Jul 16, 2012, 6 a.m.
Duquesne House was constructed on Patagonia’s original main street in 1898. It’s an intimate setting with three suites (and one guest room), each with their own entrance, sitting room and access to the back patio and hummingbird gardens. Peace and harmony are easy to come by at Duquesne House, but there is plenty of small-town revelry to enjoy on the weekends in Patagonia.
Forget about “Standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona,” or at least don’t spend too much time there. The true attraction in this historic town, about an hour east of Flagstaff, is the last of the great railway hotels — La Posada — a stunning tribute to the nation’s, and Arizona’s, railway history. It sits like an architectural touchstone in the high, windblown landscape of northern Arizona.
Built in 1929 and designed by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter (of Grand Canyon’s Phantom Ranch fame), Colter also pioneered the designs down to the minute details: china, furniture and landscape. Her architectural vision for the property was to mimic the spaciousness and grandiosity of a wealthy landowner’s hacienda.
Join the likes of Jane Russell, Albert Einstein, Clark Gable and Shirley Temple, perusing the open porticos, wide wood vigas, hammered tin, expansive lounging areas, writing tables and comfy nooks for relaxing with a good book. La Posada is also home to an impressive and eclectic art collection.
Tucson isn’t just for Wildcats — it’s a quick getaway for Phoenicians who can appreciate a town that’s cooler by day and downright enjoyable on summer nights — especially by the pool. While trendy boutique hotels have been springing up in American cities and suburbs the past 15 years, Arizona Inn, since 1930, remains the granddame of comely, elegant and classic examples of the state’s finest lodging.
Since its inception, the Arizona Inn has been owned and operated by the founder, Isabella Greenway, or her descendants. Guest rooms are woven throughout the property’s 14 acres amongst gardens, gazebos and flowered paths. The pool is the sort rarely found anymore — peaceful. No splash pads, no drop slides, no lazy rivers, no inner tubes; just chaise lounges, umbrellas and someone to bring a cocktail.
The dining room is stately, a model for Western style. But if you are tempted to venture away from the property for dinner or entertainment, The Old Pueblo puts history, culture and great Mexican food at your fingertips.
More than 125 years ago, botanist Sarah Lemmon trekked the Santa Catalina mountain range by mule and foot, with the help of Native American guides. The mountain bearing her name is some 30 miles from Tucson and 30 degrees cooler, studded with statuesque Aspen and giant Ponderosa Pines. At 8,500 feet in the Santa Catalina mountain range, outdoors is where it’s at — a haven for spotting wildlife, with fur or feathers. Bears, bobcats, mountain lions and deer call Mount Lemmon home, and so do more than 200 species of birds. Feathered finds include golden eagles, olive and hermit warblers and the gregarious pygmy nuthatch. Tent camping sites are plentiful, and cabins are available. In winter, providing there’s ample snow, Mount Lemmon hosts skiers, and in summertime, the ski lift will take visitors on a half-hour climb to the 9,100-foot summit.