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Aravaipa Farms Inn ~ A Nature-Filled Romantic Getaway in Arizona

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Tucked away beside a creek in the Arizona desert, Aravaipa Farms Inn gives couples a place to connect with nature and each other. This sweet bed & breakfast/farm stay is located on 46 acres of cultivated land. Depending on the season, guests may be invited to pick pears, apples, citrus, stone fruits or figs. This beautiful place is where to go to breathe in the fresh Sonoran Desert air, hike the Aravaipa Canyon and really, truly relax.

Aravaipa Farms Inn ~ A Nature-Filled Romantic Getaway in Arizona

Casitas and a Farmhouse

Choose from five casitas plus a larger house for your stay at Aravaipa Farms Inn. There are no televisions here and it's difficult to get a WiFi signal unless you're near the main house (where dinner is served). This lack of technology provides a welcome reprieve from distractions. Our cabin came with a deck of cards, a few books, and some art supplies for quiet entertainment in the evenings or on lazy afternoons.

The aptly named Blue Door Casita is just the right size for a romantic getaway at Aravaipa Farms Inn

The aptly named Blue Door Casita is just the right size for a romantic getaway (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Each casita is unique. The Tree House, for example, is so-named for the tree trunk in the center of the room. (How's that for bringing nature indoors?!) If visiting Aravaipa Farms Inn with kids, three casitas come with a queen or king bed for the parents plus a twin bed for a child. Larger groups can book more than one casita or go all out and book the Farmhouse, which boasts three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an indoor fireplace and full-sized kitchen.

The Blue Door Casita offers a queen-sized bed, mini kitchenette and bathroom at Aravaipa Farms for a romantic retreat

The Blue Door Casita offers a queen-sized bed, mini kitchenette and bathroom (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

My husband and I were hosted for a weekend in the Blue Door Casita. This smallest accommodation option on property makes for a cozy, romantic retreat. It features two patios, one with a fireplace and grill. It also has a wee kitchenette with mini fridge, toaster oven and coffee maker.

Shampoo, soap, conditioner, lotion and hair dryers were all provided. There was even a mini first aid kit. Oh! And the towels in our casita were the softest, fluffiest towels I've ever felt at any hotel or inn.

My husband and I brought our Scrabble board from home, but there was a deck of cards in our casita as well at Aravaipa Farms Inn

My husband and I brought our Scrabble board from home, but there was a deck of cards in our casita as well (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Meals on the Farm

Part of the charm of a stay here are the farm-to-table meals shared with fellow guests. For an additional fee, guests are treated to communal three-course dinners plus serve-your-own breakfasts.

Wine, beer and liquor are not available for purchase but you're welcome to bring your own. “Happy Hour” takes place at 5:30 pm, when guests gather on the porch just outside the dining room to sip a beverage and chat about the day's adventures.

Gather on the patio at the dining room to enjoy a drink and chat with other guests at Aravaipa Farms Inn

Gather on the patio at the dining room to enjoy a drink and chat with other guests (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Then dinner commences around 6 pm. To start, you might be served mixed greens served with beets and goat cheese. For a main course, expect such mouth-watering options as coconut curry chicken with vegetables and rice, or steak with chimichurri, polenta, and roasted tomatoes and green beans.

Dessert is best, though. You might be treated to a homemade apple pie, lemon bar, peach cobbler, or pear tart. Be sure to tell the inn of any food allergies, sensitivities or preferences when booking. They were happy to accommodate my gluten-sensitivity and the other guests seemed to enjoy the delectable plum tart made with almond meal just as much as I did!

Enjoy three-course, farm-to-table meals at Aravaipa Farms Inn

Enjoy three-course, farm-to-table meals at Aravaipa Farms Inn (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

If paying for meals during your stay, breakfasts will be delivered to your room and stored in your refrigerator. Typically, breakfasts include juice, yogurt and fresh fruits as well as homemade muffins and granola. Our first morning, we got an extra treat: vegetable frittatas that we heated in our toaster oven. Sitting outside on our patio, taking in the farm view and eating our farm fresh food is one of my favorite memories from our stay.

Our pretty alfresco breakfast at Aravaipa Farms Inn

Our pretty alfresco breakfast (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Pool and Grounds

Wander the grounds during your romantic getaway at Aravaipa Farms Inn. In addition to taking in the farm's natural beauty, you'll be treated to an eclectic collection of unique art installations.

