Hello again D-RAVEL it’s Sam Morgan (@sam.anne.morgan), and I’m back to tell you all about my adventures in Arizona and some fun places I discovered!

Dearest D-RAVEL Traveler,

Last December my family traveled to Arizona to visit the relatives. Being that part of my family resides there, I was able to go to some of their favorite places that non-residents might not know about. Our home base was the town of Peoria, which is pretty centrally located in the state allowing us to be a short distance from many cool places. We went hiking, shopping, and of course eating. I explored four different locations and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Cave Creek

The first stop on our trip was to a restaurant that is a must if you enjoy Mexican cuisine. In the town of Cave Creek there is a place called El Encanto, and it’s seriously the most beautiful eatery I have ever been to. The majority of the establishment is outside with a roof and open walls. In the center is a large pond with live fish, turtles, and birds. The walls are covered in gorgeous colorful tiles and the doors are crafted of  swirling iron. With all the plants, trees, and stone, the building feels as though it was built right into nature.

Not to mention the food and drinks are amazing! The day we went, there was a market across the road selling handmade items and I made sure to grab myself one of the beautifully crafted rings (I’m kind of a sucker for rings hehe). I would definitely check it out if you find yourself in the area, or make a day trip out of it! 


Our next day was spent in beautiful Sedona (one of my favorite places ever). The landscape there was unreal! Nature is truly an amazing thing and pictures cannot capture how spectacular these mountains were, I highly recommend going and seeing it for yourself if you can. We began the day by visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This is a church that was built into the side of the mountain and the architecture is beyond words. From the viewing platform at the top you can see miles and miles of all that Sedona has to offer.

From there we hit up the shopping nearby. I stumbled across the cutest little café known as the Pink Java Café. If you know me, you know I never turn down coffee, so I just had to stop in and check it out. The baristas were incredibly knowledgeable about their coffee and wow did it show because that iced latte was unmatched. Behind the café was outdoor seating that had yet another amazing view. I just cannot express how extraordinary Sedona is with its gorgeous red rocks.

White Tanks Mountain Regional Park

One morning we put on our tennis shoes and made our way to the White Tanks Mountain Regional Park for a hike. I think prior to this excursion I had been hiking maybe once in my lifetime, so I’m by no means an expert on this topic. However, I can’t rave enough about this park. They have many different paths to choose from based on your skill level and how far you’re looking to climb. The one we chose was a more moderate path with less challenging terrain to maneuver. That being said it wasn’t easy per say, we had to take a couple breaks to catch our breath as we got higher and higher on the mountain. On the way up we crossed paths with the cutest little chihuahua and his owner, and I told myself “well if his little legs can do it so can mine!”

Again, I have to mention how incredible the views were from the top, however, if you have a fear of heights this might not be the activity for you. Good thing Arizona has so many other places to visit.

Old Town Scottsdale

We spent one of our last days in Old Town Scottsdale which is perhaps the cutest place we explored on this trip. It’s full of local owned stores that sell anything from souvenirs to hand made art to jewelry and more. If you’re looking for a memento from your travels this is the place to go. And just when you think it can’t get any cuter, at night the streets are lit up with twinkling lights and lanterns. If you’re looking for a sweet treat the Sugar Bowl is a must. Think 50’s diner but completely pink! A total vibe if you’re asking me. Plus, the ice cream and milkshakes are to die for. 

Explore Arizona

The moral of the story is if you’re looking for a place with out of this world landscapes, good food, and cute shops, what are you waiting for? I had so much fun and would hop on a plane and go back tomorrow if I could. I really enjoyed sharing my trip with you all and I hope I inspired an adventure in your future. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my article and happy traveling!