Family vacations are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life filled with coffee runs, soccer practices, and daily commuting. However, some vacations are just as busy and chaotic as everyday life. The phrase “I need a vacation from my vacation” might ring a bell.
Luckily there are still some vacation spots that actually will help you unwind and enjoy some peace and tranquility. The American Southwest has some of the most scenic views, awe inspiring landscapes, and relaxing vacation spots.
The Grand Canyon – Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the defining natural features of not only the Southwest but of the United States. The breath-taking canyon stretches farther than you can see and astounds visitors with its width and depth.
The 277 mile long canyon carved by the Colorado River. It is 18 miles wide and a mile deep, exposing almost two billion years of geological history.
The Grand Canyon National Park hosts about five million visitors each year. These visitors can partake in a wide range of activities. The most common is just simply sightseeing. The South Rim of the Grand canyon boasts some of the best lookout points for visitors wanting to take in the canyon’s magnificence. Visitors can enjoy views from the canyon from Lipan Point, Toroweap Overlook, and the Grand Canyon Skywalk; just to name a few.
Visitors to the Grand Canyon also can enjoying camping, rafting, hiking, running, and helicopter tours. Rafters can rough through the rapids of the “mud colored” Colorado River.
Zion National Park – Utah
Zion National Park, located in Utah, is another masterpiece from Mother Nature. This picturesque park offers some of the best scenery in the United States. The park is known for Zion Canyon, a half mile deep canyon that stretches for fifteen miles.
Visitors to Zion National Park often camp out under the stars and hike on several of the trails. Each trail varies in both difficulty and length. They can range from a half hour round trip, such as the Weeping Rock Trail, to an eight hour round trip, such as Kolob Arch.
Touchstone, Spaceshot, and the Prodigal Son offer rock climbing enthusiasts some challenging climbs. Visitors can also saddle up for an equestrian tour through some of the trails in Zion. Tourists looking for an adrenaline rush can take a 4×4/ATV guided tour of the park.
The park also is a great spot for vacationers that want to relax and cool off. The Virgin River can be a relaxing tube ride during the summer.
Monument Valley – Utah
Located near the Four Corners, Monument Valley in Utah is a breathtaking region of the Colorado Plateau. 1,000 foot sandstone buttes range for miles.
Monument Valley is sort of a hidden gem. The reason it is not quite a hidden gem is that it has been featured as the backdrop for a handful of old Western movies. If you are a big fan of John Wayne, chances are, you’ve already seen Monument Valley.
The scenic park is accessible by vehicle, as visitors can pay a fee to drive through and enjoy the views. However, the real fun begins with the areas that are accessible only through a guided tour. These guided tours can take you to areas not accessible to the public such as Mystery Valley and Hunts Mesa.
Sedona – Arizona
Sedona, Arizona has activities for everyone. If you are looking for a great outdoor vacation with incredible sights, Sedona is the place for you. If you are looking to take in some culture, art, or relax at a resort, Sedona is also the place for you.
Red Rock Crossing and Crescent Moon Ranch Park offer two of the most beautiful areas in the Southwest. Cathedral Rock, located in Red Rock Crossing, is one of the most photographed scenes in the Southwest. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy one of the many hiking trails or vortex areas of Sedona. If you don’t know what a vortex area is there are guided tours to take you to their locations and teach you all about their history.
Art galleries and shopping are also in abundance in Sedona for a relaxing break from the outdoors.
Lake Tahoe – California and Nevada
Lake Tahoe is 191 square miles of freshwater located in the Sierra Nevada region, bordering both California and Nevada.
The lake boasts incredible vacation opportunities year round. Surrounded by pine trees and hilly slopes, Lake Tahoe is a popular vacation destination for skiers and snowmobilers.
Late Spring to early Fall brings about a lot of watersport enthusiasts. Boaters flock the lake to enjoy a day on the water. Parasailing, jet skiing, and paddle boarding are all popular water activities enjoyed in the warmer months. SCUBA diving has also become popular at Lake Tahoe but is limited to those who have experience. SCUBA diving at the high altitude increases the chance of decompression sickness.
Year round, visitors also enjoy the numerous hiking and biking trails.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive vacation that you can truly call a “vacation”, head the American Southwest.