Water Runs Through It
Rivers and lakes are part of Arizona’s fabric,
including in Phoenix, where according to
Trish Lanteigne, media relations manager for
Visit Phoenix, groups can cool off on a kayak
tour with Arizona Outback Adventures.
“The guided day trips on the Salt River
are the perfect way to relax while spotting
wild horses and bald eagles along the journey,” she said.
Mesa, located nearby Phoenix, also
enjoys close proximity to water recreation,
as two rivers and three lakes are located
within 30 minutes, including Canyon and
Saguaro lakes, where boating and fishing
excursions are popular.
According to Michelle Streeter, vice
president, communications and partner
relations for Visit Mesa, stand-up paddle-
boarding is gaining popularity in Arizona,
“This recreational sport offers a great work-
out for people of all ages and is a great way
to see the scenic Arizona desert,” she said.
Sabino Canyon, which is part of the Coronado National Forest, is a picturesque hiking
spot that’s easily accessible from Tucson.
“Yes, water runs through it,” said Dan Gib-
son, director of communications for Visit
Tucson. “The views are incredible with the
Catalina Mountains rising up to meet you.”
Sabino Canyon is situated nearby several
resorts, he added, making it easily accessible
for groups seeking an outdoor experience.
Tempe Town Lake, according to James
Tevault, director of sales for the Tempe
Tourism Office, is an unexpected experience
in the heart of Tempe where groups can
kayak, rent electric boats and take a Segway
tour around the lake, among other activities.
“If a meeting planner is looking for an in-
door venue with a view, the lakeside Tempe
Center for the Arts is a perfect fit,” he added.
Groups meeting in Sedona can enjoy a
water-to-wine tour with Verde Adventures.
“Attendees can float down the Verde River
in a kayak, taking in the sights and sounds of
the area, and finish off the experience with
a yummy wine-tasting event at Alcantara
Vineyards,” said Leslie Brearley, sales man-
ager for the Sedona COC & Tourism Bureau.
In Flagstaff at Lake Mary, which is sur-
rounded by ponderosa pines, groups can
kayak or try a paddleboard yoga class.
“Lake Mary Road, a level road boasting a
very wide bicycle lane with incredible views
of the San Francisco Peaks, runs alongside
the lake and is notable as one of the best
road bicycle rides in Arizona,” added Jessica
Young, sales and marketing manager, meetings and events, for the Flagstaff CVB.
In Yuma, groups can take a leisurely float
on the scenic Colorado River with outfitter
Yuma River Tubing.
“It’s great as a main event in a group’s itinerary, or an escape to decompress—there’s even
a moonlight option,” said Steven Hennig, marketing manager for the Yuma Visitors Bureau.
And in Lake Havasu, groups can charter
a boat for waterborne exploration or enjoy
a catered shoreline picnic.
84 Meetings Today // 02.18
While desert landscapes and stands of cacti are iconic Arizona images, the Grand Canyon State is most definitely a fluid destination where groups can also count on waterborne
pursuits such as kayaking, poolside receptions at a host
hotel, outings to local aquariums and much more.
TEMPE TOWN LAKE
BY CAROLYN BLACKBURN
Arizona springs to life with water-based excursions and venues