Ahwatukee (AKA “The Other Side of the Hill”)
Technically part of phoenix, Ahwatukee draws its name from one of the first homes in the foothills, the Ahwatukee Ranch, built in 1922. The word “Ahwatukee” means “house of my dreams” in the language of the Crow Nation. HIGH LIFE: The 16,000-acre South Mountain Park/Preserve borders Ahwatukee on the north. While the 2,690-foot Mount Suppoa isn’t accessible to the public, Valley residents can climb the 2,330 feet to Dobbins Lookout.
ALL OF THE LIGHTS: Every year from Thanksgiving weekend to New Year’s Day, Ahwatukee strings up more than a million lights on Chandler Boulevard from 24th Street to Desert Foothills Parkway. The Festival of Lights is free and draws thousands of Ahwatukee residents.
CHAMPION SIGHTINGS: While 13-time PGA Tour winner Mark Calcavecchia has his principal home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the golfer also owns a residence in the Ahwatukee Foothills.
The Pomegranate Cafe is a delicious, pastel-colored spot for vegans and health nuts. The mother-daughter chef team has created a full vegan and GMO-free menu including tacos, protein bowls, coffee drinks, smoothies and even sweets. Ahwatukeeans looking for a fresh start can also join one of the cafe’s regular juice cleanses.4025 E. Chandler Blvd., 480-706-7472, pomegranatecafe.com
Ahwatukee Farmers’ Market
It doesn’t get fresher than this. While there are plenty of veggies offered by a number of local farms, also keep an eye out for goods such as wild-caught Alaskan seafood, custom dog treats and homemade skin care products. The Ahwatukee Farmers’ Market sets up shop every Sunday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 4700 E. Warner Rd., 602-919-9094, arizonafarmersmarkets.com
Dance Studio 111
This 20-year-old studio houses five professional dance rooms and offers classes in nearly a dozen styles of dance, as well as musical instrument and voice lessons, to Southeast Valley residents of all ages and experience levels. Dance Studio 111 even provides a cafe, parent lounge and homework lounge for those offstage. 4910 E. Chandler Blvd., 480-706-6040, dancestudio111.com
My Wine Cellar
Find more than 30 varieties of wine and craft beers as well as traditional Italian food, including a create-your-own charcuterie board and multiple kinds of bruschetta, at this bar and restaurant. My Wine Cellar also hosts a pair of four-week wine classes and a monthly wine-tasting club for the wannabe sommelier and novice wine drinker alike. 5030 E. Warner Rd., 480-598-9463, mywinecellarphx.com