Best Summer Staycaion EVER Contest Submissions

David Cohn of Tucson, AZ

David Cohn of Tucson, AZMy ideal staycation would be to turn off all electronic communication devices (phones, computers, etc) and simply enjoy the sunshine, read books of interest, go to a local pool, train with my kettlebells, and visit with my friends for about a week. Lots of walks, swims, and quiet time.

Sounds too good to be a possible reality!




Layla Gigax of Prescott, AZ

A Holistay in Prescott Arizona, with some adventuring around Yavapai County!

Four Days, Three Nights (Friday-Monday)

First Day, Friday: Arrive in our beautiful High Desert Community in the afternoon, park your Prius on Cortez & Willis downtown and enjoy a European style, Local & Organic meal & brew at Raven Cafe.  Start your holiday right with this great Cafe that supports the Local Music & Art Scene of Prescott Arizona! After your amazing Rooftop Meal & Beverage, head to your camping spot west of town, in the amazing Prescott National Forest.  Amazing spots available with fee or reservation as you head west on Gurley Street, which turns into Thumb Butte Road. Notice the Butte welcoming you as a beacon of westerly direction! (Don’t forget to bring your mountain bikes–amazing trails surround you to ride & hike on your trip in our amazing community!)  Set up camp & enjoy the first night among the pines!

Second Day, Saturday:  Enjoy an early rise with the birds & the sun as you wake in your perfectly picked campsite.  Brew your coffee, hike a quick trail, and head into town to Yavapai College where every Saturday from 7.30a to 12p our Local Farmer’s Market sets up shop in the Parking Lot (Sheldon & Gurley Street)  Amazing vendors & farms offering the BEST of local vegetables, plants, fruits, cage-free eggs, meats that are local, well-fed, and ORGANIC!  Stop by Whipstone Farm and say ‘hi!’ to Shanti & Cory! Enjoy the camaraderie of our community as you browse the excellent selections!  Pick wisely for yummy, nutritious & local flavor to enjoy during your Staycation!  After the farmer’s market, head downtown to our great Prescott Coffee Roasters local Coffee House (Gurley Street & McCormick–open 6a – 2p.)  This is the BEST of Locally roasted, Fair Trade & Organic coffee.  Say ‘hi!’ to Rich, the Roast-Master and enjoy a cup of ‘Rich’ and delicious Bali for me!  It’s the best!!  Take your coffee with you as you stroll along our gorgeous and amazing Downtown Courthouse Square.  (Gurley & Montezuma!)  There is usually a ‘Fair on the Square’ each weekend–with art vendors, music, kettle corn, activities like our annual Tsunami on the Square & the Bluegrass Festival adorning our Square each summer.  The trees are greener, the people friendlier and I promise, the sky is a little bluer in this amazing town.  Head back to your amazing campsite Saturday afternoon, put on the fire and grill up some of your great finds at the Farmer’s Market for a sweet campsite dinner.  Maybe the weather will cooperate and you’ll be greeted with an afternoon thunder storm, OOOH! the smell of our fine pines ripe with rain!  Enjoy a quiet night at your campsite and rise with the Sun–

Third Day, Sunday: The sun has risen this fine Sunday morning, the birds chirping, the pines greeting you with their sweet vanilla-sap smell. Good Morning on your Holistay!  Brew up some of your ground Bali beans from Prescott Coffee Roasters, enjoy some campfire coffee, with your breakfast and enjoy a hike or bike around the trails of your site.  Close up camp and head Downtown to enjoy what the Square has to offer.  Enjoy a yummy lunch at Bill’s Pizza (Cortez & Gurley Street)  Best Pizza in town!  And head east out of town on Highway 89 where you get to meander up the windy & scenic view of Mingus Mountain.  Head through Jerome, making sure to stop at the lookout and enjoy the vast and amazing  views of Yavapai County.  Take a stroll in Jerome, stop in at Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards to enjoy the sampling of the fabulous grapes grown in our high desert ecosystem!  Head to Sedona and check-in at the Baby Quail Inn (50 Willow Way) for a much-needed soak in the outdoor hottub and a vast enjoyment of the Sedona energy and Red Rocks.  Enjoy a dinner at Chocolatine (amazing local honey sweetens their desserts with a focus on local, organic vegetarian, vegan & raw cuisine!) A lovely night in Sedona will sweeten  your weekend getaway in Yavapai County.

