I can’t say it enough – I simply relish a good patio. And in today’s fast-moving and ever-changing society – one in which space seems to be shrinking and high rises pop up out of nowhere - a good patio is hard to find. Now, I’ll admit. I’m no Arizona patio novice; in fact, I actually regard myself as an eternal epic patio seeker. Thus, when you come across an undiscovered gem of a patio in your own backyard, or in my case – two in one night – one feels the obligation to shout it from the rooftops.  Allow the shouting to begin.

It was a Friday night, and I found myself heading to South Phoenix for a local fundraising event. We pulled into the parking lot of Corona Ranch unsuspecting and eager to devour a large amount of authentic tamales. Within seconds of entering the event space, we were swallowed up by a Mexican-style courtyard patio paradise. Everything was open-air, from the grassy area being occupied by children at play, to the outdoor seating amidst lush desert landscaping, to the bar serving us our authentic margaritas. As dusk arrived, the soft twinkle of accent lights took the stage, the live music and performances began and I could do nothing else but marvel at the perfect patio atmosphere we had inadvertently stumbled upon. The best part? The night was still oh so young.

Skyline_REVISED.jpgFull of tamales, we departed wanting more. Into the night in search of something to somehow top the unchartered experience in which we’d just indulged, we journeyed into the hustle of downtown Phoenix. The answer fell into our laps as we decided to try out a new opening at the Westin Hotel, Province Restaurant The four of us stood at the entry, jaws open in shock at the treasure we’d uncovered. The conversation came to an abrupt halt, and we stood in awe taking it all in. It felt like a secret Caribbean escape.  Now this, this was the patio I’d been waiting for my whole life. Dimly lit and noticeably cooler due to the misters that somehow  was not a nuisance  to your seating area, this patio utopia offered a trickling waterfall, front-row skyline panorama and a DJ modestly mixing house Brazilian music.

Our evening made me feel quite lucky… not just for the abundance, but for the variety of patios Arizonans are fortunate enough to enjoy year-round. I encourage patio seekers and urbanites alike to get out and make the most of it. And by all means – if you’ve got a patio worth sharing, we more than welcome it!

RebekahBell2_Blog.pngRebekah Bell is an unprententious foodie who loves to explore the hidden culinary gems found all over Arizona.