Passionate people and jumping cactus!
I had been to the desert in the southwestern part of the US but not to Scottsdale, Arizona or the Phoenix area. Sundresses packed and sandals ready to go, I boarded a plane for Arizona, looking forward to feeling the sun on my skin after a long dark winter in the midwest.
I had done some research before I left on the area and decided to look up hiking in the desert. I came across a couple of sites that warned of jumping cactus that attach to your skin and embed their tentacles if you try to pull them off! Now I had visions of hiding under my sheets with a flashlight spoofing on the Blair Witch Project, scared of heading out to the trails of the Sonora Desert Preserve. But when I arrived and connected with the Scottsdale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the lovely ladies there assured me that there were no jumping cactus and gave me the safety basics when hiking in the desert. Whew! Glad to hear that as I had a solo 4 AM sunrise photo-shoot planned.
My few days in Scottsdale was a wonderful experience! It turned out to be an adventure filled area in the desert steeped with history and plenty of things to do. I met many restaurant and business owners, and the one thing that really struck me was the passion the people of this area have for what they do. I will be sharing some of their stories here and in future posts.
I’ll start with a couple of places that should not be missed when you visit this area.
Second Story Liquor Bar and Restaurant has an intimate setting and the owner, John Christie is passionate about whiskey. He has 165 different whiskies and all are made right there. the food is also top notch with dishes like Chilean Sea Bass, Lobster Corn Dog and a Rum cake to die for!
The Lawrence Dunham Vineyards is another story of passion. Wine is at the center of life for the team that runs and owns this vineyard. With a tasting room in old town Scottsdale, you can taste all of the signature wines from grapes grown on their property in the Chiricahua Mountain region in Arizona. Their signature wine, the 2010 Petite Sirah was my favorite and I ended up shipping a bottle home for my husband.
The House Brasserie has a really nice vibe with outdoor chandeliers and vintage style furnishings. The chemex coffee is something worth coming back for and the food was delectable! The towering chicken parmesan sandwich was very tasty!
Stay tuned for more food and adventure! Kayaking on the lower Salt River, Hiking in the Sonoran desert and the best museum stops in the West.
For more information on this area visit the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors center.
Photography Copyright – Robyn Porteen
Disclaimer: This experience was provided free of charge for review purposes by Scottsdale CVB, but all opinions expressed are my own.