Honeymoon Guide: Arizona
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Lavish resorts in the Valley of the Sun and the Santa Catalina foothills.
- Physical and spiritual highs: awe-inspiring scenery of the Sonoran Desert; deluxe pampering at state-of-the-art spas; spiritual rejuvenation at New Age resorts.
- Sports galore: world-class golfing, plus tennis, mountain biking and horseback riding.
- The thriving culinary scene in the Phoenix-Scottsdale area, where award-winning chefs put a Southwestern spin on French, Asian and other cuisines.
- Sightseeing on land at architectural gems like Taliesin West and in the air on balloon rides.
- Too-fabulous wedding venues where you can say "I do" with a scenic mountain view.
- Incredible shopping at Scottsdale's upscale malls.
WHEN TO GO
March, April, September and October are the best months to come. From June through August it's unbearably hot, though rates do drop. Winter in the mountains means snow—lots of it.
WHAT TO PACK
Don’t waste time with the heavy packing. In Phoenix, it’s practically always sunny and warm, perfect for capris and skirts, tank tops and halters. Depending on where you head at night, you may want to dress up. Pack nice clothes for a night out in Scottsdale—dresses for her, slacks and tie for him—and tennis shoes and jeans for hiking. Don’t forget the swimsuit and sunscreen.
WHAT TO BUY
What’s a trip to Arizona without buying your own leather cowboy hat? Just had to have it, didn’t you? Or that baby cactus for your best friend. Forget the junk. If you’re looking for something more practical, Pendleton Indian wool blankets, silver jewelry, concha belts, gemstones, minerals and Frank Lloyd Wright–designed lamps are good buys. When you see them back home, they’ll remind you of your trip to Arizona—and your good taste and sense of practicality.
If we don’t fill your head with enough vacation ideas, log on to this super-handy Web site for more tips on what to do and where to stay. The special-events listings include some sensational festivals. For those looking to take a day trip south of the border, the site includes a "What to Know" section about traveling to Mexico.
There is no waiting period for a marriage license in Arizona, and you don’t have to establish residency; a license costs about $50—in cash or a money order. You’ll also need picture identification such as a driver's license. For those previously married, a copy of your divorce decree is not required. Some counties in Arizona have additional requirements. Once you’ve lined up a wedding site, check to see if there’s any other paperwork you need to provide.