Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Girls Getaway to Phoenix/Mesa - Day 1

Polar vortex? No problem. Just head with your girlfriends to sunny Phoenix and enjoy great food, spas,
a surprisingly lush and vibrant botanic garden and learn where your food comes from on local farms.

The Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort is like a village in and of itself. The sprawling resort has nearly 600 suites available and there’s so much to do, including a golf course, spa and several pools, that you could easily be lazy and stay on property for several days. One attraction that’s not to be missed is Different Pointe of View, a fine dining restaurant offering a panoramic view of the valley and scrumptious food with a great wine list. What better way to end the day than watching the blazing red sunset while enjoying diver scallops and sunchokes and sipping champagne?

We never would have guessed the desert would have such lush and vibrant greenery, but the gorgeous Desert Botanical Garden, celebrating its 75th birthday, proved to us otherwise. Who knew there were so many different types of prickly pear? Indian fig prickly pear is the only kind you should be eating, but the other shapes and textures are fun to compare and contrast. The gardens offer an array of classes for kids and adults, ranging from photography and sketching to gardening and cooking. We had fun learning to make traditional mole sauce in a pressure cooker along with a simple and refreshing prickly pear sorbet at a class taught by personal chef Denise Clayton.

Author Amber Gibson is a Food/Travel Writer, Model & Actress from Chicago currently contributing to the Girls Getaway Guide. To find out more about Amber, visit

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