The Hot Sheet | The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ The blog about what to do and where to go in Phoenix, AZ

17Mar/140

Where to see wildflowers in Phoenix

Saguaro with wildflowers

The desert is in bloom! Put on your hiking shoes and get ready for a beautiful display of color from the desert this spring. Here are the best places in Phoenix to see the desert wildflowers.

South Mountain Park/Preserve
Areas in the preserve with wildflower displays usually include the Bajada, Las Lomitas, Ranger Kiwanic accessible from the Central Avenue entrance. The roadway leading to the Gila Valley overlook (Central Avenue entrance) also offers wildflower growth. Also, look for wildflowers on the north facing slopes in the Pima Canyon and Beverly Canyon (Javalina Trail) entrances of the park.

Sonoran Preserve
Check the north-facing slopes on trails from the Desert Vista Trail trailhead parking area, including areas along the Desert Tortoise and Verde trails, both accessible from the trailhead parking area.

Piestewa Peak Area
Trail 8, the Quartz Ridge Trail – the trailhead is at 40th street south of Shea Boulevard. Several trails with north-facing slopes around Piestewa Peak that are accessible from the Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation area are also good spots for wildflower viewing.

Dreamy Draw
Hillsides and washes surrounding Trail 100 out of the Dreamy Draw trailhead at Northern Avenue and Highway 51 often are covered in a wide variety of wildflower blooms.

For more up-to-date information about wildflower blooms around Phoenix visit the Desert Botanical Gardens Wildflower Info site

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27Jan/143

Day trip idea: Top 10 Things to do in Wickenburg

There is a lot to see and do in Phoenix. But our city is also a hub for a number of memorable day trips that allow you to explore Arizona for the day and still be back for dinner in Phoenix. Just one hour from Phoenix is the authentic Western town of Wickenburg.

Words like tradition and authenticity aren't just jargon in Wickenburg. Wickenburg is tradition. It is authentic. And Wickenburg fills a glorious chapter in the history of Arizona and the West. Though less than an hour away (54 freeway miles) from the hustle and bustle of modern Phoenix, Arizona’s most Western community stands guarded from the metropolitan hustle and bustle.

After all, Mother Nature herself kissed Wickenburg. Resting on the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert, just below Arizona’s mountainous country, the Wickenburg area abounds in natural beauty. Stoic saguaros. Shadow mountains. Lush desert flanking the river. And while the area’s geological treasures attracted the miners from around the world, the Hassayampa River flood plain provided fertile soil for farming and ranching.

Today, that fertile ground draws visitors to its guest ranches, hotels, attractions and events. The desert blooms with entertainment and soul-feeding fun.

Our friends at the Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce share the top 10 things to do in Wickenburg:

1. Be inspired by a performance at the Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts.

2. Visit the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, a showcase for Western and Southwestern art and exhibits.

Desert Caballeros Western Museum

Desert Caballeros Western Museum

 

3. Grab a bag of popcorn and a coke, lean back and enjoy a popular movie at the historic Saguaro Theatre.

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21Jan/141

Day trip idea: Top 10 things to do in Ajo

There is a lot to see and do in Phoenix. But our city is also a hub for a number of memorable day trips that allow you to explore Arizona for the day and still be back for dinner in Phoenix. Just two hours away is Ajo, an undiscovered gem among Arizona mining towns.

This one-stoplight village sits serenely among several million acres of pristine Sonoran Desert habitat. Ajo is a quiet, welcoming oasis with a fascinating history, enchanting old buildings, and friendly residents. It is a place to set your watch back 50 years, relax and enjoy the desert. Ajo is without traffic, congestion or even many other tourists and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Our friends at the Ajo District Chamber of Commerce share the top 10 things to do in their town:

1. Explore the heart of the Sonoran Desert at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, the Crater Range and many other remarkable areas.

2. Hike, Bike, Climb. Ajo is surrounded by a vast desert and dramatic peaks with few other humans around.
Ajo biking

3. Relax with a book in the historic town plaza or overlooking some panoramic expanse.

4. Photograph or paint. The desert, people, historic buildings, churches and unforgettable sunsets are just some of the region's artistic inspirations.
Ajo flowers

5. Take a drive. Hit the road on Ajo's Scenic Loop, Charlie Bell Pass, Puerto Blanco Drive, and Burro Gap among others.

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13Jan/140

Day trip idea: Top 10 things to do in Bisbee

There is a lot to see and do in Phoenix. But our city is also a hub for a number of memorable day trips that allow you to explore Arizona for the day and still be back for dinner in Phoenix. Just over three hours from Phoenix is Bisbee, a former copper mining town now known for its walkability, eclectic art galleries, unique architecture and a melting pot of residents.

