and destination. From Atlanta, a five-day trip in mid-December to Sedona with accommodations at the sprawling Hilton Sedona Resort starts at around $1,345 for two people. Set amidst Sedona's spiritual Red Rocks, this four-star resort has incredible vistas of the neighboring countryside, an 18-hole golf course, a solid restaurant specializing in local fare, and a health spa. Sedona is known for its spiritual attachment to Native Americans who, according to legend, have inhabited the area for approximately 11,000 years. Sedona's surrounding hills and valleys provide some of the best hiking and horseback trails in the American West. Located just an hour-and-a-half drive from Phoenix and one-half-hour south of Flagstaff, Sedona's natural beauty runs the gamut from hundred-foot high pine trees providing shade for the many bicyclists to desert rock formations providing challenges for the aggressive climber.
eLeisureLink (tel. 888/801-8808; www.eleisurelink.com/ProductDetail1.asp?unit_id=3711), whose corporate mission is to make it easier for you to travel by offering "a one-stop location for the world's greatest vacation values" has a nice deal to Marriott's famous Camelback Inn, one of the hotel corporations' top properties. The four-night vacation, which includes airfare, hotel and a rental car, starts at $699 out of Chicago, Dallas or Kansas City. Some other departure points include New York, Boston, and Philadelphia all for $759. Set on 125-acres of manicured desert land, the resort has six restaurants, three pools, six tennis courts, a golf course and a spa and is freckled with casita-type rooms. The booking deadline is OCtober 31, 2005. In total, the package includes airfare, lodging, a mid-sized rental car and hotel taxes with travel good through December 31, 2005. Airfare is based on Monday through Thursday departures.
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