Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Cottonwood: Between Two Famous Towns

When picking towns and cities to visit in Arizona, Sedona and Jerome are usually on people’s lists.  There is one little Arizona town, which is located in the middle of the Verde Valley Wine country, worth a visit and that is Cottonwood.  It is in a prime location along Highway 89A, only 130 miles north of Phoenix on Interstate 17, 40 miles south of Flagstaff, 50 miles from Prescott, 16 miles from Sedona, and only 8 miles from Jerome which is visible from the center of town.  The Native American ruins of Tuzigoot are nearby as well.  The calm waters of the Verde Creek run through the settlement, and there are amazing views of the mountains visible on one side of town with Jerome nestled inside.  Also, from the other side of town, the red rocks of Sedona can be seen in the valley which is miles away.

Cottonwood began in 1874 as a single adobe house where soldiers from nearby Camp Verde often positioned themselves to keep watch or rest.  The town officially originated in 1897 and named for the circle of sixteen large cottonwoods flourishing in the area.  People quickly began to settle in Cottonwood and it became the farming community for hay, grain and cattle.  It also became a town known for bootlegging with the finest booze for hundreds of miles.  By the 1920’s, the tasty booze enticed many people for miles who set up businesses in this booming town.  There were only 1000 citizens living there at the time, so Cottonwood earned the name, “Biggest Little Town in Arizona”.

Today, Cottonwood has lots to offer.  Not only is it close to many of Arizona’s known places, but there is lots to do while in town.  Along the streets in the historic district you will find antique shops, other variety of shops, quaint restaurants, diners, wine tasting rooms, hotels and B&B’s.  There are places to golf, hike, picnic and camp.  With the gorgeous views, and many things to do, you should add Cottonwood to your places to visit while in Arizona.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Old Town Red Rooster Cafe

Located on the main street in historic downtown Cottonwood, AZ, is the Old Town Red Rooster Cafe.  It opened its doors in October of 2010 by two friends.  It quickly became a popular place to eat by the local residents and visitors.  They offer the most desirable components in their breakfast meals and sandwiches.  I had one of their turkey bacon wraps and it was tasty.  Check them out if you ever visit Cottonwood.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano

Sitting in the back area in Tlaquepaque Village in Sedona, AZ, is the El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano.  Their food is a mixture of Arizona Style and traditional Mexican food.  You will see how the Navajo/Hopi lifestyle is swayed in each meal.  They are know for their delicious El Rincon Chimichangas which are wrapped in a sopapilla masa and stuffed with either beef, chicken or tiger shrimp.  If you can find room in your tummy, they also offer dessert chimichangas with either chocolate, cherry or apple fillings.  My favorite meal when I go there is the spinach cream cheese enchilada.  OMG, it is so good!

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The view from the front door.

Another view.

I had number 5.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Whispering Creek Bed & Breakfast

After the ladies and I spent the day wine tasting in Cottonwood, we ended our day in Sedona at the Whispering Creek Bed & Breakfast.  We were greeted by the owner, Cheryl Barron, and she showed us around.  Since there were five of us, we had to take two rooms.  The first room we saw was the one I shared with my sister-in-law, Deb.  We had a queen bed, TV, WiFi, fridge, and coffee maker all in a sweetly decorated room.  The bed was so comfortable!  The next place we check out was the girls room.  This room had a king bed, full kitchen, table with chairs, and a couch which turned into a single size bed.  They also had a porch with wood fence.  Cheryl said that she and her husband, Joe, plan to take the wood fence down and replace it with a wrought iron fence.  The wood fence took away from the amazing Sedona red-rocks scenery.  The last place Cheryl showed us was the dining area where breakfast would be served.  She offered us brownies and ice cream, but we were going to head out to dinner first.  She also told us that in the evenings, she has wine to enjoy while sitting on the patio soaking up the gorgeous scenery and the dark sky full of stars.

In the morning, we all met in the dining room for breakfast.  The night before, Cheryl had us fill out a card for our individual breakfast meals.  Before getting my eggs, bacon and the most tasty fried potatoes, I had to try one of her homemade muffins.  The breakfast was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  While eating, Cheryl engaged us gals in conversations.  We found out that they just opened the B&B and we were its first guests.  She has lovingly decorated the place with care, using the best linens and mattress.  Her 5 bedroom place had a down home and comfy feel to it.  I would recommend that if you are staying in Sedona, give Cheryl at the Whispering Creek Bed &Breakfast a call.  (928) 862-4006

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Verde Valley Wineries

Tucked in the middle of Cottonwood and near Sedona, AZ, are several wineries and vineyards.  I just recently took a girls trip to that area for wine tasting.  We had a great time and even bought a bottle or two of our favorites.  Even though there are numerous wineries in the area, these are the four we went to.

Alcantara Vineyards
This place was gorgeous.  From the back patio and lawn we were presented with the vineyards with many rows of covered grapes.  Behind the vineyards are breathtaking views of the mountains.  This was our first stop and well worth the visit.  This vineyard is the initial winery located along the Verde River.  It is the most prevalent winery located in central and northern Arizona.  Opened every day from 11am to 5pm, they provide excursions around the property on Friday and Saturday mornings.  For $10 or $15 for VIP’s, you are treated to 5 tastings.  Also included in the price is the 12.75 oz. crystal glass with the logo on it.  Their Moscato is the best I have ever had.

Arizona Stronghold
The Arizona Stronghold can be found in old town Cottonwood.  In this place, we stood at the bar.  Surrounding the bar is a large display of their wines, homemade chocolates and other unique treats or items.  To the side are tables and couches to make you comfortable when enjoying the wines.  Their wines are “Redefining the Desert with High Elevation Wine.”  They offer free Wi-Fi and open their doors at noon, 7 days a week.

Burning Tree Cellars
Also found in down town Cottonwood, the Burning Tree Cellars is large inside with tables, chairs and couches.  The bar is located in the back and near the huge table we sat at for our tasting.  For $10, we were treated to delicious white wines which were to our choosing.  On their Facebook page, they refer to themselves as “A small boutique winery“.  They focus on more diminutive size batches which are painstakingly preserved with the highest standard of fruit offering you the best wines you ever tasted. 

Page Springs Cellars
This winery was the last on our stop before heading out to Sedona and is located in Cornville.  When we walked in the front door, we had to put our names on a list as if we were waiting for dinner.  The wait wasn’t too long and before we know it, we were sitting in a comfortable area by ourselves and tasting wine.  This vineyard is located next to Oak Creek and 15 minutes south of Sedona, with amazing views of the rocky countryside.  They have a wide selection of wines including their most noted Rhone style wines.  If you are hungry, they offer gourmet food and treats.   After eating and wine tasting, you can hit the gift shop and then walk down to the creek on their magnificent vine-covered path.  They also offer a large patio to relax and enjoy all the critters that roam the area.

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