It’s Valentine’s Day once again, and that can only mean one thing: Mini road trip. You thought we were going to say “romance,” didn’t you? Well, we kinda are, as there’s no better romantic getaway than a peaceful, socially distanced, crowd-free road trip. So, take an extended weekend vacation with your lovey-dovey — you two deserve a break — and prepare to hit the highway. Here are a few of our favorite secluded Arizona destinations for couples.
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson, AZ)
Plan a fun and educational day trip to Tucson’s enormous 98-acre open-air facility. Equal parts zoo, art gallery, aquarium, botanical garden and natural history museum, the Desert Museum is a great place to experience Arizona without venturing far from the cityscape. You’ll get to witness bobcats and coyotes in their semi-natural habitat, learn about all the incredibly resilient desert plants, and explore numerous exhibits and attractions (you’ve got to check out the Avian Adventures event).
Romance Level: ♥♡♡♡♡
Raise your romantic ante by swinging through Cave Creek on Valentine’s Day. The area, just outside of Phoenix, is a true getaway for couples looking to escape the city life. The small town offers immense natural beauty thanks to its myriad trails through Tonto National Forest and Cave Creek Regional Park, as well as horseback riding opportunities at Spur Cross Ranch. Of course, you can also get your nerd on at Cave Creek Museum. Check out everything else Cave Creek has to do on Valentine’s Day.
Romance Level: ♥♥♡♡♡
The hiking and mountain biking trails (yes, you’ll be seeing a lot of these, so we hope your calves are ready) through Prescott are some of the best in the state, if not the country. No matter your experience level, we recommend the 41-mile southern trail, across Lynn Creek, for some pretty sights. On your trek, you’ll have opportunities to stop and rest at various parks, as well, including Village Square Park, Fain Park, and Wander Way Park. Find your way around using this Prescott Valley Trails map.
Romance Level: ♥♥♥♡♡
Adventure is an overflowing theme in Payson, one of Arizona’s most active cities for couples. You can bike, kayak, fish, camp, and more. But what about romance? There’s lots of that, too.
The town is surrounded by the 2,000-foot-tall Mogollon Rim, offering an absolutely stunning view from just about anywhere you stand. You can take a walk through the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, hand-in-hand, go stargazing at night, or saddle up for some horseback riding at Kohls Ranch, as well.
Romance Level: ♥♥♥♥♡
Ringbolt Hot Spring (Arizona Hot Spring)
Nuzzled just along the Colorado River is one of Arizona’s biggest secret: The Arizona/Ringbolt Hot Spring in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Surrounded by a beautiful volcanic area (Black Mountains), the Arizona Hot Spring features…well, a hot spring that’s heated by the natural geothermal temperature of the ground. Water temperatures range from 100 to 120 degrees during the winter months.
Because it’s difficult to travel to — the one-way, three-mile hike is very strenuous, with relentless steep elevation changes — Arizona Hot Spring doesn’t get as many visitors as nearby El Dorado or Kaiser. However, the lack of crowds can produce its own problems, one of which is getting stranded or lost. To avoid such problems, the NPS recommends the following:
- This is a self-guided trek, so familiarize yourself with the area and bring a map
- Always travel with a group or companion
- Bring at least one gallon of water, per person
- Pack a first-aid kit and extra clothing
- Bring and wear sunscreen, and apply it regularly
- There is no reliable cellular service, though you may get a signal near the river
- Before taking the trek, tell a family member or friend where you’re going
- If you or your partner are afraid of heights, beware that there are tall ladders to climb
- Watch out for rattlesnakes
- Do not travel during the hot, summer months
- Do not travel during flood season
- Do not submerge your head, drink, or inhale water from the spring
- Do not bring your four-legged pals
- After parking, always lock your vehicle
Sound like a lot of work just for some quality time together? Well, the new Honda Passport can help with most of the above (except rattlesnakes). Let us count the ways in which the Passport can simplify your romantic getaway to the Arizona Hot Spring.
- You don’t need to lock up. (“But NPS said to!”) Because of Passport’s Walk Away Auto Lock, you can simply pack your key fob in your bag and start hiking. Your Passport will do the rest.
- Underneath the cargo floor, Passport grants you access to a convenient little storage compartment. This is the perfect amount of space for first-aid kits, water bottles, sunscreen, and any other small items.
- An added roof basket, fastened to Passport’s crossbars, holds up to 150 pounds of “stuff,” like gallon jugs of water and bulky hiking backpacks.
- Once you get back from your couple’s retreat, you’ll be (really) sweaty. Passport’s available HondaLink feature allows you to remote-start its tri-zone climate control system and ventilated front seats, so the cabin will be cool as a cucumber once you open the doors.
- Did you know Arizona is one of the deadliest states to drive in on Valentine’s Day? Passport ensures you stay as safe as possible with standard Honda Sensing. This suite includes Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Keeping Assist, Collision Mitigation Braking, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
- It looks cool.
Romance Level: ♥♥♥♥♥
Don’t have a valentine this year? There are plenty of fish in the sea. As always, your Valley Honda Dealers are here to help you find a soulmate — just one with four wheels and a windshield. Visit your nearest Honda dealership in the Phoenix area to buy or lease a new Passport or any other Honda model. And don’t forget to ask about our current Honda financing offers!