things to do
Things To Do
For free monthly updates, event invitations and exclusive deals, sign-up for our newsletter!
Things To Do
June, 2013, Page 116
Santa Fe, NM
Toss a paintbrush in Santa Fe, and chances are it’ll come down on or near some kind of artwork. The town’s folksy vibe and complainers-be-damned attitude earned it the nickname “City Different,” with early settlers instructing visitors to be true to themselves, even if it meant wearing pleather chaps and tacky turquoise jewelry.
Those colorful Navajo rugs tourists “ooh” and “ahh” over take around 300 hours to weave by hand. And that’s for a small one. Learn to weave like a master at Jason Collingwood’s Intro to Rug Weaving class, July 15-17 at Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (325 Paseo de Onate, Española, 505-747-3577,
). If words like “selvage” and “weft” make you twitch, the $35 basic rag rug drop-in class is a quick alternative.
While the painted flowers and cow skulls of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (217 Johnson St., 505-946-1000,
) are a must-see for traditionalists, wacky displays of Pez dispensers and walrus masks make the Museum of International Folk Art (706 Camino Lejo, 505-476-1200,
) worthy of the City Different moniker. Summer 2013 exhibitions range from dizzying geometric quilts and colorful Japanese kites to a mouthwatering exploration of Hispanic chocolate.
On the Canyon Road Art Walk (
), a self-guided stroll through 100-plus local galleries, you might start drooling prickly pear juice after the inundation of cactus-covered landscapes. But it’s worth it for the occasional giant marble fetish or cheeky vintage comic book painting.
Photo by Brian Goddard
Lake Mead, AZ/NV
Created by the damming of the Colorado River near the Arizona/Nevada border, Lake Mead is the country’s original man-made recreation area, receiving about 8 million annual visitors, who hike, canoe, kayak and camp across its expanse. In the summer months when daytime temperatures can climb above 100 degrees, houseboats are the coolest way to enjoy the spectacular lakeside views. At quiet Callville Bay on the Nevada side, lake-lovers can rent luxury houseboats ranging from a comfortable 50-foot Forever model to the 70 x 16-foot Titanium with four private bedrooms, GPS navigation, satellite TV and onboard hot tub. If you have a fishing license, cast your line in search of striped bass or catfish (additional stamp required for trout) to grill on the barbecue. 800-255-5561,
Fort Collins, CO
Men may not gossip over a mani-pedi or pop in Love Story for a good cry, but that doesn’t mean dudes don’t need a little bonding time with their bros. Fort Collins’ outdoorsy vibe, combined with its status as the state’s biggest beer producer, makes for one mean mancation.
: Real men don’t need no stinkin’ pillow mints or tiny toiletries. West of Fort Collins, Horsetooth Reservoir offers 1,900 acres of rocky, tree-lined mountains and six-and-a-half miles of open water for guys to spread out in. A pup-tent and flint are all fellas require here – that, and a camping permit from Larimer County (
: Riding the crest of a hill or trekking rough terrain on a mountain bike is enough to get guys begging for an ice cold brewski. At Colorado’s Beer and Bike Tours (
), cyclists can customize a local trek culminating in a refreshing bar stop.
: Even if many members of the macho sex don’t care about locally-sourced ingredients and the availability of gluten-free bread, the view of the brewery through Gravity 1020’s glass walls should be enough to hold interest. Homestyle mac-and-cheese, gravy-smothered French fries, and beer tasting flights make for one satisfied posse. 1020 E. Lincoln Avenue, 970-682-2260,
More Freefall, Less Fear
A skydive freefall can be an exhilarating 45 seconds. It can also be a time to contemplate the possibility of landing on a saguaro. Get the rush without the regret at SkyVenture Arizona Indoor Skydiving, where guests suit up sans chute and stand under four 400-hp fans that mimic the air speed of an outdoor skydive. Besides the obvious bonus of avoiding the blistering summer heat, SkyVenture participants score at least two minutes of freefall flight time – twice that of a traditional dive. First-timers receive two hours of instruction on body positions, communication signals and flight techniques, plus a souvenir T-shirt, while experienced flyers can book a tunnel for up to an hour. An inaugural flight will set you back $50-$80. 4900 N. Taylor Rd., Eloy, 520-466-4640,
Jacuzzis in the Forest
Pat and Dick Bruneau’s 10-acre property is a quiet escape – and that’s the way they want to keep it. Words like “solitude” and “secluded” are treasured in Greer, which hosts weekly potluck Sundays and bills itself as a village, not a town. At Snowy Mountain Inn, eight log cabins offer country charm combined with city amenities like satellite TV and private barbecue grills. While nearby Squirrel Springs and Butler Canyon are worthy hikes, there’s enough going on at Snowy Mountain that you’ll never want to leave. Grab a bite from the on-site deli, catch and release fish in the pond, or view sculpture and paintings at their new Artisans on the Pond event every Saturday and Sunday this summer. Best of all, nearly every cabin comes with a private outdoor Jacuzzi for the perfect relaxing end to a busy day of seclusion and serenity. 38721 Route 373, Greer, 928-735-7576,
Get into the Spirits
The spirits of Jerome are alive and well at the Connor Hotel, a funky second-story brick lodge originally built in 1897. In its early years, the Connor building suffered from several catastrophic fires, including one that burned it to the ground. So it’s little surprise the rebuilt hotel is haunted. Glasses inexplicably crash to the floor. Electronics turn on and off without cause. A mysterious Lady in Red has been sighted so often that owner Anne Conlin actually keeps a ghost journal. The remodeled 12-room hotel – now equipped with sprinklers and a fire escape – is relatively quiet otherwise, save for the electric guitar riffs and drum beats of bands like Los Guys and Cadillac Angels reverberating off the copper ceiling of The Spirit Room below. Rumor has it the artist who painted the bar’s mural added The Lady in Red after seeing her in a dream – though how he thought up the adjacent saloon girls in drag, we don’t want to know. 164 Main St., Jerome, 928-634-5006,
Photos by Richard Maack
Cozy up with Cactus Wrens
In Southeastern Arizona’s Huachuca Mountains, Tony and Julie Battiste’s Battiste Bed, Breakfast and Birds is a haven for ravens, hawks, cactus wrens and more. Guests don’t have to venture far to spot Lucy’s Warbler or a gorgeous turquoise and yellow Lazuli Bunting, two popular summer visitors that are among the 150-plus species that have been spotted from the B&B. A two-person blind on the property allows for subtle riparian reconnaissance, while the secluded location offers the best chance to hear faint bird calls. Basic but homey lodgings include a private casita with a spectacular view of Miller’s Peak and a kitchenette suite named after a pair of Elf Owls that return to roost at Battiste yearly. 4700 E. Robert Smith Lane, Hereford, 520-803-6908,
Nature Lover’s Paradise
Mt. Rainier, WA
With 13 national parks and more than 30 natural lakes, Washington beckons outdoor recreationists like a moth to a campfire. The only bona fide “fourteener” (i.e. a mountain more than 14,000 feet in elevation) in the state, Mt. Rainier is a challenge issued by Mother Nature – one that many visitors are happy to accept.
