Almost half of all Major League Baseball teams attend spring training camps in nearby Arizona, and this is a great time to check out the “talent of tomorrow” and grab pictures and autographs from today's stars. Some of the teams you can catch squaring off in the Phoenix area include the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics. Spring training wraps up at the end of March; find team schedules at www.mlb.com
STAY HEALTHY UP NORTH…
For an active break try leaving your worries at the border and crossing into Victoria, British Columbia. It’s the cycling capital of Canada and also the most walkable city in the country.
You might even run into some of Canada’s Olympic hopefuls here as you skate from downtown Victoria to the beach, where you can do a little kite surfing. Take your kayak out into Victoria’s Inner Harbor, and paddle away!
The province of British Columbia is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year so there are endless special events in store. www.tourismvictoria.com
…OR PARTY DOWN SOUTH
Did somebody say tequila? The broad, white sand beaches of Mazatlan have made this city on Mexico’s West Coast a long-time favorite place to pick up sand dollars and work on your tan. Countless beachside taverns keep the tequila and ice-cold cerveza flowing, and just as many eateries dish out traditional Mexican meals prepared with fresh, locally caught seafood.
A wide variety of guided tours are available: explore the bustling city, tour a tequila distillery or venture out into the jungle where you just might see a jaguar. If it’s a different kind of wildlife you’re looking for, rest assured that Mazatlan’s nightclubs are packed all night long. www.mazatlan.com.mx
DRIVE TO THE DESERT
Only hours away, Palm Springs offers more activities than you’ll be able to fit in a weekend – or even a week. Coachella Valley Preserve has springs, dunes, mesas, hiking and riding trails; there’s horseback riding, rock climbing, the Aerial Tramway and the Big Morongo Wildlife Preserve.
You might even adventure on an architectural tour of the city, as Palm Springs was named one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2006. For dinner drop by Wang’s in the Desert (424 S. Indian Canyon Drive) for some lively, fun atmosphere and yummy Chinese food.
Then rest your head at the Horizon Hotel (1050 E. Palm Canyon Drive), where you can relax by the pool and then rinse off in your room’s outdoor shower, just like Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable once did. www.palm-springs.org, (800) 377-7855, www.thehorizonhotel.com.
FOR LADIES ONLY
Here’s a chance for the girls to relax without the guys by booking a “Girl’s Green Getaway Weekend” at Santa Fe’s premiere eco-destination, the Sunrise Springs Resort Spa. All of the wellness products used at Sunrise Springs are organic, wild-harvested and locally made.
Indulge in a hot-and-cold stone facial or a Samadhi massage with natural, aromatic oils, or experience an intuitive reading to help balance the spiritual with the physical. Cooking classes are available, or you can learn Tai Chi, Chinese brushwork, Raku clay glazing and firing or the art of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging.)
Relax further through yoga or private meditation and then enjoy Asian-style tapas washed down with certified biodynamic wine at the open-air Lotus Bar. Finish the day in the hot tub or cedar sauna or around a crackling fire. www.sunrisesprings.com
THERE’S ALWAYS VEGAS!
If Sin City is more your style, here’s a deal you’ll really like from Circus Circus in Las Vegas. Book a two-night stay at the hotel/casino (prices range from $47 to $100+ per night), and you’ll also get $4 off admission to the Adventuredome Theme Park, a handy coupon book and a $25 Arco gas card to help cut down the cost of your road trip.
The offer is good through the end of April. www.circuscircus.com/freegas
Additional reporting by Jessica Koslow.