Since hosting their first class in 1989, Arizona Climbing and Adventure School's instructors have sent an estimated 37,000 students scurrying up the earth's craggy cliffs. Instead of learning climbing in an indoor facility, participants climb nature’s precipices outdoors upon the Southwest's cliffs and mountains. Adventurer and school director Mark Brontsema guides his students and fellow instructors by a philosophy that emphasizes self-reliance, goal setting, and teamwork. He now brings more than three decades to his post as school director, taking time from a busy schedule that includes writing gear reviews for the New York Times.
The school offers a large number of courses that target students of varying skill levels and reveal technique secrets in small groups of two to six students. Classes may focus on rappelling and anchors, guide services, and equipment-free bouldering, which relies solely on the climber's hands, feet, and retractable suction cups. Adventure courses include day trips and overnight climbing excursions, while special workshops address topics such as backpacking, being an ecologically responsible climber and hiker, and using GPS devices.
The open to the public Waterfront Grille snuggles up to Lake Pleasant, overlooking its blue waters as it doles out a satisfying selection of succulent grill fare. Kick off the meal with the tender original chicken wings starter ($8.99), served hot-style, barbecue-infused, or stark naked. A mélange of hearty sandwiches includes the fully loaded philly cheesesteak sandwich, nestled in the bosom of a downy hoagie roll and served with a choice of fries, cole slaw, or a small salad ($10.95). Gaze out on the serene views of the water as you dive into a lakeside feast with entrees such as the steak of the day, a tender steak treading in a bed of sautéed mushrooms and fresh veggies, accompanied by a mashed potato raft ($17.49). Round out the meal with a delectable double chocolate cake ($5.99), or build a traditional cheesecake schooner ($4.99) and race a seasoned sailor to the other side of the lake.
Nestled on the Pleasant Harbor Marina, Go Kayak Arizona sends paddlers pushing out into the still, 10,000-acre expanse of Lake Pleasant atop easy-to-maneuver kayaks. After setting up each visitor with an appropriate watercraft, paddle, and life vest, the friendly staffers send explorers off to explore the hill-lined aqua-scape or drag race rival canoes by the hour or day.
Flashes of neon light up the night during the Rock N Glow 5K, a glow-in-the-dark race by Hi5F, which donates a portion of the proceeds to Coconino Humane Association. As darkness descends on the host city, racers get into the glowing spirit by strapping on vibrant clothing, oversized sunglasses, wigs, and layers of glow-in-the-dark swag. Once everyone is geared up, the noncompetitive race begins, snaking through 3.1 miles of neon-soaked path soundtracked by energetic, heart-pumping music. And once everyone is across the finish line, racers and supporters cap off the night with a glowing after party complete with live DJs, dancing, food, and a cash bar.
The smell of exhaust and hot rubber hangs in the air above Canyon Speedway Park, an olfactory cocktail accompanied by the sounds of screeching tires, roaring engines, and the cheers from a gallery that swells up to 2,000 strong. The 3/8-mile, dirt track churns as drivers drop lead feet on the accelerators of stock cars, ASCS wing sprint cars, and nine other classes of machines built for speed rather than maximal numbers of cup holders. Spectators watch from the stands as drivers compete for weekly prize purses of up to $7,250 with a repertoire of expert bump-drafts and jaw-dropping passes. In addition to scheduled races, the speedway also opens its gates during open practice sessions, letting fanatics study their favorite drivers' pinpoint turning technique in preparation for Bring Your Car to Work Day.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Brimming with cardio equipment, free weights, and professional trainers, Freedom Fitness helps people achieve virtually any fitness goal. Clients can maintain a healthy weight with routine exercise or get stronger in the 1,500-square-foot performance center. Here, trainers focus on sport-specific workouts that employ TRX suspension, battling ropes, and punching bags to help athletes jump higher and run faster.
While both the Cave Creek and Troon locations offer fitness classes, equipment, and personal training services, some of the amenities differ. The Cave Creek location has a childcare center, and the Troon location stays open 24 hours a day.