In this issue:
- See the Scenery
- Out of this world
- Take me out to the ball game
- The Light Rail has arrived
- Western Excitement
- Surrounding areas
- One of the world's tallest fountains
- Can't forget the golf
- Where to stay?
- Contest Winner
- Special Travel Deals and Discounts
The varying degrees of landscape in Arizona are absolutely fascinating, from the dry Sonoran desert to lush forests. In fact, a few years ago Arizona Highways had an issue featuring 50 photos, each representing the 50 states, but every shot was taken in Arizona.
Within this Southwestern state's borders are the Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, a section of Route 66 and the western town of Tombstone. Skiing is found in the mountains near the southern city of Tucson and the north, near Flagstaff. Smack in the middle of the state is the region's largest city, Phoenix, also called the Valley of the Sun, and that's where we're headed today.
This busy city has it all, great shopping, sports, food, all sites all with a Southwest flair.
An interactive exhibit at the Arizona Science Center engages
See the Scenery
Desert Botanical Gardens is a "must see" while in Phoenix. These botanical gardens boast 50 acres of stunning outdoor exhibits displaying beautiful desert fauna, succulents and 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world. The gardens are always alive with the flutter of butterflies and the buzz of hummingbirds. http://www.dbg.org
Out of this world
Arizona Science Center is an incredibly fun, hands-on experience. When I went with my family I expected to see a lot of children, and there were some, but the adults were having a blast with all of the experiments and interactive games. Last month, the LEGO Castle Adventure exhibit kicked off, welcoming visitors to help design a castle using all LEGOs. All guests are invited to construct and build their own castles as well as partake in other castle activities, like climb a battlement wall. http://www.azscience.org/lego.php
Take me out to the ball game
Located in downtown Phoenix is Chase Field (formerly Bank One Ballpark), home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. The open stadium shows how far sports have come, as it is one field where "rained out" will never be heard. The facility, the first of its kind, combines a retractable roof, air conditioning, and it has a natural turf field. If you miss a game or come in the off-season you can check out the stadium by grabbing a bite to eat at Friday's Front Row Sports Grill which has views overlooking the stadium. http://arizona.diamondbacks.mlb.com/ari/ballpark/index.jsp
Catch the Diamondbacks playing America's Game at Chase Field.
The Light Rail has arrived
METRO Light Rail (part of Valley Metro public transit) is open! This has to be one of the most exciting things to hit Phoenix recently - the train just opened in December 2008. The light rail spans over 20 miles, connecting the communities of Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa. http://www.valleymetro.org/metro_light_rail/
It's not a trip to the Southwest without cowboy fare and that's where Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse and Microbrewery in Scottsdale comes in. This restaurant has been open for over 52 years. The rustic ambience and live country music compliments the award-winning mesquite broiled steaks, chicken and baby back ribs and of course all of the "cowboy fixings." If you wear a tie, be prepared to have it cut off and displayed with the rest handing around the restaurant. http://www.pppatio.com/
Rawhide Western Town, Steakhouse, Saloon and Shops in Chandler (south of Phoenix) is located on the ancient tribal lands of the Gila River Indian Community. Gold panning, shooting gallery, rides on stagecoaches, desert train ride and western shows are just some of Rawhide's attractions.
Rawhide's Steakhouse is known for it's of mesquite-grilled steaks, BBQ Pork Ribs and Chicken with live music nightly. http://www.rawhide.com/
Scottsdale is an upscale section of the Phoenix area and great place to spend a day or evening, as it has a hot nightlife. During the day the Scottsdale Fashion Square offers wonderful shopping and dining as does Old Town Scottsdale with its charming ambience, art galleries and restaurants.
On the casual end, the town of Tempe is home to the University of Arizona. Mill Avenue is where you will find many restaurants, shops, bars, ice cream shops and tattoo parlors.
Aguila Golf Course is the latest addition to Phoenix's roster
One of the world's tallest fountains
About 45 minutes from Phoenix is the famous Fountain Hills fountain, one of the tallest in the world, shooting upward between 330 and 560 feet. If you visit the Phoenix area on St. Patrick's Day stop by Fountain Hills to see the fountain which magically turns green.
