A mystical Arizona town
There are few better places to get re-energized than Sedona, Ariz., said Gail Rosenblum in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. This “seductive and spiritual Southwestern town” has countless spas and wellness centers and is “surrounded by red rocks allegedly rife with energy vortexes.” I was skeptical of the mystical slant but looked forward to the spas and hiking during a trip with my boyfriend. After a night stargazing with coyotes howling in the background, we awoke to begin hiking. We started with the popular, juniper-pine-filled West Fork Trail before tackling Cathedral Rock, “considered one of Sedona’s strongest vortexes, those swirling centers of energy emanating from the earth.” At one point along the brutal trail, a hiker “laid her hands on the rock to draw out its power,” yet I still wasn’t a believer. But a 100-minute aromatherapy and chakra-stone massage later that night had me believing in Sedona’s restorative powers.

A new river shrine in Mississippi
Even adults play like children at the Lower Mississippi River Museum, said Emily Wagster Pettus in the Associated Press. When I recently stopped in at the 6-month-old Vicksburg, Miss., attraction, a group from the Mississippi Association of Educators was scouting the place for future student field trips, gleefully exploring the museum’s hands-on exhibits. Some were rubbing crayons on pieces of paper that they pressed against reliefs of catfish and turtles. Others laughed while re-creating a devastating 1927 flood on a model town that sits downstream from a water faucet. Additional museum highlights include a retired tugboat, an aquarium filled with indigenous river creatures, and interactive kiosks that allow visitors to journey back in time with characters from history. The museum, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, sits near a diversion canal that the Corps built in 1876 when the river changed course.