Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Scottsdale’s James Beard Award Semi-finalist

FnB The James Beard Foundation Awards are to the food world as the Oscars are to the film world. Every year, several awards are given out in categories including culinary writing, culinary journalism, outstanding chef, lifetime achievement award and rising star chef. This year, Scottsdale has a semi-finalist for best chef in the Southwest. Charleen Badman is the head chef of FnB in the heart of downtown Scottsdale. Often praised for her farm-focused, fresh menu, Badman has taken FnB to national recognition. Chef Badman carefully constructs seasonal menus to ensure that freshness is tasted throughout the year. She creatively weaves locally sourced food to create one of the tastiest menus around. Every person who steps through the door can instantly feel the good vibes. Outstanding service, great location, cozy ambience and of course mouth-watering food make this restaurant a must visit. Finalist for the James Beard Award will be announced March 24.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona | http://ift.tt/1ATWc2h


Monday, March 16, 2015

A Hiker’s Paradise


Ready for a little Sonoran Desert adventure? Lace up your hiking boots and head out to Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve where more than 100 miles of spectacular trails are yours to explore.

The Preserve is the largest urban preserve in the Americas, currently encompassing more than 30,200 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. When complete, it will comprise approximately one-third of Scottsdale’s total land area, protecting it from development and ensuring the enjoyment of generations to come.

And trust us, there’s plenty to enjoy! Contrary to what you might think when you hear the word “desert,” the Sonoran is teeming with plant and animal life. In fact, more than 2,000 species of plants and nearly 700 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects call the Sonoran Desert home.

All of the Preserve’s trails are open to self-guided hiking. But if this is your first visit, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy offers a variety of free guided hikes and naturalist programs, as well as several private guided hikes (fees apply), to introduce you to the desert’s many wonders. Find the activity that’s right for you, then get out and explore our amazing Sonoran Desert!

Free Hikes & Programs

Family Fridays Presentations: Join local experts and learn about common desert plants and critters. Many speakers bring special “guests” like desert tortoises, birds of prey or interesting insects to meet the crowd.

Sensing the Desert Hike: What do you see? What’s that smell? What do you hear? The desert comes alive on this fun experiential hike. Appropriate for ages 7 and older.

Pre-Wildflower Hike: Look for signs of early wildflower bloom as you learn about the strategies used and prerequisites needed by wildflowers to ensure a successful blooming season. This moderate hike is best for older children and adults with some hiking experience.

Brown’s Mountain Summit Hike: Reach the highest elevation on the Northern Preserve with fantastic views from the McDowell Mountains to the Tonto National Park in an exciting ecological and geological environment. Best for intermediate/expert hikers.

Sunrise Trail to Andrews-KinseyTrail Hike: Burn off some calories on this picturesque but challenging trek for hardy hikers. Climb 900 feet to a saddle then continue on to explore the new Andrews-Kinsey Trail which leads to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the Fountain Hills Preserve.

Public hikes and programs take place during fall, winter and spring. Visit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s event page for dates, times and additional information on these and other events, hikes and programs.

Private Guided Hikes

Bajada Trail & Saguaro Loop Trail: This easy hike is educational and fun for all ages and abilities. The Bajada Trail portion of the hike is ADA accessible.

Nature’s Pharmacy: Native people of long ago collected desert plants for their healing and restorative properties. Find out more about these medicinal plants on this easy hike.

Bird Walk: In addition to seeing the desert’s year-round residents, you’ll also see birds that migrate here for the fall and winter. Possible sightings include the phainopepla, Wilson’s Warbler and western flycatcher.

Tai Qi Hike: Before, during and after this two-mile hike, Tai Qi instructor Ray Sol will introduce warm-up exercises to loosen muscles, balancing exercises, and Qigong breathing exercises to help restore fresh oxygen to muscles.

All About Arizona: This hike on the Old Jeep Trail is a celebration of Arizona – the state flower, state tree and more. The trail’s moderate uphill sections and occasional rocky terrain make it most appropriate for adults 18 and older.

The Conservancy’s private hikes are offered year-round (mornings only in summer) by reservation only and range from $55 to $95 per person depending on the length of the hike and the number of people in your group. For more information, a complete list of private hikes, and to make reservations, contact the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy at 480-998-7971.

Before you hit the trail, download your free copy of the Desert Discovery Guide here.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona | http://ift.tt/1CnAyJe


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day Events


Put on your green attire and get ready to celebrate! Enjoy these events and activities that will help you get in the spirit for this Irish holiday.

Giligin’s St. Patty’s & Spring Training Weekend Block Party

  • Giligin’s Bar

  • March 12 – 15 |11 a.m. – 2 a.m.

  • Come for gallons of green beer, karaoke, street games, the Best Leprechaun Contest and more!

  • www.GiliginsBar.com

Taste of the Irish Menu

  • Ahnala Mesquite Room at We-Ko-Pa Resort & Conference Center

  • March 17 | 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

  • Enjoy a special St. Patrick’s Day menu featuring Irish stew and a number of Irish-themed entrees. Choose from Guinness corned beef and cabbage, Samuel Adams garlic and rosemary baby lamb chops, or Stout short ribs. For dessert, enjoy Irish pretzel salad and peppermint ice cream.

  • www.wekoparesort.com

Irish Open

  • Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club

  • March 17 | 12 p.m. registration and lunch; 1 p.m. shotgun start

  • The four-person scramble includes 18 holes (green fee and range access), a corned beef lunch buffet at Arroyo Grille, plus beer and cocktail specials, and raffle prizes. The cost to play is $99 (plus tax) per person and the field is limited to the first 100 golfers.

  • Click here to register or call 520-426-6827 .

Coach House St. Patty’s Day Celebration

  • Coach House – 7011 E. Indian School Road.

  • March 17 | 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.

  • Featuring $4 Guinness and $5 Irish Car Bombs all day! Complimentary corned beef and cabbage will be served from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • http://ift.tt/1B23qRB

Blue Moose St. Patty’s Day Party

  • The Blue Moose

  • March 17 | 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • Get your Irish on at one of downtown Scottsdale’s favorite neighborhood bars!

  • http://ift.tt/1B23ssx

Shamrock Run

  • Stand Up Scottsdale

  • March 21 | 4 p.m.

  • Celebrate your Irish spirit with four-mile Shamrock Run/Walk. The course follows the banks of the Arizona Canal between 56th Street and Goldwater. Work up a thirst and enjoy happy hour drink specials at the onsite bar. All participants will receive a free t-shirt. Click here more information.

For more Irish concerts and events, check out these offerings at the Musical Instrument Museum

Experience Ireland

  • March 14-15 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Tickets: Activities included with paid museum admission

  • Join MIM for its fourth annual celebration of Irish music and culture at Experience Ireland. Enjoy music, crafts, Irish dancing, storytelling and a pub quiz – it’s a perfect way to spend St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Zakir Hussain’s Pulse of the World: Celtic Connections

  • March 24 | 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

  • Tickets: $34.50–$52.50

  • Legendary tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain brings the greatest Indian musicians together with a stellar group of artists from Celtic music in his triumphantly successful melding of two musical languages.


  • March 29 | 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

  • Tickets: $37.50–$47.50

  • From the most sensitive and touching old Irish songs all the way to hard-hitting reels and jigs, Altan has sold millions of records worldwide. No other Irish traditional band in the last dozen years has had a wider impact on audiences and music lovers throughout the world!

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona | http://ift.tt/1B23ssI