There are a number of peaceful places in the Valley where you can connect with nature and soothe your soul. Spent 10 minutes or the day.
Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
Amidst the hubbub that seems nearly constant in Old Town Scottsdale lies an area that is perfect for a brief respite. Host to a number of festivals and
events, including the ever-popular Scottsdale Culinary Festival in the spring, the mall is a large green space tucked away just steps from the busy downtown retail shops and galleries.
The iconic “LOVE” statue marks the location well, and is the perfect place for a cuddle with someone special. Fountains and flower beds set the tone, and there are plenty of both sunny and shady areas to lay out a blanket and enjoy a picnic. And if you need something to eat at your picnic, a number of eateries are located on the mall. Or, simply take a break here to catch your breath before doing more area sightseeing and shopping. 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Scottsdale
Hole in the Rock
Located in Papago Park and accessible from the same parking lot as the Phoenix Zoo, Hole in the Rock is a popular escape for locals and tourists alike. Technically composed of more than one hole, the geologic formation is thought to have been created by erosion over millions of years. There is evidence that the Hohokam tracked the seasons with the sun shining through the holes.
Easily accessible via a smooth path along the backside of the formation, Hole in the Rock makes for a nice spot to relax and reconnect with the natural serenity that defines Arizona. Plan a picnic to enjoy within the park, and wear comfortable shoes to walk the picturesque surroundings. 625 N Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix
Tempe Beach Park
It may seem odd to have a beach in the middle of the desert, but that’s how Tempe has marketed this 25-acre chunk of land. Tempe Town Lake is the backdrop for more than five miles of walking and biking trails, play areas and picnic spots, as well as a splash pad. The area is also host to a number of activities each year, including concerts, festivals, and a large Fourth of July fireworks display. For those wanting to get closer to the water, there are kayak, stand-up paddleboard and boat rentals available.
Given its proximity to Arizona State University’s main campus, the park is a popular destination for college students. You might see them playing Frisbee, chatting with friends, taking a jog, or scooting through on skateboards. Grab a bite or cup of coffee at one of the restaurants on Mill Avenue and enjoy a quiet break along the shore. Mill Ave and Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe