Spanish Mission–Style Resort at the Base of Arizona's South Mountain
In 1901, businessman Dwight B. Heard decided to leave Chicago and its harsh winters behind, so he set up a 7,500-acre cattle ranch in the Sonoran Desert. Despite the profound change of scenery, the businessman quickly established himself; he would eventually welcome various notable guests to stay in his bunkhouse, including President Theodore Roosevelt and Pancho Villa. Today, this ranch belongs to Legacy Golf Resort, which has transmuted the vast grazing pastures into a championship golf course while preserving many elements of the land’s past identity.
Buckboard wagons sit along the 1st, 10th, and 18th holes at Legacy Golf Course, and three grain silos built in 1902 line the 18th fairway. Designers also took great care to incorporate the farm's original horticulture and vegetation. Despite the throwback features, though, the par 71 course is distinctly modern in its layout. It has previously played host to the 2000 LPGA Standard Register Ping tournament, and Golf Digest listed Legacy Golf Course on its Top 10 Golf Courses To Play in Phoenix.
The lush, green golf course completely surrounds the resort itself, which has the feel of a Spanish mission in its clay roof tiles, stucco exterior, and numerous archways. There are plenty of activities to keep non-golfers occupied, including tennis and sand volleyball. An expansive pool, cabana bar, and countless lounge chairs also dot the property. Youngsters can keep occupied with arts and crafts, board games, a kiddie pool, or bedtime stories narrated by a golf-cart GPS.
Phoenix: Nightlife and Outdoor Adventures in the Valley of the Sun
Phoenix enjoys about 300 days of sunshine a year. Its desert climate can lead to some blazing-hot summers; the other nine months of the year, though, temperatures hover in the mid-70s. Due in no small part to its constant sunshine, the city has since ballooned into the fifth-largest city by population in the United States.
The topography of the Phoenix area is a desert but by no means desolate. Camelback Mountain, located about 20 minutes south of the resort, is a designated city park area with scenic hiking trails that wind past boulders and red-sandstone formations. Hundreds of golf courses line the rugged landscape around Phoenix.
Downtown Phoenix pulses with techno beats and rowdy live music shows, as a cornucopia of swanky bars and nightclubs keeps the party going downtown into the wee hours of the morning. For a laid-back nighttime experience, the sleepy neighboring city of Scottsdale has a number of rooftop lounges.