Written on Aug, 28, 2016 by in , | Leave a comment

Arizona is a history-steeped place, with beautiful and diverse landscapes. The state is one of the most historic areas in the United States. It’s also characterized by multiple, scenic towns that will truly impress any first time visitor. From former town gems that were mining centers to desert surprises and mountain beauties, here are the top ten most scenic towns in Arizona.

Bisbee

Bisbee Arizona

Bisbee was established way back in 1880. It’s a charming town whose history is rooted in mining. Located in Southern Arizona, Bisbee was once referred to as ‘The Queen Of The Copper Camps’. Today, the town is home to a beautiful community somewhere among the Mule Mountains, very popular amongst retired folks and artists. Most neighborhoods here range from European-style homes to Victorian, with beautiful hillside constructions. The town also has many art galleries, unique shops, and restaurants. Places to visit in Bisbee include the Queen Mine Tour, and the Ghost Tour, which takes you to some of the most haunted constructions in the region.

Cave Creek

Cave Creek Arizona

Cave Creek has a steady past in gold mining. Not far from Scottsdale and Phoenix, Cave Creek never lost its distinctive Old West charm. There’s almost always something for everyone. There are many attractions, including the Frontier Town, and for outdoor buffs, the immediate landscape offers a lot of recreational opportunities – from horseback riding to hiking. If you’re a nature lover, the Spur Cross Conversation Area is the place to be. The town is very friendly, with many galleries, eateries, and boutiques.

Globe

Globe

Located in the heart of South Arizona, at the base of Pinal Mountains, Globe is a former mining camp. It was founded in 1876, then incorporated in 1907. Glove comes across the board as a beautiful town characterized by century-old buildings, hillside houses, and cottages. Its historic downtown is popular for antique shopping and leisurely strolls. The Cobre Valley Center is also an awesome place to explore works of art.

Greer

Greer

Located in Eastern Arizona’s White Mountains, new the New Mexico border, this is an outstanding valley that doubles up as a great spot for outdoor fanatics. Greer has breathtaking surroundings (e.g. the Little Colorado River and multiple forests). Greer is ideal for fishing, hiking, skiing and camping. If you’re a pro photographer and are looking for some great spot, Greer is the place to be. For culture buffs, the Butterfly Lodge Museum has enough to keep you thrilled.

Prescott

Prescott

Prescott is sort of a small city, rather than a town. It is located in Northern Arizona and surrounded by beautiful landscape. It makes an outstanding spot for people who are seeking adventure, and those who love culture as well. Common recreational activities include rock climbing, hiking, and mountain climbing, among many others.

Sedona

Sedona Arizona

This is another stunner in Northern Arizona, and actually one of the most scenic places in the nation. The town attracts millions of people who visit the Red Rock State Park, and many other tour hotspots. You can experience the immense energy all around the area, or take a break at one of the many spas. Sedona is characterized by an alluring landscape that makes it ideal for artists who are looking to seek inspiration for their work. There are ample outdoor activities for the open-minded discoverer, from kayaking to hiking!

Winslow

Winslow

Northern Arizona, Route 66 is where you find Winslow. This is a must see place located on desert plains in the valley of Little Colorado River. The Winslow scenery is nothing short of stunning. The town is characterized by a historic downtown that’s ideal for strolling. Other cool places include the La Poseda Hotel.

In addition to these, Tubac, Tombstone and Jerome happen to be other very beautiful towns in Arizona. Truly, the state doesn’t lack in abundance of gorgeous natural scenery and outdoor activities.

Continue Reading...
Written on Aug, 21, 2016 by in , | Leave a comment

Are you planning to visit the Tohono O’odham capital of Sells in Arizona? If it’s your first time to go to this place, you might want a couple of beforehand tips that you can use to find fascinating things to do in this region. Located in Pima County, Sells is a CDP – Census Designated Place in Arizona State. Below are the best things you can do in this area.

Enjoy desert food

D_BAIR_DesertRainCafeexterior

Have you ever tried traditional desert food? If not, you might not believe what you get at the Desert Rain Café in Sells, Arizona. You get to sample some healthy and traditional delicacies that have fed the Native American people for centuries. Dessert Rain prepares meals in the same old ways that it’s been done for centuries, and they try new approaches sometimes. Since the diet is predominantly organic and healthy, it’s a great choice for someone who’s looking to regulate blood sugar or fight diabetes.

Stargaze

Kitt Park

How about Stargazing at Kitt Peak, a 6875 feet Mountain that has the biggest concentration of radio telescopes, optical telescope, as well as the biggest solar telescope in the world. In addition to these scientific implementations, Kitt Peak boasts an awesome view of the surrounding areas. The highest mountain in the area, Baboquivari, is 7730 feet. According to local Tohono O’odham cosmology, it’s believed to be the world’s navel.

