Winner of the Phoenix New Times Best Exotic Nursery award, Tropica Mango nursery fosters a forest of tropical and subtropical fruit trees and oversees a wide inventory of plants suitable for desert climes. Take home a banana ($35–$45), pomegranate ($35), or avocado ($49) tree to provide shade and edibility in your back yard, or watch mango ($55) and guava ($49) trees flourish under the blazing heat of the Sonoran sun. If you have gardening inquiries, Tropica Mango can dole out advice on fertilizing, nurturing, raising fruit trees in a desert environment, and burying VHS tapes in an eco-friendly manner.
At Hot Ace Comics and Collectibles, friendly archivist Joe Clark keeps cape-chasers up to date on the exploits of their favorite characters with an ample stock of titles from well-known and independent comic labels. The tidily stocked emporium of serials celebrates the adventures of characters from the heroic annals of the Justice League, Superman, The Avengers, and the X-Men, to the gritty chronicles of The Walking Dead, along with family-friendly titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog. With each subscription, customers maintain membership in The Agency, which adorns them with a personal in-store delivery box plied with their new issues, as well as a newsletter heralding upcoming comics events and chances to win prizes. As clients join the ranks of Hot Ace's exclusive subscribers, they also receive security-clearance badges, a personalized secret-agent number, and a quirky sidekick.
Hop aboard an antique tractor to take a hayride tour of The Windmill Winery, which spans more than 100 acres of Arizona countryside, boasting historical buildings and breath-stealing scenery. Visitors can wind through the working farm to see a collection of early 20th-century buildings plus a host of farm animals humming nursery rhymes under their breath. Wine sippers can then drink in views of two lakes, the Gila River, and the Superstition Mountains before heading into the 1920s dairy barn to test palates with five signature wines culled from small and organic wineries. Learn about each wine's origin and how to pair it with the right culinary sidekicks, then sate grumbling bellies with a freshly grilled meal served on the back porch of the First Pinal County Sheriff's House. The night will wind down under the stars with a bonfire, s'mores, and bone-chilling stories about pairing fish and red wine.