Be the Tourist

Craig OuthierNovember 2019
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If you want to visit the Grand Canyon, my friends, sometimes you need to leave Arizona.

Apologies for the vague, fortune-cookie profundity, but it seemed like a fitting way to introduce this month’s cover package, Live Like a Tourist – because the statement is true, in my case.

After moving to Arizona in the late 1990s, I somehow eluded the state’s signature landmark for nearly 20 years before finally laying eyes on the thing a couple years ago – while visiting Las Vegas, ironically, via a helicopter tour with pickup service on the Strip.

That’s right – I had to turn myself into an Arizona tourist to finally visit the Grand Canyon. (My assessment: It’s great. Five Yelp stars.)

People I know in the Valley have shared similar anecdotes, and the same embedded lesson about complacency resides in each one: When something obvious is right in front of you, something easy and embarrassingly accessible in the grand cosmic scheme, you sometimes put it aside. Save it for later. Punt it.

Photo by Mirelle Inglefield
Photo by Mirelle Inglefield

“When something obvious is right in front of you, something easy and embarrassingly accessible in the grand cosmic scheme, you sometimes put it aside. Save it for later. Punt it.”

Well, Live Like a Tourist is designed as a remedy for that – a fourth-and-goal plea to experience the Valley’s defining amusements the way tourists do, with all the curiosity, openness and sociability that implies. It’s that tourist “mindset” we’re going for, and writer M.V. Moorhead – himself a Valley transplant, but with enough years of residency to qualify as an honorary native – has teed up an edifying menu of possibly new-to-you pastimes, from backcountry Jeep tours to the ever-mysterious Tovrea Castle, with dozens of TripAdvisor-trap restaurants and museums in between.

Layered with managing editor Leah LeMoine’s splashy, something-for-everyone Arizona gift guide and our usual news, culture and dining coverage, your December issue of PHOENIX will faithfully serve as a fun, actionable digestif for 2019… and for the whole decade, for that matter.

So gulp it down. We all have our Grand Canyons to slay.

For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.