Now that winter is slowly fading and spring training is fully underway with games daily from the likes of the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco Giants, and the Los Angeles Dodgers there hasn’t been a better time in 2017 for Phoenicians and out-of-towners alike to experience what the Valley of the Sun has to offer. If you haven’t yet felt the magic of the World Series winning Cubs, they are playing throughout the Valley until March 31. You can buy tickets to any Cactus League game at mlb.com.
Located just minutes east of Sky Harbor International Airport near Van Buren Street and Galvin Parkway, the red sandstone buttes that inhabit Papago Park offers hikers a unique perspective from the iconic hole-in-the-rock to the many hiking and biking trails. The trail to hole-in-the-rock is short but moderately steep and attainable for the whole family. You can also fish at one of the ponds, visit the Phoenix Zoo, or Desert Botanical Garden.
Another hiking trail from the wildly popular Camelback Mountain is the Echo Canyon Park which takes hikers all the way up to the Camelback Mountain summit at 2,704 feet. A more rigorous and steep trek than hole-in-the-rock by far, however the view from the heart of the city at the tallest peak in the Phoenix mountains is more than worth the climb.
With the rapidly growing restaurant scene in Phoenix the past few years, there is bound to be some new favorites amongst the revered local spots. Though Phoenix is not known for its barbeque, Little Miss BBQ on University Drive receives rave reviews and lines are down the block for a taste of their smoked briskets, pulled pork, ribs and more. Little Miss BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and they are located on 4301 E University Drive.
Despite having many Italian restaurants in the city, the recently opened Mora Italian on trending 7th street opened a few weeks ago with much anticipation as award winning chef Scott Conant was opening his restaurant in the desert and almost everyone who has dined there since opening would agree it is nothing short of a memorable culinary experience. Mora is open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and located on 5651 N 7th Street.