Arizona, United States
Why we can't wait to visit again: Jutting from Arizona's red rocks and bruised valleys, this geometrical patchwork of sci-fi-esque concrete structures is the brainchild of Italian architect Paolo Soleri. A former student of Frank Lloyd Wright, he founded this experimental micro-city in the 70s in a bid to reimagine urban sprawl, excessive consumption and ecological disconnect.
Life here revolves around access to nature, frugality and the local production of food and energy - oh, and a bronze foundry, where bare-chested men mould molten metal into the famed Soleri bells. From here, follow State Route 69 to Watson Lake, where mirror-still waters are broken by exposed bedrock.
Where we're staying: Arcosanti offers rooms, dorms and campsites to guests who want free exploration of the settlement, a chance to connect with its 80 permanent residents and nightly views of the Milky Way. The two-bedroom Sky Suite is the stuff of interior-design dreams.
Before you go: There are several documentaries on Paolo Soleri and his utopian city. Ten years in the making, The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert explores his legacy as an architect, environmentalist and philosopher while posing questions about mankind's future.