After learning to fly in college, Arizona native Rob Norberg flew to Alaska, where he spent 20 years traversing mountains, streams, and valleys as a fishing guide and seaplane pilot. But the Arizona climate eventually beckoned him back. Norberg now leads tours five times a day in his Cessna Caravan seaplane, carrying passengers high above sights including the Salt River Canyon, Roosevelt Dam, and Tonto Indian Ruins and providing passengers with thought-provoking facts and history. His nine-passenger plane ensures a window seat for each passenger, and comes equipped with personal headsets so they can each listen to the plane's adorable heartbeat.
After you hike a 10-mile descent through Hualapai Canyon—past the Supai Village and breathtaking ancient geological formations—you arrive at Havasu Falls. Follow the sound of the water and you’ll find the falls, where rapids cascade 100 feet to a dazzlingly blue-green, travertine pool below. It’s one of the world's most remote and beautiful swimming holes, and Pygmy Guides’ backpacking guides, who are medically trained as wilderness first responders or wilderness EMTs, lead groups there regularly.
Havasu Falls is just one of many destinations that you can explore with Pygmy Guides, a company that was founded by people who have spent more than 10 years living in and exploring Grand Canyon National Park. They lead groups to hike below the rim to see ancient rock art, hidden fossils, and california condors, walking in the footsteps of horse thieves on the Tanner Trail or along routes on the Bright Angel Trail once tread by ancestral Pueblo peoples. At Dripping Springs, water drips from the roof of a sandstone alcove so you can dilute Gatorade that tastes too sweet.
Sightseers who prefer the comfort of a plush SUV can see the canyon's expansive vistas through high-powered telescopes during day tours. Each all-inclusive trip includes park fees and gourmet meals and is limited to small groups for comfort and convenience.
Starting more than a decade ago with self-driven seven-day excursions in northern Arizona and Baja California, Sedona Off Road Adventures has since expanded into scenic day tours, sunset tours, and treks down extreme terrain. Guides dispense geological and historical tidbits as up to 12 Hummer passengers weave through trails tucked behind mountains and navigate obstacles down rougher trails littered with rocks and hitchhiking tumbleweeds. Jeep tours whisk guests 2,000 feet above a pine forest or deep into ancient Indian ruins, and helicopter and Hummer combo tours grant glimpses of Boynton Canyon from overhead before returning customers to terra firma for a trek through primitive trails. Later, clients eager for a chance behind the wheel can enrich their Hummer-piloting ability at driving-school sessions.
Relaxing at a spa doesn't always have to be a noiseless, clinical affair. It can also be fun. This fact is key at every bliss Spa, and it's immediately palpable upon walking into bliss Scottsdale's hideaway on the ground floor of the W Hotel. Fluffy clouds seem to float along the walls of the lobby, where guests can tap their toes to R&B melodies as they dig in to the spa's legendary brownie bar.
Even the treatment names are likely to draw smiles, including the peeling groovy facial that combines microdermabrasion and an enzyme peel. It's their triple oxygen facial that's earned them the most acclaim by brightening skin with a trio of oxygen deliveries that includes a wrap and vitaminized spray. Examples of pampering innovations continue throughout the spa, including massages with freshly grated ginger and pedicures with a foot soak mixed from almond oil and steamed whole milk. Guests can even take the blissed-out experience home with bliss Spa's private-label products instead of trying to stuff a massage bed under their hats.
Italian for "your wine," Su Vino doesn't only curate a lineup of award-winning varietals, it also crafts custom wines to suit even the most discerning palates. Inside an eye-catching tasting room, Su Vino Winery pairs glasses and bottles of its vintages with a menu of light appetizers and sensuous desserts. Red wines such as the jam-flavored cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend and peppery zinfandel pour crimson into tasting glasses, whereas white wines—including the tongue-twisting gewürztraminer—immerse taste buds in crisp, off-dry tones. They also open their bottle-lined space to guests interested in hosting a birthday party, bridal shower, or scared-straight event for delinquent grapes.
According to a local legend, The Panic Park was once a thriving amusement park before the previous owner stored toxic waste on the grounds, turning workers into zombies and all of the structures into spooky sites. Bone-chilling areas such as Hellbilly Hideout and Zombie Stunt Show pulse with paranormal creatures, and the Toxic Waste 4D Maze challenges visitors to make it out alive without borrowing toxic materials to unfairly grow sonar whiskers from their nostrils. Veteran entertainment-industry insiders George Nelson, Sid Kramer, and Clifton Laderer helm the production, combining their years of experience to scare anyone over the age of 12.