HOTEL VALLEY HO BLOG
Ace, Judy, and Yvonne
The concierge team dishes on the best things to do and places to go around the Valley.
May 23 | Cool Off This Summer
We've reached that time of the year, when you just want to cool off in a pool or go to the lake! Arizona Outdoor Fun offers some great water adventures not far from Phoenix. Head to Lake Pleasant for fun and 118 miles of shoreline. You can rent a wakeboard, jet skis, pontoon boats, fishing boats, kayaks, and canoes. Enjoy a guided jet-ski tour and learn about the plant life, history, and geography of the area. It's the perfect way to stay cool! – Judy
May 16 | Out of Africa
I always think of Africa when I imagine seeing lions, tigers, giraffes, and zebras, but you can actually see them at Out of Africa wildlife park in Camp Verde! If you were in Arizona 25 years ago, you will remember it as a small park on the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation. It moved to a much larger area in 2004 and now has over 100 acres of space for animals.
This park is not a zoo, as you can tell by your first visit. There are hundreds of animals roaming around in their habitats. Out of Africa was created by Dean and Prayeri Harrison, who wanted to share their love of these creatures and rescue those in need.
Check out fun shows like Tiger Splash, where tigers play with their caretakers in a big pool. If you prefer something that slithers, don’t miss the Snake Show, where you can pet or even hold a snake! See the animals devour 800 pounds of raw food at the Predator Feed show.
You can even go on an African Bush Safari where you will see the giraffes, ostriches and zebras close up. An exciting new adventure coming to the park on June 15th is the Predator Zip Line. Can you imagine soaring through the sky right above the park, watching the animals right below you? You can choose the full course (2 ½ hours) or the 1000-foot Racing Raptor drop. It is a fabulous experience, only 100 miles north of Scottsdale! Have fun. – Judy
Prayeri Harrison Kathleen Reeder
May 9 | Take a Ride with Detours
I spent Sunday letting someone else do the driving! I treated myself to a City Highlights Half-Day Tour with Detours. Twelve of us were picked up in a custom van and were taken on a guided tour of the sites and history of Scottsdale and Downtown Phoenix. I really enjoyed walking around the Wesley Bolin Plaza by the old Capitol building, with its 29 memorials and monuments. The ones that touched me the most were the 9-11 Memorial and the anchor of the USS Arizona. I would love to go back when I have more time. My favorite stop was lunch under the shade of a pecan tree at The Farm at South Mountain. We also got a beautiful view of the city from the top of South Mountain! Next we visited Tempe Town Lake, Old Town Scottsdale, and the famous Arizona Biltmore. Considering that the Phoenix metropolitan area is larger than London, Paris, and Tokyo combined, we covered a lot. Our concierge team would be happy to help you book a tour and make a memory! – Yvonne
May 1 | Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
For years, as a young person, I would drive across McDowell Road to get to the Beeline Highway to go to Saguaro Lake, without ever realizing that I was on the reservation. Trust me when I say that was quite some time ago! It wasn’t until last week that I intentionally took a trip of less-than-five miles and traveled what felt like 100 years back in time to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Reservation.
Being on the reservation is like visiting another country, with its vast and interesting history and culture. Passing the 101, you will find yourself in the middle of farm land with very few homes scattered about. It’s very peaceful. I went out there at the request of a friend who works for the tribal council; she wanted me to tour the Huhugam Ki Museum (“house of the ancestors” in the O’Odham language). The museum shows the vast, rich history and current lives of the O’Odham and Piipaash. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community is comprised of two Native American tribes: the Pima, or "Akimel Au-Authm" (river people); and the Maricopa, or "Xalychidom Piipaash" (people who live toward the water). Baskets, pottery, photos, and other articles at the museum create an understanding of a people who are proud of the strength of their heritage and ancestry.
The community’s Great Seal features the “man in the maze”. The story that goes with it illustrates the journey of life and the paths that are taken. It has been told for generations and continues to be relevant to the tribes today.
If you haven’t been east of the 101 to visit the reservation, I highly recommend it. It was truly a magical experience for me and it gave me a much greater understanding of our neighbors to the east. – Ace
images courtesy of srpmic-nsn.gov