Sam Ellefson, Author at PHOENIX magazine

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The closing of the iconic Saba’s Western Wear in 2019 left a hole in Old Town Scottsdale. Luckily, the business that sprang up in its coveted location on Brown Avenue is just as homegrown. The Merchantile of Scottsdale is a boutique marketplace with more than 80 local vendors founded by husband and wife Eugene and Kimberly Pak. After they moved to Arizona from California, they applied their entrepreneurial experience to building The Merchantile. “I love...

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Phoenix employment attorney Joshua Black escaped the summer heat by taking a “glamping” trip to the red rock town of Kanab, Utah. “In Kanab you’re in the high desert, you have a very beautiful variation of nature,” Black says. He and his immigration attorney wife are avid travelers, and have been taking trips to explore natural beauty during the pandemic. “We’re trying to plan weekend getaways where we can do three or four days, hit...

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If you’re planning a winter escape to Tonto National Forest or the magnificent Tonto Natural Bridge, make a pit stop in Payson (paysonrimcountry.com), where three food and drink options recently opened. Danzeisen Dairy Creamery Store  Danzeisen Dairy owner Kevin Danzeisen partnered with friends Joe and Katie Klein of Payson to open the first extra-Valley Danzeisen creamery there in July 2020. Stop in to rest your feet and enjoy a milkshake, “Hot Cups” (hot chocolate-like treats,...

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The Phoenix Zoo has garnered a reputation over the years for providing families with a holiday experience like no other with its annual ZooLights show. This year, the largest privately owned, nonprofit zoo in the country is expanding its ZooLights trails, implementing new safety precautions and adding a new drive-through experience. The new drive-through option will only be available on certain evenings, and there will be no walking allowed on those nights. Tickets to see...

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The Valley boasts amazing Asian cuisine. If you know where to look, you can easily find some authentic, delicious food. Take, for example, these nine mouth-watering Thai restaurants in the greater Phoenix area. The Wild Thaiger Located in the heart of midtown, The Wild Thaiger is a family-owned restaurant operated by head chef and owner Olashawn Hasadinratana-Weaver. Family culinary traditions meet a lively dining experience at The Wild Thaiger, and the restaurant is open for...

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Need a throw pillow to liven up your sofa or bed? Consider UniikPillows. The Phoenix-based home décor brand was established in 2015 by a family team making eclectic throw pillow covers. “We started out of our home, just real home-grown,”  South Africa native Yolindi de Gouveia says. “It was an idea my daughter and I had. She’s very creative, and we love home décor and decorating.” Her daughter, Carealee, is UniikPillows’ resident artist and photographer....

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The Valley has some of the most magnificent sunsets in the world. As the Arizona heat continues to wind down, what better way to enjoy the picturesque colors of Phoenix sundowns than with these five great spots? South Mountain South Mountain is the quintessential sunset viewing point for Phoenix residents of all ages. Hike along one of its many trails or drive up to some of its overlooks to catch some of the best views...

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The inaugural Glass Pumpkin Patch presented by The Holland Center, a nonprofit organization that aims to uplift education, arts and community in the Desert Foothills region, will be open from Oct. 16 through Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Part of the proceeds from the pumpkin patch, which will showcase more than 1,000 handmade, fairytale-like glass pumpkins crafted by local glass artist Gregory Tomb, will benefit the Desert Foothills Theater. “The purpose of...

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Mark your calendars – High Street in North Phoenix is bringing back its weekly farmers market at the end of October! Located on Loop 101 and 56th Street, the farmers market will reopen on October 25 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and continue every Sunday until the end of May. With health and safety guidelines implemented and over 100 vendors bringing their local goods to the public, the High Street farmers market is going...

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.