A DINK vacation requires careful planning. We like adventure and romance. We crave culture and history. We want sweeping landscapes and modern amenities. For a summer vacation brimming with possibility, discerning DINKs should fill their tanks and head to the American Southwest.
In the land of tumbleweeds and sun-bleached deserts, you and your road trip sidekick can explore four key locales along a classic drive from New Mexico into Arizona.
Balloon over the Canyons Outside of Taos
While New Mexico once was a safe haven for pistol shooting outlaws like Billy the Kid, 200 years later pockets of painters and musicians have created an artistic retreat in the small town of Taos. Murals dot the streets and local markets boast the best local creations. Cafés and chic boutiques round out an environment practically hand tailored for romantic strolls with your best friend and soul mate. In the afternoon's heat, scuttle over to the Eske Brew Pub where a leafy canopy provides cool shade as you compare tasting notes over the amber ale and lager. For the ultimate romantic moment, reserve a hot air balloon ride over the surrounding landscapes including canyons and dry river beds. As the sun sets over the arid New Mexico frontier, nestle close to your SO and remind each other that this is only the beginning of your road trip.
4WD Between Red Mesas of Monument Valley
Following the compass westward, history and Hollywood buffs will fall in love with Monument valley. Preserved and protected by the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley is a land dotted with red rock mesas and ancient petroglyphs. Off-roading duos can brave the self-guided circuit in the park. Here, roads loop down into the basin of natural monoliths used several times over by film crews and John Wayne. For a special tour deep into the valley, hire a Navajo guide to take you into restricted areas containing rock formations like the Sleeping Dragon, the Ear of the World, and the Big Hogan. While many love the lore left behind by old west movie stars, head banging DINKs will want to strike a pose next to El Capitan where Metallica filmed the music video, I Disappear.
Break for Modern Art in Phoenix
After a few days in small towns and dusty deserts, you and your co-pilot can pullover in Phoenix. A metropolis surrounded by desert beauty, this city offers nightlife for carousing couples alongside botanical gardens and hiking trails up Camelback Mountain for daytime sojourns. One great treasure of the city, the Phoenix Art Museum showcases fantastic collections of local and international contemporary artists in digestible doses. Movement, symmetry and emotive effect are highlighted throughout the galleries, utilizing dozens of different media from simple metal sculptures to time-lapse photography in 3D. Visit during the week to take advantage of fewer visitors and ample volunteers who personally highlight and explain select superstars of the collection.
Mosey Through the OK Corale in Tombstone
Wether you prefer Kurt Russell’s over Kevin Costner's rendition of Wyatt Earp, the small town of Tombstone will have you swaggering down to the OK Corral with the best of them. DINKs can parcel out the parts for Doc Holliday and Josephine Earp before visiting Boot Hill Cemetery, Birdcage Theater, and even a silver mine. When shoot-outs and stagecoach runaways got you parched, accompany your own shotgun rider to Big Nose Kate’s Saloon. Located in the building of the Grand Hotel, the saloon was once run by Doc Holliday’s girlfriend Kate. Now its kitchen features a hearty menu of burgers and BBQ to pair with old west libation in a locale which once hosted the Clantons and McLaurys. With live music offered weekly, road tripping DINKs can toe-tap to fiddle and fife past sunset.
Amongst Old West attitude and rolling natural beauty, roadtripping couples can sample the best of the historical and modern Southwest United States. In the small towns and big cities along this route, DINKs can fill their summer vacation with lavender sunsets, craft-brewed beer, and heart pounding rides through the desert.
What excites you in the journey to the Southwest?
Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms and Conditions. © 2011 Ago LLC. All rights reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Ago LLC.