Finding Paradise in Arizona

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Of all places in the world, who thought a desert can be such a paradise in itself?

Not only am I talking about the vast miles of sand and cacti, but also bustling cities with palm trees, waterfronts, and lakes in between deserts!

Arizona is one of the states in the U.S. well known for its’ desert paradises. From down to Tucson, up through Phoenix, to the Grand Canyon – it’s a retreat for many to enjoy the hot temps.

While having spent time in the Phoenix and Scottsdale area, I got to experience Arizona’s paradise. For a quick trip into Phoenix Airport, (even is just for a day!), here are places to find that desert paradise you are looking for:

The Lakes

Yes it’s not a mistake. There are more than 5 lakes within 2 hours drive of Phoenix. Lake Pleasant was my pick when I visited – only a 40 minute drive from the airport!

lake pleasant me

It is vast and with only a $6 entree, I handed it over quick. Cacti line the hills and the actual lake itself is 11.5 square miles. You can go scuba diving, boating, sailing, jet skiing, or swimming.

Not into water sports? Just lay out and bring some friends! I saw so many people bbq-ing, playing music, or just tanning lake-side. Once you enter Lake Pleasant, you receive a map of the area so you know places that have parking lots and restrooms. Lots of people in RV’s spend the nights there too.

Other lakes close to Phoenix are Lake Roosevelt, Saguaro Lake, and Alamo Lake.

The Spas

Arizona is well known for its’ spas – pampering, body scrubs, taking in the sun, and bathing outdoors. The weather is surely good enough for it! I experienced the Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Princess Scottsdale which blew my mind. There will be another story on it and yes – it does involved outdoor water! I never felt such zen in that moment and boy do they offer things spas in NY don’t…for example an outdoor garden and a rooftop bar.

spa 1 whirpool

Many resorts in Arizona come with a remarkable spa within them so wherever you choose to go, (I personally can highly recommend Fairmont Princess Scottsdale) make sure to take time out to try something off the spa menu!

The Resorts

Where the spa is, is where the fun is! Arizona has numerous resort, especially within the Scottsdale area. Luxury all the way within a desert and the entire outdoors to play with? Say no more!

pool 1

All resorts with have outdoor pools, which also remind me a bit of Vegas but on a more mature level 😉 I have heard the pool parties in the summer are quite crazy!

Besides relaxing by the pool with a tropical drink in hand, look for resorts who have natural bodies of water such as a lagoon, lake, river, or ponds. You would think that being in the desert means no water, but that’s not true.

lagoon 1

My stay in Fairmont included an entire lagoon right outside my doorstep for fishing, laying out by, and even zip lining over come Memorial Day!

You all know I search for paradise wherever I go. I find it in waterfronts in the cities, in many tropical islands, but I love to find it in a different kind of setting too.

Arizona is surely one of those “different settings” in a very positive way. I knew I’d love it and I wish I could go back this second!