Friday, December 20, 2013

Central Arizona

      The colors of fall certainly arrive late to the Sonoran Desert areas of Central Arizona.  But fall activities, perfect for short, daylong road trips, are abundant when the summer heat gives way to the spectacular weather of autumn.  Since there are some many possibilities of places to visit and enjoy, we have listed here are a few of our favorites…

    - Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior is once of the great places to discover fall. The 23rd Bye-Bye Buzzards celebration occurs on September 21st marking the annual migration of the arboretum’s flock of Turkey Vultures to Mexico.  The cooler weather of autumn also means another series of arboretum classes dealing with photography, cactus-jelly making, lizard walks and more begin again.  Such a great place to visit and enjoy - http://arboretum.ag.arizona.edu/index.html.

    - Do something really special this fall and make reservations to hike Aravaipa Canyon located southeast of Winkelman. It has been called one of the “last great places on earth” and fall is surely the most beautiful time of the year to make this 11-mile hike through this riparian ecosystem.  Your feet are sure to get wet as much of the hike is through the perennial stream.  This canyon is truly special and one of the great scenic wonders of Arizona - http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/arolrsmain/aravaipa.html.

    - The Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon area is always beautiful and no time more so than in autumn.  A Red Rock Pass is required to visit many of the natural sites so be sure to acquire one.  The ruins of Honanki, http://www.redrockcountry.org/recreation/cultural/honanki.shtml, are easy to access and amazing to explore especially when decorated with the colors of fall.  Hiking the trails of Red Rock State Park, http://azstateparks.com/Parks/RERO/, are equally colorful and enjoyable during the fall season.  And if you are looking to escape for a couple of days, there is no place finer to bed down than the cabins of the Briar Patch Inn, http://www.briarpatchinn.com/, as the autumn leaves come floating to the ground along the bubbling waters of Oak Creek.
    Finally, if you want to know where to find the best hiking trails around Sedona, check out this App for your smart phone.   It lists and gives information on 56 Sedona trails rated easy to hard.  It will help you discover the natural wonders of Sedona like few have seen before - http://sedonahikingapp.com/hikelist.php?col=.

    -The autumn season is a big and scary deal in Jerome.  Not only are the monthly First Saturday Art Walks, http://jeromeartwalk.com/, downright delightful in the colors of fall, but no place celebrates Halloween quite like Jerome.  The mid-October Ghost Walk and the annual Halloween Dance Party are classic!  And if you want a real ghostly experience, spend a night or two at the Grand Hotel, http://www.jeromegrandhotel.net/, and join the festivities of the best Halloween Party in Arizona at the hotel’s Asylum Restaurant, http://asylumrestaurant.com/
    A great web site for all the events across the Verde Valley can be found here - http://www.sedonaverdevalley.org/home.html.

Other nearby Jerome attractions:
-Verde Canyon Railroad - http://verdecanyonrr.com/
-Tuzigoot National Monument - http://www.nps.gov/tuzi/index.htm
-Montezuma National Monument –
http://www.nps.gov/moca/index.htm
- Verde Valley Wine Trail -
http://www.vvwinetrail.com/





    - Prescott, “Everyone’s Home Town” is always a great place to visit in the fall.  The deciduous trees across town turn this mile-high city into an autumn scene fit for any New England magazine cover.  The flower gardens and trees surrounding the Sharlot Hall Museum, http://www.sharlot.org/, are a wonderful entry into the museum and a great place to spend an October afternoon.  The area around Prescott contains 48 miles of hiking and biking trails that includes both urban and wilderness trails - http://www.cityofprescott.net/services/parks/trails/. Lynx Lake, Goldwater Lake and the Granite Dells are beautiful, small lakes in every season but never more than in their splendor of fall.
    Fall horseback rides are also a great way to enjoy Central Arizona’s fall.  The good folks at the Pot A Gold Stables run some great fall rides in this part of Arizona - http://www.potagoldstables.com/.

    - Mortimer Family Farms in Dewey is a really busy farm when the fall season comes around once again.  Their annual Pumpkin Festival is open every weekend in October for kids of all ages to find that perfect Halloween pumpkin - http://mortimerfamilyfarms.com/.  Another great family farm is Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale.  The farm reopens for guests October 1st and their Pumpkin Days & Corn Maze runs from Oct. 1st – Nov. 10th.  Great fun and great, fresh produce - http://www.tolmachoff-farms.com/index.html.


    The list of places to visit and things to do surrounding the season of fall is almost endless. Local television and newspapers highlight autumn and autumn travel continually.  So make yourself a promise to take the time to get out and discover for yourself not only the great events but also the marvelous highways, charming small towns, long and varied history and unmatched natural beauty that is just waiting for all of us to discover in Arizona!




Wonderful Boyce Thompson!




Aravaipa Canyon


Red Rock State Park, Sedona


Our favorite - Briar Patch Inn


Hononki

Whose hands before us?

A real Kokopeli

Jerome Art Walk


A haunted Grand Hotel in Jerome




The Dells of Prescott



Tolmachoff Farms, Glendale, Arizona



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