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By staff The pandemic restrictions are lifting, and now we’re ready to travel. We’ve compiled 10 fun weekend getaways that won’t break the bank or your PTO.   San Diego With pleasant weather year-round, beautiful beaches, and a thriving dining and art scene, San Diego is a premier Southern California […]

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino’s sweltering gaming floor is filled with the sounds of bells, winners’ squeals and chitchat among the guests on a recent Saturday. They’re all socially distanced, even in the busy restaurants. Michael Kintner, the casino’s senior vice president and general manager, is proud of how the […]

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski When We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort opened in Fort McDowell in October, the 166,341-square-foot facility unveiled an experience. The hotel lobby is an ode to the Yavapai Nation, with Native American design elements, including blue tile in the shape of a river, hanging glass bulbs that depict rain, and oversized baskets. “We’re proud that […]

By Adianna Bermudez Talking Stick Resort has a new way for high-limit gamers to gamble. Last month, the casino resort opened 89 high-denomination slot machines and 14 high-stakes table games, with décor inspired by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. “Talking Stick Resort is continuously evolving to give our guests new, exciting experiences while on […]

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski We-Ko-Pa Casino Resort, formerly known as Fort McDowell Casino, has reopened in its state-of-the-art facility with 850 slot machines, 22 gaming tables and live bingo on October 29. The casino’s interior is 100% smoke free, as is the hotel. However, there are four “very comfortable” outdoor designated smoking areas. “We’re very excited,” […]

By Andrew Checchia During this period of quarantine and lockdown, people are facing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety and general concern for the state of the world. According to the CDC, levels of depression and substance use have elevated significantly for people all around the country. While of course the pandemic itself might cause passive […]

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski   Judy Hector saw an ad for a Sierra Vista public affairs manager and instantly fell in love—even before seeing the southern Arizona city. “I flew into Tucson and rented a car,” she says. “The closer I got to Sierra Vista, the more I loved it. I loved it here and I […]

By Niki D’Andrea and the Arizona Department of Tourism   Yeah, yeah, yeah – it’s hot in Phoenix in the summer. Unusually, uniquely, don’t-have-a-heat-stroke hot. But there are some cool places elsewhere in the Grand Canyon State, and they’re just as unusual and unique as the Valley heat. In Arizona, the aquatic is exotic: an […]

Japanese Friendship Garden Joe Gilmore   The Ro Ho En Japanese Friendship Garden is a phoenix in the city of the same name. “Ro” is for the heron, the bird symbol of Himeji City, while “Ho” stands for the mythical phoenix. “En” is garden. The 3.5-acre Japanese Stroll Garden boasts a tea house, representing the […]

You don’t need to head out to the ocean to meet or swim with playful dolphins. Situated next to Odysea Aquarium, Dolphinaris Arizona in Scottsdale offers close-up dolphin encounters in 5 lagoons that hold a combined 1 million gallons of saltwater. The Dolphin Land Experience lets you stay dry as you meet a single dolphin, […]

One of the Valley’s major farm attractions, Vertuccio Farms offers year-round activities for fresh food aficionados, families and school groups. These include the expansive Fall Festival, family movie nights, the Easter Egg-sperience, Peaches N’ Play peach picking and rides, fireworks for Fourth of July, Pizza Farm for school groups and more. The farm also offers […]

Phoenix might reside in a desert, but it still plays host to a number of farms and other agricultural ventures, including the well-known Schnepf Farms. Situated in Queen Creek — owner Mark Schnepf was actually a driving force in Queen Creek’s 1989 incorporation and its first mayor — it does take a bit of driving […]

The Arizona Mills mall in Tempe isn’t the largest mall in the Valley by a long shot, but it contains a whopping four family-fun activities. First up, you definitely want to pay a visit to the LegoLand Discovery Center. In true LegoLand style, you can marvel at the miniature Lego versions of Arizona buildings and […]

Located near Fountain Hills off of AZ-87 on the east side of the Valley, Fort McDowell Casino offers a huge gambling area that includes more than 900 slot machines and offers regular poker and blackjack tournaments. Also available are keno and bingo areas, with the bingo hall having nonsmoking and smoking sections. When you get hungry, […]

Out the outskirts of Phoenix Metro, Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino offers a one-stop gambling and entertainment destination for visitors and locals alike. The casino offers 750 interactive slots, 19 blackjack tables, 17 poker tables and a 1,200-seat bingo hall wrapped in the feel of a dark, intimate lounge. You can also enjoy a sports […]

Located just across the highway from its big brother, the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, The Lone Butte Casino offers a somewhat cozier gambling experience. Inside you’ll find 450 interactive slots, six blackjack tables and three bingo session a day in the 750 seat bingo hall. For entertainment, you can catch shows in the […]

The Phoenix Zoo remains the Valley’s go-to spot to look at animals, but Phoenix boasts more than one such place, and Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park offers its own unique experience. As its long name hints, it contains an impressive list of things to do. The Zoo holds 600 animals from big cats to […]

Butterflies in the desert might seem like a strange idea — although they do exist here naturally during certain seasons — but few people realize that the Valley of the Sun boasts the largest indoor butterfly pavilion in America. Appropriately named Butterfly Wonderland, this massive facility helps you get up close and personal with nature’s colorful […]

It can take a little while, but eventually the beauty of the desert reveals itself, from its rare but brilliant flowers and unique plant to its interesting wildlife, colorful rocks and spectacular sunsets. If you don’t believe us, pay a visit to the world-class Desert Botanical Garden. This sprawling garden contains just about every desert herb, […]

Step into a slice of Japan at this exquisitely maintained 3.5-acre garden. It was built in the ’90s and early 2000s as a representation of the link between Phoenix and its Sister City of Himeji, Japan. In fact, its official name, Ro Ho En, comes from RO, the Japanese word for Heron — the symbol of […]

Don’t get us wrong; the Grand Canyon easily deserves its place as one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. But its popularity does make Arizona sound like a bit of a one-hit wonder. Ask anyone outside of Arizona what we’re known for, and they’ll usually respond with “the Grand Canyon and being hot in […]

To experience grandeur in Arizona, nothing beats the Grand Canyon. Likewise, Sedona has the market cornered on desert beauty. But for an outdoor adventure closer to home, the Phoenix area has some special spots of its own that you need to see. You’ll find one of them at Papago Park, which is also one of our five recommended […]

Get in touch with nature and spend a day at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. About an hour’s drive east of Phoenix, this desert-set forest of flora and fauna calls itself a “320 acre classroom” – and fittingly so. The Boyce Thompson Arboretum houses more than 3,000 different desert plants, as well as the animals that […]