This old pickup has become a work of art at Aravaipa Farms Inn

This old pickup has become a work of art at Aravaipa Farms Inn (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

You are welcome to pluck some fruits from the orchard trees, if you ask first. The groundskeepers will know which produce is in season and ready to eat.

A dove art installation among citrus trees at Aravaipa Farms Inn

A dove art installation among citrus trees (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

There is a lovely pool on-site, surrounded by citrus trees. It was too cold for a dip during our fall visit, but would surely be a welcome oasis during warmer months.

Aravaipa Farms Inn's pool makes a pretty oasis in the desert

Aravaipa Farms Inn's pool makes a pretty oasis in the desert (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Birding and Wildlife Watching

Birding enthusiasts will particularly enjoy a stay at Aravaipa Farms Inn. Bring your binoculars and your birding book. Then sit back on your patio to spy on all sorts of bird species. You just might see great blue herons, cardinals, hummingbirds, cactus wrens, and rare raptors such as Mississippi kites and a variety of hawks.

Bird houses at Aravaipa Farms Inn

Bird houses at Aravaipa Farms Inn (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

My parents, who are National Audubon Society members and Arizona residents, recommend Sibley Birds West, to help you identify birds in Arizona.

Near Aravaipa Farms Inn, you may also spot wildlife in many forms. You could see coyotes, javelinas (relatives of wild pigs), turtles, rabbits, tortoises, coyotes, and foxes. We were treated to a fox viewing through the large window in our casita. It pillaged food fallen from the bird feeder for quite some time while we snapped photos and watched in awe.

A fox just outside our casita at Aravaipa Farms Inn

A fox just outside our casita at Aravaipa Farms Inn (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Aravaipa Farms Inn History

The inn was purchased by new owners in 2016, and then lovingly and painstakingly renovated for its reopening in 2017. Before then, it was owned by Carol Steele, who has been called the Godmother of the Phoenix Culinary Scene. And, as I realized while researching this story, she was the proprietor of one of my favorite places to eat when I was growing up in Scottsdale: C. Steele and Company, a now-closed gourmet deli and food store. She purchased Across the Creek at Aravaipa Farms (as it was then called) from its original owner 1995. Steele turned the peach, apricot and pear farm into a bed & breakfast, serving up her beloved artisanal food to guests. Many of the dishes served today are based on Steele's recipes. No wonder I loved the food here so much!

Happiness is a journey, not a destination

I found this sign with one of my favorite sayings at Aravaipa Farms Inn (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Things to Do Near Aravaipa Farms Inn

There's not a whole lot to do near Aravaipa Farms Inn, and that's kind of the point. Guests go here to escape the bustle of the city and the pressures of the suburbs. There are a couple of noteworthy things to do during your stay, though.

Aravaipa Farms Inn is paradise for serious hikers. Three miles from the property, you can access the Nature Conservancy’s Aravaipa Wilderness Preserve for 12 miles of hiking along the Aravaipa Creek. Plan ahead, though. You must obtain a permit to hike the preserve. Only 30 hikers are allowed per day. I tried to score hiking permits a month before our visit and was denied.

You must have a permit to hike Aravaipa Canyon

You must have a permit to hike Aravaipa Canyon (Photo credit: Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management)

Do you remember this crazy place constructed in the middle of the Arizona desert to see if humans could live in outer space? It's called Biosphere 2 and you can easily visit it during a stay at Aravaipa Farms Inn. Biosphere 2 was inhabited twice for its original intended purpose as a closed-system experiment: once from 1991 to 1993, and the second time from March to September 1994. It was purchased by the University of Arizona in 2011 and continues to act as a mecca for research about our planet. It is home to five distinct ecosystems including a rainforest, ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah grassland, and fog desert. It's well worth the 45 minute-drive for a guided tour of the facility. 

Biosphere 2

Having fun at Biosphere 2 during our romantic getaway (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Location

Located in tiny Winkelman, Aravaipa Farms Inn is about 1.5 hours northeast of Tucson, nearly 2 hours southeast of Phoenix, and 10 miles north of Mammoth on Arizona Highway 77. Plan to arrive before dark, as it's deep in the desert where there are no street lights for a good portion of your drive.

