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72 Hours in Arizona Recommendations for a luxe journey through the Arizona desert By SUSAN HORNIK

Sometimes it’s fun to get the f** out of Los Angeles for a long weekend, and go for a road trip. if you happen to find out Pride is taking place in another city, all the better. Los Angeles Blade’s Susan Hornik got into a sleek Valerian Volkswagen and drove six hours to Phoenix, Scottsdale and Sedona, to experience Arizona’s beauty and fun these cities provide. It’s one of the great American drives and if you haven’t done it, it’s time. You’ll pass through some of the most iconic desertscape in America with the most tremendous views in the world. The colors you will see are just jaw dropping and will put an end to your sense of isolation, even if you go alone through one of the most remote places around. There’s something about endless opens skies, the kaleidoscope of color, even rainbows on the day that I traveled, that reboot your brain. And, if you are like me, you have dogs in tow, your hand waving in the wind as you speed along, singing to the car stereo. It’s all about the journey, but “spoil yourself” is my advice. Here’s how I did.


Turning a corner in my drive to Sedona and there it is, that moment during a road trip when you know your brain is clear. Los Angeles Blade Photo by Susan Hornik

Waking up at 10:00 AM in the Found Re Phoenix hotel with my pups, you almost didn’t feel like you were in a hotel; the custom furnishings and spacious room felt more like an apartment. A very cozy experience, and the dogs loved hanging out on the terrace. In the lobby, you realize it’s not an apartment, it’s a museum! Taking a stroll through this adorable boutique hotel, you can’t help but marvel at the exquisite art on the walls, created by local Phoenix artists. Match, a delicious restaurant in the lobby, has delicious food; magically, it morphs into a bar at night. Packed during Pride weekend—which takes place only a few miles away—it’s a great place to people watch.! Loved the terrific Pride drink the bar made for guests. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and exceptional staff. I never wanted to leave... 1100 N Central Ave., Phoenix AZ 85254 1:00 PM Lunch at PNPK

PNPK, a full-service restaurant and wine bar featuring craft sliders and shareable flights of elevated comfort food as well as local and regional beers and cocktails, recently opened. The 2,600-square-foot venue – which boasts a dog-friendly patio – will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will offer happy hour from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. 23335 N. Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 7:00 PM Meet a Celebrity Chef

Mowry & Cotton at the achingly beautiful Phoenician Hotel is a lovely new laid-back hangout, featuring an incredible menu of bold, flame-cured, modern American dishes by celebrity chef, Tandy Peterson. (You might have seen her on a recent episode of Food Network’s “Chopped.”) If you are a

foodie, this place is a must visit. Chef Tandy oversees all aspects of the restaurant’s offerings, injecting her own signature style and knowledge of international flame-cured cooking techniques into the eatery’s revolving lineup of regionally inspired American fare. A gorgeous, spirited bar and spacious porch add to the contemporary aesthetic, accented with sleek, rustic touches. You must order the fresh bread and potatoes—other worldly! Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner; weekend brunch served on Saturday. The Phoenician is completing their elaborate hotel renovations this year, so check their luxurious changes out when you get into town. 6000 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251


11:30 AM Soros Wine Room

You’re on vacation, so you might as well try out Soros Wine Room’s fantastic assortment of wines and tasty gourmet food. Loved the burrata... Cosmopolitan vibe. The staff is very knowledgeable— check out their stunning wine wall and try their wine dispenser! 15323 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 6:00 PM: Vintage Hotel’s Incredible Food

ZuZu is a beautiful restaurant at the Hotel Valley Ho. It has a Palm Springs, classic Hollywood feel... and yet it personifies what is lovely about Arizona. One feels the rich sense of history, warm hospitality and all its gentle reminders that we should never take ourselves too seriously. Executive Chef Russell LaCasce serves up seasonal American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring organic ingredients from local purveyors. Dine inside or on the shaded courtyard patio, with a wall of floor-toceiling glass that opens to let the outside in. The lounge is open until midnight or later daily, the perfect spot for a very happy happy hour, shared plates, craft cocktails and classic martinis.realky lovely waitstaff too. 6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale, 85251

SUNDAY 11:30 Boozy Brunch

Hearth ‘61 is located in the stunning Mountain Shadows Hotel. Incredible food and lovely waitstaff. I enjoyed seasonal fare from Chef Charles Wiley, and there were lots of craft cocktails, local brews and an extensive wine selection in the open restaurant with a lovely exhibition kitchen. The bar features morning coffee and evening cocktails, while the sunken space in The Living Room is ideal for casual gatherings. The restaurant also features a spacious patio with stunning views of the pool and Camelback Mountain. Check out the spa, Sanctuary, which is nearby. 5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley, 85253 Continues at

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