Wednesday, July 30, 2014

travelblog

Prescott Food Tour

“Everybody’s Hometown” has grown into an epic eating and drinking destination.

Prescott – or “Presskit,” as some say –  is widely beloved as a fun, visitable vestige of old Arizona. Formerly the state’s territorial capital, it was where Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp boozed it up when they visited Yavapai County, in the downtown cluster of bars and saloons now known as Whiskey Row. A century later, one-time resident Barry Goldwater launched his 1964 presidential campaign in Prescott, delivering speeches from Courthouse Plaza, a green and shady park frequently filled with festivities and a quaint yesteryear feel bolstered by the statues of historical figures astride horses in the park, and the classic cars frequently parked around the square.

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Mt. Lemmon and Miraval

PHMGE01Reset your overheated body and mind with an escape to Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains.

The mountains are calling. Cooler climes beckon from up north in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona, but a siren song also emanates from our sister metropolis to the south. Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains and their rolling foothills provide ample opportunity for you to hit “reset” – on your sun-beaten spirit, your heat-addled mind and, perhaps most importantly, your overtaxed sweat glands.

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San Diego Family Vacay

0614PHMGE01Looking for a family escape? As always, our seaside sister city makes for a whale of a good time.

Hey, did you hear? San Diego is a great family vacation town. And Phoenix, evidently, can get a little warm in the summer.

Sorry to belabor the obvious, but then, obviousness is pretty much a given when discussing the virtues of San Diego as a family getaway. After all, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo are just a Frisbee throw from downtown, and Legoland is a short drive up the coast in Carlsbad. Based on those well-known destinations alone, the sunny seaside metropolis tops countless lists of family-friendly cities.

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Locals’ Las Vegas

PHM0514Flash-5Eat, drink and play like a native in the rehabilitated heart of Nevada’s most notorious city.

When hacking through the human jungle that is the Las Vegas Strip, one encounters the expected nightlife wildlife: Gamblers, gam-flashing girls, and wannabe wise guys, oh my! Perhaps the only thing more abundant in “Sin City” than stereotypes is neon. But Las Vegas locals will tell you that what happens in Vegas... doesn’t really always happen in Vegas. “My life is not The Hangover,” one born-and-raised native told us. “I don’t get drunk and gamble every weekend, I don’t have a tiger in my bathroom or a naked man in my trunk. And I’m sick of hearing ‘Viva Las Vegas.’”

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Monterey Coast

Go for the Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival. Stay for everything else.

The dignified, well-spoken culinary professionals addressing us from the stage appear ready to stab each other to death with their lemongrass lamb shanks. Such is the level of passion – and, perhaps, self-importance – at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival.

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Festival Season Sampler

In my former life as a childless spendthrift, I had a pretty messy festival habit. Rock festivals, food festivals, craft beer festivals, counterculture art confabs in the Nevada desert – I did them all, from California to North Carolina. And on a reporter's salary, no less. Thank you, Chase Visa.

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A Tahoe for Two Seasons

Straddling two states, Lake Tahoe offers slope-carving fun – and then some.

Viewed from its snow-covered shoreline on a winter day, Lake Tahoe is a thing of brooding beauty. The massive lake – which straddles the California-Nevada border and covers 191 square miles, roughly the surface area of Scottsdale – slumbers under a silent curtain of snowfall. Mountains rise up on every side, offering a tantalizing spread of skiing and snowboarding options. It's stunning.

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