Clasped between Saguaro National Park and the Ironwood Preserve, Double R Ranch appears as though it were plucked straight from the frames of an old Western movie. The windswept grounds stand as a gateway to the thousands of untouched acres that quietly stitch together the Northwest side of Tucson. The ranch gives visitors a chance to explore that land with horseback rides and birthday parties. It also offers weekend getaways and RV hookups to city-dwellers in need of an escape from the crowds and door-to-door minivan salesmen that come with urban living. Double R also accommodates guests who have their own horses with overnight stabling services.
Since its founding by William Bright Sr. and William Dunk Sr. in 1927, Dunk & Bright Furniture has grown from a modest storefront to a 100,000-square-foot showroom. The store's staff—accredited by the Interior Design Society and American Society of Interior Designers—leads visitors through a maze of bedroom and living room sets, mattresses, and other pieces by brands such as Ashley, Harden, and aspenhome. A separate 1,000,000-cubic-foot warehouse stores the bulk of the shop's inventory, which also includes wall-to-wall carpeting, area rugs, shutters and blinds, and enchanted mirrors. Dunk & Bright delivers purchases free of charge within 200 miles of Syracuse.
Don and Donna Maines opened Green Thumb Markets in 1971, where they began cultivating buds alongside their young son, David. Though Don and Donna have retired, visitors can still spot David, his wife, and his four boys working in their greenhouse. They tend geraniums, prune roses, and discuss customers’ gardening concerns and methods for keeping lazy poets from using their roses as similes. Giant hanging baskets dangle from the ceiling, the electrically hued, trumpet-shaped blossoms of petunias spilling forth and tangling with ivy geraniums. On the ground, colorful rows of perennials, annuals, and vegetables thrive alongside a variety of topsoils, compost, and environmentally friendly mulches.
The Maines family also runs an onsite bakery, which they stock with their own homemade ice cream, cookies, and pies.
At the tender age of 19, young businessman Mikeal Wood founded Upstate Party Rental in 2001, provisioning celebrations with tables, tents, and glassware while roping in a 2006 award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year from the U.S. Small Business Association. When not raising his four kids, Mikeal stays hard at work alongside his team of trusty roustabouts, hammering stakes for canopies and tents, setting out seating, or enveloping flatware in crisp linens. With a wealth of tables, chairs, silverware, coolers, and equipment at hand, Mikeal and his team can equip any style or size of gathering, from laying out cloth-clad tables for a fancy barbecue to putting down a dance floor for weddings. After each revelry, workers speedily dismantle the rented furnishings, load up their vans, remind the hosts it was all a dream, and leave backyards or banquet halls exactly as they found them.