: Nestled 50 feet off the ground in a 200-year-old Red Cedar in nearby Ashford, Cedar Creek Treehouse (360-569-2991,
) is a rentable private retreat with an adjacent observatory offering once-in-a-lifetime views of the summit.
: Free-roaming moose, goats and elk get nose to nose with spectators at NW Trek Wildlife Park (11610 Trek Dr. East, Eatonville, 360-832-6117,
), which includes a 50-minute tram ride and a walking tour of the more dangerous enclosed habitats.
: Though an eruption 5,600 years ago collapsed part of Mt. Rainier (
), the peak is still a sight to behold – and a tempting treat for mountaineers looking to check off another fourteener. In summer, fields of brilliant red, purple and yellow wildflowers dot open meadows, making for a magical ramble up the active volcano.
Heart Rate-Raising Spa
Cal-a-Vie takes its “health spa” label seriously. With nutritional demos, mind/body/spirit activities, epic fitness facilities and a full-service spa with Ayurvedic massage, their goal is to send you back to the real world relaxed, toned and ready to live a healthful life. The spa hosts more than 100 fitness classes, from hula hoop and Zumba to hardcore sweat-inducers like pole pilates, cardio kickboxing, spinning and triathlon water training. Find your Zen through the slow, focused breathing of meditation and Tai Chi, or stroll the candlelit outdoor labyrinth while inhaling the scent of fresh lavender carried on balmy 75-degree breezes. Hikes through the pastoral countryside and golf at neighboring Vista Valley course are alternatives outside of the French-inspired resort’s gorgeous villas – though with luxurious suites, private sundecks overlooking the lush grounds, and farm-fresh meals, we’re not sure why you’d leave. 29402 Spa Havens Way, Vista, 760-945-2055,
Originally dubbed “skurfing” by a bunch of innovative Aussies, wakeboarding is a boon to water sport enthusiasts who appreciate the control of a boat-led rig and the smooth, natural feel of surfing. With no motor size limit, Flagstaff’s Upper Lake Mary is the perfect place to rent a big ol’ MasterCraft and try casing the wake. Invert Sports – an Arizona-based outfit that rents jet skis, paddle boards and wakeskating gear – also offers lessons ($295 per day). Once you’re paying more attention to the feel of the spray on your face than the bend of your knees or the position of your feet, instructors will coach you through basic inverts (board-flips) and maybe even the impressive air raley, a popular maneuver that mimics Superman’s flight. Try it too soon, though, and you’re liable to re-enact Louie Anderson’s painful belly flop in the celebrity diving show Splash. 888-205-7119,
Choose a Cheese Course
The folks at Black Mesa Ranch aren’t kidding when they say their goats are world-class: Six of their goats were lauded by the American Dairy Goat Association in 2012 for their superior genetics. For urban farmers who want to add goat milk and cheese to their homestead, Black Mesa’s farmers will teach you everything you want to know. A three-day cheese-making workshop scheduled on request starts at dawn with cleaning and milking. Participants learn hands-on about pasteurization and cultures, plus bottle-feeding, tending and caring for the goats. At $1,000 per person with a two-person minimum, these workshops aren’t cheap. But where else can you learn how to massage an udder and strain chevre in the same day? 928-536-7759,
Go with the Lava Flow
It’s not the longest underground hike in Arizona, but it might be the scariest. About 14 miles north of Flagstaff, you’ll find Lava River Cave, a lava tube formed more than 650,000 years ago by flow from a nearby volcanic vent. Walk through a hole in the boulders and you’ll instantly feel a bone-chilling drop in temperature. Soon, everything goes dark. The rounded walls and stalactites testify to the raw power of nature that carved the 3,820-foot path. Bring extra clothing layers, gloves, water and two flashlights (in case one goes out). While the trek isn’t lengthy, rocky terrain and pitch-black conditions make for slow going. Families with kids in tow may want to attach a childproof leash and pin a few glow sticks to the child’s clothing, since you can’t exactly call a Code Adam in a cave. 928-526-0866,
© 2007 Copyright Phoenix Magazine 15169 N. Scottsdale Road Suite C310 Scottsdale Arizona 85254
Travel & Outdoors
Best of The Valley
Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine
Advertise With Us
Web Site Design