Arriving at Aravaipa Farms Inn for a romantic getaway

Arriving at Aravaipa Farms Inn (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Since the elevation is about 900 feet higher, temperatures at the farm tend to be a few degrees cooler than in Phoenix. That means you should expect very hot weather in summer, with more moderate temps October through May. (Don't worry. All casitas come equipped with air conditioning.)

Once you find the farm, you'll need to drive your vehicle across a small creek. For this reason, I recommend renting an SUV for the drive, if possible. This is especially true if visiting during monsoon season when rains could make the creek's water level rise. Thankfully, our minivan made it across with no problems.

Purple flowers at Aravaipa Farms Inn

Flowers at Aravaipa Farms Inn (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Why Book a Stay at Aravaipa Farms Inn

Whether you're an Arizona resident looking for an easy escape, or you're visiting from out of state and seeking a unique way to experience the Arizona, Aravaipa Farms Inn provides a beautiful space to slow down and enjoy. Enjoy the view of things growing, enjoy the tastes of fresh-cooked cuisine, enjoy the sounds of birds singing, and enjoy the sight of stars in an inky night sky. And, it's a place to enjoy each other. Without the distraction of children and life's everyday stresses, a romantic getaway at Aravaipa Farms Inn was just what my husband and I needed. It might just be what you need too.

Read more about Aravaipa Farms Inn on TripAdvisor or visit their website now. For additional romantic retreat and other grown-up getaway ideas, click here.

A Note from The Travel Mama: Thank you to Aravaipa Farms Orchard and Inn for hosting my husband and me. I did not receive any monetary compensation related to this story but it does include affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission at no additional charge to readers. Your clicks and purchases help TravelMamas.com remain a free resource.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Melissa Chapman says:

    I lve in the east but this Inn is worth traveling to. I know I will miss TV but there is so much to do I’ll take the risk. It is so beautiful and the homey nature of the Inn and meals would make it so interesting

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Oh, we didn’t miss the TV at all! It’s nice to unplug sometimes. I hope you can make it to Aravaipa Farms Inn someday!

  2. That looks absolutely amazing! I would love to take a couples trip there with my husband. I think we’d both have a lot of fun.

  3. Such a fun place for my bird-watching BFF. Birds are her life!! Finding places to enjoy them in their natural habitat is her favorite thing.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      I was thinking the same thing about my parents. They love bird-watching. I bet bird lovers like your friend (and my parents) would really love a stay at Aravaipa Farms Inn!

  4. What a dreamy place I love Arizona. Will have to check this out next time we head west!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      It really is a unique find for someone looking to do something a little more off-the-grid during their AZ visit!

  5. Toni | Boulder Locavore says:

    This place looks really relaxing! I love the cozy ambiance!

  6. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    This sure looks like a perfect getaway destination. I have not heard of Aravaipa Farms Inn before but now I know! The blue door casiita looks so cozy! What a pretty little cottage to stay to unwind and unplug!

  7. June Hussey says:

    You will not be disappointed if you love nature, stars, delicious fresh food and a quiet, private getaway with family and friends. I have stayed at Aravaipa Farms Orchard and Inn several times and can’t wait to go back again. Good thing I live close!

  8. I have never been to Arizona. Aravaipa Farms is so festive and I love the vibes a lot I would love to stay here for a visit too!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Aravaipa Farms Inn would make a nice add-on to a Phoenix/Scottsdale vacation and/or a Grand Canyon trip!

  9. really a beautiful place. the farm brings alive color and you do an awesome job of capturing in your photos.

  10. That looks absolutely amazing!really a beautiful place. the farm brings alive color and you do an awesome job of capturing in your photos.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Aravaipa Farms Inn really is such a beautiful, photogenic place. Thanks for your kind words!

  11. Flyingkids says:

    Love farmhouses. It’s such a beautiful place.

  12. Flyingkids says:

    farms are where you get to eat the best of organic food and experience nature at its best. Who said you need internet?:)

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      It’s so wonderful to unplug sometimes…especially when you’re somewhere as beautiful as Aravaipa Farms!

  13. Carol Cassara says:

    I love that you can have meals on the farm. This place gives you the relaxation you need after a stressful week or after going through something. I definitely appreciate the place and the things that they offer!

  14. MikesRoadTrip says:

    Great suggestion…I just stayed here this past weekend. Such a cool place!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      So glad that you got a chance to experience Aravaipa Farms Inn, Mike! It’s such a unique and memorable getaway from Phoenix or Tucson.

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