Summer Getaways

May is upon us, and here in the desert the temperatures are starting to soar.

We’ve already had multiple days over 100 degrees. I am not looking forward to another long, hot summer in Arizona, but I am afraid it will be here before I know it.

This past weekend, my wife and I had the opportunity to get out of the heat for the weekend and head north about an hour and a half to the mountains and the city of Prescott.

Nestled on the edge of the Prescott National Forest, the small town is a perfect weekend getaway with cooler temperatures and the smell of pine in the air.

In 1864, Prescott became the capital of the Arizona Territory and was known for its nearby mining operations.

I love that the historic courthouse is still located in the town square. It is surrounded by grass and trees and is a beautiful park.

Just west of the park is what is known as Whisky Row. Most of the old saloons have been renovated into shops and restaurants, but a couple of the historic watering holes are still in operation today, complete with swinging doors.

The main reason for our weekend getaway was to listen to a local Phoenix band that was performing in the town square after a big mountain bike race through the town and surrounding mountains. The concert was great and everyone had a good time.

One of the things my wife and I have been talking about doing for a long time, but never have done together yet, is to go camping. On Sunday, we took a drive through the forest and visited a couple of local lakes that would be perfect for camping.

My wife and I also enjoy paddling. We have two kayaks, and both lakes we visited would be ideal for that. The best part is that they are both less than 15 minutes apart.

The first lake we visited was Goldwater Lake, and while it is only a day-use lake, the fishing and kayaking opportunities are great. The lake is located such so that there seems to be a constant light breeze blowing across the water, and the wind rustling through the pine trees is very peaceful. The photo above was taken there.

Lynx Lake--the other lake we visited--is a bit larger and has Forest Service campgrounds associated with it. Lynx Lake is closer to town, only two miles from Costco (in case you happen to forget anything) and seemed to have more visitors during the daytime. It too is nestled among the pine and oak trees and lends itself to being a very peaceful place to picnic or escape for the day.

With temperatures now regularly flirting with the triple digits, I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to a nice weekend getaway in the cool pines later this summer, when the temperatures in Phoenix reach the middle 110s.

Do you have a favorite summer getaway spot? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to leave a comment below, send me a tweet, or even an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great weekend!

Boyd Coleman is a landscape architect in Phoenix, Arizona. He can be reached on twitter at @CDGLA or email: