For all their ubiquity, chain restaurants seldom embody the same character and culture as their independently owned counterparts. That’s where Arizona Food Tours comes in. With their signature A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale tour, the company introduces visitors to the idiosyncrasies and food of the desert burg, from classic western grub to the local wine bars that pour cabernet and red zinfandel for diners and thirsty cacti.
The Arizona Humane Society has provided shelter and rehabilitation to homeless and abandoned animals since 1957, watching over more than 46,000 dogs, cats, and smaller critters every year as they await new homes. After proving their eligibility for adoption and consulting with the shelter staff, new owners can choose a companion from any of the pets prowling the menagerie, from puppies and kittens up to 9 months old to adult dogs and cats. Rabbits and ferrets also scurry about, searching for farmers' carrots carelessly planted in an animal shelter. For current owners, the society provides low-cost spaying and neutering services as a public service, as well as education and outreach programs to promote compassion and ensure a safe home for all creatures.
Arizona Pet Vet is a network of 17 animal hospitals peppered throughout the Valley area. The veterinarians use modern treatments and therapies to care for animal companions, treating each pet like an important member of its owner's family. The company doles out tips for bringing home a new pet on its website and exhibits evidence of the animal kingdom's capacity for cuteness on its Facebook page.
Sonoran Desert Pet Resort's 1,500-square-foot, air-conditioned indoor dog park simulates the outdoors with the same artificial turf used for professional football fields so pooches can wrestle, dive for balls, or perform elaborate touchdown dances safely during daycare hours.
Overnight guests bed in private rooms, some equipped with televisions playing soothing music, movies, or the NYSE ticker. They enjoy two meals a day, playtime with dogs of similar size and temperament, and air-conditioned quarters. Feline patrons lounge in two-room suites; their litter boxes are in a separate area from sleeping quarters, which are both well ventilated.
Pet parents can also opt for extras for their pooches, such as more one-on-one time with the human staff or a nice bone to gnaw on. Certified groomers primp four-legged friends with FURminator treatments to reduce shedding and ramped bathtubs for less stressful baths. Pets and owners can even attend the pet resort's training sessions to teach basic obedience or correct behavioral problems such as anxiety or refusing to salivate when a bell rings.
For a decade, the International Sportsmen’s Exposition has been summoning big-name big-game experts to share the latest developments in camping, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor pursuits. This year, the expo will attract hundreds of exhibitors—from outfitters to hunting lodges to wildlife societies—to set up shop alongside outdoor-themed attractions, including a 40-foot aquarium, a rock-climbing wall, and a 100-foot trophy of elk and deer. Catch one of the dozens of seminars with leading elk hunters, bass anglers, and wilderness survival experts, who’ll bestow knowledge nuggets upon eager audiences before a gang of wild badgers concludes with a thoughtful counterpoint.