PHOENIX- Growing up in Scottsdale, Ariz. I took for granted how special this state is. When you’re a kid you think everyone gets 8 months of beautiful weather, palm-tree lined streets and swimming pools in their backyards.
I didn’t fully understand the magic that is Arizona until I moved away after college, and when I would shovel snow to get my car out of my driveway the thing I missed the most was sitting on a patio drinking a margarita in January.
That seems like the perfect place to start with the list of my favorite things to do in Arizona.
1. Drink a margarita on the patio at Aunt Chiladas Squaw Peak in Phoenix. I’ll take it with top-shelf tequila, peach flavoring, on the rocks with salt. This patio has a great vibe, with lots of tropical plants and lawn games.
2. Take my son to the splash pad at Luci’s at the Orchard in Phoenix. This is his favorite hot-weather activity! We frequent other splash pads around the valley, and this is our favorite because it’s close to home and I can sit and drink a tea while he splashes, plus I love the gift shop.
3. Go to the Phoenix Zoo. We are members, and we get our money’s worth! We love the splash pad and feeding the giraffes.
4. Hike. My favorite places to hike are Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. These are both challenging, and I only do it when the weather’s nice out.
5. Spend a weekend in Sedona. We love to do this in the summer, it’s so beautiful and a destination for tourists around the world. One of my favorite places we visited last summer was the Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park, which is truly stunning to see in person.