Monday, May 25, 2015



Cornville Weekend

PHM0515 GE01Once a B&B black hole, the Verde Valley wine hotspot becomes a stay-and-play destination.

After spending a few hours exploring its verdant river valley and chalky desert hills, visitors inevitably remark on the same odd quirk about Cornville: a conspicuous absence of corn. Evidently, back in the early 1900s, the fledgling high desert town was set to be named Cohenville, but somebody screwed up the paperwork at the Yavapai County recorder’s office. “Cohen” became “corn.” Or so the legend goes.


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PHM0415GE01BThe heart of Sonoma wine country beckons with salubrious – and scrumptious – activities.

“Seventy miles north of San Francisco,” the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau brochure says. “A million miles from stress.”


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New Mexico Road Trip

PHM0315GE01You don’t have to go very far to experience the Land of Enchantment.
Destination: Las Cruces.
“Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Looking for adventure
In whatever comes our way”


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New Orleans

PHM0215Flash-4-NewOrleansSaint City’s cultural and culinary cachet shines.

New Orleans is known for its rich cultural heritage of jazz music; French, Creole and Cajun cuisine; lax alcohol laws; lore and life along the Mississippi River; and deep Southern history and humidity. It’s the largest city in Louisiana, and there’s a lot more to it than the French Quarter. But like a leggy, drunken blonde downing dirty martinis and affecting an obscure accent, the FQ dominates the room at all the parties.


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¶lim¶52 Weekend Adventures

PHM 500x500 FPOOne 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
Grand Canyon
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,
Driving Time: 3 hours, 17 minutes (223 miles)
Fees: Exhibit is free; fees vary by activity
Kids: Take ‘em


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Lake Powell for Every Season

PHM0115GE01The summer peak season is still a few months away, but a wintertime Lake Powell trip will float, too.

For the first-time visitor, Lake Powell baffles easy description. It’s so vast, so surreal, such a paradoxical union of desert and...

“It’s like Monument Valley with water,” our boat pilot offers.

Well, yes. That’s it exactly, actually. The vertical sandstone, the ruddy buttes, the outlandish abundance of water – it’s a scene ripped straight from a classic Western, except John Wayne is riding a WaveRunner, not a saddlebred.


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Vino de Baja

PHM 500x500 FPOUncovering Mexico’s best-kept secret, one glass of wine at a time.

A confused brow furrow, a side-eyed glance and then a bemused smirk precede the question, heavy with doubt and a hint of patronization: “They make wine there?”

That’s the reaction I get when I tell people I’m going to Mexico’s Baja California to report on its wine region for a travel piece. Comically, it’s the same reaction I get days later when I tell the people of Baja about Arizona’s three wine-growing regions.


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