Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix

Leave the Boys at Home Arizona's Girlfriend Getaways

Round up the ladies for a fun-filled, all-girls Arizona adventure, from reliving the Wild West to relaxing at a luxury spa.

Cyndi Lauper sang it: Girls just want to have fun. And that's especially true when they're on vacation.

Whatever your idea of a good time with the gals—from kicking back at a spa or taking cooking classes, to rounding up cattle or exploring sandstone canyons—Arizona has a girlfriend getaway for you.

Soothing spas

You can't throw a loofah in Scottsdale or Phoenix without hitting a spa, but you'll also find premier pamper palaces in other parts of Arizona.

One of the country's top-rated destination spas, Mii amo, a spa at Sedona's Enchantment Resort offers a vast menu of treatments and activities, from chakra meditation and interactive aura photography to stargazing experiences and guided hikes among Sedona's famed red rocks.

Just north of Tucson, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dove Mountain takes advantage of its stunning desert setting with indoor/outdoor treatment rooms—and dry skin antidotes like the Desert Morning Dew.

Approved by the elders of the Pima and Maricopa people, the Indigenous Collection of treatments at Aji Spa at the Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler are performed by the tribes' Cultural Caretaker (limited availability) to bring healing to the body and soul.

Culinary fun

If you and your friends love to plot where you're having lunch and dinner while you're still enjoying breakfast, consider booking a specialized culinary tour with Greater Phoenix's Arizona Food Tours or Taste It Tours Arizona, which cater to foodies of all kinds.

For those who prefer to guide themselves, check out the stops highlighted on the self-guided Fresh Foodie Trail in Mesa and Tucson's Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food.

More inclined to be domestic divas? The cooking classes offered by The Tasteful Kitchen in Tucson focus on creative vegetarian, plant-based and gluten-free menus designed to be enjoyed by everyone. Classes finish with a multi-course lunch and all participants receive a recipe booklet to take home.

Then there's Liz Turner, who studied with Julia Child. Liz covers a variety of foods and styles—pies, pasta, Asian fusion, special occasions—at her Blue Apron Cooking School in the town of Pinetop in Arizona's White Mountains.

Cowgirl getaways

Arizona's guest ranches provide lots of opportunities for organized, all-female equine-themed escapes.

In Wickenburg, Rancho de los Caballeros' Giddy Up Gals package has a full array of ranching activities including trail rides and team penning and a spa to counteract any lingering Eau de equine.

An hour south of Tucson in Sasabe, Rancho de la Osa offers a couple of female-centric retreats twice a year that feature plenty of bonding and confidence-building experiences along with plenty of riding opportunities.

The eight-day Cactus Cowgirls stays at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson include margarita welcome parties, guided hikes, country western dance lessons, hayrides, a wine and cheese ride, and yoga classes. A separate shopping trip into the city can be added on for early arrivals.

Outdoor adventure

Designed for women who are active without being triathletes, the Sedona-based Canyon Calling tour company takes small groups on trips that are challenging and fun. The common denominators are gorgeous scenery and easy camaraderie.

Upcoming Arizona options include "Arizona Highlights" an itinerary that covers off on such scenic sights as the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, petroglyphs and the historic Route 66; and "Sedona Sojourn," which includes a Jeep tour, hiking and even a little shopping (though not enough for most women to break a sweat).

About the Author

Edie Jarolim

Edie Jarolim is the author of three travel guides and one dog guide. Her book, "Getting Naked for Money: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All," is a memoir about her career as a guidebook editor for Frommer’s, Rough Guides, and Fodor’s and as a Tucson-based freelance travel writer.


Cities & Regions

From the abundance of Saguaro cactuses and unique wildlife in the Sonoran Desert to the high country and forests of the White Mountains to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Arizona’s regions are full of experiences that don’t disappoint.