Hot: family-owned eateries, art classes, swinging from the trees, thrifting and funny girls. Not: Camping in front of the air-conditioner for two months. Here are 21 reasons to get out of the pool and seize life in northern Arizona.
Hot Adrenaline Fix
Test your courage – and your coordination – at northern Arizona’s new obstacle course, Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, which opened last year. Located at Fort Tuthill County Park (exit 337 off I-17; 888-259-0125), the park includes adult and children’s courses. The adult course features four large circuits, each containing 10 to 17 different obstacles such as rope swings, scrambling walls, hanging nets and wobbly bridges. Circuits are rated according to skill level, and everyone receives a 30-minute training session. The adult course costs $45 plus tax to use while the children’s course costs $25 plus tax. For more info, visit www.flagstaffextreme.com.
Hot Brain Freeze
Unlike the cupcake craze, our country’s obsession with frozen yogurt doesn’t seem to be fizzling anytime soon, so we are grateful for family-owned Zainey’s Frozen Yogurt (2055 W. SR 89A in the Harkins Sedona 6 Center; 928-282-8123). At this self-serve spot, you purchase your frozen treat by the ounce. Choose your yogurt flavor (our favorite is the Euro Tart) and then load up on the toppings. Zainey’s offers everything from fresh fruit like kiwi and mango to crushed candy bars and cookies. Most of the yogurt flavors are nonfat and filled with healthy probiotics, and the spoons and cups are made from plant-based materials so they are biodegradable.
Hot Cure For A Hangover
Do you have a habit of waking up the day after your Fourth of July barbecue (or any other day for that matter) feeling a little, er, under the weather? Take a page from TV star and food writer Anthony Bourdain, who has been known to wax poetic about the healing powers of meat in tube form, and head to Simon’s Hot Dogs (2050 Yavapai Drive in West Sedona; 928-496-0266). Located inside Oak Creek Brewery, Simon’s serves up Colombian-style hot dogs, and the owner’s garnering quite a buzz for it. (Check out the list of awards and accolades on the menu.) We recommend Tokyo Madness: a beef or veggie hot dog topped with wasabi mayo, teriyaki onions and toasted sushi nori and served in a steamed bun with a side of chips or pickles. Order at the counter and then have a seat inside the brewery or outside on the patio; your order will be brought to you. Before you know it, that nausea will be a thing of the past. If not, you can conveniently enjoy a little “hair of the dog” in the form of one of the brewery’s award-winning beers.
Hot Embrace Your Inner Artist
Everyone in Sedona is an artist…except you. If you’ve always wanted to discover your hidden artistic talent, check out the Sedona Arts Center’s (15 Art Barn Road; 928-282-3809) Sedona Art Retreat, which takes place July 27-29. The three-day retreat includes workshops on writing, ceramics, collage, photography, mask making and jewelry making, so you’ll leave knowing exactly which medium speaks to you. The classes are taught by some of Sedona’s best-known artists including Libby Caldwell, Vince Fazio and Dennis Ott. Registration is limited. Visit www.sedonaartscenter.org for all the details.
Hot French Fix
Master Pastry Chef Andre Renard has a list of accolades a mile long, so the fact that he’s selling his mouth-watering desserts at an unassuming booth at the Sedona Community Farmers Market makes him one of our town’s best-kept secrets. Andre created Julia Child’s 80th birthday cake (a whopping 15 feet tall) and Bill Clinton’s 50th birthday cake. He is also the former executive chef and pastry chef at the prestigious Essex House Hotel in New York. Born in eastern France where he apprenticed at the age of 14, he has called Sedona home for 13 years. From his commercial kitchen in the Village of Oak Creek, he bakes the carrot cakes, cobblers, almond brioches, tarts, quiches, madeleines and challah bread that he sells at the market. He also teaches chocolate and sugar-art classes from his kitchen (www.sugartschool.com; 928-203-4327). (Astute readers will recall Andre was part of the winning Sedona team featured on TLC’s Ultimate Cake Challenge in 2010.)
The Sedona Community Farmers Market takes place every Friday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village (336 SR 179). So with such an illustrious pedigree, what is Andre doing at the farmers market? “I cook for my dog,” he explains, laughing. “I have to set up at the market because my dog eats too expensive.”