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To discover new territory in the realm of romance, consider escaping to the American Southwest. Among the canyons, deserts, and wide open skies, Arizona makes for a perfect place to get away from it all and focus on your loved one.
Patricia says, Don't leave Phoenix without taking a scenic drive through South Mountain Park, a desert mountain preserve with panoramic views of the city.
Great weather, beautiful desert scenery, and big city sophistication make Phoenix a great place to stoke the fires of romance. If you're looking for an undeniably romantic outing, you can't miss with a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden's stunning display of wildflowers and cacti, meandering brick pathways, and a farm-to-table restaurant on-site make this a good first date destination. If you're looking for one of the most romantic look-out points in the city, head to South Mountain Park.
Phoenix: old-world luxury
Take the main road up the mountain to Dobbin's Lookout, where families and couples gather in the evening to watch the sun go down over the valley, and millions of city lights bloom all over the city. For a day of urban sophistication with your sweetie, head to central Phoenix for a visit to the Phoenix Art Museum.
The museum's world-class collection of Latin-American, Asian, and Western Art are a must-see for art lovers, and couples will enjoy exploring the museum's galleries, gift shop, and enjoying lunch at Palette, the museum cafe. The college town's top recreational destination features a two-mile lake that visitors can explore via pedal boat. Enjoy a romantic picnic on the waterfront, grab a cup of gelato from a nearby kiosk, or rollerblade hand-in-hand as the sun goes down over the lake.
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Less than an hour's drive east of Phoenix, this refreshing lake is a favorite with locals. An oasis in the desert, it's a great place to cruise, ski, sail, swim or picnic. An onsite restaurant serves up food when you're hungry, and camping areas and fishing sites allow you to settle down for long-term recreation.
Along the banks, you'll find trails for hiking and exploring.
You can even schedule a ride on the Dolly Steamboat and look out across gorgeous vistas of water and mountains. A great escape for the weekend or the afternoon. Advanced reservations for the Dolly Steamboat are recommended during holiday weekends. Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Canyon Lake is less than an hour from Phoenix and offers a serene and romantic escape from city life.
Patricia's expert tip : For a leisurely cruise of the lake, book a seat on the lake's popular Dolly Steamboat. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is tucked away in the far northwest valley.
The park, which is part of the Maricopa County parks system, is a dream for recreation lovers. The park offers numerous outdoor activities, including boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking and wildlife viewing. There are two group picnic areas that can be reserved for office team building parties, birthday parties and even weddings. The picnic areas have ramadas with lights, cement slabs, large grills, electrical outlets and plenty of parking.
There is also an on-site restaurant, Dillon's Bayou, and a marina offering boat rentals. In the springtime, the park is a great place to view desert wildflowers in bloom.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Relaxing lakeside views, desert coves and boat rentals make Lake Pleasant a good destination for a romantic and rugged desert outing. Patricia's expert tip : A small convenience store is located inside the park for snacks, sunscreen and any last-minute items.
You might want to fast a little bit before heading to this one! Every year around Valentine's Day, downtown Glendale presents one of its most popular annual festivals for lovers - and lovers of chocolates. Some 40 vendors offer their best sweet treats to more than 95, delighted festival-goers.
It's all about chocolate, of course, but to keep everyone happy, organizers arrange additional things, including live music, games and activities for the kids, tours of the Cerreta Candy Company factory, workshops with romance novelists, and a raffle for a pound solid chocolate heart. Bring your chocolate-loving ificant other for a sweet time.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Enjoy hand-crafted chocolate treats with your sweetie at the Glendale Chocolate Affaire, an annual festival filled with sweet treats and romance. Patricia's expert Arizona. : Stop by the Cerreta Candy Factory, which offers tours all weekend, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how the local chocolatiers create its popular candy treats.
The garden is tucked away on 3. The garden features stone footbridges, hand-picked rocks, traditional lanterns, and more than 50 varieties of couples. Many of the flora on display was specially imported from Japan. Visitors can enjoy the serenity of walking alongside flowing streams, a foot waterfall and a Koi pond with more than colorful Koi fish. The garden also regularly hosts traditional tea ceremonies. The garden, which has been open sinceis open from October through May. Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : The Japanese Friendship Garden is a small but beautiful garden landscaped with plants imported from Japan.
