Travel Classics Writers
Conference November 20-23, 2014 in Scottsdale, AZ
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Travel Classics West 2014
FAMILIARIZATION TOURS for ATTENDEES


The Arizona Office of Tourism, Scottsdale CVB and partners from throughout Arizona are excited to offer four pre-tours that will allow you to experience the Grand Canyon State firsthand. From cowboys and ranches to inspiring art and history, amazing architecture to awe-inspiring views - Arizona offer a diversity of experiences that make it such a great destination for visitors throughout the world.

If you have something else in mind, we can also arrange a custom itinerary before or after the conference. For more statewide information contact Tony Alba, AOT Media Relations Manager, at talba@azot.gov or for Scottsdale information contact Laura McMurchie, SCVB VP of Communications, at lmcmurchie@scottsdalecvb.com.

Pre-Conference Tours:


Havasupai Falls

Hike Like Nobody is Watching! - Havasupai Falls

Dates: Saturday, Nov. 15 - Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 (5 nights)
Contact: Tony Alba at talba@azot.gov or 602-364-3715
Participants: Maximum of 6

Havasupai, known as the "people of the blue-green water," is a lush and unexpected oasis deep in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The Havasupai are intimately connected to the water and the land. This blue-green water is sacred to the Havasupai. It flows not only across the land, but also through each tribal member. When you enter their land, you enter their home, their place of origin.

Nov. 15 - Arrive in Phoenix on Saturday, Nov. 15 and overnight at a property convenient to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Nov. 16 - We'll be up early on Sunday morning for a drive to the western portion of Grand Canyon National Park. The next three days will be filled with an adventure you'll not soon forget. Descend 1,400-feet and 10 miles to our base camp, and then spend each day relaxing, playing in the waterfalls and exploring the canyon on awe-inspiring hikes. We will keep your energy up by serving you healthy hearty meals and providing you with comfortable amenities at our base camp.

Nov. 17 - Beaver Falls Adventure Hike - 5-9 miles of awesome beauty and waterfalls.

Nov. 18 - Carbonate Canyon, Havasu Falls & The New Waterfalls - 3-6 miles of play or relaxation.

Nov. 19 - Put your best foot forward as you wave goodbye to Havasupai and begin your hike back 1,400 feet to the rim. The satisfaction you feel when you reach the top will make you want to go home and tell all your friends how you conquered the Grand Canyon! Once we're out of the canyon, we'll load up and get you back to the Phoenix/Scottsdale area for a good night sleep before the start of the conference on Thursday.

Nov. 20 - Transfer to the Boulders Resort for Travel Classics West

NOTE: This is an active hiking trip. Participants should be in good physical condition and able to hike up to 10 miles per day. Accommodations in the Canyon are in a 4-person tent (2 people per tent each of the 3 nights in the Canyon. Our professional guides will be from Arizona Outback Adventures (www.aoa-adventures.com).
horse and rider

Discover Arizona's Western Culture - Tucson and Scottsdale

Dates: Sunday, Nov. 16 - Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 (4 nights)
Contact: Tony Alba at talba@azot.gov or 602-364-3715
Participants: Maximum of 6

Arizona is famous for iconic images of cowboys on horseback, dude ranches, cowboy boots and a rich western heritage. Although Hollywood has taken a few liberties to convey the "old west" lifestyle in Arizona, much of what people imagine life to be like in the great Southwest can be found, as this tour will show.

Nov. 16 - Arrive in Phoenix on Sunday, Nov. 16 and overnight at a property convenient to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Nov. 17 - Monday morning, we'll depart for "The Old Pueblo" - Tucson, Arizona (www.visittucson.org) - located a short two-hour drive south of Phoenix. Explore Old Tucson Studios (www.oldtucson.com), filming location of many Western movies; learn about the flora and fauna of the region at the Sonora Desert Museum (www.desertmuseum.org); enjoy some of Tucson's great food to keep your fuel tank full and ready to go; spend the night at a working cowboy ranch.

Nov. 18 - Learn how authentic custom cowboy boots are made; do a little shopping; enjoy authenic Western American Art at the Tucson Museum of Art (www.tucsonmuseumofart.org). Your day will include a horseback riding experience through the Sonoran Desert, capped off by a terrific meal. Did we mention that Tucson has great food?

Nov. 19 - Head north to Scottsdale (www.experiencescottsdale.com) - "The West's Most-Western Town." Visit charming Old Town, a neighborhood within Downtown Scottsdale that features a taste of the Old West with great restaurants, shopping and Western bars. With wooden beams, wagon wheels and cowboy hats abundant, you're sure to feel like you've traveled back in time to the era of outlaws and saloons. Spend the final night before the conference in one of Scottsdale's many acclaimed properties.

