Sick of the cold already? Phoenix, Arizona, is an ideal winter
getaway with day time temperatures hovering around the low 70s, evenings
temperatures falling to the 50s, and abundant sunshine in between. There's no
better time to explore the desert than the peak of winter. Ride a bike, hike a
trail, enjoy great food, and see great art all in the same place. With cheap
tickets to Phoenix, now is the time to pack your sunscreen and get an early
start to spring break.
Hot coffee may not be what you have in mind when visiting
Phoenix, but the city whips up a great cup of joe that is on par with its West
Coast neighbors like Seattle and Los Angeles. Lux Central coffee is where Arizonians go
to cool off or warm up. Located at 4402 North Central Avenue, Lux offers a full
range of coffee drinks and full menu, from breakfast to lunch to dinner.
There's the "Farmers Market Vegetable Three-Egg Scramble" for $11
that will provide enough protein to send you hiking and biking all day. Or how
about pancakes with homemade whipped cream for $9? Fuel up with Lux's various
brews, like the "Red Eye" for $3.50. Oh, and the orange and
grapefruit juices are freshly squeezed.
Winter is the perfect time to hike and bike around Phoenix's
many city parks and take in its unique landscape. Smother on some sunscreen and
hike the Cholla trail on Camelback Mountain
Peak at Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Papago Park is
only 10 minutes from downtown and offers many trails with views of huge
sandstone buttes. Nearby is the Phoenix Zoo
and Desert Botanical Garden. Make sure your
smartphone batteries are fully charged because the views will provide amazing
photo opportunities. For lunch, Phoenix
offers the world, from Thai food to Ethiopian entrees to Japanese cuisine
to American West steakhouses to vegan cafes.
Now until May 18, 2014, the tentacled glass art works of Dale Chihuly are on
display at the Desert Botanical Garden. This exhibit is best enjoyed at sunset
and it is spectacular. There is nothing like it. Chihuly's colorful pieces
mingle beautifully with the twists and turns of the desert flora lovingly
cultivated by the Desert Botanical Garden staff. With 140 acres and more than
50,000 plant displays, a walk through a desert oasis is the perfect way to cap
a day in Phoenix. Grab a zesty Southwestern dinner and a glass of wine at Gertrudes, a farm-to-table
restaurant at the Botanical Garden. Arizona knows how to do sunsets and watching
the sun dip and cast silhouettes of the cacti is an image you won't forget.
For more information about sightseeing around Phoenix, visit http://www.visitphoenix.com.
Photo credit: Katrina Woznicki