Over the years and decades at PHOENIX, we’ve done multiple variations of the “stay cool” or “beat the heat” issue.
In fact, one of these summer heat-avoidance guides was the very first thing I ever wrote for the magazine, way back in 2011, as a plucky freelancer. Can I do something obnoxious and quote my own copy? “Dungeons get a bad rap,” I wrote while extolling the crypt-like virtues of Richardson Browne’s Rokerij basement bar in Phoenix. “We associate them with shackles and iron maidens and medieval sadism, conveniently forgetting one important fact: Dungeons are fantastically well-insulated.”
I can’t believe I didn’t win a Pulitzer, either. But the more salient takeaway is that coping with our famously oppressive summer heat is a big and enduring part of our collective cultural identity in Greater Phoenix, much as gridlock traffic serves as a weird bonding mechanism for Angelenos, or alligator attacks and missing limbs afford Floridians a certain solidarity.
“As you’ve probably guessed, this High-Country Arizona issue you’re holding is basically a ‘stay cool’ guide, presented in the ever-appealing context of in-state Arizona travel.”
As you’ve probably guessed, this High-Country Arizona issue you’re holding is basically a “stay cool” guide, presented in the ever-appealing context of in-state Arizona travel. Fanning out across the state, a team of PHOENIX editors and writers visited 11 different high-country vacation gems – all above 3,000 feet! – to experience the kind of heat-beating escapes you’ll be craving this summer. From fly fishing in Eagar to wine-tasting in Elgin, find it all starting on page 116.
And for those weekends and week-offs in which you choose to stay in town, we’ve also revived our annual Staycation Guide (page 152), capturing all the best deals and amenity programs at high-end Valley resorts this summer, neatly catalogued by geography, from Downtown to Cave Creek.
One other recurring theme you’ll notice in the May/June issue of PHOENIX: real estate and neighborhoods. In addition our annual Top Producers and Top Agents lists of the Valley’s most effectual home-sellers, we have two land-centric feature stories you’ll want to read: Robrt Pela’s humorously rendered profile of the long-stigmatized Sunnyslope district (page 164), and Jimmy Magahern’s rigorous undressing of the Rio Verde water controversy (page 148), which – true to Arizona tradition – has drawn a lot of misdirected flack from national media.
Now the PHOENIX team is off to tackle our next big summer project: Best of the Valley and its associated party in August. I’m thinking Best Dungeon might be a good category this year. But I’m not chained to the idea.