Fourth Day, Monday: Wake refreshed and ready for the start of a great week.  Stroll through one of the great hikes Sedona has to offer, and head home–perhaps a longer drive through Jerome again to stop one last time at My Vintage Vixen to pick up that amazing skirt or to have a burger at the Haunted Hamburger?? Whatever your choice, relish in  your long Staycation Weekend in the Pleasures that are Yavapai County!!


Ann Pardo of Tucson, AZ

My best staycation would be to take myself out to tea every afternoon at a different tea house – traditional Chinese, high tea, iced tea, tea with a friend. tea in one of Tucson’s public gardens.  I would get up every morning have tea and do some gentle gardening,spend some tea crocheting and reading gardening books and then go to tea…..


Crissy Durst of Cranberry Township, PA

I think a good staycation idea would be to set up a campsite in the backyard, complete with tents, sleeping bags and a fire pit. The comforts of home would still be close by but the bonding of camping would still happen. Kids love smores and ghost stories. There could be crafts and scavenger hunts.


Tina Groves of Charlotte, NC

We have two boys ages 7 and 3. This summer are going to go boating/camping at a local campground (within 5 miles of our home) They even have a cabin we can rent or tents that are already pitched. The boys really enjoy being out on the water and just adore camping/fishing/hiking/cooking out, etc. We also have two dogs and because we are so close to home we usually bring them for the days and then take them home at night. It is sooo much fun!!


Dominick San Angelo of Tucson, AZ

Staying at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch. Evening horseback riding through the Saguaro National Park and a steak fry for dinner. Then the next morning; fishing at their lake and a late morning swim. This would be a wonderful long weekend. Another; a stay at the La Paloma Resort; swimming and sliding in the huge pool and having poolside lunch. A round of golf; then a massage at their salon.


Amie Irwin of Tucson, AZ

Amie Irwin and family

My husband and I would take a staycation anywhere right now! He just got back from 9 months of Air Force training which made me a single mom for 9 months! In town I would suggest La Paloma because we love the pool and slide! Or Starr Pass because we have never been and I’m sure we would love the lazy river there and relaxing by the fire pits. Out of Tucson I would go back to Sedona in a heart beat! Hiking, horseback riding, wine tasting, picnic by the creek, shopping and just relaxing watching a wonderful sunset! My third suggestion would be Bisbee. There is something about this little town that is so much fun and unexpected. Wow I guess I have a long wish list! Anywhere would be great!!!


Autumn Jones of Tucson, AZ

Anything where I can be somewhat relaxed and pampered!!


Susan Carr of Baden, PA

Here in the Pittsburgh area, having a relaxing and “green” staycation is almost a no-brainer. We’re right at the head of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 135-mile-long biking trail that leads from Pittsburgh along the western edge of the Laurel Highlands and down to Cumberland, MD. The trail leads through serene woodlands, picturesque towns, and parts of the city, so there’s something for everyone. It even leads riders through Ohiopyle State Park, which offers a myriad of options in the form of camping, hiking, and watersports of all kinds on the Youghiogheny River. At many points along the Passage, riders can break for the evening at a bed-and-breakfast, extending a simple afternoon trail ride into a multi-day exploration of our lovely state. My husband and I have done weekend trail-trips, and plan to do a week-long trip, biking ourselves the entire length of the trail with only our backpacks as baggage and our legs propelling us forward. It’s a great way to get back to nature, see something new, and yet never travel far from home (or use much gas at all!)


Tiffany Kocan of Canonsburg, PA

Tiffany Kocan and familyWe live right outside of Pittsburgh and are going to spend days at local attractions such as taking a ride on the Gateway Clipper Fleet, splashing in the Water Steps next to PNC Park, visiting the animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium, venturing to the Blue Slide Park at Frick Park, riding the rollercoasters at Kennywood, visiting Mr. Rogers Neighborhood at Idlewild, checking on the Laurel Caverns, picnicking at Point State Park, smelling the flowers at Phipps Conservatory, pretending we’re at the beach by eating at Joe’s Crabshack at Station Square and topping it off with an incline ride up to Mt. Washington. We decided to stay home this year. We’re taking some day trips but want to economize this summer and enjoy the local fare.


