Tag Archives: things to do in Arizona


Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Events Invite Guests to Shake Up the Week and Stir In Some Fun

While temperatures remain chilly in much of the country, things are heating up with the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain events. The award-winning resort is beckoning guests to shake the late-winter blues with a mix of creative cocktail classes and live music that mark the return of two popular, high-demand programs, Mixology 101 and Sundays in Paradise. The resort has also unveiled a revamped menu for the daily premium happy hour in Paradise Valley, The Pour.

On Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m., Sanctuary’s expert mixologists will host Mixology 101 at jade bar, teaching participants to craft a selection of cocktails inspired by a different spirit each week. At $30 per person, theMixology 101 schedule is limited to 10 people per class and includes:

February 16: Operation Gin – From Jenever to Tanqueray 10

February 23: Whiskey Run – Scotches, Irish and Bourbons

March 2: Brandy Concoctions – Cognacs and the classics

March 9: Vodka Experiment – Infusions and other elixirs

March 16: Hollywood Cocktails – From Marilyn to Sinatra

March 23: Tequila Time – Agave treats from Mexico

March 30: Tiki Hour – Rum from around the world

Sundays in Paradise gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy Paradise Valley’s lush scenery and the live tunes of musicians like Andre Delano and Khani Cole from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for a cover charge of $5 ($15 for a special engagement on March 10). Gourmet Picnic Packages are also available for $55 ($65 on March 10), including admission for two, a bottle of wine, choice of appetizer, and preferred lawn seating with a blanket for the afternoon. This season’s artist line-up includes:

February 17: Andre Delano

February 24: Walt Richardson

March 3: Sugahbeat

March 10: Matt Rogers

March 17: Khani Cole

March 24: Mel Bridges

Also, check in for Sanctuary’s popular daily happy hour, The Pour, serving up a brand-new menu featuring wines and spirits, cool cocktails, and savory small plates by celebrity chef Beau MacMillan. Everything is $6! The Pour is held daily from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Sanctuary’s jade bar and 10 p.m. to midnight at edge bar.

For more information, please call (480) 607-2300 or visit sanctuaryaz.com.

Scottsdale ArtWalk

Things To Do In Arizona: The Scottsdale ArtWalk

In Arizona sometimes the heat of the evening has folks taking shelter within their homes. The Scottsdale ArtWalk, however, is an event that seems to bring everyone out on a Thursday night if even for a few hours.

The hustle and bustle of Scottsdale invites shoppers to its fabulous stores and unique restaurants, but another event that appeals to natives and visitors alike is a chance to see the diverse creations that only the Scottsdale ArtWalk can feature.

ArtWalk is held each Thursday night from 7-9 in Downtown Scottsdale. Seeking a way to spend a fun evening together, my boyfriend and I set out to experience ArtWalk for the first time.

We started our visited with the Ostrovsky Fine Art Gallery that had the featured artist present. The more galleries we visited the more there seemed to be at least one of the artists present. Some artists had new pieces that they were completing or were working on while visitors searched the gallery.

Many of the art pieces depicted the landscape of Arizona in ways that show the beauty of our great state that is not often depicted.

What makes this experience amazing is the versatility from what you chose to explore and how the galleries change. Adding wine tasting or even a quick bite to eat at a restaurant can only enhance the experiences that await at every turn.

The food options are an art form of their own, as we soon discovered. There are a variety of restaurants within driving distance. Another treat is hearing the clip-clop of what can only be the sound of horses approaching as policemen patrol on horseback. Too tired to continue your journey? No problem. There are helpful people in golf carts that offer visitors a ride to their cars.

Being cooped up during most of the day due to the heat or work, it was nice to be able to be outside no matter how briefly. My boyfriend loves photography and took advantage of Scottsdale’s beauty. He even captured magnificent night shots in between galleries. After an hour we found ourselves sitting on a bench, gazing up at the stars. This allowed us a break as well as another opportunity to further enjoy the many sights the ArWalk had to offer.

I was glad I was given the opportunity to experience the ArtWalk as well as share it with my boyfriend. New experiences? They await each Thursday night in Downtown Scottsdale.

For more information on the Scottsdale ArtWalk, visit their website at www.scottsdalegalleries.com/events.html.

Heard Museum

Things To Do In Arizona: The Heard Museum

When you grow up in Arizona, sometimes the coolest things are in your own backyard and you don’t even realize it. Recently I spent an afternoon at the Heard Museum in Central Phoenix and thought to myself, “Why haven’t I been here before?”

