Arizona is too hot to sweat your way through in summer unless you’re used to it, so head to Arcosanti in spring. Designed by Italian-American architect Paolo Santeri, this commune in central Arizona minimizes its carbon footprint through shared resource use, reduction of urban sprawl, and clever design, including solar-oriented doorways and windows. Learn about the community and then hike a few of the 860 acres of wilderness, including the Agua Fria Canyon.
Spring is a great time to beat the 100 degree temps that beat down on Zion in summer. If you’ve only got one day for this natural wonder, make it a good one: head to Zion Canyon for a ranger-led hike that will leave you oohing and aahing over the red Navajo sandstone rocks.
Pitch your tent in this sci-fiesque state park amid Aztec red sandstone formed by ancient dunes that date back to the dinosaurs. Camp out at Arch Rock campground while it’s still relatively cool, where you’ll find petrified trees, narrow slot canyons and ancient petroglyphs.
Taos temperature highs hover in the sixties in April and in the seventies in May, meaning you get sweet sunny afternoons that aren’t too hot in this beautiful little city that boasts a vibrant art scene of more than 50 galleries.
6 of 7Creative Commons photo by lincolnblues is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Go Out of Your Way to Marfa
Trip through Donald Judd’s art and a host of galleries in isolated Marfa, in West Texas. From Tex-Mex to high cuisine, quirky local goods to high fashion, you’ll find a pleasurable and strangely wonderful weekend here.
Meow Wolf, a hypercolor immersive 22,000-square foot art space, was built by 135 artists. But it’s just the beginning of Santa Fe, where you’ll ride hot air balloons, party at large-scale visual art and music festivals, and stuff down sopapillas.