Travel Tips & Adventures

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Posts Tagged ‘Desert’

Travel to Heavenly Weather in…Arizona

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Unless you really like winter sports, this time of year the greatest place to be is Arizona.  I know Arizona’s been taking a lot of hits lately, but the weather In January and February is why Arizona has a major tourism influx.

Daytime temperatures get into the 70ºs (Fahrenheit) and the sun is shining. Soon, we’ll have a profusion of flowers – yes, it really can flower in the desert! (more…)

Travel to a View from the Rocks

Monday, January 17th, 2011

A few weeks ago, I promised to tell about the images on my new web site, That’s – Hiking for the Couch Potato – -

Head over there now!  (I’ll wait!)

Take a quick look at image number 4 at the top of the page (just scroll over) and you’ll see a reddish, sandstone rock that seems to have some people tucked in an opening.

Okay, now that you’ve seen that truly unusual natural development, wouldn’t you like to know where it is?

That image is the closest of the four to my home in Arizona.

It’s – Papago Park in the Phoenix, Arizona area.  Of the many natural formations in the central Arizona area, Papago Park allows visitors to come and hike up (from the area behind the photo you’re seeing) and look out at the world.  The walk is not too challenging, but since it’s terraced with some built in “stairs,” it would be tough for someone in a wheelchair.  However, most other people would be able to walk up to see the view.

Papago Park also is well-located, as it is near both the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.  Plan a day seeing all of those sights if you’re planning to come to Arizona.

And, despite the bad press Arizona is getting these days about guns, most of us are not gun-toting, wild west types spoiling for a fight.   You can expect to be treated well here as some of the most luxurious hotels and exotic scenery of the US southwest is right here in the Phoenix area.  And, the majority of people are well- behaved, law-abiding citizens.

Traveling the “Loops” in Phoenix

Monday, August 16th, 2010

The first time I flew into Phoenix, I was amazed at how spread out the metropolitan area is.   From west to east, Buckeye to Apache Junction, the metropolitan area of Phoenix, with all its suburbs, easily reaches 70 miles.

In some giant US cities, they build up with multi-storied skyscrapers. But, with the vast spaces available in Arizona, they have built out and even have had height restrictions on how high buildings can be built.

So, welcome to Phoenix.  Spread out and still in the desert.

Saguaro cacti and mountains are a short ride from the hustle and bustle


Busy in Bisbee AZ – Shopping!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010
Bisbee is quite the artists’ colony and gives a shopper many opportunities to find that perfect gift.  We were looking for a pottery casserole with lid.  Although we didn’t find that, both my husband and I had the exact same reaction to a gorgeous, red pottery bowl – We had to have it!

Bisbee bowl - quality artistry

Bisbee bowl - quality artistry


Traveling to Cacti – Saguaro National Park – East and West

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

If you’ve ever had the urge to go hug a cactus – well, that would probably be a painful experience. Some of them do look cute and cuddly – in a rugged, western, prickly kind of way.  If the chance to see cacti up close makes you long for the Old West, Uncle Sam offers the Saguaro National Park, just outside of Tucson, Arizona.


Geocaching adventures

Monday, January 11th, 2010

One adventure that almost anyone can have anywhere in the world is “geocaching.” To the uninitiated, geocaching is using a Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate coordinates and find where someone has left a “treasure.” But, really, the fun is in the hunt. (more…)

Hotel Travel Experiences in Scottsdale

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

My first stay in Arizona was at the Camelback Inn when I attended a conference.  Let us say that I was not disappointed with my accommodations. Today’s blog will talk about the Camelback as well as an old timer that has been renovated, the Valley Ho. (more…)

Scottsdale: Travel to THE Vacation Place

Monday, December 14th, 2009

When I first traveled to Arizona, everyone talked about Scottsdale as some magical place.  This week we’ll be featuring Scottsdale.  You can decide whether it is magical for yourself! (more…)

Travel to Scottsdale Area Casino Resort Hotels

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

We’re back with Wacky Casino Wednesday! NO!  The casinos aren’t wacky, it’s Wednesday that’s wacky!  (Just wanted to clear that up…)

This week we’re featuring a casino that’s been around for a while with a new hotel property.


Located 24 miles from the Phoenix airport, just south of Fountain Hills, Arizona on highway AZ-87 (Payson) is the home of the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.  Although not a name you might be familiar with, the Yavapai were instrumental in forcing Arizona into a gaming compact creating this states tribal casino system.

As I mentioned in my first article last week, the Federal government passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988.  The catch was that each state was responsible for signing contracts between themselves and the tribes who wished to participate in gaming.  Unfortunately, the governor of Arizona was opposed to tribal gaming so signing anything was not going to happen.

Ft. McDowells Indian commemorating when they asserted their sovereign nation status

Ft. McDowell's Indian commemorating when they asserted their sovereign nation status

Unfortunately for the state, five casinos were already in operation around the state so in a desperate move, the Governor asked the FBI to raid the establishments, including Fort McDowell.

When the FBI loaded up 349 slot machines into trucks they found that they were not going to get too far.  Yavapai members blocked the casino access road with all types of vehicles and stood their ground for three weeks.  The governor finally (and surely reluctantly) signed a compact with the Yavapai.  This in essence created the legalization of Indian gaming in Arizona.

If you want to celebrate with them, May 12th is a tribal holiday!


With a 150,000 sq. ft. gaming floor, there are 866 machines, 55 table and poker games, keno, poker, and bingo.


Lucky 7 Saloon

Friday & Saturday: 9:00pm-1:00am

Sunday: 4:00pm-8:00pm

Outdoor Concerts

Throughout the summer outdoor concerts are presented with nationally known entertainers


Fort McDowell Casino Dining

Cottonwood Café: Open Daily – Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Featuring: Asian, Italian, Mexican, Prime Ribs, Sandwiches

Redrock Buffet: Open DailyFriday-Sunday Buffet with “All you can eat” Crab Legs $14.50

New York New York Deli: Sandwiches / Pizza $5.00 – $12.95

Noodles Sushiya: Sushi Bar in the non-smoking area of the casino $2.95-$7.95

Outside The Casino

Ah-Ha-Qwah-Ja Pool Bar and Café: Beverage & light entrees.
We-Ko-Pa Grill (We-Ko-Pa Golf Clubhouse):  Open daily serving breakfast & lunch.


Radisson at Fort McDowell Casino

Radisson Hotel at Fort McDowell Casino

In December 2005, Radisson opened its property next to the casino.  It’s interesting that although it is next to the casino, the Radisson is not physically connected to it or to the conference center that forms a buffer between the two buildings.  Fortunately, the southwestern desert climate makes inclement weather a rarity so even on a brisk winter evening the walk is invigorating.

- 248 rooms (4-star resort)

- Sleep Number Beds available

- $10 in casino play with free Fort McDowell Fortune Club membership

- Amethyst Spa

- Ahnala Mesquite Room restaurant

- Wassaja Conference Center (25,000 sq. ft.

- Heated outdoor pool/Jacuzzi

- We-Ko-Pa Golf Club (two, 18-hole courses)

Tomorrow – We’ll take a quick look at what will soon be the newest, and largest, Resort Casino to open in Arizona.

Travel to Phoenix

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Welcome to the land of the sun!
Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the USA, is the most glorious destination (more…)