Arizona, California and Florida from US$129 a night
A spring break in the warmer parts of the US doesn’t have to be predictable or expensive — the current exchange rate notwithstanding. Here are three spots that break the conventional mold.
Sedona is fun at any time of year, but it’s at its peak in spring. Warm days, cool nights, dry mountain air, some of the best day hikes on the planet and all those inspiring red-rock cliffs, buttes and mesas, it’s no wonder many feel closer to heaven here. The best views are to be had from the Sky Ranch Lodge on Airport Mesa right in the centre of all the beauty. Perhaps even more remarkable, one of the better places to eat, much favoured by locals, is at your doorstep. Mesa Grill’s American menu features tasty treats for breakfast, lunch or dinner; make sure you dine at least once during sunset — spectacular! All the pleasures of the town are just down the hill, from the funky new age shops to pink jeep tours into them thar hills. From US$129. tel: (888) 708-6400; skyranchlodge.com.
California as it used to be is waiting for you. The village of Ojai sits in a deep valley about 100 kilometres northeast of LA just in from the coast. The 1937 film Lost Horizon, the story of Shangri-La, was shot here and it has the feel of somewhere you might like to live. Hike in the hills, drive the narrow roads through miles of citrus groves, dine on farm-fresh produce. Tension drops away naturally in this community long the home to many spiritual groups including the Krishnamurti Centre. Celebrities favour the valley for a serene place for second homes. Make your home at the Capri Hotel, a 1960s hotel that’s been reborn as a hip new place to stay. Ask for a room with a private patio. They open onto a lush garden where date palms shelter a pool and Jacuzzi. Dogs welcome. Book early for weekends. From US$149. tel: (877) 589-5860; hotelojai.com.
Sarasota is a wonderful place to be in spring. Soft, mild sea air, flowers everywhere, a good public library, museums, concerts and plays galore, good coffee shops, loads of restaurants, interesting stores, and the beach a short drive away. Stay downtown in one of nine studios at the renovated and stylish Hotel Ranola where you can spend a happy weekend or a week soaking up some of the best culture in the state. Enjoy a sitting room and fully equipped kitchen, which includes a Keurig coffeemaker. Take a drink up to the rooftop deck one evening. From US$179 for a queen room. Adults only; no pets. tel: (941) 951-0111; hotelranola.com
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