Tag Archives: Sonoran Desert

Tour de Scottsdale Rides Again!

Tour de ScottsdaleSunday October 13th brings Cyclists in to Scottsdale and surrounding areas for the Tour de Scottsdale Citizen Rides . This year there will be 2 citizen rides, a 30 mile and a 70 mile ride both of which are presented by Lexus. They begin and end in DC Ranch but both take different courses. The 70 mile ride takes the cyclists out of North Scottsdale and they circumnavigate the Preserve. The Ride takes the cyclists over into the McDowell Mountain Park area, through Fountain Hills and back in to Scottsdale as they travel down Shea Boulevard. The 30 mile ride keeps the riders in North Scottsdale but still in beautiful Sonoran Desert landscape.

The rides benefit the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, a nonprofit conservation organization in Scottsdale that protects and promotes the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

For more information on this event and to register for the rides please read more at www.tourdescottsdale.net/event-info/

McDowell Mountain Park is Alive with Nature!

Hiking through the Sonoran Desert on a trail

Hiking through the Sonoran Desert on a trail

The McDowell Mountain Regional Park is here in our back yard and it is brimming with life and excitement! We are lucky enough to have wonderful Rangers that offer a calendar of events to help bring that nature to us.

They offer Early Bird Desert Birdwalks and feedings of Reptile and Live Animals which are sure to intrigue and give us a new appreciation for the wildlife we share this beautiful Sonoran Desert with.

They also lead informative lectures that teach us about Living with Rattlesnakes and also Nature’s Grocery Store, a hike that introduces us to what is edible in the desert.

There are so many different kinds of wildlife in the Sonoran Desert

There are so many different kinds of wildlife in the Sonoran Desert

The calendar of events and for more interesting information on The McDowell Mountain Regional Park please go to http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/mcdowell/

Spring Brings Beautiful Butterflies in Arizona!

Spring wildflowers invite butterflies and hummingbirds, but in Arizona, we celebrate in a very special way.  In Fountain Hills, nature gives us bright yellow Palo Verde and Brittle Bush flowers to attract Monarch Butterflies on their annual migration back from the highlands of Central Mexico.

Our Spring foliage attracts the butterfly's as they Migrate.

Our Spring foliage attracts the butterfly’s as they Migrate.

But for a few short weeks each spring, the Desert Botanical Garden invites us to a truly “once in a lifetime” experience in their fabulous Butterfly Pavilion.


This handicapped accessible exhibit is a wonderful multi-generational outing.  The wonder of hundreds of butterflies…sipping nectar from an orange slice or resting on one of the lovely water features is a delight for all ages.  The Botanical garden rents electric scooters and strollers, and the pathways inside the shady pavilion provide wheelchair access.

butterfly 3

The photo opportunities are boundless, and kids have a definite advantage in the close-up department!  Plan to spend at least 2 hours…the time will fly by. You do not have to tour the entire Botanical Garden to see the exhibit, but you may not be able to help yourself, as it is one of the top 5 attractions in all of Arizona.

butterfly 4

Desert Botanical Garden

1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008

$3.50 with paid Garden admission; free for Members and children under three

Now through May 12; 9:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. Daily

SAVE THE DATE: See Ya at Cyclovia! April 13th

Cyclovia comes to Fountain Hills!

The international fitness and family fun festival known as Cyclovia (Pronounced like “See ‘Ya At Cyclovia!) is coming to Fountain Hills.  Now a world-wide phenomenon, Cyclovia started in Bogata, Columbia in the 1970’s, and spread throughout Latin America, before spreading to Australia, Europe,Asia,  and more than 75 cities in the US.

Cyclovian comes to Fountain Hills April 13th!

Cyclovia comes to Fountain Hills April 13th!

This tradition stated at a small town square in Bogata.  Now, each Sunday and on holidays from 7 am until 2 pm certain main streets of Bogata are blocked off to cars for the exclusive use of runners, skaters, and bicyclists. At the same time, stages are set up in city parks. Aerobics instructors and musicians lead people through various performances. Bogata’s  weekly ciclovías are used by approximately 2 million people (30% of citizens) on over 120 km of car-free  streets. (Ask.com.)  In Arizona, the City of Tucson held its first Cyclovia in 2010, and the festival has grown exponentially each year.