Vanessa Richter of Tucson, AZ

Vaness Richter and family

Stay home, with the house outfitted like a resort condo. Plan the week like tourists, focusing on visiting attractions we’ve never been to and taking advantage of our at home pool and yard. The “resort” feel includes previously prepped snacks and meals, a once or twice a week cleaning service, no laundry allowed.





Danielle Donohue of Concord, CA

Marine World for the day


Bonnie Lewis of Tucson, AZ

To kick the summer off, I gave it all up¬¬¬¬¸ for real. I sold most my worldly possessions, donated a ton of things to charity, friends, and family, and stored but a small 5X5 amount of boxes of necessary records and portfolio items, and embarked on a new lifestyle—professional house sitting. My first major assignment is in a straw bale home In BFE (Beautiful Far East) Tucson. This home is the antithesis to all that robs the environment. The owners are to be rewarded on their respect to all aspects of the environment.
Although the temps have finally reached the 100s, the floors within this home are so cool I must wear flip flops rather than go barefoot across the natural concrete floors. I have yet to resort to an alternative energy source other than to leave the inner doors/windows open at night to maintain the cooler inner temperature.

All water sources (showers, laundry, dishes, etc) are grey water sources. I carry out my garbage (less than 1 bag per and 2 bags of recycling). I watch several species of birds climb the mesquites to reach the feeding perch each day (cardinals, doves, quails) The natural desert landscape here is not forced, it’s truly natural and maintained by the greywater. There’s a cistern on premise for water; as is the nature of straw bale structures, the lighting is naturally sourced as is the heat/coolness.

I have totally devoided myself of clutter, amenities, and stuff. Amazingly, I don’t miss my ‘stuff.’ I tend to recycle the clothes in a naturally useful way. Laundry can be done on property, but I’m typically doing a few things in town at my backup ‘home’ about once a week.

I’m doing most of my cooking on an outdoor gas fed grill. I shop mostly at farmers markets. I plan my trips to town (twice per week).
Do I miss my “things” or my “stuff”—not so far.  No, but  I often think, why did I put this or that in storage, as I realize I’ll never need it again; why did I think I needed ‘all that’ to make my life full?  For the record, I’m preparing for another purging, since I find myself with a lot of ‘stuff’ still in my bags that I really don’t need. This has been an enlightening experience!

Perhaps, it’s easier for me to make such a transition, since most of my family is 2000 miles away (they received one box of memorabilia that I forgot to warn them about) and I work remotely/telecommuting for the most part. But the biggest load I still carry is my work records. If only I could make that easier¬¬â€”and that’s my newest goal.


Diana Helstrom of Tucson, AZ

Diana HelstromA staycation for me means taking a week off of work and staying home! Ahhhhh…Sleeping in is “Green”, right? There truly are so many things I can change to make a real difference in our lives. The first  change is swapping out ALL lightbulbs in the house with the energy efficient bulbs.  A friend of mine did this and said it really did make a noticable difference in her monthly bill…I’m in!  Another commitment is to eliminate plastic bags from multiplying under my kitchen sink.  I already have plenty of my own carrying totes that will now be kept in the car for grocery shopping and any other purchases along the way.  I’ve always wanted to cultivate my own herbs.  A window garden of herbs will be a pretty and aromatic way to save money on the grocery bills and will double as delicious gifts for friends during the BBQ season. It’s also about time I learn to test and treat my own pool!  This alone will save me $100 per can’t be rocket science, can it??  Now for the big project:  going through our home and gathering all of the “stuff” (clothing, household goods, furniture, etc.) that we TRULY do not use, have out-grown, don’t like, don’t need.  All of these items will be donated to our local Goodwill.  It will be so refreshing not having crammed closets, over-stuffed drawers and crowded rooms! I will also be able to reclaim another parking spot in the garage 🙂  By donating our useable items, not only are we helping our community, we get a tax write-off..another savings!  We already participate in our waste recycling program, but my daughter had a super idea that expands on this.  During our walks, we will be picking up any litter and adding it out our recycle or trash pick-up.  That doesn’t save us, but sure makes our neighborhood look better and we get the exercise in the process. My daughter and I will spend the entire staycation together not only revamping the house but doing some fun stuff, too..minature golf, bowling, a movie night out, BBQ/sleep-over with her friends.  While my staycation doesn’t take us too far outside the front door we will save money, clean out the house, make our neighborhood cleaner and benefit others in the process…and undoubtedly have a few laughs along the way.   Maybe I’ll need two weeks off!


