Verizon Super Bowl Central
Located in Downtown Phoenix, Verizon Super Bowl Central is the week-long, pedestrian-only epicenter of Super Bowl entertainment in the Valley. Find concerts and food, plus the NFL Experience, an interactive theme park with games, clinics and NFL autograph sessions. Visit azsuperbowl.com for more information.
Dates: January 28 – February 1
Hours: 2 p.m.-Midnight
2 p.m. Food and beer gardens, Sponsor Activity Zone, Autograph Stage and XLIX Concert Stage open
2–6 p.m. Local talent and group performances on Concert Stage
6 p.m. Autograph Stage closes
7–10 p.m. Regional and national music artists on Concert Stage
10–10:10 p.m. Nightly fireworks show
10 p.m. Activities close
Midnight Food and beverage close (Friday and Saturday)
One of the best things about living in Phoenix is the proximity to a plethora of climates and landscapes, from cool Alpine forests to warm, craggy lava tubes formed by ancient volcanoes. Whether you’re seeking wet and wild summer adventure on Lake Pleasant or a cozy B&B fireplace to snuggle up by in winter, we’ve unearthed a great escape for every weekend of the year. Bonus: Four fabulous out-of-state trips to satisfy your inner gypsy.
1 Hike the Entire State...Virtually
Few locals will ever trek the 817-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail, which runs from the Arizona-Mexico border up through the Grand Canyon and to Utah. That’s not to say it can’t be done: In 2014, Tucson hiker Sirena Dufault conquered it in two-and-a-half months, raising $17,000 for Arizona Trail Association along the way. A new map exhibit inside the courtyard of Grand Canyon National Geographic Visitor Center gives guests the full trail experience, minus the muscle fatigue. “It’s like a virtual tour…” says National Geographic Visitor Center general manager Janet Rosener. “The display really captures the natural beauty that exists throughout the state, as well as the diversity of trail users who find adventure on the Arizona Trail.” In addition to the trail exhibit, the center has IMAX films, off-site tours and a café. 450 Arizona 64, Grand Canyon Village, 928-638-2203, explorethecanyon.com
Driving Time: 3 hours, 17 minutes (223 miles)
Fees: Exhibit is free; fees vary by activity
Kids: Take ‘em
Phoenix resident Andra Riegel has enough food stored to feed her and her husband – and any number of her seven grown children who pop in from time to time – for a full year.
Almost since its inception, America has played the role of cultural melting pot. Or is “stew pot” a more appropriate metaphor? In this 30-page celebration of American culinary traditions, we’ve selected the most singular, defining dishes from all 50 states. Then we scoured the Valley to locate the 50 restaurants that make the best local versions of these regional delicacies. 50 states, 50 plates. Which did we choose to represent your home state? Keep reading, American food lover.
Pour-overs, brew bars and local roasters – coffee has experienced a delicious evolution in the last decade. Discover new frontiers of caffeinated ecstasy with our guide to all that’s coffee in the Valley.
Coffee. Most Americans can’t get through the day without at least a cup – 58 percent of consumers age 18 and older drink it daily, according to a 2012 survey by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Coffee has become more than a daily wake-up ritual or a jolt to the system during afternoon slumps. Its consumption has moved into the domain of wine, fine spirits, craft beer and gourmet food, with baristas being elevated to artisans and a cup of coffee telling a story about where it grew, how it got to you and the personality of who roasted it and who brewed it. It’s no longer liquid energy to mindlessly swill – it’s an experience to be evaluated, with flavor and aroma profiles and brewing skills, and, of course, enjoyed.
Hike City, USA
Where does Phoenix rank in the pantheon of great American hiking metros? “You want my biased opinion?” asks PHOENIX magazine hiking guru Mare Czinar. “It’s the best.” Consider: The Valley has not one, not two, but three world-class hiking mountains in its city core, plus dozens of lesser-known trails on the metro fringe, plus hundreds of wilderness hikes within a three-hour drive.
Jack August is the former Executive Director of the Arizona Historical Foundation, and author of several political biographies
Last winter, back when they were just two of many candidates considering a run for Arizona governor, Fred DuVal and Doug Ducey went skiing together in Utah – a not-unexpected circumstance, given the men were attending the same annual networking retreat in Deer Valley, Utah. Informally known as “the Eagle's Nest,” the invitation-only retreat gathers Arizona political veterans and would-be leaders to engage in policy debates, go skiing, eat food and have fun. The duo got along well. They were friends.