The Town of Fountain Hills and the Fountain Hills Visitor’s Bureau have organized first Cyclovia in the Phoenix area, scheduled for April 13, 2013.  Cyclovia Fountain Hills is excited to join in this tradition, opening a selection of our downtown streets for biking, walking, talking, jogging, skating, and much, much more! Enjoy free health education sessions, yoga, pilates, jazzercise,  and bicycle safety courses and explore the beautiful scenery of Fountain Hills and our surrounding walking and hiking paths.

Cyclovia comes to Fountain Hills. Save the date for a fun family day!

Cyclovia comes to Fountain Hills. Save the date for a fun family day!

The east and west medians of the Avenue of the Fountains in front of Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate’s Fountain Hills office will be the center of fun for the entire day.  There will be costume bicycle parades, tricycle races, pets on parade, and the medians will have a Market full of food and snacks, juried artisans with a range of southwestern and contemporary art work, clothing and jewelry.  Bicycle and outdoor sports vendors will have booths on the median, and there will be entertainment for the whole family throughout the day.  The evening will feature a free concert in the park under the stars.

Watch our blog for updates, but mark your calendar…Saturday, April 13…for a full day of family fun.

We’ll see ‘ya at Cyclovia!

Thunderbird Fine Art and Wine Affair!


Avenue of the Fountains, 10-5 pm

March 15-17

Hundreds of Fine Art vendors, food, wine and entertainment. The event is free, but is gated so visitors can taste wine while they stroll.

Thunderbird Art Affaire on the Avenue of The Fountains.

Thunderbird Art and Wine Affaire on the Avenue of The Fountains.

Thunderbird Artists and the Sunset Kiwanis of Fountain Hills have once again partnered to bring you another extraordinary juried fine art event that encompasses quality wines and delightful musical entertainment featuring Teresa Joy, daughter of guitar legend Esteban.  Unequaled in its ambiance and the quality of fine art, the 9th Annual Fountain Hills Fine Art & Wine Affaire is the ideal setting for this world-class gathering of artists.

Please drop in and see us at Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate after you have enjoyed a wonderful time at the Thunderbird Art and Wine Affaire.  We’ll have maps, a Dining Guide and area information on “The World’s Greatest Town.”    For on-line information, check out our Visitor’s Guide at http://www.150Ways.com to learn about all the fun entertainment, sports, cultural and historical venues in the surrounding area!

World-class Hiking and Biking in Fountain Hills Back Yard!


The 21,099 acre McDowell Mountain Regional Park is just a few miles north, between Fountain Hills and Rio Verde. One of the largest in the Maricopa County Park System, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park is probably best known as a mecca for mountain biking enthusiasts from across the country, yet it is also a fantastic place to hike, horseback ride, camp, RV, picnic, bird-watch, stargaze, take photographs or just get out and enjoy nature. There is a $6.00 per vehicle fee to enter the park! If you visit frequently then you might want to obtain a Maricopa Mountain Parks Annual Pass, or a Senior Pass, which is free.

The beautiful Sonoran Desert in bloom.

The beautiful Sonoran Desert in bloom.

McDowell Mountain Regional Park has over 50 miles of trails within its boundaries, and the western edge of the Park borders the McDowell Sonoran Preserve which has an additional 50-plus miles of hiking and biking trails! Several International marathons, bicycle, mountain bike and fun runs draw contestants from across the globe, but most of the

The park has an amazing range of activities each month, and publishes a monthly calendar.  “Ranger Amy” is a crowd favorite, but her interpretive hike with the “Creepy Crawlies of the Desert” is a favorite for adventurers of all ages.  The next class is scheduled for February 23, 2013.

Date: February 23rd

Time: 1-2 pm

Contact: Amyburnett@mail.maricopa.gov  /  480-471-0173  Ext. 201

Ranger Amy guides you on this event and there is no registration required!

Enjoy the hikes through the Sonoran Desert with Ranger Amy.

Enjoy the hikes through the Sonoran Desert with Ranger Amy.

Photography is another favorite pastime in our beautiful Sonoran Desert…and the Park sponsors dozens of hikes each week that provide the perfect opportunity to capture the essence of the Fountain Hills area.  Regularly schedules Fitness hikes every Friday are enjoyed by dozens of visitors and locals alike, and a special cell phone photo hike is planned for March, where you might catch the early desert wildflowers.

