Family-friendly attractions like dude ranches or national parks offer full immersion into nature. Which is just fine until it storms. For those seeking a connection to nature, and an escape plan in case the weather â or tempers â donât cooperate, the following new and improved hotels and resorts offer ready access to wild places and alternatives on the mild side, too.
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa, Scottsdale
Few places combine access to nature and comforting bases from which to explore it as well as Scottsdale, the resort-filled suburb of Phoenix. Much of that outdoor space is devoted to golf courses, but there are plenty of Sonoran Desert preserves in which to hike, including the granite terrain of Pinnacle Peak Park. The new 201-room Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa occupies its own 23 landscaped acres with a relaxed style, from the glass-walled restaurant to spacious midcentury-designed rooms and two outdoor swimming pools. The resort offers tours in a local artistsâ community. And downtown Scottsdale, with its walkable streets filled with shops, restaurants and unique museums, is a few miles away.
Rooms from $399; scottsdale.andaz.hyatt.com.
The Hideaway, Carmel-by-the-Sea
Beachcombers, surfers and boogie boarders will find plenty of fair-weather activity on the Monterey Peninsula along Californiaâs central coast. Whale watching is good virtually year-round, and there are bike rentals for exploring. When the weather gets bad, visitors can seek a controlled communion with nature at the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium. A handy base for coastal exploring, the new Hideaway hotel, a 24-room…