Courier August/September Courier - Page 50

COMPASS SOUTHWEST U.S. El Paso, Texas, is the birthplace of the margarita. Best news ever? Si! Visit El Paso has concocted a trip idea that takes visitors to the best places in the city to try the signature drink. “The margarita is a part of El Paso’s history and pairs well with our truly authentic Mexican food,” says Leesy McCorgary, digital marketing manager with Visit El Paso. “Each of the restaurants I can suggest are well suited to host large groups with advance notice. The restaurants are locally owned and operated and known as favorites among the locals.” Visitors looking for an award-winning margarita with some extra tequila should visit Carlos & Mickey’s, where they can order the Texas-Sized Margarita—a margarita so big, it’s limited to just one per customer. The Chamoyada is a ruby-hued margarita served up at Barrigas Restaurant. The drink is blended with tequila, Chamoy and Cointreau and trimmed with Tajín seasoning. Ever tried a margarita with a kick? Julio’s Café Corona boasts Mix it up in El Paso Barrigas Restaurant’s Chamoyada an extensive selection of margarita flavors and combinations, including the jalapeno margarita that’s made with tequila, cilan- tro and jalapenos. Another popular option is the classic margarita at L&J Café, a local landmark known for delicious food and no-frills margaritas. If you want the frills, though, stumble down to Cantina Malolam and order the Mint Jamaica Margarita, mixed with hibiscus, mint and fresh limes. For more El Paso trip ideas, contact McCorgary at lmccorgary@ destinationelpaso.com or go to visitelpaso.com. The sundown lowdown When the hot Arizona sun sets, the fun begins. “Phoenix is known for its sunshine and stellar sunsets. What many don’t think about is what to do after the sun goes down,” says Trish Lanteigne, Visit Phoenix’s media relations manager. “The desert—especially in the summer—comes alive at night, providing a really unique experience for groups. It’s just another way that Phoenix might surprise you.” Some of the nighttime tours offered in or near Phoenix include the following: Full moon hike in Spur Cross Hiking by moonlight at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area leaves visitors with knowledge of the conservation area, fun facts about the moon, and an illuminating lesson on the sounds and smells of the desert after dark. Moon Rise Tours with Arizona Territorial Adventures 48 August/September 2017 Jeep tours through the Sonoran Desert show travelers the raw colors of an Arizona sunset and, once the sun goes down, the silhouettes of giant saguaro cacti against the fading sky. Tours are offered June through October two days before and during a full moon, and two days after. Night tours with Stellar Adventures Stargazing Participants are transported by SUV and are led by a professional astronomer. They observe Jupiter, its moons and eclipses, stars and lunar mountains, and canyons and craters by telescope. Night vision The desert comes to life at night, and groups can experience the emerging nocturnal wildlife. Group members are provided state-of-the-art night vision devices and are driven through the Sonoran Desert in search of desert dwellers. For more information on nighttime tours, contact Lanteigne at tlanteigne@visitphoenix.com or go to visitphoenix.com.