We, at Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate know how stunning our surroundings are. We hope you enjoy the hikes and the beautiful scenery that we wake up  to everyday. If you would like to enjoy our weather and scenery everyday, then please drop by our office and we can help find you the perfect Desert Oasis of your own!  www.150ways.com

Retiring in Fountain Hills – Part 2

Today’s post-50’s are looking for specific lifestyle amenities in their ideal retirement spot. In addition to Low Local Taxes, Affordable recreation and Community size, Boomers polled in a recent study by the Consumer Federation of the Southeast indicated a number of more specific preferences that make Fountain Hills a top contender as a perfect retirement location. (continued from Part I, September 9, 2012)

#4.  Top Quality Health Care:

Mayo Clinics Scottsdale Research Facility, Fountain Hills, AZ

The Mayo Clinic’s Scottsdale Research Facility is revered by local residents and international visitors alike.

Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, located within 5 miles of Fountain Hills, is recognized by eight of the most well-known national assessment organizations, more than any other major U.S. hospital or clinic. Known for its team approach to treatment (all Doctors from all necessary specialties working as an integrated treatment team), the clinic is a favorite of area residents. Scottsdale Healthcare, with its Hospital, Virginia Piper Cancer Treatment Center and Medical Specialty Plaza is a short 15-minute drive from Fountain Hills. The Greater Phoenix area boasts hundreds of hospital and specialty treatment facilities and thousands of specialists. But the very best care just might be found in the center of Fountain Hills. Our local medical center includes one of Arizona’s “10 Top Docs,” a physical therapy center, two labs and imaging center. Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Acupuncture and mental health facilities are within 10 minutes of any home in Fountain Hills as well. Local yoga and health clubs are abound, many with 24 hour access, and the “Silver Sneakers” gym is a popular spot to catch up on the local news.

Fountain Hills Sunset, Saguaro Cactus, Ocotillo Cactus, Desert Southwest

The Sonoran Desert offers a healthy, dry Southwest climate-mosquito free!

#5.  Warm Climate The greater Phoenix area is the #1 “sunniest place in the United States.” Fountain Hills, in the McDowell Mountain foothills on the edge of the “Valley of the Sun” offers the best quality of life in the high Sonoran desert. Surrounded by breathtaking 100 mile views, this area maintains the famous “warm in the daytime, cool in the evenings” character that the desert climate is known for. While we often joke “that it’s a dry heat,” the dry air means we have very few bugs, almost no mosquitos, gnats, or pesky things that bite and sting, making year-round outdoor recreation a true joy. Many homes in Fountain Hills have “outdoor” living rooms and kitchens, with no need for screens between you and the mountain paradise that surrounds us.

Saguaro Lake, Fountain Hills, AZ, Salt River

Saguaro Lake, only 20 minutes from Fountain Hills, offers full marina services.

#6. Access to Water:

Arizonan’s like their boats! Although the oft-repeated claim that we have “more boats per capita than any other state” is a myth, we desert dwellers do like our boats. Why? Because the area is surrounded by a fabulous system of lakes forming our hydro-electric system. These lakes are easily accessible, with professional ramps and marinas, are glassy smooth for riding or water-skiing, with beaches and pathways that are a fisherman’s delight (trout, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, Bluegill, Channel Catfish and Walleye.) Saguaro Lake is 25 scenic miles north of Fountain Hills, and is a popular haven for boating, fishing, hiking, camping, swimming, or just a quick jaunt for lakeside dining at the popular Marina Café. Dozens of groomed picnic ramadas make this spot a favorite place to toast the sunset. The Desert Belle, a classic paddle-wheeled party boat is a great way to introduce visitors to the desert as mountain sheep, eagles, a variety of wild cats, and of course, the ever-present javelina and coyotes are often spotted during the educational and relaxing cruise.

(Next week: Retirement Haven, Part III)

Let Sonoran Lifestyle Real Estate be your guide in Fountain Hills.  For more information about this world-class community, its beautiful vistas, vibrant Town Center, lovely neighborhoods and fantastic real estate values, go to www.SonoranLifestyle.com.   Check out the area relocation guide at www.150Ways.com  where you’ll  find links to 150 area recreation, sports, entertainment and cultural attractions.   In Fountain Hills, be sure to stop by the Sonoran Lifestyle visitor center on the Avenue of the Fountains, only ½ block from the World Famous Fountain, or call 480-816-5557.