Maui, called the Valley Isle, may be just a small dot in the vast Pacific Ocean, but it offers myriad experiences. Float weightless through rainbows of tropical fish, stand atop a 10,000-foot volcano and watch the sunrise paint the sky, or wander back in time to the days when whalers and missionaries fought for the soul of Lahaina
Imagine a perfect alpine lake — smooth-as-glass green water, towering snowcapped mountain peaks and a sky that seems always to be sunny — and you're looking at Lake Tahoe, situated where California and Nevada meet. Outdoor lovers flock to this natural paradise, spending their days skiing California's best slopes in winter, and hiking, paddling and camping in Bliss State Park and Lake Tahoe's North Shore wilderness in summer.
Once considered merely a Sunbelt retirement community, the desert oasis of Phoenix is now the fifth largest city in the US, attracting travelers year-round to its golf courses, spas and posh resorts. Families also head to this big sprawling city to visit the Phoenix Zoo or amusement parks Busch Gardens and Six Flags.
There is not a town anywhere in the Southwest, perhaps anywhere in the country, with a more beautiful setting than Sedona. On the outskirts of town, red-rock buttes, eroded canyon walls, and mesas rise into cerulean skies. Off in the distance, the Mogollon Rim looms, its forests of juniper and ponderosa pine dark against the rocks.