Sailboat Shop proprietor Tom Errickson first learned to sail at age 11, sparking a love for boating that turned into his life's work. After years of repairing sailboats and plying the waves of sometimes frigid Lake Michigan, Errickson returned to Arizona and assembled a crew of seasoned instructors to teach clients useful sailing skills through ASA-certified classes. By spending three relaxing hours on a 30-foot sloop during a sunset cruise, or learning the ropes during a keelboating class, Arizonans can experience the rare pleasure of sailing in the middle of the desert. Aspiring mariners can purchase craft ranging from an inflatable dinghy to a brand-new Catalina swing-keel boat, or charter a craft and experienced skipper for a memorable party on the water.
Setting sail from Pleasant Harbor Marina, Lake Pleasant Cruises's sightseeing tours offer a unique waterborne view of the picturesque surroundings. Onboard the brand-new 65-foot boat named The Phoenix, up to 149 passengers can relax on the open-air top deck for sunny, breezy cruises or head to the climate-controlled main deck to enjoy music, beverages, and snacks. The boat is also available for private charters, which provide a full-service bar and bartender for corporate events, birthday parties, and weddings.
Arizona Outdoor Fun lets riders whip around winding lakes, trails, and tight canyons the way nature intended—atop landscape-chewing wheels. When not busy peddling a cache of extreme all-terrain Honda vehicles and dirt bikes, Rhino UTVs, and agile sport quads, their expert guides lead fun, scenic ATV tours around the Verde River and Bradshaw Mountains, sharing tidbits about local Native American culture, plants, fossilized cowboy hats, and wildlife. They also deal in aquatic sports with boat rentals including wakeboard boats, pontoon boats, and fishing boats, small vessels such as jet skis, and kayaks and canoes that run on man power. Master mechanics at the shop’s garage keep all vehicles ready for adventure, drawing on more than 25 years of experience to repair personal ATVs and other recreational crafts, including scooters and go-karts.
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.
Part of Southern California-based Boat Rentals of America, Tempe Town Lake Boat Rentals' fleet spans motor-, pedal-, and paddle-powered watercrafts. At its headquarters near Tempe Beach Park, boating enthusiasts outfit guests with vessels such as pontoons, kayaks, pedal boats, hydrobikes, and standup paddleboards. Tempe Town also sell fishing gear. For frequent water recreationalists, Tempe Town's team members organize the gold club, which gives clients access to boats without the hassle of feeding and grooming them each day.
Scorpion Bay Marina is nestled into the spot where brown hills roll right up to sandy beaches blending into the blue expanse of Lake Pleasant. From the marina, boaters sail over glassy surfaces reflecting mountain landscapes to fish, water-ski, and tube. To make those aquatic adventures possible, the marina's attentive crew rents boats such as pontoons that ferry up to 10 passengers, as well as sport and fishing vessels, and kayaks. They also man a convenience store and deli where recreational mariners can stock up on supplies for on-the-water picnics. At day's end, boaters pull into reserved covered or uncovered boat slips and head to the marina's dockside eatery, Dillon's, to refuel with Kansas City–style barbecue brisket, fish tacos, and half-pound burgers.