If you’re looking to take in the vastness of the sky at night, there’s no better place to do it from than here in the dessert. You can take a guided tour or you can just drive yourself to this place. You’ll need advance planning to take part in the ‘Nightly Observing Program’, whereby you can closely view distant galaxies and individual planets. The beauty of it is that you can reserve online, at least 2-4 weeks in advance. Since it’s very cold in the desert at night, make sure that you carry a blanket.

Navigate shaky ramps

Picacho Peak Arizona

The trails leading up to the Picacho Peak is a fantastic hike that boasts about 2000 feet of inclination just under 2.5 hours. The trail starts off easy during the first 30 minutes, but then becomes callous after that. Rocky crevices and shaky ramps lead to the summit. By the time you get to the top, your hard work will pay off and you’ll be rewarded with nostalgic 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding desert and all its glory as well. But that’s not where it stops – going down requires nearly as much effort as going up. Think about swinging down a zip line without any reinforcements whatsoever. It’s just an awesome way to invigorate yourself for the remaining part of the week.

Sells is not only a unique but also magnificent part of Arizona. Start with a tasty meal at the Desert Rain café then embark on stargazing at night. Make sure you don’t leave before doing the Picacho Peak trail – it’s an outstanding outdoors adventure.

Continue Reading...
Written on Aug, 14, 2016 by in , | Leave a comment

Phoenix is what comes to mind when most people think about the Arizona restaurant scene. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lots of other cool restaurants in other parts of the state. Indeed, there’s ample deliciousness to be found within Arizona’s borders. And just you know why, here is a highlight of the state’s dining scene.

1.      Coppa Café

Coppa Café is an awesome restaurant that brings immense flavors to the town of Flagstaff. The European menu is nothing short of outstanding. You’ll find popular dishes such as halibut confit, foie gras, baked meatballs and more. The café provides customers with a delicious lunch menu where they can choose from a variety of brunch dishes.

2.      Core Kitchen & Wine Bar

Housed in the Ritz-Carlton, this is a great restaurant near Tucson, one of the largest cities in Arizona. If you’re looking to experience some top-notch dining, this is the place to be. You’ll love the calming atmosphere and beautiful décor! The meals are also great, plus they have one of the best restaurant service across the state.

3.      Elote Café

Award-winning chef Jeff Smedstad is the owner of Elote Café. Jeff has spent the last one and a half decade traveling to Mexico to learn about their food culture. As a result, he’s proved to create some of the best Mexican foods available in Arizona. All the ingredients sued are local and organic, which perhaps helps the great team at Elote make delicious yet healthy meals.

4.      Binkley’s Restaurant

Binkley is an award-winning restaurant located right out Phoenix’s bustling metropolis. You get a fantastic wine menu and multi-course meals here. The atmosphere is one-of-a-kind. Make sure to try the 4, 5, or 6-course tasting menus.

5.      El Chorro

Going by the mantra, ‘destination dining’, El Chorro is located in Paradise Valley. If you’re looking to take a drive out of the city (Phoenix), this is a good destination. It’s like taking a dining vacation, and it’s well worth it. You’ll love the impressive views of Camelback Mountain, and their extensive menu is a great source list for even the pickiest eaters.

6.      La Stalla Cucina Rustica

Native Italian Antonio Vetrati is the owner of this restaurant, located in Chandler. Antonio has many years of experience working in the New Jersey restaurant scene, and many other places. La Stall is actually his 6th Restaurant (the other 5 are located on the East Coast). If you’re looking for some Italian charm, go to this place and pick something from their fantastic menu.

7.      Romeo’s Euro Café

Romeo’s Café is East Valley’s staple for multiple years. The restaurant boasts awesome Greek food, with a massive menu. You may try out some giant portion sizes, and enjoy the inviting experience. Romeo’s is a bustling hub with loyal customers.

8.      Café Roka

Café Roka is one experience you won’t forget. They’ve got lively music and some very fine dining. Roka is located in Bisbee, South Arizona. The folks at Roka are very big on using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to create unique Mediterranean and Italian cuisines. The staff render an awesome service and their environment is also worth a mention. This one works for all dietary preferences, from gluten intolerant to vegetarians.

If you’re looking to sample the state’s best dining spots without being fixated on Phoenix, try the above restaurants. You’re sure to just love what they have!

Continue Reading...
Written on Aug, 10, 2016 by in | Leave a comment

When organizing an event, whether a wedding or a fundraiser, your choice of catering service is crucial. Obviously, you’re investing a lot of your time, money and effort into this event, and you want to make sure that everything turns out perfect! Now, there are tons of catering services available in town, and narrowing down to the best one can be a real hassle (especially if you’re not a professional event planner). The following easy tips should help you find the best caterer to make your next important event rock.

Do a list

You’ve got to start from somewhere – find a number of the best catering service providers so that your options are narrow. Do you have friends who have organized events in the recent past? If so, ring them up and ask them what catering service they used. Also, do a Google search to find some of the best-reviewed or best-ranked caterers from your area. You may also check with the management at your event’s venue and ask them to recommend some of the best caterers they’ve worked with in the past. The point here is to come up with a reasonable list.

