Interior of a gift shop within a wine tasting room. The look is sophisticated, with wine bottles and related decor and gifts
Gift shop within Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room, Scottsdale

Shopping

'Made in AZ' Gifts When the Usual Won't Do

Gift-giving or souvenir shopping in Arizona? Avoid the kitsch or usual knickknacks and pick up any (or all) of the following only-in-Arizona products. Locally produced, these items are perfect reminders of the culture, geography and people of the Grand Canyon State.

Three handwoven baskets, red, white and yellow, made by Hopi artisan Iva Honyestewa.
Three pootsaya baskets (Credit: Iva Honyestewa)

One-of-a-Kind Handmade Art

Iva Honyestewa is a Hopi artisan in northern Arizona whose woven work symbolizes the connection among all people. Honwynum—Iva's Hopi name, meaning Female Bear Walking—is one of only two artists in the world who weave the pootsaya basket, a unique design that combines its name and elements from the coil (poota) and the sifter (tutsaya) style of baskets. You can buy a pootsaya basket directly from Honwynum online or by visiting her at Iskaskopu Gallery on the Hopi Arts Trail, one mile south of the Hopi Cultural Center.

Stylized art versions of three national parks: Canyon de Chelly, Saguaro, and Petrified Forest
Art by Dan Shewmaker and Arizona Office of Tourism

From handmade to carved by Mother Nature

Inspired by the WPA (Works Progress Administration) National Park posters of the 1930s, the Arizona Office of Tourism and local artist Daniel Shewmaker created a set of new, colorful depictions of nine parks and monuments from across the state. These 16x20-inch posters are printed on heavy cardstock and can be purchased for $15 each through the Arizona Highways webstore. Use them to remember the grandeur of the Grand Canyon or inspire your trip to a not-yet-visited park or monument. Quantities are limited.

Wooden shelves display products made using lavender and rows of actual lavender bunches hang upside down from the ceiling.
Pine Creek Lavender Farm's gift shop

Spice of life from down on the farm

Pine Creek Lavender Farm is a labor of love for husband-and-wife Rick and Terry Vesci. The couple grows three varieties of lavender—Royal Velvet, Provence and Grosso—on property settled 200 years ago. The aromatic Grosso shows up in Terry's artisanal products, such as soaps and lotions, and she uses Royal Velvet and Provence in her culinary goodies like tea, cocoa, lavender salt and lavender-lemon pepper—all available inside the hand-hewn log shed that doubles as the farm's gift shop. Can't make it to the farm? Though definitely worth a trip, you can purchase many of the same goods online, too.

Lavender goods can also be found at a number of other local farms—such as Life Under the Oaks in Oracle, Arizona—shops and even a vineyard. Rhumb Line Vineyard in Willcox, an hour and fifteen minutes east of Tucson, sells handmade all-natural products like lip balm, soap and lotion made partially from lavender grown on-site.

Bottles of Sake sit atop a barrel. Two bottles have awards of distinction hanging around their necks.
Arizona Sake's award-winning craft sake

Eastern flavor in the Old West

Within the northeastern town of Holbrook, Arizona, just off of Route 66 and not far from Petrified Forest National Park, is a small distillery that produces some of the best sake in the world. It's true! Handmade in small batches by Atsuo Sakurai, Arizona Sake was the only Gold Medal winner in the 2018 Sake Competition in Tokyo for sake made outside of Japan. Taste the award-winning sake for yourself by purchasing a bottle directly online or at several local markets and restaurants in Arizona.

A man in a white hat stands near a ladder in front of shelves full of hat molds.
Eric Watson of Watson's Hat Shop

A cowboy's uniform, completed

Boots? Check. Jeans? Check. Hat? No cowboy in the Old West would be complete without their trusted hat, which served to shield them from the sun, sweat and dust of the desert. At Watson's Hat Shop in Cave Creek, 40-minutes north of Phoenix, owner Eric Watson makes and restores custom cowboy hats, along with other styles, on antique machinery (some dating from the 1800s). His hats have adorned the likes of Kenny Chesney, Justin Timberlake and countless Arizona ranchers and cowboys. These bespoke hats are definitely a luxury item, and priced as such, but they're made to last and will complete your Western outfit for years to come.

A barrel of rum and two bottles sit on a bartop. Someone can be seen writing on a third bottle's label.
Photo courtesy of Desert Diamond Distillery

Splurge-worthy Spirits

Arizona has Whiskey Row and a host of saloons from which to drink the Old West's favorite spirit. Sure, you can buy bottles from a number of Arizona-based distilleries. For the true connoisseur, there's Desert Diamond Distillery's 5-Liter barrel of whiskey. For $500, you can fill your own white-oak barrel with corn whiskey ($400 for rum), or have the team at D3 do it for you. For 6-12 months, it will age in their Kingman Barrel Room until it's ready to be bottled and labeled. You'll receive both your bottles and barrel to keep as a souvenir that you can sip, preferably at sunset while you reminisce on your time in Arizona.

A group of three friends drinks wine in a brightly lit tasting room. They're sitting on a couch next to large windows.
Photo courtesy of Caduceus Cellars

Join the club

It may come as a surprise to some, but Arizona has three prominent wine-growing regions and multiple award-winning vineyards and wineries. Not sure where to start? Join the club—wine club, that is. Wineries such as ODV Wines, LDV Winery, Alcantara Vineyard, and Caduceus Cellars offer wine clubs with monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly subscriptions that feature wines unavailable elsewhere. Some add an extra treat, such as ODV Wines, which includes a food-related item in each delivery. For a broader selection of wines, try the wine club from GenuWine Arizona in Phoenix that gives subscribers an extra discount on purchases while your subscription is active.

A man in a baseball cap holds a wine glass under a steel barrel dripping fresh red wine.
"The Wine Monk," Gary Kurtz, as photographed by Jenelle Bonifield

Become Well-Red (pun intended)

As in red, white, rosé, or any other varietal of wine with the new coffee table book by Jenelle Bonifield, "AZ Uncorked: The Arizona Wine Guide." At 544 pages (and weighing a whopping six pounds), the book features gorgeous full-color photography and 45 stories about Arizona's vineyards, unique tasting rooms, and the maverick winemakers who contribute to the state's viticulture. Order your copy directly or from any one of Arizona's independent bookstores.

BONUS: For the true oenophile in your life (even if that's you) consider downloading the Arizona Wine Passport. You can find nearby tasting rooms, track your visits and receive discounts from a select number of wineries.

Wooden shelves and displays hold various bottles and bars of soap in a shop decorated in earthy brown tones.
Bisbee Soap & Sundry (Credit: An Pham)

Better than the desert rain

If you've ever spent time in southern Arizona during monsoon season, you'd recognize the smell instantly---the scent of the desert wet with rain, specifically the creosote plant. Slightly sweet, earthy and absolutely distinct, it's a scent sure to bring back memories of summer rains and warm desert days. Summon the smell anytime (without the humidity) with bath and body products made by partners Mark and Amber, co-owners of Bisbee Soap & Sundry. Try "Creosote" or frequent sell-out "Dirt" for those warm earthy scents, or "Grapefruit Mint" and "Lemon Lavender" for something more bright and refreshing.

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These articles are brought to you by the staff of the Arizona Office of Tourism, and occasionally local tourism organizations around the state.

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