World-renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed or redesigned around 500 golf courses, and Rio Rico Golf Resort at Esplendor was built during the height of his career. Opened in 1971, the course has matured into a classic. It sports some of Jones's signature attributes, including greenside bunkers and contoured greens that make for some difficult pin placements. Still, for as challenging as it can be at times, Rio Rico lures golfers back round after round with its beauty. Tree-lined fairways and meticulously maintained bentgrass greens keep desert carries at bay, and there are no homes on the course. Plus, the course offers lessons, a driving range, and a short-game practice area, inviting players to stay on top of their game year-round.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total of 7,119 yards * Five sets of tees per hole * Course slope of 132 from the back tees * Course rating of 73 from the back tees
The Divide—a name derived from the course's position within two counties—offers lush greenery, rolling hills, carefully crafted ponds, and impeccably manicured greens. Golfers of all skill levels are welcomed to blast off dimpled cosmonauts from one of four tee-box locations featured at each hole. After breaking into the vast Bermuda fairways, foresighted fore-shouters can implement a wide range of clubs—the scorecard pencils in a smorgasbord of game changing par 3's and par 5's, many of which are known for culling birdies, eagles, and sleeping snowmen from their respective numerical nests. Off the beaten cart path, The Divide pampers players with pro shop merchandise, driving range facilities, and on-site dining options at The Grill, including snacks, meals, and liquid performance enhancers posing as cocktails.
Spread out on 20 acres of fertile land?with traits comparable to Rioja in Spain, France's Rhone region, and Saturn's seventh ring?Wilhelm Family Vineyards yields an assortment of grapes. Perched on the Sonoita plain at nearly 5,000 feet elevation, the vineyard resides in a cool, grassland climate above the desert. Winemaker Karyl Wilhelm, who has completed U.C. Davis's renowned Winemaker's Certificate Program, produces wines such as the tempranillo-based Kevin's Choice, an award-winning blend named after her pilot husband. Each bottle of wine leaves the grounds with a stamp of approval in the form of Karyl's signature, which is written directly on the bottle in eye-catching metallic ink.
Guests who enter the tasting room enjoy a warm welcome from a 95-pound weimaraner named Chancellor, who muses over the earthy notes of his rawhide bone while patrons sample the winery's selection of red, white, semisweet, dessert, and seasonal wines. As veterans of the first Gulf War, Karyl and Kevin celebrate each Veterans Day by offering a Patriot Salute Zinfandel-based wine with a label designed by renowned artist and pilot, Jim Laurier. The winery, which also hosts weddings, graduation parties, and other catered events, uses vegan-friendly practices, makes its wines with low sulfite additions, and recaptures water to use in the vineyard.
After being told multiple times that opening a winery is a dream "that will never work," sisters Megan and Shannon did the impossible. While living together under one roof with six kids, six dogs, five turtles, and 10 chickens, the sisters decided to prove the naysayers wrong and pursue their dream of opening a winery. And today, they own and operate Arizona Hops and Vines, which yields six varietals ranging from a sparkling brut wine crafted from muscat grapes to a bold 100% California petit verdot. Arizona Hops and Vines hosts weekend tastings for of-age adults, and invites kids, nondrinking guests, and pets to check out the Sober Shack or practice animal-whispering skills with the farm's resident pets.
TEAM Arizona Motorcyclist Training has trained more than 100,000 motorcyclists in the ways of safe and secure riding. A staff of 70 RiderCoaches, including more female RiderCoaches than any organization in the country, impart basic to advanced riding skills, allowing students to translate classroom lessons into on-the-road expertise. At TEAM Arizona?s 5-acre training range in Gilbert, experienced students sharpen their abilities at Skills Practice sessions. Advanced and Total Control students master high-challenge, low-threat coursework, including treacherous trail braking while completing 1099 tax forms.
Established by archaeologist William Shirley Fulton in 1937, The Amerind Museum aims to preserve and protect the legacy and heritage of the indigenous cultures of the Americas through educational programs, lectures, and a collection of tools, art, and materials from a variety of native ethnic groups. Within the stately Spanish Colonial?revival building, visiting traditional artists and an ever-changing gallery foster a connection between the distant past and the present, teaching guests about the still-living cultures that have called the region home for millennia. The exhibits span across the centuries with artifacts and treasures from various peoples and times, captivating curious visitors with displays ranging from late prehistoric Pueblo pottery, Hopi katsina dolls, and even an Apache war bow constructed and signed by Geronimo himself. Even the museum's campus speaks to the storied past of the area, with views of Texas Canyon's breathtaking rock formations and secluded picnic spots amid the natural beauty and lively conversation of ancient granite boulders.