Entering the grounds, it’s not hard to be in awe of the buildings marvelous architecture and how they complement one another. Even more breathtaking is how nature is incorporated throughout the grounds, including the various gardens that are part of the exhibits. The Heard Museum is a perfect example of combining the use of art, nature, and the charms of Arizona to create something new and exciting for visitors to see.

Upon entering, I was warmly greeted by two gentlemen who told me about the various tours available and offered to answer any questions. Feeling adventurous, I decided to strike out on my own; hoping to create my own adventure on the museum’s vast grounds. This allowed me to pace myself and explore in more detail what interested me.

My first stop was the “Home: Native People In The Southwest” gallery. I was dazzled by the numerous collections of jewelry, instruments, and clothes. What became one of the most vivid encounters of my experience was a wooden fortress. The moment you set foot inside you could smell the freshly cut trees and take in how this structure was built.

The various patterns of how the logs were intertwined to make the structure stable were beautiful. The pattern left a circular hole in the center of the roof and a wooden bench lined the circular hut.

As I proceeded through the Heard Museum I examined more and more artifacts that I wasn’t certain could be topped. The surprises that awaited me throughout my journey were just as informative as they were beautiful.

What I was most impressed with was how interactive and hands-on the experience can be. There were multiple areas such as the Ullman Learning Center and Freeman Gallery that featured kid-friendly activities. Many of the exhibits had video stops or buttons to push that allowed the visitor to listen to personal stories relevant to the exhibit.

An amazing amenity the museum offers are outside benches that allow you take a break from learning and enjoy nature and architecture as water features run near by.

Of course, you can also take a break by visiting the Coffee Cantina or the Courtyard Café, which serves lunch and desserts that include a unique experience of local and indigenous ingredients in the culinary creations. If your stomach is full but your appetite for knowledge is still not satiated, be sure to check out the Books and More shop.

As I left the Heard Museum and weaved through the pillars making my way gradually to the parking lot, the sculptures became more apparent and I discovered some that I had not previously noticed.

The Heard Museum allows visitors to be just as aware of its exterior, not giving up any secrets as to the memorable experience inside.

Memorable. That’s a word I would use to describe my experience. My only regret is that I didn’t come here sooner.

This was a wonderful experience. Next time I hope to find another adventure awaiting.

For more information on the Heard Museum, visit their website at www.heard.org.


Things to Do in Arizona: Navajo National Monument

Navajo National Monument is very close to my heart as my wife is both Navajo and Yavapai. Her grandfather resides in Tuba City, a short 60 miles southwest of the monument, and every year we take our Labor Day trip up north, staying at Navajo National Monument. If you enjoy camping in Arizona either by tent or RV, Navajo National Monument offers one of the best outdoor experiences blending both solitude and beauty of Arizona.

Navajo National Monument has several unguided hikes along short paths that yield breath-taking views that take you back in time to when the prehistoric Puebloan Ancestors built villages within the natural sandstone canyons. These villages date back to 1250 to 1300 A.D. While walking these paths, you are immersed in a state of calmness and serenity as you contemplate and attempt to imagine what it would have been like almost 1,000 years ago.

The amazing Aspen trail is .8 miles round trip and dips down 300 feet into a perfect spot to view the ancient aspen forest. Here overwhelming cliffs surround you as you take in one of the most unique Arizona views that our great state has to offer its visitors.

The Sandal trail is a 1 mile round trip that offers a paved path to an overlook with views of the Betakin/Talastims cliff dwelling. Make sure and bring some binoculars so you can view the cliff dwellings and their unique architectural traits.

Navajo National Monument offers several strenuous hikes ranging from 3-17 miles that bestow close up views of these amazing cliff dwellings. Reservations must be made in advance and are subject to cancelation due to the weather.

Navajo National Monument is open year round. However, if visiting in the winter, be prepared for snow and ice, as the elevation is over 7,000 feet. I personally enjoy this area because it is not very well known being near more popular sites such as the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. You can always find a camping spot: my favorite being the Canyon View campground which offers breath taking sunset views of the canyons. As of Labor Day 2011, there were no fees to camp but donations are always encouraged.

Make a weekend trip up to Navajo National Monument and experience one of  Arizona’s TOP 5 Cultural Attractions as voted by the readers of Experience AZ.

Visit www.nps.gov/nava/index.htm for more information on Navajo National Monument.