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5 adventures to go on during a visit to Phoenix
Wares imported directly from France guarded by great company. - photo by Adam Straub
PHOENIX, Arizona Phoenix offers wonderful opportunities for playing golf during the winter and early spring, but here are some lesser known adventures to experience on your next visit.

Vincents Market Bistro

While Vincents restaurant has been delighting Phoenix for over 20 years, Vincents Market Bistro has only been around since 2003. It fills the air with the perfumes of savory dishes being made including Spanish paella, ribs and Cornish game hens on the rotisserie, and made to order omelettes, crepes and delightful desserts.

Besides the food booths, there are also vendor booths where one can go shopping for unique wares from France including honey, olive oil and a wonderful selection of aromatic soaps.

The outdoor atmosphere is a wonderful place to meet interesting people of all walks of life. It is not unusual to see strangers become quick friends around a table over coffee.

The Market Bistro is only available October through May from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is located at 3930 E. Camelback Road.

Dolly Steamboat Dinner Cruise

This tour is located an hour east of Phoenix at Canyon Lake and is worth every minute of the drive. From the city, you travel through the awe-inspiring Tonto National Forest before arriving at the Canyon Lake Marina where you will check in for your cruise aboard the paddle wheeler. It is wise to arrive 45 minutes before your cruise to check in and avoid the bulk of the crowd and to get the best seating options.

The cruise leaves at sunset and returns after a delicious buffet meal while traveling among the towering granite cliffs before returning under the stars. Dress in layers because the desert cools significantly at night, especially over the water. The food is wonderful, the service outstanding and the experience unforgettable. The Dolly offers multiple tours besides the dinner cruise.

Mystery Castle

At the base of South Mountain at the end of 7th Street, lies a castle. While the amazing structure holds wonderful southwestern artifacts and dazzles the imagination, the most amazing treasure it keeps is the story of how it came to be.

Extremely knowledgeable and personable guides lead you through the rooms and tell of how a dying father disappeared from his home in Seattle and spent his remaining days building his daughter a castle in the desert.

Tours are only available from October until May, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday. Admission fees are cash only.

Changing Hands Bookstore

Changing Hands Bookstore has been in business for more than 40 years and provides a unique buying experience, as well as offering a little bit of something for everyone.

You have the wonderful option of exchanging volumes for in-store credit and then being able to peruse through literary selections others have traded in as well. This is an excellent option to grab anything that peaks your interest without having to commit to full retail. If there is something new that you are just dying to have, they have those selections available also.

The stores calendar is also full of activities for children and grandparents, presentations from authors, musicians, celebrities and discussion groups. There is also a bar for beer, wine, coffee and conversation as well as a restaurant serving upscale southern cuisine.

The Phoenix location at 3rd Avenue and Camelback Road is where you will find the bar and restaurant. The Tempe location located at 2468 S. McClintock Drive offers a larger selection of used books.

Taliesin West

After Frank Lloyd Wrights successful commission of the Falling Waters design, he purchased a piece of property in Arizona with the money he earned. His first visit was in a canvas tent and the experience influenced his design of his inspiring western campus, Taliesin West. Frank Lloyd Wright lived at Taliesin West and enjoyed some of the most productive years of his life before his death in 1959.

Several tours are available ranging in length from one hour to three hours. Along with discussing some of the philosophies used by Frank Lloyd Wright in the campuses construction as well as his life there, some tours even include mid-morning tea and hikes through the wilderness surroundings.

The property is located in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains and tour reservations can be made online.
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