Sedona: a dog-friendly romantic getaway
It's the perfect place to explore on a date. Patricia's expert tip : The Japanese Friendship Garden is only open in the winter, spring, and fall. The well-regarded, world-famous Heard Museum is one of the world's leading repositories of Native American art. It also features works by contemporary Southwestern artists, craft demonstrations, amphitheater performances, a cafe, and a gift shop.
Paintings, drawings, and sculpture figure into the collection, along with domestic objects, textiles, pottery, dolls, and jewelry. The museum's revolving calendar of exhibitions offers new insight into Native American tradition, history and cultural trends.
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Anyone with even the slightest interest in Southwestern history and culture should make this a must-see destination when visiting the Valley of the Sun. Along with the original Heard Museum in central Phoenix, the museum also has branches established in other parts of the city, including Heard Museum North in Scottsdale, and Heard Museum West in Surprise.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Experience some of the world's best contemporary Native American art, while enjoying the romantic historic ambiance at the Heard Museum. Patricia's expert tip : Stop by the Heard Museum gift shop for a large collection of authentic, handmade artwork, Navajo rugs, Kachina dolls, jewelry, and home decor made by working Native American artists. Another institution growing by leaps and bounds, this museum's scope is indisputably international with works Arizona. American, Asian, European and Latin American art. The museum also features exhibits on fashion and the Thorne miniature rooms rooms from different historical periods, scaled down to hatbox size.
With more than 18, works of American, Asian, European, Latin American, Western American, modern and contemporary art, expect to spend some time exploring the halls of this vibrant museum. Major exhibitions, film screenings and various cultural events fill the calendar at this popular attraction. Make sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out for unique, art-inspired items. Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : The Phoenix Art Museum is an urban oasis of sophistication, where couples can browse world-class galleries and enjoy a gourmet lunch in the museum cafe.
Patricia's expert tip : The museum offers free admission on the first Friday of every month and every Wednesday from 3 Arizona. to 9 pm with a voluntary donation. One of the most popular hiking trails in the valley is the Echo Canyon couple at Camelback Mountain. Prepare to couple of glimpse at some of the smaller animals of the Sonoran Desert, including cottontail rabbits, snakes, lizards, Harris antelope squirrels as well as a variety of birds. Rattlesnakes are also common on the trail. Native desert flora includes saguaro, barrel, hedgehog, pincushion, jumping cholla, Christmas, staghorn, cholla and prickly pear cacti.
The Echo Canyon trails have restrooms and drinking fountains available as well.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Phoenix's most iconic natural landmark also happens to be one of the city's most romantic sunset viewing spots. Patricia's expert tip : This is a busy hiking spot with very little parking. Carpooling to the area is recommended.
Reclamation of the waters of the Salt River, this manmade lake was officially opened in November of The two-mile long body of water is confined by means of inflatable rubber dams and offers plenty of opportunities for recreation in the Tempe area. Sailing and cruising attract area residents, as do the bike paths and picnic areas in the acre park that surrounds the lake.
Children love the Splash Playground, and there are bike and boat rentals available. Several annual celebrations are held in the park, as well as concerts in the amphitheater. Pedal couple, kayak, and electric boat rentals are available. Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Tempe Beach Park offers bike and pedal boat rentals, perfect for active couples looking for an urban escape.
Patricia's expert tip : The beach park is a popular destination for outdoor concerts and festivals. For easy access to the Arizona. from downtown Phoenix, take the Metro Light Rail. A maze of well-maintained hiking trails crisscrosses one of the largest municipal parks in the world.
For a spectacular view, drive to Dobbins Lookout Point and gaze at the city from feet. The place is magnificent, especially in springtime when the terrain is knee-deep with wildflowers. Free maps are available at the entrance, but no glass containers are permitted on the premises.
If you want to drive to the top, arrive no later than 9 pm. This is one of the largest municipal city parks in the country, so make sure to bring plenty of water, especially if you're planning a visit during the summer months.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because : Drive up to Dobbin's Lookout atop South Mountain Park, where lovers gather at sunset to drink in the sweeping city views. Patricia's expert tip : Horseback riding stables and horse rentals are available near the entrance to the park. Located in Papago Park, this garden features one of the world's largest collections of desert flora. A vast array of colorful wildflowers has been strategically placed to create a spectacular display and delight visitors in the springtime.