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Red sandstone formations in Sedona, Arizona

COOL OFF WITH A DAY OR WEEKEND TRIP TO ONE OF THESE 3 DESERT DESTINATIONS

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Need some reprieve from the heat? Escape the city to these drivable destinations, where you can play in the water, take a haunted tour, browse unique art, and explore Arizona’s beautiful scenery.

Slide Rock State Park

Skip the lines at man-made water parks around town and head north to Sedona instead. A little over two hours from Phoenix, you can beat the heat at Slide Rock State Park, where Mother Nature carved out an all-natural waterslide in Sedona’s strikingly gorgeous red sandstone. Take a dip in the swimming holes and slip and slide down the rocks, then pack a picnic to enjoy on the scenic banks.

Jerome, Arizona

Jerome is perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill overlooking Verde Valley about 100 miles north of Phoenix. Once famous for its copper mines, it has since become well known as a ghost town with a rich arts culture and quirky charm. Here, you can tour the art galleries, go on a ghost walk, and visit local wineries – including the Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room, owned by Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan, who also serves as the head winemaker.

Saguaro Lake

Less than an hour east of Phoenix is Saguaro Lake – the perfect place to boat, fish, kayak, canoe, and more. Rent water toys at Precision Marina, take a double-deck boat cruise, and grab a bite at the waterfront ShipRock Restaurant, where you can take in views of the Goldfield Mountains, Bulldog Cliffs, and 1,264-acre lake.

To learn more about fun adventures in and around Phoenix, head to the Vistara at SanTan Village blog.

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