Liz Laing explores local farms throughout Mesa and Queen Creek, staying in a decked out 1969 Airstream, and marveling at Sonoran Desert sunsets.
Have you ever wanted to spend the night in a 1969 airstream? Now’s your chance… Schnepf Farms recently opened The Cozy Peach, a unique glamping experience in renovated airstreams and vintage trailers.
Owners, Carrie and Mark Schnepf are the most welcoming hosts you’ll find and their popular family-run farm is well-known for its U-pick produce, seasonal festivals and wedding venues. Carrie has been the primary force behind renovating the trailers, giving each one a different look, from retro, to shabby chic and Parisian. Guests can enjoy the tranquility of nature, while still having the comforts of plush bedding, flat screen TVs, showers, fridges and air conditioning.
At night you can stargaze, make s’mores, and sit around the campfire telling stories. After a restful night,hop on a bike and get breakfast at the Farm Café and Bakery, just a short ride from the trailers.
Arizona Goat Yoga(Gilbert, AZ)
Goat yoga seems to be popping up all over the place these days. In Gilbert, AZ Goat Yoga takes place outside at the Welcome Home Ranch and combines pet therapy and yoga. Simply watching these gentle creatures roam around is highly entertaining — some are wearing tutus and Hawaiian shirts, as if they’re not cute enough already! During the guided yoga class, the goats may jump up on you while striking a pose, but since laughter is one of the therapeutic benefits of goat yoga, it’s all good.
Fresh Foodie Trail (Mesa, AZ)
Immerse yourself in agritourism (tourism centered around agriculture) and discover fresh, local food from more than a dozen family farms and culinary shops on the Fresh Foodie Trail.The Queen Creek Olive Mill is one stop you won’t want to miss. Take a tour of Arizona’s only working olive farm and mill, taste a variety of high-quality EVOO, dine at their Tuscan-inspired eatery, and shop for gourmet “olive-inspired” goodies to take home. Don’t leave without trying a super moist Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cupcake.
Agritopia® (Gilbert, AZ)
Agritopia® is a unique urban farm community and a “modern day village,” with a 12-acre organic farm, a chef-driven restaurant, coffee shop and artisan collective — to name just a few. Urban agriculture integrated into the neighborhood is meant to encourage residents to come together and enjoy the local offerings with friends and family. Stop in for lunch at the infamous Joe’s Farm Grill, which used to be the founding family’s original homestead — now converted into a mid-century diner that serves top-notch American fare and harvests ingredients from the farm.
Check out some Arizona wines and do a tasting at Garage-East Farm Winery — try the breakfast wine, made with locally grown citrus, similar to a mimosa, but better! The winery is housed inside Barnone, a shiny metallic Quonset hut in Agritopia and features a community of artists making handcrafted goods, a vegan cafe, pizzeria, brewery, and more.
Cloth & Flame Dinner, Peralta Canyon
Dine amount the saguaro and witness a stunning Sonoran sunset, as you feast on a 5-course, farm-to-table dinner, overlooking Peralta Canyon. The off-road location, surrounded by the Superstition Mountains, is well worth the drive. When you arrive, you’ll be in awe of the beautifully set, 150ft wooden table and the view. Share stories with your neighbors while sharing heaping plates of fresh food, prepared by accomplished chefs. As you witness the sky glowing pink as the sun melts into the horizon, you’ll be thrilled to have experienced such a special evening. See upcoming Cloth & Flame dinners here.
Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix
This world class botanical garden is the largest in the Southwest and showcases 55,000 plants from across the world. Cactus and flowers never looked so good! Ever-changing art exhibitions throughout the gardens add even more dimension to the experience. Follow a trail and see where it leads as you discover the beauty of desert plants. Make sure to visit the Butterfly Pavillion on the Desert Wildflower Loop Trail.
The Gladly, Phoenix
Phoenix has become a foodie destination of late and it’s easy to see why The Gladly was named as one of Phoenix’s best new restaurants (same owners of the critically acclaimed Citizen Public House), with Chef Bernie Kantak’s satisfying comfort food menu. The stylish bar boasts a world-class craft beverage program and over 200 whiskies. Order a drink with a “magic” ice cube that is made at your table into a perfect glass-like sphere. You have to try their famous Original Chopped Salad (sub avocado for salmon), Roasted Brussels Sprouts Over Sweet Corn Grits and Pan Seared Scallops.
The Wigwam Resort & Spa, Phoenix
History and luxury meet seamlessly at The Wigwam, an iconic Arizona landmark, with adobe-style casitas and beautifully appointed rooms and suites, nestled among flower gardens and towering palms. Kids will love the twisting water slides at the Tower Pool where all the action is — guests looking for a more serene experience may prefer to cool off in the Oasis Pool. Other activities include tennis, golf and lawn games. When hunger strikes, grab dinner on-site at Litchfield’s, the resort’s signature restaurant featuring farm-to-table dishes and locally sourced produce.
Hot Air Expeditions, Phoenix
Watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon while floating above the Phoenix landscape and Sonoran Desert is an unforgettable experience. Hot Air Expeditions will pick-up guests at the Wigwam (in the very early morning) and take them to an open field from which to ascend. It’s exciting to watch the giant balloon fill with air from motorized fans. Once upright, propane burners are ignited to heat the air inside. In about 30 minutes, it’s time to fly! Once you step into the hand-crafted gondola, you’ll begin to float up from the ground and the view of the city expands — the views are breathtaking. The ride itself feels like you’re not even moving, since you are flying with the wind. It’s very peaceful up there. Once you come back down to Earth, you’re welcomed with a catered breakfast and champagne toast. As you raise your glass to your successful flight, take a moment to appreciate all the beauty that Arizona has to offer.