Can't forget the golf
For some people, golf is the reason they visit the Greater Phoenix area. With gorgeous mountain views, stunning sunsets, year-round sunny skies and over 200 golf courses, you can't go wrong. Phoenix golf courses appeal to every budget and every level, even amateurs can take a swing with the help of the many golf schools and lessons offered. http://www.visitphoenix.com/listings/index.cfm?action=showSub&catID=8&subCatID=111
Where to stay?
Finding a place to stay in Phoenix is not a problem. There are hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals galore. I've stayed at several hotels near the airport, which have always been a pleasant experience, but most recently my family stayed at the Legacy Golf Resort, a reasonably priced resort with suites or one bedroom fully furnished condos (dishes, dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc.). In addition to golf, there is a huge swimming pool, tennis courts, volley ball and even a playground for children. The casual environment is extremely comfortable and an easy drive to local attractions. Arizona Mills Mall is only a couple of miles down the road and downtown is a short jaunt down the freeway as is Tempe and Scottsdale.
We hope you enjoyed this month's issue of USA Tourist News Magazine. Don't forget to follow On The Road With Bryan - our USA Tourist correspondent who is traveling the USA and reporting from the road.
Congratulations to Joyce Pogue of Shingle Springs, CA! She was the randomly selected winner of the most recent USATourist Mail List Contest. Joyce has received the prize package of the epic TV series Long Way Down. This 3-DVD Collection contains the full10-episode series starring Ewan MacGregor and Charley Boorman, plus more than 3 hours of extras and outtakes. The prize package also includes a 330-page hardcover book detailing their epic journey through 18 countries, plus the CD soundtrack with 15 songs.
For more information about the series visit: http://www.amazon.com/Long-Way-Down-Russ-Malkin/dp/B001FBSLY0/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1223926100&sr=8-1
Special Travel Deals and Discounts
Diners enjoy award winning mesquite bbq under the stars
Sedona Red Rock Adventure - Visit the city of Sedona and experience the beauty this town has to offer. The incredible mountains that Sedona is famous for have long been inspiration to artists from around the world. Enjoy a backcountry jeep tour through the red rock spires, before a visit to Montezuma Castle, once a home to Native Indians. http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/Phoenix/Sedona-Red-Rock-Adventure/d639-3630SJMC
Phoenix / Valley Area Highlights - Travel in air-conditioned comfort around the fascinating city of Phoenix. See the Old West and the New West as you visit the State Capitol, Camelback Mountain, the Wrigley Mansion and the saloons and shops of the Old Town area. You will also have some free time to browse the local shops and galleries of Scottsdale at your own pace. http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/Phoenix/Phoenix-Valley-Area-Highlights/d639-3630PVH
Grand Canyon West Rim Adventure and Skywalk - For the adventurous at heart, a trip to the Hualapai Reservation on the West Rim of the Grand Canyon will provide the thrill of a lifetime. Your adventure will include a scenic, narrated, aerial tour over fabulous Arizona landscapes; a ground tour to Eagle Point with an Indian Village including authentic native homes, scheduled Native American Cultural performances and the amazing Grand Canyon Skywalk. http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/Phoenix/Grand-Canyon-West-Rim-Adventure-and-Skywalk/d639-3257GCWRAT
Shop and Beauty: Outlets at Anthem, Phoenix - Enjoy over 75 brand name stores with 30% to 70% off retail prices at Outlets Anthem. An elegant Southwest Village located in Phoenix, Arizona. http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/Phoenix/Shop-and-Beauty-Outlets-at-Anthem-Phoenix/d639-2074PHX4
Monument Valley Air and Jeep Tour - This tour encompasses most of Arizona during your scenic flight over the Tonto National Forest; up the Verde Valley; over the beautiful Sedona area; past the San Francisco Peaks; overflight of the Grand Canyon then continue over Marble Canyon, past the beautiful Vermillion Cliffs and historic Lees Ferry before a brief stop in Page. http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/tours/Phoenix/Monument-Valley-Air-and-Jeep-Tour/d639-3257MVAT
More Pheonix Tours and Deals http://www.partner.viator.com/en/5156/Phoenix/d639-ttd?activities=from&topx=1-10&page=0
Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair
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