Verde Valley gems featured in Sunset Magazine's March 2014 Issue

Sunset Magazine is the go-to publication for the highlights of the American West. Featuring articles on exceptional food and drink, home and gardening tips and tricks, and travel throughout the vast region, the magazine's recommendations spread far and wide. This month's issue features a travel spotlight on Cottonwood, Clarkdale and the Verde Valley and the message rings loud and clear: it's the place to be in Arizona! Bocce_OTAimageThe article features several locally-owned businesses in Cottonwood and Clarkdale, all of which are Local First Arizona members. The article highlights some of the new places to dine and wine, and discovers the new revitalization of these Verde Valley communities.

Want a unique dining experience al fresco in Old Town Cottonwood with a southern Italian flare, or all-American favorite? Check out The Haunted Group's Tavern Grille or Pizzeria Bocce. If you can't find a table at these popular joints, then you can also check out local favorite Nic's Italian Steak and Crab House.

burning-tree-wineThe article also recommends three of Old Town's four wineries, Burning Tree Cellars (shown),Pillsbury Wine Company and Arizona Stronghold. These three, in addition to Fire Mountain Wines, all have tasting rooms within blocks of each other - providing a wine-lovers paradise! Don't forget to try wines from all of them.

For new and old favorite attractions, Clarkdale is the place to be. The Verde Canyon Railroad continues to be a stunner for locals and visitors alike. The train's four hour route gives a glimpse into the valley's wildlife habitats along the Verde River and provides many opportunities for viewing eagles and other desert natives.

copperartmuseumThe new Copper Art Museum in Clarkdale's historic downtown is a true labor of love. After years of careful and masterful restoration, owner Drake Meinke completed the project and opened this past winter. The museum tells the story of copper in Arizona, from the mine to the copper pots and architectural features at its end use. It's an incredibly beautiful way to spend an afternoon at a museum.

And finally, Sunset Magazine notes the Verde Valley for one of its main features - it's amazing outdoor adventure opportunities. Dead Horse Ranch State Park is only a short walk from Old Town Cottonwood via the Jail Trail, and offers fishing, hiking, biking and camping opportunities along the Verde River. For birding enthusiasts, the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival is right around the corner, held April 24-27.

Pick up your copy of Sunset Magazine today and make plans to visit Cottonwood and Clarkdale soon to be some of the first to check out these Verde Valley gems!