Marilyn Day of Tucson, AZ

Staycation all the time!  I just found Planet Beach on Oracle near the mall.  Get several 20 min treatments.   Yesterday, I did 2 massages and one sauna.    Tomorrow I plan a sauna and a facial.  This is a MINI stay at home vacation that anyone can afford and LOVE.


Rosemary Cary of Grand Haven, MI

Rosemary Cary

I have a little place in a small resort community on Glen Lake in northern Michigan, in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore just 3 hours from my home. No need to go any further. Paradise is at my finger tips with an endless variety of outdoor activities and minimal driving just outside my door. My typical staycation day looks like this:

Morning: Open the blinds to the beautiful lake. Relax to music from Interlochen Public Radio over coffee and breakfast. Watch the community come alive.

Late morning: Bike around the lake with a neighbor and maybe stop in the small town of Glen Arbor for a few grocery items.

Early afternoon: Head down to the dock to hang with my gal pals, the “dock divas”, taking frequent dips in the lake to stay cool and mixing up my exercise routine with some water walking.

Late afternoon: Sit with newspaper, good book, or Sudoku and relax until dinner.

Evening: Gather with friends for a potluck or go out to dinner for the fresh catch of the day.

Late Evening: Head to Empire for a walk on the beach and stunning sunset over Lake Michigan. Glass of wine a likely possibility.

There are many local attractions to fill in the gaps including farmers markets, art classes in an historical barn, yoga on the beach, outdoor music concert series, U-pick berries as they come into season, art fairs, day trips to north and south Manitou Islands, and miles upon miles of beautiful hiking trails with breath taking views. My community offers canoes, kayaks, and a pontoon boat to its’ residents for nominal rental fees, and there is always a board game, cards, or dominoes at a neighbor’s after sunset. Truly a staycation made in heaven!


Jeanne Louderbough of Tucson, AZ

My dream staycation is an eco-friendly in-home spa.  Turn your home into a world-class spa where you can relax and rejuvenate.  Why spends hundreds of dollars to travel to a spa when you have all the ingredients right at home for a weekend of pampering?

Make an exfoliating mask by mixing papaya, yogurt and honey in the food processor.  Massage into wet face and set for ten minutes.  Rinse with cool water and follow with a soothing moisturizer.

Make your own moisturizing lip balm by blending melted bee’s wax pellets with almond oil and shea butter.  Scent with your favorite essential oil and enjoy soft kissable lips!

For silky smooth skin, combine Epsom salts or organic cane sugar with coconut oil and essential oils to make a divine exfoliating body scrub.

Best of all, you can store your home-made spa items in glass jars and eliminate the need to buy plastic containers from the store.

Take your home-spa to the green-maximum with this delicious and detoxifying green smoothie:

1 1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup chopped green kale
1 tbs flax seeds
1 cup blueberries
1 tbs honey

Blend well and enjoy!

The best part about a spa staycation is that you can invite your friends and loved ones for some relaxation and much-needed pampering!


Christina Negrete of Tucson, AZ

Christina Negrete

I love to stay at one of our local resorts for the 4th of July! We don’t use gas or jet fuel to get very far and yet the kids (and parents) get to cool off in the pools. We live in Tucson Arizona and it takes some time to get to the Ocean which is not very green. In addition, we watch a community/resort fireworks show which doesn’t require any driving. We also eat from one resorts own garden- we have toured it and it is amazing. We of course reuse our towels -everything dries here in a nanosecond! We never leave the resort and reuse or own water bottles to not waste any of those silly priced resort bottles. This summer we can’t really afford to do it but maybe with the help of Mrs. Green! The picture of us is 2 years ago at the resort’s garden 🙂


Carrie Williams of Marana, AZ

Carrie Williams and FamilyI would love to go on a Staycation over July 4th at El Conquistador, or Starr Pass. Since having our second child in February funds have gotten tighter in our house, and staycation is me staying home with the two little ones and my husband working. It would be nice to get out for a night.




Emma Holland of Tucson, AZ

Booking a room and a local hotel/resort and taking the kids for the weekend. Love the evening swimming with a movie by the pool!