Craig Outhier, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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Still Cookin’: The recent implosion of UK-based travel firm Thomas Cook has evidently not affected the operations of subsidiary Condor Airlines, the German budget carrier that started hauling Phoenicians nonstop to Frankfurt two summers ago. Euro-curious Valley residents can book travel out of Phoenix starting in April for about $700 round trip. condor.com Up the Junction: One of our favorite airfare deals this winter is the $97 nonstop round-trip fare to Grand Junction, Colorado, in...

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Stuffed lobster at Bluewater Grill on December 10. The Camelback clam-peddler returns with its all-inclusive $45 holiday mashup. bluewatergrill.com Breakfast with Santa at the Montelucia on December 14 and 21. Ho, ho, ho, little one-percenters! $55/adult, $40/child. Kids 5 and under free. omnihotels.com Eating more, drinking more at train-station-themed Century Grand. The UnderTow sister property instantly becomes the Valley’s premier culinary amusement park. centurygrandphx.com Trying the charred octopus at FLINT by Baltaire. The Esplanade space...

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The new happy hour menu at The Covenant in Paradise Valley Lite. Killer roasted Brussels sprouts with Andouille sausage, amazing beet-scallop duos (pictured) and $6 French 75s. thecovenantaz.com The three-course “Thanksgiving to Go” menu at Liberty Station. Because cooking is hard. libertystationtavern.com As many bao sandwiches as we can eat at Deez Buns in Tempe. Particularly the tangy, fish-saucy pho bun – which does taste uncannily like a bowl of pho. facebook.com/deezbunsaz A new gastropub-ish...

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Trailing Off: Enchantment Resort in Sedona, profiled at the top of this Explore section, is certainly all-in with the trail thing. In late October, the 218-room resort – epically ensconced in lush Boynton Canyon – broke ground on the Trail House, a one-of-a-kind staging lounge for hiking and biking that will open in summer 2020. More details to come. enchantmentresort.com Leaf-Peeper Alert: With prime fall color lasting just a few weeks in Arizona, Amara Resort...

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Burning Man for mountain bikers? We’re intrigued. From November 14-17, Sedona’s Enchantment Resort hosts its second annual Ride the Red Rocks, a three-night “crash course into mountain biking” set in the heart of beautiful Boynton Canyon. Guests of all skill levels will embark on a variety of exhilarating guided rides through captivating red rock scenery and canyon trails, and enjoy gourmet dining at the resort’s Native American-influenced flagship restaurant, Che Ah Chi. They’ll also have...

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Coconino Missionary: Mormon Lake Lodge, one of Arizona’s true high-elevation treats, has a new equine-themed package designed to lure Valley folks to the mountains for a quickie autumn getaway. The Giddyap Mountain Getaway package ($198-$239/night) includes a 90-minute horseback ride for two, plus breakfast, lunch or dinner. Offer good through October 15. mormonlakelodge.com Making Like Magnum: If Hawaii travel is in your fall/winter plans, the Hotel Wailea in Maui offers this sweetener: a joyride in...

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Since its humble origins as a one-day lineup of folk-rock bands at WestWorld, the McDowell Mountain Music Festival – now known as M3F – has evolved into the Valley’s premier homegrown live-music event. And the 2020 lineup – unveiled this morning by festival founder John Largay – is its biggest, and arguably most star-studded yet. 35 recording artists will perform March 6-8 at Margaret T. Hance Park in Downtown Phoenix, including indie-folk superstar Bon Iver, Aussie synth-rockers...

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1. The legendary fire-roasted seafood tower at Maple & Ash. It’s actually more of a platter than a tower, but you’ll be unconscious with pleasure while eating it, so who can tell? mapleandash.com 2. The Arizona Taco Festival on October 12 and 13 at WestWorld of Scottsdale. It has all the local stars of Mexican hand-food. aztacofestival.com 3. The ridonkulous fried chicken sandwich at New Wave Market in Old Town Scottsdale. Popeye’s? Child, please. Available...

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“PAS” Port: Looking for an arts-focused fall vacay? The interactive PASEO Project (Sept. 13-14) in Taos, New Mexico, is billed as “a participatory, multi-sensory experience” in which laser and video projections transform historic adobe buildings into “modern, moving monsters.” Groovy, right? paseoproject.org Cruising the Cortez: Though Rocky Point’s long-awaited deep-sea port will not be completed by its December target date, Cruise & Maritime Voyages will sail from the Sonoran burg as planned. The 550-passenger Astoria...

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