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Annual Spouse and Guest Program


NEMA 2017 Annual Forum - Spouse & Guest Program
September 28-30, 2017
Experience some of what makes Arizona unique!

A Taste of Old Town Scottsdale

This incredible walking food and cultural tour opens your mind and palette with tales full of rich history—one taste at a time. On this tour you will sample great food and sip fine wine as you travel through time to some of the same streets that have been stomped on by the cowboys of the early 1900’s frontier. You will be led through Old Town Scottsdale from past to present and discover how it has grown throughout the years and why it is still, today one of the most popular and tasty tourist destinations in the U.S. Tourists and locals alike can learn and explore many great places that may otherwise go unseen!

Native Plants of the Southwest

The Desert Botanical Gardens.  Founded in 1939, it has flourished into one of the best botanical gardens in the world and the only one whose mission is to focus solely on desert plant life.  This tour is an unbeatable southwest experience, which acquaints you with the diversity of the Sonoran Desert and the resourcefulness of its native people. 

Within sight of the red, rocky folds of Phoenix’s Papago Park lies the Desert Botanical Garden, home to the one of the world’s largest and most diverse collection of desert plants. A stroll through the Garden’s meandering trails will show how much life and beauty the desert holds.  The Garden inhabits 145 acres and has a garden collection with over 20,000 cataloged plants and represents one of the most important collections of desert plants in the world.

The one-third mile Desert Discovery Trail winds past thousands of plants, including more than half the cactus, century plants, and aloe species in the world. Short trails branch off to interpret other aspects of desert life: the uses of plants by people, interactions among plants and animals, desert wildflowers, and landscaping and gardening in the desert.

The Majestic Red Rocks…Sedona

Only 90 minutes north of Phoenix, Sedona is a Mecca for lovers of nature, arts, crafts and photography, and is truly a unique, special place – from its canyons to the creeks and sculptured red rocks to the many well-designed homes nestled along the roadway that wind through sandstone spires.  Featuring the wonder of what Native Americans consider the spiritual vortex of the Southwest and absolutely sublime red rock formations, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon challenge many national parks in their beauty. 

A Little History

Located in the high southwestern desert under the rim of the Colorado Plateau, Sedona enjoys mild weather throughout the year.  Sunshine and clean air abound at Sedona's elevation of 4,500 feet.  Its history is that of a rural ranching community, far off the beaten path.  Its beauty became known through the motion picture industry with such classic films as John Wayne’s “The Angel and the Badman,” and Robert Mitchum’s “Blood on the Moon.” 

Oak Creek Canyon is considered by many travelers to be one of the most beautiful canyons in the West.  Its red walls and panels reach a height of 2,500 feet in places, and visitors can see them from a safe paved road that follows the stream along the foot of the cliffs.  The Canyon itself opens out into the “Red Rock Country.”

Our tours all begin by heading north from The Greater Phoenix Area through the Tonto National Forest, stopping at Montezuma’s Castle.  Montezuma’s castle which is nestled into a limestone recess high above the flood plain of Beaver Creek in the Verde Valley.  Montezuma’s Castle stands one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. The five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling served as a "high-rise apartment building" for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. Early settlers to the area assumed that the imposing structure was associated with the Aztec emperor Montezuma, but the castle was abandoned almost a century before Montezuma was born. With heightened concern over vandalism of fragile southwestern prehistoric sites, Montezuma Castle became a major factor in the nation's historic preservation movement with its proclamation as a national monument. The Castle was described as "of the greatest ethnological and scientific interest" by President Roosevelt in December of 1096. Acreage: 840.86, federal: 16.83, non-federal. 

From there we will head into the Red Rock Country of Sedona.  Immerse yourself in the splendor of Sedona's red rock country. Visit her most famous and intriguing sites while having plenty of time for amazing, photo-opportunities. Cover Sedona from one end to the other, and everything in between on the most comprehensive introduction of Sedona.  Hear all about the history, geology, folklore and legends of one of nature's masterpieces. You'll have plenty of time on this 3-hour tour to take in the wonders that have made Sedona #1 of the 10 most beautiful places in America.  Travel in comfort on Sedona's most spacious and best viewing vehicles with her most experienced, knowledgeable and entertaining guides. Have plenty of time outside to experience and photograph the views and memories that will last forever. You'll visit our mysterious vortex sites and get recommendations on places to shop, tours to do, and places to dine from Sedona's oldest destination tour company. If anyone knows Sedona, we do. And there's no way you can adequately cover Sedona in less time than this tour. A must do early in your stay!”


***Photos courtesy of AZA Events

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