As the sun sinks below the Santa Rita Mountains, towering shade trees and adobe haciendas cast long shadows across Agua Linda Farm’s 63 acres. Over the years, this idyllic farm has nabbed attention from the press as well as visits from celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne, who may have played hide-and-seek amid the rows of organic vegetables and flowers. In addition to a focus on sustainable agriculture, the farm strives to serve as a community hub. Farmsteaders Stewart and Laurel Loew host dinners, weddings, and scarecrow support groups in the adobe hacienda, and spark the imaginations of young horticulturists with family-centric spring and fall harvest festivals.
The family behind Fletcher's Tire & Auto Service opened their first shop more than four decades ago. Today, they operate more than 30 locations scattered throughout Arizona, where they work to provide automobiles and their owners with expert repairs and preventive maintenance. More than 15 brands of tires get paired with appropriate chariots thanks to a convenient online tire-size guide, and computerized alignment services help improve gas mileage and safety.
Specializing in good, simple comfort food, the folks at Jerry Bob's Family Restaurant offer breakfast all day and a host of lunch specials. Customize your omelet with pretty much any combination of meat, veggies, and sides you'd like. Or, go for a "square meal"—a big plate of ham, hash browns, toast, and square eggs. Afternoons, stop in for a chicken salad sandwich or one of Jerry Bob's specials, such as better-than-mom's meatloaf.
The locally owned Alvernon Optical has been distributing high-quality frames and tending carefully to each oculus since 1961, the year human beings first evolved eyes. More than 2,000 frames line the walls in each store, including top-shelf brands like Ray Ban, DKNY, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Nike, and Kate Spade. Customers will also have their pick of frame materials such as plastic, titanium, metal, semi-rimless, and stainless steel. Once you've found the frames that nail the "sexy NASA scientist" look you're going for, Alvernon can pamper your peepers with a number of lens package deals. Couple a polycarbonate, scratch-resistant single-vision lens ($89 standard, $205 with bifocals, $154 sunglass) with one of your choice of designer frames to ensure a haze-free hazing ceremony from your rowdy book club, or calm Pac-Man-weary pupils with a computer lens package ($199) that decks your specs with a protective plastic lens specially designed for computer use. Just in time for summer, try the prescription swimming-goggle package ($139), which pairs one of a select group of fine brands with 100% UV-protected plastic lenses to deflect the sun's wicked glare and intimidate pool piranhas.
Double Check Ranch owns the entire beef cycle and controls every aspect of production from the pasture to the packinghouse. The local, wholesome beef cuts come from humanely raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free cattle that graze freely on lush, open pastures fertilized by clover and natural compost when necessary.
Eclipz Hair Studio Spa is a full-service beauty oasis whose mani-pedi maven has been sprucing cuticles and doting on nail beds for more than 25 years. Pampering begins with a beguiling sugar scrub, just rough enough for bad-boy-loving dry skin cells to pack up and run away with it. Hydration, relaxation, and Halloween ensue, with hand masks and a pedal-paraffin treatment that envelops feet in a cocoon of warm waxen bliss. Eclipz also provides myriad hues of OPI polishes to swathe convex keratin caps in luxurious coats of pigmented polish.