Inspiration is never more welcome than around the holidays. Finding the right gift -- even for those you know – can be a challenge. This year we have a revolutionary idea for finding the perfect gifts for others – it’s an easy to follow four-step process: go eat, drink, be merry, and get in the mood to shop!
Impeccable Food, Impeccable Fashions
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain has a number of great dining options, but for a truly epic meal it is hard to beat CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar. What better way to celebrate the holidays than by sitting with a loved one than by having a romantic, gourmet meal? Fine food, fine wine at a darkened, candlelit table. Executive Chef David Serus is one of 77 chefs in the United States with the title Maitre Cuisiniers de France (Master of French Cuisine). Serus came to the Ritz and helped CORE earn a Forbes Four-Star rating. His food has “a focus on creating impeccably prepared, but simple, ingredients which deliver optimal natural flavor.”
If you are going to eat food with that is impeccably prepared, you should be impeccably dressed and no place in Marana is better for getting the best in high fashion than the Premium Outlet Mall at Marana Center. The mall has a plethora of stores dedicated to men’s and women’s fashions, and many more to help you round out that perfect outfit with the right pair of footwear or accessories.
Men, never go out of style with the iconic looks at Brooks Brothers. Whether you are looking for a brand new shirt, or a full suit, America’s oldest retailer will have you looking your best for that evening out. Want to go a tad more casual but still look nice? U.S. Polo Assn. or Calvin Klein are just two of your options.
Ladies, you too have plenty of options, whether it is the latest fashions at Saks Off Fifth, something glamorous at Michael Kors, or a dynamic handbag at Coach, the Premium Outlets at Marana Center have plenty of options.
Lacking the confidence to get your significant other something nice to wear? Let them pick out their own outfit with a gift card. Don’t worry about figuring out their size or their favorite brands, the outlets feature gift cards that are good at all of the stores at the mall.
Whiskey A Go-Go
Maybe a little gastro-pub fare is more to your liking, then the Ritz-Carlton’s Ignite is for you. Not only is the food top notch and the views outstanding, but they pour hand-crafted signature cocktails and a collection of 120 scotches and whiskeys from around the world.
Inspired by a smoky glass of scotch, then Hamilton Distillers’ Whiskey Del Bac is for you. Though technically not a scotch because it is made in southern Arizona, this local whiskey is made from grains grown at Marana’s BKW Farms, giving it that perfect local taste. They have three varieties to choose from, including two styles that are mesquite smoked, giving these Scottish inspired spirits a distinctly southwestern flare.
Bike and a Brew
Prefer a beer as opposed to whiskey? Marana has a number of terrific options, including several local breweries. Catalina Brewing Company was the first local brewery and has also embraced local ingredients to give their beers a local flavor that is uniquely Southern Arizona. Their proximity to the Loop make them a perfect destination for cyclists and they have a bicycle theme.
Find the brewery’s bicycle theme inspiring? Then head over the HMS bikes and take a look at their great selection. They have everything you need, from new bikes to accessories. Whether you are a seasoned cyclist or someone who has not been on a bike since middle school, the great staff at HMS Bikes will find the perfect ride for you or someone you love.
Not sure you are ready to commit to a full bike purchase? HMS offer bike rentals. You can rent both road bikes and mountain bikes, whichever best suits your needs. If you already have your bike, then one of HMS’ bike rides. They have rides for every skill level.
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream
One of the best parts of living in Marana is that it never gets too cold for ice cream. Even in our so called “winter” the temperatures are temperate enough that one can enjoy a nice ice cream cone or big dish of creamy ice cream.
Marana has a number of great places to get some ice cream, but our two favorites are La Garrafa and the Screamery because both are locally owned and use only the freshest ingredients. In fact, the ice cream is made in small batches, so you know it is fresh. La Garrafa uses traditional Mexican ice cream making principles, and their toppings reflect both those traditional flavors, as well as some that are more American in origin. The Screamery uses a lot of local ingredients and their own unique 5-step process makes their product special.
Ice cream reminds many of being a kid. Whether it was a cone after winning a soccer game, chasing after the ice cream man around the neighborhood, or just a special outing with family. Reading fits nicely into those memories. Whether it was going to the drugstore for those multi-scoop cones and the latest comic book, or going to the bookstore next to the ice cream parlor for a novel, reading and ice cream were a perfect pairing. Bookmans has anything and everything you could want to read. From novels, to biographies, to graphic novels, they have something to read for every taste and interest. They have magazine, back issues of comic books, and non-fiction of every variety. Don’t want to read and eat? Bookman’s also has a vast selection of DVD’s, music, and video games to create a perfect desert/entertainment pairing.
Where to Find:
Tucson Premium Outlets – More than 70 stores to choose from, including Brooks Brothers, Saks 5th Avenue Off Fifth, U.S. Polo Assn., Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Coach mentioned in this article.
6401 Marana Center Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85742
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri, Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 10am - 7pm
See website for special extended holiday shopping hours.
HMS Bikes - 8225 N Courtney Page Way, Suite 145, Marana, AZ 85743
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-6:00pm
Closed Sunday & Monday
Hamilton Distillers - 2106 Forbes Blvd #1-3, Tucson, AZ 85745
Thursdays 11AM-4PM and Saturdays 10AM-12PM
Bookman’s Northwest - 3733 W. Ina Rd., Tucson, AZ 85741
Open daily 9AM-10PM