top of page
WANDERLUST - January 2020 

Take Off in the New Year on a Phoenix Winter Getaway


By Jill Dutton


Escape the wintery weather this January with a getaway to Phoenix.


Day 1

Check-in at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
The fires are lit. The water is flowing. The earth is flowering. The sky is limitless. Where all the elements meet. JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa may be Arizona’s largest resort, but it’s also big on luxury. With 950 guestrooms (including 81 suites), this AAA Four-Diamond award-winning, alluring resort is set on 316 acres in the Sonoran Desert where Phoenix meets Scottsdale and features sweeping views of the McDowell Mountains.


Day 2

Turquoise Blue Sage Body Ritual Spa Treatment    

In this healing ritual that uses the ancient wisdom of the Native American people, the energies of the sacred turquoise gemstones offer a deeply relaxing experience for body and soul. Begin with a mineral-rich Turquoise Sage Desert Salt Body Polish to cleanse and awaken the skin followed by a cocoon wrap with a Turquoise Sage Desert Clay Body Mask enriched with a subtle blend of essential oils and the energy of turquoise. The ritual continues with a balancing and re-hydrating full-body massage using Turquoise Sage Massage Oil. Finally, experience an energy ritual using desert sage to cleanse the aura and turquoise gemstones to strengthen and balance the body and spirit.


Beverages at UnderTow

UnderTow is a unique Tiki adventure! Sip cocktails fit for a captain as you sail the seas aboard a 19th century clipper ship. We offer a one-of-a-kind experience complete with music, scenes and special effects that correlate directly with our annual craft cocktail menu and the story it accompanies.


Dinner at Beckett’s Table

Chef Justin Beckett invites you to gather around his kitchen to indulge in a hearty assortment of seasonal, American dishes. The neighborhood restaurant is a regional respite for comfort cuisine.


 Day 3


Hike Gateway Loop at McDowell Sonoran Conservancy    

A 4.5 mile loop that wanders up to a low saddle before winding back to the Gateway Trailhead. The length and grade changes make this a moderately difficult hike, but one worth trying. Make your way at an enjoyable pace while enjoying the wildflowers and wildlife.


Lunch at The Churchill    
The Churchill is home to 10 small local businesses, mixing established operators with start-up entrepreneurs. All of the businesses residing in The Churchill focus their efforts on collaboration over competition, finding ways to benefit each other. At the heart of The Churchill is a 9,000 square foot courtyard intended for dining, drinking, socializing and learning. 


Check-in at Hermosa Inn 
Hand built by legendary cowboy artist Lon Megargee as his home and studio, The Hermosa Inn and its acclaimed on-site restaurant Lon’s at The Hermosa have been restored with careful attention to modern day comforts while preserving original charm and authentic touches. Since the 1930’s, The Hermosa Inn has been a recognized destination in the desert Southwest offering luxury lodging accommodations and fine dining. 


Dinner at LON’s in Hermosa Inn    

There’s a reason why LON’s at The Hermosa Inn is rated as one of Paradise Valley’s top restaurants. We seek out the region’s freshest ingredients and prepare them with age-old cooking traditions — roasting, smoking, wood-grilled—combined with cutting-edge trends. The result? Globally inspired Arizona cuisine, with our popular Himalayan Salt Seared Ahi Tuna, served with cilantro, pickled onion, and ceviche sauce, as a prime example.


Day 4


Gila River Rock Massages spa treatment at Aji Spa    

For centuries the Pima and Maricopa people have used hot rocks to alleviate pain and soothe the soul. Warm stones are applied to your body and used to massage your muscles. The experience will leave you in a state of intense calm and tranquility while clearing toxins and restoring the body to a natural state of balance.


Hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expeditions

Breathtaking. Magical. Awe-inspiring. These are just a few words that have been used to describe Hot Air Expeditions’ ballooning experiences. During the journey, you will enjoy floating at different elevations, from up to 5,000 feet in the air for a gorgeous overview of the Sonoran Desert, to within feet of the desert floor, to catch a glimpse of local wildlife, plant life and landmarks. 


Dinner at The Gladly    

Named one of Phoenix’s best new restaurants, The Gladly is the follow up concept by the owners of critically acclaimed Citizen Public House. The stylish bar boasts a world-class craft beverage program and over 200 whiskies to go along with Chef Bernie Kantak’s well-traveled comfort food. 


Day 5


Experience the Desert Botanical Garden    

The Desert Botanical Garden offers the world’s finest collection of arid plants from deserts of the world in a unique outdoor setting. The Garden has more than 50,000 desert plants on display throughout five thematic trails that illustrate topics such as conservation, desert living, plants and people of the Sonoran Desert, and desert wildflowers.


Brunch at Gertrude’s

Gertrude’s is Desert Botanical Garden’s relaxed bar/restaurant that serves sustainable, refined American meals. 

Evolving Magazine

Kansas City

Click to Read the Current Issue!




Jill Dutton is publisher of Evolving Magazine. Five years ago she began traveling North America by train (and plane) writing about local foods, wellness activities, and train travel. Follow her travels at



  • Wix Facebook page
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Wix Twitter page
  • Wix Facebook page
  • Wix Twitter page
bottom of page