Cosas, a gorgeous new shop in The Churchill, buys these flowers made out of recycled plastic soda bottles and hand-painted by children with special needs from CITAC school in Tapalpa, Mexico, then sends a portion of proceeds back to them — Photo courtesy of Cosas
Although it's located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is bursting with life.
Once spring comes, Phoenix really starts to blossom as flowers, gardens and greenery pop up in the most unexpected places.
Here are 10 surprising sights that will transform your view of this desert city.
The Churro Tree at LON's at Hermosa Inn features cinnamon sugar churros, horchata ice cream, Mexican chocolate and strawberries — Photo courtesy of Hermosa Inn/Debby Wolvos
With its breathtaking, desert-defying flower gardens and dessert-defying Churro Trees, there is no place in Phoenix quite as magical as Hermosa Inn.
Somehow, the stunning flowers at this award-winning boutique hotel bloom brightly all year round, as does Executive Chef Jeremy Pacheco's inventive menu at LON's, which is filled with tasty treats made from the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. To express your deep feelings about both the food and flora, take an on-property painting or journaling class, where your artistic talent just may flourish.
Electric Desert at Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden is lit at night! — Photo courtesy of Klip Collective
There's always something growing at Desert Botanical Garden but if you stay after it gets dark, you'll get a completely different perspective on what you're seeing.
Klip Collective's Electric Desert uses the haunting natural landscape as a living canvas for light and sound, letting you experience the cacti, the desert floor and even the surrounding mountains in a way that's almost spiritual.
Desert Botanical Facial at Well & Being Spa
The Desert Botanical Facial will quench your skin's thirst — Photo courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The award-winning Well & Being Spa at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has a new botanical-based treatment to pamper you and leave your skin looking rosy and healthy.
The 60-minute Desert Botanical Facial uses ingredients indigenous to the desert, like soothing aloe and hydrating prickly pear cactus. You'll also receive a nourishing, citrus-infused scalp massage to invigorate your senses, and end with a copper and amino complex to replenish your skin and spirit with the abundance of the desert.
Prickly Pear Margarita at twenty6
The Prickly Pear Margarita is pretty in pink — Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Served in a lowball rocks glass with a salted rim, the Prickly Pear Margarita has become a signature drink at twenty6, the popular craft cocktail bar at JW Marriott Desert Ridge.
The prickly pear cactus is indigenous to Arizona, and it flowers in the spring, adding rich color to both the garden and the drink. This pretty-in-pink margarita is tart and sweet at the same time, and is as complex as the desert itself.
The Farm at South Mountain
The food at The Farm at South Mountain is, literally, farm fresh — Photo courtesy of The Farm at South Mountain
The Farm at South Mountain is a one-of-a-kind destination for foodies, especially those who want to see where that food is coming from.
With three truly farm-to-table restaurants on property, along with lush gardens, modern markets and event venues, The Farm at South Mountain is the epitome of agrotourism. Experiencing breakfast, lunch or dinner there is the best way to get a taste of what "farm fresh" really means.
10 Arizona oases that will make you forget you're in the desert
10 Arizona oases that will make you forget you're in the desert
Phoenix Art Museum
George Halley, Evening dress, fall 1969. Satin, velvet, silk and organza. Gift of Carol Schatt, from the Estate of Nina Pulliam at Flora exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum — Photo courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum
The Phoenix Art Museum's permanent collection boasts a number of paintings that celebrate flowers including Flower Garden by Louis Ritman, Flowers, Italy by Joseph Stella and Les arceaux fleuris, Giverny (Flowering Arches, Giverny) by Claude Monet.
But their exhibition, Flora, takes the theme a step further, exploring flowers as fashion inspiration through the designs of Marc Jacobs, Comme des Garcons, Charles James, Slava Zaitsev and more. Historical garments with embroidered and realistic floral motifs are shown alongside modern pieces with flower-inspired silhouettes and bold floral prints.
Japanese Friendship Garden
The tea ceremony at the Japanese Friendship Garden is a moving experience — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark
This lovely space in the heart of downtown Phoenix was designed as an escape from everyday stress, and you'll feel a sense of tranquility as soon as you enter its gates and stroll around the serene gardens.
A joint project between Phoenix and its sister city, Himeji, Japan, the Friendship Garden offers many authentic experiences, like the public tea ceremonies, which are held monthly and sell out quickly. Presented in the Musoan tea house by Tanko Kai tea group, wearing beautiful kimonos, the ceremony is a moving reminder to be present, to put in the effort and to be appreciative.
Nature is part of Frank Lloyd Wright's designs at Taliesin West — Photo courtesy of Neeta Patel
Frank Lloyd Wright was so inspired by nature, he always spelled it with a capital 'N.' Taliesin West – his personal winter home and architectural masterpiece – was designed to take advantage of the beauty of all four seasons, especially the spring, when the desert comes alive with stunning blooms and bursts of color.
"Look at the desert blooms, you see all this great premium placed upon individuality by Nature," said Wright in 1953. "She loves it, insists upon it, resists the loss of it." The resilience of the desert blooms reinvigorated Wright late in his career, and it's likely a trip to Taliesin West in the spring will do the same for you.
Cactus Garden at the Phoenician
Spring is a beautiful time to visit the Cactus Garden at The Phoenician — Photo courtesy of The Phoenician
The two-acre Cactus Garden on the grounds of The Phoenician features 250 varieties of cactus and succulents, and is a great spot for a leisurely stroll or a guided tour with the resort's naturalist.
In addition to learning about the native terrain, you can meet some of the local "residents," including roadrunners and chuckwallas. Cactus start blooming in late March, and you can catch the most vibrant blooms throughout April.
The Churchill is downtown Phoenix's new gathering place — Photo courtesy of Danny Upshaw
Phoenix itself is blooming, and nowhere is that more evident than at The Churchill, an innovative new downtown space that's all about community, creativity, collaboration and connection.
Home to ten small businesses, this is a great spot to eat, drink and shop locally. You'll find special events like art and fitness classes, pop-up galleries and workshops taking place in the 9,000-square-foot courtyard, which is the centerpiece of The Churchill and just may become the gathering place of downtown Phoenix.