From the desert to the mountains to the Gulf waters, this region offers something for everyone.
Glenwood Springs, Colo.
When the snow melts, fun in the sun heats up at many Southwest ski resorts. Glenwood Springs, a historic hot springs resort in the Rockies between Aspen and Vail, is one of the more unusual and wallet-friendly. Bathe away aches in what’s billed as the world’s largest hot springs pool at Glenwood Hot Springs Resort (marking its 125th anniversary this year) or in one of the many springs around town. Go caving, fly-fish for trout in an ice-cold stream, enjoy massages and other spa treatments, and hike to crystal-clear Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon. You can stay at the resort, chain hotels or cozier places like the Best Kept Secret B&B. Note that an especially tasty time to visit is during the 120-year-old Strawberry Days Festival, the third weekend in June.
Grand Canyon Railway, Arizona
Avoid traffic tie-ups and sold-out lodgings by arriving at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim by train. Restored vintage cars leave in the morning from Williams, Ariz., about 30 miles west of Flagstaff, and return in the late afternoon. The trip takes two hours and 15 minutes each way. Onboard, photograph prairie and ponderosa pine, and expect the unexpected from performers in Wild West gear. Stay overnight in Williams at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, or leave your car there if you’ve scored a canyon booking. The train is suited for those with disabilities, offering power lifts at depots and ADA-compliant lavatories. Adults-only cars can be booked. If you have more time in Williams, explore a stretch of iconic Route 66 or drive through the Bearizona Wildlife Park.