With a wildflower super bloom on the horizon, lavender farms to visit and sweet peaches to pick, locals have an abundance of fun to add to their Arizona spring bucket list this season.
Picacho Peak Wildflowers
After a wet winter with above-average rainfall, Picacho Peak is in for a super bloom of wildflowers this season. A sea of yellow, orange, purple and red wildflowers has already begun to pop up on the mountain, as well as other plant life, including cacti, shrubs and greenery. In addition to exploring a variety of trails, getting a few selfies or stopping for a picnic, visitors are encouraged to camp on the grounds while the weather is still forgiving this spring. For more information, visit azstateparks.com.
U-Pick Peaches at Schnepf Farms
Peach season arrives in May at Schnepf Farms, where over eight varieties of peaches have been growing for over 50 years. The local staple is the perfect addition to your Arizona spring bucket list, with a stunning orchard to explore, U-pick-style peaches to grab and an on-site bakery with goodies to indulge in or take to go. Tours of the farm and visiting the bakery are free, while prices for peaches are to be determined. Schnepf Farms is open Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit schnepffarms.com.
Pine Creek Canyon Lavender Farm
A spring season would only be complete with a trip to Pine Creek Canyon Lavender Farms. The beautifully aromatic destination is a must to visit, with abundant lavender varieties, including Royal Velvet, Provence and Grosso. In addition to walking the vibrant fields and plucking arrangements, visitors can venture into the on-site shop for their lavender-infused needs. The store features essential oils, personal care items, apparel, artisanal baked goods and more. Pine Creek Canyon Lavender Farm is open Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit pinelavenderfarm.com.
Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Rides
A once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits with Rainbow Ryder’s Sunset Balloon Ride, available now through the end of March. The ride will take you to new heights on a hot air balloon ride above our Sonoran Desert. The adventure will begin with a commemorative toast at 4 p.m. before taking new heights in a hot air balloon to catch one of the sunsets Arizona is famous for. The ride is $125 for children and $225 for adults depending on your date, and lasts up to four hours. The Arizona spring bucket list experience will also provide a flight certificate as a souvenir. For more information, visit rainbowryders.com.
Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival
A beloved tradition each season is back for 2023 for its 22nd year in a row, the Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival in Camp Verde. The festival begins on Saturday, March 18, and will conclude on Sunday, March 19. The annual event celebrates all the goodness that comes with wine and pecans and is free and open to the public. Some festivities include a pecan pie-eating contest, a Budweiser beer garden, food trucks and more than 70 vendors to browse. For those 21-plus, a wine-tasting experience will take place for $20 per person. Pourings include local wines like Merkin Vineyards, Caduceus Cellars, Oak Creek Winery, Burning Tree Cellars, Da Vines Vineyard, Salt Mine Wine and many more to enjoy. For more information, visit verdevalleywine.org.
Queen Creek Olive Mill’s Olive Oil 101 Tour
With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to visit Queen Creek Olive Mill for their Olive Oil 101 Tour. The tour showcases the traditions and processes behind creating olive oil, including how the mill makes their staple EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), how to use the ingredient in your own kitchen and more. After the tour, stop by the Di Oliva Italian Bistro & Bar for a bite to eat or shop at the on-site market. The Olive Oil 101 Tour is $7 per person or $10 with a glass of Prosecco. For more information, visit queencreekolivemill.com.