Servers and patrons alike crunch across scattered peanut shells on the way to their tables at Teakwoods, a boisterous neighborhood watering hole crowned Best Sports Bar in 2009 by Phoenix New Times. A team of chefs cooks up classic American eats, including half-pound burgers, meaty sandwiches, and their award-winning wings, which can heat up gastro-chambers and cargo-pants pockets with flavors such as medium, hot, and honey-barbecue hot. As bartenders pour draft beers and concoct tasty libations, guests can catch their favorite sporting events on one of many high-definition TVs that broadcast events from the MLB, NFL, and UFC. When guests can't make it to the restaurant, Teakwoods' chefs cater fare to events, gatherings, and parties.
On tandem flights, Sonora Wings Hang Gliding's instructors, who are certified by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, take their customers to soaring altitudes, where they glide like birds over Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. The unique vantage point allows for breathtaking views—wild mustangs running through the desert, distant mountains, and red-tailed hawks that soar within a robotic arm's grasp. To reach these heights, hang gliders are towed behind the company's Dragonfly, a small aircraft specifically designed to launch hang gliders. Sonora Wings Hang Gliding's pilots and instructors take off on these adventures from sunrise to sunset, and they can capture each moment on HD video.
Foothills Golf Group’s four golf courses each carry the company’s signature: immaculately groomed sweeping landscapes. The 7,142-yard behemoth that is Club West Golf Club showcases this purity of the turf with a challenging course design filled with elevation changes and stunning views of the surrounding hillsides. The Duke At Rancho El Dorado and The Foothills Golf Club represent classic Arizona golf, leading players along a lush emerald carpet that winds through a desert landscape peppered with shrubs and cacti. The 6,713-yard Ahwatukee Country Club rounds out the portfolio with a fair layout that challenges all skill levels to keep the ball out of the desert sands haunted by the ghost of Peter O'Toole's caddy.
The house lights dim, and stage lights begin to brighten. As they rise, so do voices from a huddle of children at center stage. Their voices ring out clear and clean, unhindered by heavy instrumental accompaniment, a homage to the songbirds on Glee. In fact, this stage is set by Desert Sun Performing Arts' class of the same name. At Glee class, kids harmonize and move to Top 40 hits and Broadway classics. The class is one of the performing-arts offerings (along with others such as clogging and pageantry) at the dance studio, which also holds classes in contemporary dance, ballet, jazz, lyrical, and tap.
Rather than allowing its students to learn photography in the comfort of an air-conditioned classroom, Misty Mountain Photo Tours coaxes them out into the wilderness. Serving a dual function as guides and instructors, professional photographers illuminate the technical basics and creative applications of DSLR cameras in an outdoor setting. Then, during hands-on tours to locations such as Saguaro Lake, they show students how to apply what they've learned to snap photos of wildlife and majestic desert landscapes.
As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.