With hours of traffic, high airfare and crowds, summertime travel isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Travelers in the know take advantage of off-season locales. Sure, you may have to bear some seriously hot temps, but you’ll also find unique festivals and seasonal food. Here are 4 cities to visit this summer:
- Manchester, VT: Embrace all things leisure by enjoying a local swimming hole, fly fishing and tubing the Battenkill River or picking up complimentary hiking amenities (because we’re guessing you didn’t pack a hand-carved walking stick) at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel. Sample seasonal bounty like venison sausages and summer harvest cake packed with fresh strawberries and blueberries at the Vermont Country Store in Weston, and jars of orange marmalade and chewy Turkish taffy at the Manchester Country Store. Summer also brings a celebration of dramatic arts in Manchester, so theatergoers should book a Dorset Theatre Festival or Weston Playhouse package that include two tickets to each venue with an overnight stay. Finally, hit the road to enjoy Vermont’s picturesque country side on a day trip north to Burlington for an afternoon spent by the shores of Lake Champlain.
- Phoenix, Arizona: Summer brings triple digit temperatures to Phoenix, but there are plenty of indoor and evening activities in the Valley of the Sun. Within walking distance of Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix is Chase Stadium, where sports buffs can watch an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game on the hottest days thanks to a retractable roof. Those willing to brave the heat can cool off by tubing the Salt River, or taking a dip at the Palomar’s rooftop pool during their 100 Days of Summer party series. At night, guided moonlight hikes at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area, flashlight walks through the Desert Botanical Gardens and the delicious southwestern fare and family friendly activities at the First Fridays Art Walk at the Heard Museum keep you busy and out of the heat.
- Sedona, Arizona: About two hours north of Phoenix and 20 degrees cooler, Sedona’s rust red buttes, layered canyon walls and gently rustling pine trees make a majestic setting for a summer escape. Adventure buffs can set out on a kayak or river raft the Verde River (your concierge can book a rental) or try out swimming holes and nature’s water slide at Slide Rock State Park. Rather stay dry? Head out early to watch the sunrise over the stunning red rocks on a scenic hot air balloon ride. Don your cowboy hat and boots for the National Day of the Cowboy celebration on Main Street on July 22 and 23 for horse-drawn wagon rides and square dancing. Celebrate Global Wellness Day (June 11) all summer and restore dry desert skin with Amara Resort & Spa’s High Desert Salt Scrub exfoliation treatment: a scrub down of mineral rich salt, mint and lavender oils, followed by a soothing Shea butter massage.