Our friends at Discover Bisbee have shared the top 10 things to do in their town:

1) Give your car a break and explore Bisbee on foot. Talk a walk through town and conquer the many stairs Bisbee is known for. The stairs were built in the 1890’s and augmented and repaired by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930’s.

As you stroll and climb through town, you'll see beautiful little gardens and architectural embellishments that have been done to old miner’s shacks. Keep an eye out for the numerous murals and street art throughout town.

Hikers can head up Bisbee’s own “B” hill with the little chapel at the top or trek along the paths in the numerous side canyons that spill into Tombstone Canyon and Brewery Gulch right in town.
Bisbee

2) See the works of sculptor Ben Dale throughout town. Some examples of his craft are the angels in back of 39 Main Street, the fence at the top of Clawson Street, and the door of Cafe Roka.

Ben Dale's Lady in the Garden

3) Bisbee is old but the parts still work well! The town is home to a number of businesses with rich histories such as the Copper Queen Hotel, Copper Queen Library, Bisbee Grand Saloon and Warren Ballpark.

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6Jan/140

Day trip idea: Top 10 things to do in Sierra Vista

There is a lot to see and do in Phoenix. But our city is also a hub for a number of memorable day trips that allow you to explore Arizona for the day and still be back for dinner in Phoenix. Sierra Vista, nestled against the Huachuca Mountains, is a hub for some of the best historic sites, wildlife viewing, and outdoor adventure in Arizona. With an average year-round temperature of 74 degrees, Sierra Vista, just three hours southeast of Phoenix, is a delightful getaway. Our friends at Visit Sierra Vista have shared these tips and top 10 things to do in their beautiful region.

Meander through ghost towns, homesteads and ancient settlements, where mammoth thundered, Buffalo Soldiers rode, miners dug, Apache hunted, and lawmen and outlaws tangled. Enjoy a hike along the gently flowing San Pedro River or hike through five ecosystems as you climb the sky islands of the Huachuca Moutains. Home to Fort Huachuca, a national historic landmark and active U.S. Army installation, Sierra Vista is a multicultural melting pot and boasts nearly 25 international eateries with fare from around the globe.

Explore the top 10 things to do in Sierra Vista, where the spirit of the Old West thrives amid a twenty-first century community.

1. Explore the military history of the Old West at Fort Huachuca, a National Historic Landmark and active military post. See museums honoring the famed 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, one of the Army’s elite black cavalry corps, military intelligence and espionage, and life on a frontier post.

Fort Huachuca

Fort Huachuca

2. Enjoy local vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms.

3. Add to your birding “life list.” Tropical species like hummingbirds, trogans, warblers and flycatchers alongside magnificent raptors, shorebirds, tanagers and others frequent the canyons, playas, and riparian areas near Sierra Vista.

A male trogon (Credit: Tony Battiste)

A male trogon near Sierra Vista (Photo credit: Tony Battiste)

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16Dec/130

Day trip idea: Top 10 Things To Do in Flagstaff

There is a lot to see and do in Phoenix. But our city is also a hub for a number of memorable day trips that allow you to explore Arizona for the day and still be back for dinner in Phoenix. One such day-trip is among the tall pines of Flagstaff, a four-season hub of activity where an eclectic mix of small town charm and endless outdoor adventure beckons just two quick hours from Phoenix. 

Snow capped peaks and pine trees as far as the eye can see might not be the first things that come to mind when picturing an Arizona landscape. However, when you travel north to Flagstaff, Arizona’s premier mountain town, you will find scenic forest views and activities to entertain the whole family.

Our friends at the Flagstaff CVB shared this list of our top 10 things to do in Flagstaff, which includes suggestions for all four seasons. When visiting from Phoenix, please remember that it is typically 20-30 degrees cooler in Flagstaff any time of year. During winter, be prepared for cold temperatures and winter driving conditions. Keep a light jacket handy during summer as the mild 80 degree days cool off to the 50s at night.

1. Spend a day on the slopes at Arizona Snowbowl during ski season (December through April) or take a ride on the scenic chairlift to 11,600 feet in elevation for views of the Grand Canyon (May through October).

Arizona Snowbowl

Arizona Snowbowl offers year-round outdoor adventures

2. See the telescope used to discover Pluto in 1930 and stargaze through a 117-year-old telescope at Lowell Observatory.

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