Make appointments

Before you make a decision on what catering service you want to work with, book an appointment and visit their kitchens. Your objective is to check the cleanliness of the kitchen, and as well gauge the professionalism of their employees. A professional and clean environment should impress you, right? Look for red flags to avoid, such as a dirty, chaotic kitchen, staff that does not seem happy about what they’re doing. You want to work with a team that’s attentive, clean, and takes pride in their work!

Check out menu options

What’s on the menu? What does this specific caterer specialize in? These are all important questions that need answers before you rushing into hiring a catering service. Have it in mind that not all services will work for the needs of your event. For instance, a caterer who specializes in traditional Indian food might have trouble delivering a Chinese inspired buffet. So make sure that you review your menu options with the caterers, and point out any dietary restrictions that your guests have, if any.

Availability of staff

Before you get yourself into any contracts, make sure that the catering service you intend to settle for has adequate staff to handle your event. Based on the nature and size of your events, bring it out and find out whether the service can comfortably accommodate everything. And if you’re not sure just how many people you’ll need. Assume two servers for every 30 guests at a buffet. For sit down dinners, assume one server for each table. For bar staff, at least one bartender should work for 50 guests.

Do some tastings

A good catering service should be ready to schedule a tasting so that you can sample some of what they serve. This will give you a pretty good idea what dishes will be served at your event. There’s no better way to finally approve the menu than doing a tasting. So if a specific caterer doesn’t offer a scheduled tasting, cease any further negotiations with them and move on to the next service.

Cost

Certainly, the cost is an issue for most people planning to hold events. You should be clear about how much money you’re willing to commit to catering. Obviously, you have a lot of things to pay for right now, including the venue, music system, entertainment, etc.

To avoid any disappointments much later, make sure that the quote you get covers the full service that the catering company offers. You don’t want to be slapped with additional bills much later after the event. So question your caterer and get some clarity whether or not they have any form of hidden fees.

With these easy tips, finding the best caterer for your event doesn’t have to be an ordeal. You only need to approach the entire process with a plan and you’re certainly get away with the best catering services provider in town!

Continue Reading...
Written on Jul, 28, 2016 by in , | Leave a comment

The Desert Rain Café is located in Sells, Arizona. Sells is a census-designated place within Pima County. It is the capital of Tohono O’odham, the native Americans who’re mainly resident in South Arizona’s Sonoran Desert,as well as the northwestern parts of Mexico. Tohono O’odham Nation is a federally recognized tribe.

The Desert Rain Café lies on Tohono Plaza, Main Street. They are dedicated to providing healthy and traditional Tohono O’odham foods for their customers. Each one of their dishes can be characterized a traditional. That mean it includes a traditional product such as cholla buds, saguaro fruit syrup, tepary beans. Sometimes, they serve these delicacies as the Tohono O’odham nation has enjoyed them for generations, or they try new ways them even more interesting. One thing about this café is that they focus not only on traditional desert foods but also on healthy foods. Their menu is often advertised as a great choice for individuals who are looking to regulate levels of blood sugar, as well as control diabetes. They also leverage syrup from the agave as a sweetener, mesquite flour for baked products, and olive oil for cooking.

They serve Monday through Friday, which means no weekend Desert Café for you. Their menu includes a breakfast Morning Dew list, featuring Desert Granola, Hot Cereal, Omelette, Breakfast Muffin and many others. Each one of these costs just $5 or less. They also have a Monsoon menu to cover lunch and a Whirl Wind list that contains side dishes and appetizers. Monsoon lists tepary bean and short rib stews, pear chicken sandwich, quesadilla, Cholla bud citrus salads, and veggie wrap. On the other hand, the Whirl Wind menu lists desert Hummus, Cholla Pico De Gallo, Tepary Bean Dip, Roasted Corn, and House Salad among many others.

Delicious comes out of most of their meals, and this is one real strength for the Desert Rain Café. It seems that the flavors of the desert are rich and wonderful! They provide them in ways that satisfy and excite your appetite at the same time. So if you’re looking to sample some old dietary ways of the Tohono O’odham nation, you’ll most likely enjoy what you get at this Sells restaurant.

For the purpose of this anonymous review, we tried the BBQ ribs on Thursday, and that was quite tasty. The tepary beans are awesome too. And if you’re serious about enjoying a nostalgic summer meal at a place that has a great indoor and outdoor environment, all the same, you’ll probably like what you get here. In some other reviews that we read before making our visits, we encountered some complaints about slow service and not having some items listed on the menu available. We didn’t encounter this – maybe we were just lucky?

To wrap it up, we’d also say that they have a comfortable seating setting. So if you’re looking to for a diamond in the rough, the Desert Rain Café provides traditional, healthy and delicious delicacies in a great environment!

Continue Reading...