West Coast mini-vacation ideas
April 25, 2006 7:16 AM   Subscribe

I have four days (Fri to Mon) in May for a mini-vacation. I'm located in AZ and would like to stay in the western portion of the US, so I don't spend the whole time travelling.

Other than that, I'm open to places to visit. I have lived in CA and WA, so something outside of those states would be better. Budget is moderate and I'll be travelling with my spouse. Any suggestions of cool places to go visit that are not too "touristy" and provide some scenic areas to take photos and relax? Additional preferences are specifically not given because I really am open to anything and don't want to dampen the suggestions. Thanks!
posted by cyniczny to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Oregon Coast, around Tillamook/Rockaway, is really nice - it's beautiful, it's not very crowded, and it's, well, the beach. Fly to Portland, rent a car, drive to the beach - it only takes about 90 mins from PDX. This time of year is really nice out there, too, the sun's coming out and it's not too stormy...
posted by pdb at 7:19 AM on April 25, 2006

Big Bend National Park in Texas.... with Marfa (art by Donald Judd ) and Terlinqua (food and music) relatively nearby. (When I went, I flew into El Paso.)
posted by R. Mutt at 7:41 AM on April 25, 2006

Ever been to Chaco Canyon?
It's gorgeous and horribly isolated, lots of great photography opportunities
posted by Sara Anne at 7:43 AM on April 25, 2006

Santa Fe. It's not horribly touristy at all, particularly if you go hiking. Visit Los Alamos' freaky museums, go to Bandalier, eat well.
posted by Nelson at 8:09 AM on April 25, 2006

I live in Tucson, and anytime I get a few days off, I head to Oak Creek, above Sedona. I don't know how much you've seen of AZ, but most of the state's wonders are very near there; Sedona, Grand Canyon is a couple of hours, many Indian ruins. I know they may be touristy, but not in May.
I car camp and take very nice provisions (no beans and franks...).
If you want to get out of state, any place in the Wasatch Range is gorgeous. Make Park City your hub; it'll be near-empty. I also put in a vote for Santa Fe.
posted by JABof72 at 9:18 AM on April 25, 2006

I second Santa Fe, but I will contradict Nelson somewhat and say it can get pretty touristy at times (my parents have lived there for about 15 years so I've spent a fair amount of time visiting) -- tourism is, after all, one of the main local industries (though according to my parents and other locals, there's actually been a bit of a dropoff in recent years).

Nevertheless, there's a good reason for the tourism -- it's gorgeous. The town itself is filled with great food/historical sites/art galleries/etc., and (as Nelson says) terrific hiking and outdoor activities beyond.
posted by scody at 12:47 PM on April 25, 2006

I know it's obvious, but Vegas? Even if you are lukewarm on the idea the Hoover dam is amazing on its own, almost (but not quite. don't.) worth just going to and turning back.

Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco). You are golden this time of year. Do your homework and get a condo on the beach, there are some OK deals out there.

If you haven't exhausted the fun, there's always Tucson if you live in Phoenix, and Phoenix if you live in Tucson. Or Flag.

There is some neat stuff around Tucson. The ruins of a failed jungle theme park, and biosphere 2 come to mind. The jungle park was discussed on the green at some point. It looks like they are up by camp verde now.

There are dinosaur tracks outside Tuba City. Dunes in Yuma. I second Sedona.

You could just get drunk and go tubing?

I miss the region, enjoy!
posted by oxonium at 12:56 PM on April 25, 2006

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