Family groups seeking to reconnect, restore their spirits and get away from it all will find their Zen in Arizona
Family reunions and multigenerational vacations are built around opportunities to bond and make lifelong memories in beautiful settings. Destinations filled with spectacular places for relaxation are perfect for these types of family events. Wellness travel has been growing rapidly and it’s no wonder that planners are seeking out locations offering a wide range of these types of experiences.
Arizona has long been known as one of the country’s ultimate destinations for restoring physical and mental well-being. The Grand Canyon State is renowned for its scenic beauty, famed spas and wellness-focused facilities, family-friendly destination resorts, outdoor activities and adventures, and opportunities to nourish the soul. With an average of over 300 days of sunshine per year, Arizona’s picture-perfect weather is another natural draw.
Here are just a few of the many exceptional Arizona wellness retreats reunion planners and family vacationers can find:
Retreat to a World-Class Spa
Arizona is one of the top spa destinations in the country, so it’s an excellent choice for travelers wishing to refresh their minds, bodies and souls.
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa offers a wide variety of retreat packages, classes, spa treatments and outdoor experiences at its 400-acre, all-inclusive flagship property north of Tucson. The resort is a beautiful setting for wellness-focused celebrations, reunions and bonding experiences for guests ages 18 and older.
Named as one of the world’s top 30 wellness retreats, CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa near Scottsdale offers its guests complimentary access to over 70 weekly wellness classes and activities. Canyon Ranch Tucson is a superb option for those planning wellness vacations for families with kids ages 14 and older. Surrounded by the Santa Catalina Mountains, this award-winning all-inclusive property offers more than 35 wellness activities each day along with access to an extensive array of amenities, spa and fitness facilities, fitness trainers, nutritionists and physicians.
Recharge at a Vortex
Travelers come from around the world to experience the enhanced spiraling energy of Arizona’s vortexes, long regarded as having spiritual and healing powers. Visitors often flock to Sedona’s main vortex sites: Cathedral Rock at Red Rock Crossing, Airport Mesa and Boynton Canyon.
The area around the Chapel of the Holy Cross is said to be a vortex spot, too. While these places are said to have their own special energy flows, they are breathtakingly beautiful locations as well. Consider taking a tour to experience the vortexes with an expert.
Wellness-oriented groups can choose from places to stay such as L’Auberge de Sedona, which features an Intuitive Vortex premium wellness package and a unique Vortex Treehouse with spectacular views of Sedona’s red rocks. Several retreat companies offer holistic healing, spiritual and yoga retreats that incorporate the Sedona vortexes into their programs.
While Sedona’s vortexes are most widely known, places in western Arizona also are said to have concentrated energy flows. These include five areas around Lake Havasu City: Take Off Point, Yonder Park, the Buoyed Swim Area at Rotary Community Park, Castle Rock Bay and the Topock Gorge section of Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.
Relax at a Family-Friendly Resort in Arizona
Escaping from the everyday is a great way to renew bonds with loved ones. Resorts offer an appealing base for families to unwind together and enjoy activities that improve their physical and mental well-being. With its wide array of family-friendly resorts and award-winning golf courses, Arizona is an exceptional choice for family vacations and multigenerational reunions. Planners can choose from a number of properties offering experiences and adventures for every age group and interest, plus excellent spas and wellness facilities.
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess caters to families with well-designed rooms and suites, multiple swimming pools, kids’ club activities, championship golf courses and a wonderful spa. Families seeking wellness-oriented luxury vacation options with a vast range of amenities and attractions also should check out The Phoenician, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North and Arizona Biltmore.
With more than 500 suites and private casitas, the Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak offers plenty of family room for reunions and get-togethers, plus spa facilities with offerings for adults and kids, numerous pools and a lazy river, tennis and lots of family activities. Tucson’s Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is another great destination resort for families, offering golf, tennis, a full-service spa, outdoor pools and the Westin Kids Club.
Reboot on a Digital Detox Escape
Getting away from cell phones and other digital devices allows family groups to focus on being “in the moment” and bonding together in pretty surroundings. To detox and promote well-being, go unplugged and refresh your spirit on a tech-free Arizona retreat.
Family groups can enjoy a safari-style glamping getaway at Under Canvas Grand Canyon, located on 160 acres close to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim entrance.
It’s a convenient home base for disconnecting to watch the Grand Canyon’s magnificent sunrises and sunsets, taking a hike to marvel at the awe-inspiring scenery, staying on the lookout for deer and elk, and enjoying stargazing at night. Arizona has long been known as a top destination for stargazing, with more than a dozen International Dark Sky Association-designated parks and cities.
Bordering more than 360,000 acres of pristine untouched land in the Mojave Desert of northwest Arizona, all-inclusive Stagecoach Trails Guest Ranch is another excellent choice for a digital detox getaway. Families can enjoy horseback riding, swimming, stagecoach rides and soaking up the beauty of a star-filled sky.
Reconnect with Nature
Being immersed in Arizona’s scenic beauty can contribute to stress reduction and improve emotional well-being. Dr. Esther Sternberg, author of Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being, noted in her TEDxTucson talk that “numerous scientific studies have showed that views of nature do improve mood.” Getting outdoors in Arizona is a wonderful way to gain perspective and find inner peace. Hikes and scenic drives can rejuvenate the spirit and promote wellness.
In addition to well-known places like the Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona’s many picturesque spots with sweeping vistas include Canyon De Chelly National Monument (presently closed), San Francisco Peaks, Painted Desert and Petrified National Forest Park, Saguaro National Park, Monument Valley Tribal Park (presently closed), Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and Watson Lake.
Arizona Luxury Expeditions takes families on private guided multi-day tours and glamping trips to some of Arizona’s most spectacular natural landscapes. Peaceful hot-air balloon rides above the Sonoran Desert provide epic views as well.
Restore Inner Balance at a Ranch
Ranch vacations are popular with families and multigenerational groups. In addition to horseback riding and outdoor adventures, some of Arizona’s best ranches also feature special wellness programs.
Tucson’s award-winning White Stallion Ranch offers transformational horse-led retreats and other wellness programs. Known for its wide array of activities and outdoor adventures, this family-owned and operated dude ranch has been catering to families and multigenerational groups for more than 55 years. Set in secluded Sabino Canyon southwest of Tucson, Elkhorn Ranch also holds a number of workshop weeks for guests with programs on mindfulness and writing, yoga and inner balance, and other topics.
At Elkhorn Ranch, families can enjoy guided hikes, horseback riding, swimming, and numerous opportunities to connect with nature and each other. With the comforts of a resort, Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson caters to wellness-oriented families with daily yoga classes, Food & Pharmacy of the Desert hikes, a full-service spa, horseback riding and a children’s program for kids ages 4-12.
By Nancy Schretter