SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The boys of summer are about to get back to work.
The Giants and the A’s are both about to kick off the 2018 season in Arizona. Catching a spring training match-up is an easy getaway that comes with some unexpected desert perks.
Travel enthusiast Dana Rebmann showed KRON4’s Marty Gonzalez the variety that is all part of the Valley of the Sun.
With spring homes in Scottsdale and Mesa, their stadiums are only about 15 minutes apart, so catching both teams in action is easy.
It almost seems unfair when the competition to baseball includes a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran desert.
Balloon flights give you a whole new perspective of the desert terrain and they are one of those bucket list items. You have to get up early. My flight came with a 6:15 hotel departure, but it was worth rolling out of bed before the sun came up.
Those propane burners put off heat, so wear a hat to keep your head from getting hot. After many of the rides, you’re welcomed back to solid ground with a champagne toast and picnic-style breakfast.
Getting wet in the desert is a sure fire way to beat the heat in between spring training games. Arizona Outback Adventures guides half-day trips on the Lower Salt River and they often come with some extra special company. Give stand up paddle boarding a try or go kayaking.
Frank Lloyd Wright left his mark on the Bay Area, and he left a lasting impression in the desert as well. Taliesin West is worth saving a couple hours for a tour. Built in the 1930s, but constantly expanded and changed throughout his life, the famous home and architecture school was built by Wright and his apprentices using rocks, sand and other desert items so the building would blend in with its surroundings.
If you can make it work schedule-wise, night tours come with fabulous sunsets and the opportunity to see the property’s fire breathing dragon.
One of Wright’s apprentices or maybe competitor depending on your interpretation, Paolo Soleri settled in Paradise Valley, near Scottsdale, in the mid-1950s and created Cosanti to serve as his home and studio.
He experimented with many things, but was arguably best known for his hand-poured bronze windbells. A new tour, started in the fall, allows visitors a behind the scenes look at Cosanti, to see the dusty space that was once his studio, and watch artisans carry on the tradition of shaping bells from glowing bronze.
The Mesa and Scottsdale area is known for its miles and miles of hiking trails. Usery Mountain Regional Park stretches more than 3,600 acres and offers more than 30 miles of trails ranging from easy to strenuous. The Wind Cave Trail is one of the park’s most popular hikes. Three miles round trip, it’s a moderate to difficult hike that will take most two to three hours round-trip.
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