Arizona’s Girlfriend Getaways

By: Edie Jarolim

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March 26, 2012

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

About the author

Edie Jarolim

Edie Jarolim

Edie Jarolim is the author of three travel guides, including "Arizona for Dummies," and one dog guide, "Am I Boring My Dog?" 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. Her articles about Arizona have appeared in numerous national publications, including "National Geographic Traveler," "Sunset," and "The Wall Street Journal."

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 Spa at Sedona’s Enchantment Resort offers a vast menu of treatments and activities, from chakra unblocking to 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 Aloe Veil.

Approved by the elders of the Pima and Maricopa people, the Indigenous Collection at Aji Spa, at Chandler’s Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, is the only authentic Native American spa menu in existence.

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 – and a spa to counteract any lingering eau de equine.

Barrel racing and cattle moving are among the bonding and confidence-building experiences at Cowgirl Camp in Sasabe’s Rancho de la Osa.

The Cactus Cowgirls deals at the White Stallion Ranch in Tucson include margarita welcome parties, country western dance lessons and yoga classes geared toward riders.

Shopping Escapes

Even the savviest shoppers can be daunted by the scope of the Scottsdale and Phoenix retail scene.

Happily, Spree! The Art of Shopping can help, with personalized shopping tours covering everything from unique home decor stops to one-of-a-kind clothing boutiques, and visiting such popular destinations as Scottsdale’s Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Fashion Square. Personal-shopper services are available too.

Shop America Tours provides perks such as discounts and gift cards for such desirable Arizona shopping destinations as Outlets at Anthem in the Phoenix area and La Encantada in Tucson.

Culinary Fun

If you and your friends love to plot out where you’re having lunch and dinner while you’re still enjoying breakfast, consider booking a specialized culinary tour with Greater Phoenix’s Food and Vine Culinary Adventures, which caters – sometimes literally – to food and wine lovers.

More inclined to be domestic divas? The cooking classes offered by the Seasoned Kitchen in Flagstaff run the gamut from Italian to Malaysian, and feature local talent as well as visiting experts.

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

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 “Water in the Desert,” an itinerary with elevation shifts that allow for tubing in Phoenix, kayaking in Prescott and swimming amid the waterfalls at the bottom of the Grand Canyon; and “Sedona Sojourn,” which includes Jeep touring, hiking and even a little shopping (though not enough for most women to break a sweat).

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