Walking Guide of Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona

Old Town Cottonwood, affectionately still known as Downtown or Main Street, is a little town with a lot to offer in the heart of Arizona.  Cottonwood is part of the Verde Valley, and close neighbor to the Ghost Town of Jerome and ever popular Sedona, each accessed from the 89A highway.
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Old Town is a few shorts blocks along Main Street, perfect for a few hours and up to a few days!

Come hungry!  Cottonwood is building a reputation for fantastic local restaurants, with new ones opening every time I visit!  The “new” bakery smelled divine and received glowing recommendations from everyone I spoke to in town. Continue reading “Walking Guide of Historic Old Town Cottonwood, Arizona”

Spirited Ghost Town of Jerome Arizona

2016 Jerome JPerched on top of Cleopatra Hill in the heart of Verde Valley, Arizona is the old mining town of Jerome.  Once a bustling copper mining town, Jerome officially became a ghost town in the 1950’s and finally a National Historic District in 1967.2016_JGH2

Jerome is a family favorite for me since the 1970’s.  Every time I visit Jerome, there is something new to see!  This little ghost town is a hidden gem bustling with activity.  There are hotels, restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, art galleries, museums, and old fashion saloons!2016 WInery

The views are stunning throughout the town!  Customers line up at the various restaurants and wineries that showcase the view. One of the most popular spots is the delicious Haunted Hamburger restaurant.

This little town is full of eerie sights and locations haunted by former residents from the days as the “Wickedest Town in the West”.  These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects.   The town’s Community Center is also known as Spook Hall due to a resident ghost and her odd behavior.  The former brothels on Main Street are still popular for sightings of phantoms.  These spirits continue to offer ghost hunters more questions around the strange apparitions and unexplained moving objects.

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Arizona Renaissance Festival | Beginners Guide and Frugal Tips

Step back in time and into a world of fantasy at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, full of Knights, Royalty, Mermaids, Pirates, Gypsies, and more.  

Romance, adventure, and entertainment set in a Renaissance period fantasy world full of fun in the beautiful desert of Arizona.Let your imagination run wild in this family friendly excursion back in time!

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The festival operates every weekend in February and March, President’s day and a few select school days.  The base ticket price includes entrance to the festival grounds, ample parking, petting zoo, and all shows, including the joust.

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Explore Your Own Backyard

For as long as I can remember I have had the Travel Bug, my Dad calls this my “itchy feet” since I could never stand still.  I loved going on road trips and vacation getaways with my family as a child, then exploring on my own as I got older.  I was excited to get my Passport so I could travel to distant lands and experience the World!Explore Your Own Backyard

After two trips outside the United States I realized that my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona was an exotic location for many people.  The locals that I was visiting were just as fascinated by USD currency, desert climate, and the “wild, wild, west” as I was with their home.  Some of my new British friends even made the trek out to Phoenix to see for themselves.  Treating my home as base camp, we explored my neighborhood through tourist eyes.  And I discovered treasure in my own backyard! Continue reading “Explore Your Own Backyard”

South Mountain Park

Hiking is one of my favorite free activities in Phoenix.  Our desert valley is surrounded by mountains providing stunning views and wildlife.  South Mountain Park/Preserve in the heart of Phoenix is over 16,000 acres, approximately 20 times the size of New York’s Central Park, it is the largest municipal park in the country!  Now is the perfect time to Go Take a Hike!

South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park is easy access from anywhere in metro-Phoenix and offers trails for every level of athletic ability.  Horses, dogs, and mountain bikes are all welcome on the trails.

Desert Classic Trail
Desert Classic Trail

With nearly 60 miles of trails, I like to map out the hike before heading to a trail head.  Most trails are easily followed with metal signposts along the trail as a guide, and many of these were recently updated with trail name, QR code, elevation, and specific trail post information.  I always bring a hard copy trail map of the area I plan to be in.  A recent hike with friends was so beautiful we decided to add another couple miles to our hike, which was easily accomplished with a brief look at our trail map.south-mountain-park-map

 

 

There are at least 4 main parking lots, and many more parking areas near perimeter trail heads.2015_SM1There are excellent maps and detailed descriptions of trails provided by National Geographic at All Trails website.  Here is more information about the beautiful desert trails including petroglyphs and ruins.

Pima Canyon entrance from Guadalupe
Pima Canyon entrance from Guadalupe

Pima Canyon entrance is accessed from I-10 and Baseline road, just off of 48th street and Guadalupe.  This popular parking lot is usually packed with cars, and offers restrooms, water fountains, shaded benches, and areas for cooking/grilling.

Pima Canyon Gazebo
Pima Canyon Gazebo

 

Desert Foothills Parkway is a smaller parking lot located at the Southern tip of the park and offers shaded area, water fountains, and portable toilets.

Desert Foothills Parking and Gazebo
Desert Foothills Parking and Gazebo

 

 

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