Photo courtesy of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce
By Michelle Talsma Everson
While red may be the official color of Valentine’s Day—and romance in general—we see no harm in adding in a little green. Here are some favorite eco-friendly romantic destinations across the state.
Quiessence at The Farm
6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix
A truly garden-to-table experience, Quiessence at The Farm is the perfect spot for a memorable—and flavorful—romantic evening. Chef Dustin Christofolo, head chef of Quiessence and The House at Secret Garden, explains that Quiessence uses only local and organic products to create a menu based on seasonal availability. Because of the seasonal nature of the meals, the menu is ever-changing. Some current favorites include grilled pork chops with seasonal vegetables or roasted cauliflower soup. Want to impress your date? Reserve a seat at the Signature Brick Oven Experience, described as “an exclusive private dinner with our chef team leading you through an eight-course menu customized to please your palate.”
“When you dine with us at our Brick Oven, the Quiessence team will educate you on the dishes available that night; the origin of the ingredients, how it is carefully prepared, and which cocktails or wine to couple with your exceptional meal,” Christofolo says. “Don’t be surprised if your server invites you to pick your own herbs for upcoming dishes in our edible garden out front. This matchless dining ambiance is available to only one reservation each night, with an option of two to six guests.” Quiessence at The Farm is open from 5 p.m.-close, Tuesday through Saturday.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
15000 N. Secret Springs Dr., Marana
If you’re in the mood for more of an overnight or weekend getaway, you can’t go wrong with the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, located northwest of Tucson in Marana. This scenic desert destination features a destination spa, adventure programming, world-class hiking, Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and richly appointed guest accommodations in a striking canyon setting, according to the resort.
So where’s the green besides the cactus? It’s all in how Dove Mountain does its best to promote the appreciation of the area’s desert surroundings.
“The resort offers a variety of desert walks, including daily sunset cocktail hikes as well as guided walks and hikes to see beautiful desert flora and ancient Native American rock art,” confirms resort spokesperson Bonnie Crail.
If you’re looking to relax, you’re coming to the right place.
“The resort is ranked on Travel + Leisure’s top 100 resorts in the world list and offers a spectacular spa which is very popular for romance vacationers and features its own pool with tanning island and couple’s cabana packages including outdoor spa treatments,” Crail adds.
From the natural building materials used during construction to the eco-friendly ingredients used in many of its spa services, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain keeps its natural surroundings in mind in all of its offerings.
When you think of the perfect romantic getaway weekend, Sedona automatically comes to mind. Luckily, the popular northern Arizona destination is home to a variety of eco-conscious resorts and businesses in addition to its scenic natural beauty.
If exploring the great outdoors sounds like the ideal date, Red Rock State Park in Sedona hosts a variety of year-round programs perfect for the eco-tourist, according to visitsedona.com. In addition, Sedona is a popular birding spot and is home to year-round hiking trails on its beautiful red rocks. If you’re looking for a little taste of the Wild West, M Diamond Ranch, 3255 National Forest Rd. 618, Rimrock (sedonahorsebackrides.com) is the place to go.
If relaxation is what you’re looking for, popular resorts and spas like L’Auberge de Sedona, 301 Little Lane, Sedona (lauberge.com) are as romantic and respectful about the natural environment as you could ask for. If you’re into exploring Mother Earth spiritually, Sedona, with its vortexes and spiritual sub-culture, is the place to do that, too!
So, whether you’re looking to dine locally, explore the great outdoors, or relax at an eco-friendly spa, there are plenty of places across the state to enjoy a green Valentine’s Day. After all, you can’t get more romantic than expressing your love for each other and the environment.