Sonoran Desert Resort with Tennis Courts and Swimming Pools
Movie stars flocked to Palm Springs and the Hamptons in the 1960s, but to really get away from it all, they’d head to Carefree, Arizona. At The Carefree Inn, the only resort that was in this once-remote patch of the Sonoran Desert, you may have found yourself swilling cocktails with Hollywood players such as Dick Van Dyke, Lucille Ball, and Bob Hope. The inn has since been renamed The Carefree Resort and is no longer off the beaten path, but it remains an enchanting retreat with a full-service spa, a serenity pool, and private botanical garden.
Set on 23 acres in the high Sonoran Desert, Carefree Resort is an outdoor wonderland. The serenity pool—one of three swim spots on the property—is surrounded by native plants: saguaro cacti, fan palms, and kite-eating trees. You can drink in the sunset while watching a chipotle-pineapple mojito and make your way to one of the five lighted tennis courts when it cools off at night.
The Spa at Carefree offers treatments such as the Southwest Soother, a restorative service that includes full-body exfoliation and a vichy-shower rinse. Head to The Lariat Restaurant and Lounge for upscale fare such as aged steaks and scallops over parmesan risotto. After a full day, you can take it easy in your queen guest room, where a private patio offers views of the pool or the Continental Mountains.
Carefree, Arizona: Upscale Artist Community with Charming, Quirky Vibe
As its name would suggest, Carefree is a laid-back town, with a sense of humor to boot. Look out for quirky street signs (Ho Hum Road and Nonchalant Avenue) and keep in mind the town’s motto (“home of the cowboys and caviar”). Phoenix lies about 30 miles to the south, and the Continental Mountains rise just to the north and create a nice backdrop opposite the Black Mountain range. There are a handful of hiking trails in the area, but for those who prefer the comforts of saddle, you can rent a bike from the hotel or sign up of for a guided horseback ride through the desert.
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