Grapes don't usually grow in the desert's dry heat, but the owners of Oak Creek Vineyard and Winery found a way. They nourish vines of syrah, merlot, zinfandel, and chardonnay grapes with pure water from an aquifer 425 feet beneath the earth's surface. Moisture isn't everything, though; western Arizona's brilliant sunlight helps the grapes to develop ideal sugar content. The combination of warm days and chilly nights further brings flavor to life beneath the grapes' dusk-purple skins.
White curtains swirl around the outdoor patio of an adobe tasting room, where visitors pair sips of wine with meats and cheeses. A jaunt through the grounds reveals views of flowering cacti and tumbleweeds wearing pearls on the sun-browned hills.
After retiring from competitive professional cycling, Scott Keller and Will Geurts decided to share the joys of the worldview from atop a bike with the next generation of cyclists. The pair conducts anywhere from two-hour to five-day forays into Sedona’s airy wilderness, providing expert coaching to riders throughout the desert journey through towering red-rock formations under a never-ending sky. Their solid advice and encouragement keep pedals moving and the scenery rolling past as they imbue others with the passion that led them to spend a lifetime with the sport and replace the lower half of their bodies with bicycle frames.
Eclipse Eyewear fashions chic sunglasses from a selection of 1,500 frames from high-end brands such as Chanel, Prada, and Versace. Luxurious shades stand against walls and look out from display cases, eager to slide over patrons' eyes to shield them from harsh rays or pigeons' attempts to make eye contact and demand breadcrumbs. Though some Eclipse Eyewear locations vend purely UV-protective shades, the Tempe, Arizona store and Seaport Village store in San Diego, California also sell prescription sunglasses.
From its humble beginnings in Kankakee, Illinois, in 1938, Dairy Queen has grown from a delicious experiment in soft-serve ice cream to a household name with more than 5,900 restaurants around the world. The shop's signature frozen delights are built upon frosty foundations of creamy chocolate or vanilla soft serve, which swirl idyllically into cones, cups, sundaes, Peanut Buster parfaits, and the chain's iconic Blizzard treats, blended with crumbled candy and other mix-ins. Ice-cream cakes cleverly conceal surprise fillings of fudge and chocolate crunch between layers of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, providing sweet, sliceable sustenance for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Fruit rules the roost on the other side of the slushy emporium, where Orange Julius blends its signature frothy drinks crafted from fruit juice, ice, and a "magic” powdered sweetener that explains why they disappear from most customers’ cups minutes after the first delicious sip. Real fruit purée forms the basis for the shop's smoothies, which also come in diet-friendly light versions that boast one-third fewer calories than regular smoothies.
The plush sofas and oak wardrobes lure prospective homeowners into Furniture Affair’s 28,000-square-foot showroom, where they are further wooed with brand names such as Somerton, Stanley, Woodard Patio, and Lane. Each week, new armchairs, beds, and sideboards arrive at the showroom, ready to transform every room in a house or large sandcastle. The store’s professionals offer complimentary in-store design advice, aiding customers as they pick out lamps and wine racks or discussing fabric selection, lighting, and layout. During a profile by News Channel 3, Lisa Haffner explored how the designers’ expertise transformed a bachelor pad into a welcoming enclave with a mohair sofa, computer armoire, and original art.
Artist and glassmaker Jim Antonius erected his studio to continue a four-decade journey with glasswork, including studies at an array of institutions and more than 900 public, private, and corporate commissions, including work for architect Frank Gehry. At the 3,000-square-foot space—located on 2 acres of land near the Prescott National Forest—Antonius and instructor Jordan Ford focus on teaching offhand glassblowing during private classes and group workshops. The studio is also available for rental and is filled with a bevy of equipment, including three annealers, saxophones for blowing practice, three marvers, and a freestanding pot furnace fueled by natural gas.