Nov. 20 - Transfer to the Boulders Resort for Travel Classics West
rocks and river

Inspiring Arizona! - Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix

Dates: Sunday, Nov. 16 - Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 (4 nights)
Contact: Tony Alba at talba@azot.gov or 602-364-3715
Participants: Maximum of 6

What inspires you? A song? A special memory? A beautiful view locked in your mind? This journey will take you to some of the most-inspiring parts of Arizona, Sedona and Flagtsaff, and will expose you to museums that will move you with their beauty and cultural impact.

Nov. 16 - Arrive in Phoenix on Sunday, Nov. 16 and overnight at a property convenient to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Nov. 17 - Just 2.5 hours north of Phoenix in the midst of the world's largest Ponderosa pine forest is Flagstaff (www.flagstaffarizona.org). At an elevation of 7,000 feet, it is a four-season hub of activity where an eclectic mix of small town charm and endless outdoor adventure beckons. Flagstaff is home to the Museum of Northern Arizona (www.musnaz.org), the Lowell Observatory (www.lowell.edu), where Pluto was discovered and a charming downtown. On clear nights, a blanket of beautiful stars serves as an inspiration to star gazers who take advantage of the areas dark skies. Flagstaff also is home to Northern Arizona University (www.nau.edu) and one of Arizona's three ski resorts (www.arizonasnowbowl.com).

Nov. 18 - We'll travel down through Oak Creek Canyon, one of the most picturesque drives in Arizona, to one of America's most inspiring-destinations: Sedona (www.visitsedona.com). Nestled against the majestic backdrop of the red rock cliffs, Sedona is surrounded by 1.8 million acres of national forest land. It is equal parts rugged, equal parts resort. Among the options for visitors are jeep tours, scenic hiking and biking trails, luxurious spas, great dining and shopping. Regarded by Native Americans as sacred, Sedona continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal.

Nov. 19 - The final day of the tour takes you back to Phoenix (www.visitphoenix.com), where you'll take in the renowned Heard Museum (www.heard.org), the Musical Instrument Museum (www.mim.org). While at the MIM, you'll see the actually piano on which John Lennon was inspired to compose his legendary song, "Imagine." End the day exploring the capital city's thriving downtown entertainment district, before enjoying a restful night at a Phoenix resort.

Nov. 20 - Transfer to the Boulders Resort for Travel Classics West
Taliesin West

Astounding Art and Architecture - Grand Canyon, Arcosanti, Scottsdale, Tempe

Dates: Sunday, Nov. 16 - Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 (4 nights)
Contact: Tony Alba at talba@azot.gov or 602-364-3715
Participants: Maximum of 6

Much of the architecture one finds in Arizona was influenced by many of the world's most noted designers, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri and Mary Jane Colter. Their influence and imprint is evident in every area of the state and this tour will give you a special insight into the mark they have left on Arizona's look and feel.

Nov. 16 - Arrive in Phoenix on Sunday, Nov. 16 and overnight at a property convenient to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

Nov. 17 - This tour begins with a visit to Arizona's Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. In addition to the spectacular views from the south rim, you'll enjoy lunch and a tour of the Mary Jane Coulter-inspired El Tovar Lodge. If you've never been to Arizona, the Grand Canyon is a must-see.

Nov. 18 - After waking up at the Grand Canyon and enjoying a leisurely breakfast, we'll head south to Arcosanti (www.arcosanti.org). Arcosanti was founded by Paolo Soleri as an urban laboratory focused on innovative design, community and environmental accountability. More than 50,000 visitors discover and explore Arcosanti each year. Guest rooms overlook thousands of acres of the Agua Fria National Monument and have a beautiful sunrise view. Simple rooms have Paolo Soleri siltcast designs on the ceiling and modest amenities.

Nov. 19 - The last day takes us back to Scottsdale (www.experiencescottsdale.com) and Tempe (www.tempetourism.com) to see the influence of both Wright and Soleri. From Taliesin West (www.franklloydwright.org) to the Hotel Valley Ho (www.hotelvalleyho.com) and beyond, Wright's imprint is clear in Scottsdale. Soleri's Cosanti Foundation (www.cosanti.com) is here as well and his influence is so important, that he even has a bridge named for him along the Scottsdale Waterfront. The day concludes in Tempe, where you'll visit Grady Gammage Auditorium (www.asugammage.com), which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The tour concludes with dinner in one of Tempe's eclectic restaurants and a restful night in one of its properties.

Nov. 20 - Transfer to the Boulders Resort for Travel Classics West
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