Summer break is quickly approaching, and while we’re planning the kids best summer, let’s talk about your summer, friend.
You deserve a summer break, too! Either solo (here’s how three local moms coordinate their own time away), with your sister/bestie, or an escape just you and your husband.
And let me tell you: nobody else is planning your best summer, well, except for us. 😉
Keep reading for a kid-free 48 hour itinerary to the Strawberry Inn, less than two hours from the East Valley and an easy enough drive that you can confidently drive it solo.
Where to stay
The Strawberry Inn is a boutique getaway that offers three lodging options: vintage airstreams, cabins or traditional hotel rooms.
I’ve stayed in their airstreams before, so for this trip, I opted for a traditional guest room.
Here’s a few tips for helping you choose your best booking choice:
- If you’re staying solo, I’d recommend the airstreams. They offer a kitchenette with a microwave, fridge and some dishes so that you don’t have to leave the property for meals three times a day;
- If you’re a foodie, the hotel room is your best bet with a mini fridge for leftovers from local eats during your stay.
- If you’re planning to work during your stay, I found the airstream better suited for laptop work with a desk set-up to work from;
- If you can’t wait to finish reading a book that’s been on your TBR list, the hotel room offers cozy chairs perfect for reading.
No matter the room you book, let me just tell you their sheets are the softest. I think they just started selling them, too, and I’m tempted to buy myself a set.
Summer is their busiest season, so if you’re eyeing them for specific dates (especially weekends), book quickly, as they do sell out!
The Strawberry Inn has lots of areas, both in-room and across the property, to encourage guests to slow down and just be. For those of us with young kids, it’s especially enticing to just do so. (Mom hack: plan ahead for this, as I can’t be the only one who sometimes struggles with what to do to enjoy a peaceful, quiet moment when I don’t have my son.)
There’s the lawn where their strawberry-shaped Little Library invites you to pick a book to read on the rocking chairs or porch swings.
There’s red adirondack chairs in front of each room on the hotel side of the property to settle into and zen out.
The rooms are also spacious enough to bring a yoga mat for a daily stretch or meditation session. I packed my mat this time and was so grateful for the Peloton app guiding me through a 30 minute practice where Maverick wasn’t interrupting me.
Don’t skip Windmill Coffee on property, too! Open only in the mornings, this cute walk-up coffee bar invites you to drink your coffee while it’s still hot, a luxury for us.
Check-in is at 4 p.m., and offers the perfect time to unwind and adjust to a kid-free itinerary. I like to pack a bottle of wine (glasses and an opener are stocked in each room) and settle into their red adirondack chairs and just take a moment to myself on their lawn to enjoy the cooler temperature and pine trees.
Or, if you’d like to check-out the local dining scene, many of the restaurants offer great happy hour specials on weekday travel. THAT Brewery offered half-off bottles of wine on my arrival night, and Old Country Inn offers $5 off wine bottles during their social hour, perfect upon arrival.
The dining experiences within 10 minutes of the Strawberry Inn always impress me–it’s definitely one of the fun parts of visiting.
My must-have stops are:
- THAT Brewery: fun smokehouse menu with locally crafted beers, plus a large patio to enjoy the better weather that Pine and Strawberry offer
- Old Country Inn: wood-friend pizzas and craft cocktails make this the most delicious destination for me. They also offer a large patio
- The Chalet: walking distance from the Inn, this locals only bar is a small town bar with everything you’d expect from a small town bar: pool tables, chatty bartenders and a lot of regular folks who know the place like the back of their hand
The real reason to come to Strawberry: easily accessible nature trails.
First up, can’t-skip: Tonto Natural Bridge. We’ve done this with kids, but that isn’t relaxing! Even if you’ve done this hike with kiddos, do it again without! However, be warned that there isn’t cell service, so you’ll really be unplugging. If you’re anxious from being away from your kiddos, heads up to check-in with them before entering the guard gates for this state park!
Heads up, the crazy amount of rain we had this winter has made a few of the trails closed for now.
If you’re looking for an easily accessible hike with cell service, I always do the Pine Loop Trail. It’s beginner friendly, pretty flat, and has cell service the whole way. It’s quite busy, so even if you’re adventuring solo, you’ll feel confident in this hike.
As a small town, the night sky is pure enough for incredible stargazing. Take a scenic night ride along Hardscrabble Road from Pine, Arizona to Strawberry, Arizona. Take highway 87 from Payson to Pine. Turn left on Hardscrabble Rd. and follow the loop to Strawberry Arizona. (Here’s a map of the spot we parked!)