Best of Our Valley 2018 Issue: Tucson

by Alyssa Tidwell

Best Shopping Center: La Encantada

This chic outdoor shopping center in the Catalina Foothills boasts more than 60 retail shops and dining options. Plentiful greenery and trees fill the picture-perfect space, as well as twinkling bistro lights strewn across the central plaza, creating a warm and welcoming glow in the evenings. Meander around shops like Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Athleta or grab a bite at Blanco Tacos + Tequila or Humble Pie. laencantadashopping- Also a 2017 winner!

Best Resort or Hotel, Best Golf Course, Best Spa, and Best Resort Restaurant: Casino Del Sol

AAA Four-Diamond Casino Del Sol is a 10-story paradise set in the Sonoran Desert of Tucson, with 215 plush guest rooms, including 10 suites, more than 22,000 square feet of casino gaming, an 18-hole championship golf course (the 7,200-yard Sewailo Golf Club) and more. Guests can live in the lap of luxury at Casino Del Sol’s award-winning Hiapsi Spa or enjoy a night of lavish dining at one of seven restaurants or five bars/lounges—this includes the incomparable PY Steakhouse, five-time winner of the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award.

Best Lawyer: Kevin Rowe

The law offices of Lerner and Rowe have won several Best of Our Valley categories in the past, and this year, attorney Kevin Rowe shines particularly brightly. He is the founder and managing attorney of Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys as well as founder of the nonprofit foundation, Lerner and Rowe Gives Back. Practicing law in exclusively personal injury, Rowe provides quality service to his clients, as well as aggressive representation in and out of the courtroom.

Best Ranch Escape: White Stallion Ranch

Voted “Best Ranch Escape” in Tucson for the second year, White Stallion Ranch is where the pave- ment ends and the west begins, just an hour and a half from Phoenix. The True family, now in their third generation of ranchers, is renowned for genuine hospitality and excellent customer service. Ranch rates include lodging, all meals, riding, ranch amenities and evening entertainment, and guests of all ages enjoy the stellar horseback-riding program, geared toward riders of all levels. Non-riders can relish the on-site rock climbing, tennis, the game room, the petting zoo, the movie theater and much more, as well as spend some time unwinding in the spa.,

Best Tucson Lifestyle Instagram: @WhyILoveWhereILive

Kristin Tovar’s inclusive, interconnected Instagram explores all of the quirks, stories and cultural elements that are uniquely Tucson, from local businesses to events to community members to nonprofit organizations. Why I Love Where I Live strives to inspire people to actively engage in their local communities, fostering a deep sense of pride in one’s home and the collective experience of a city. Tucsonans can rep their city with tons of swag on the Why I Love Where I Live Web site, including hats, tote bags and water containers. Also a 2017 winner!

Most Influential Woman in Tucson: Randi Dorman

Powerhouse Randi Dorman has been recognized as the woman making the biggest waves in Tucson. Her passion for Downtown Tucson arts and culture is reflected most notably through her past role (for five-plus years) as president of the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson and chairwoman of the Downtown Tucson Partnership, as well as her aiding in the development of the Ice House Lofts. When she’s not bustling around in the smartest heels, Dorman is a mom, runner, yogi, gymnast and singer for a blues band in Los Angeles. Also a 2017 winner!

Favorite Tucson Couple: Angela and Michael Kapp

The Old Pueblo’s favorite husband-and-wife duo, Angela and Michael Kapp are big-time influencers in the Tucson community and beyond. Advisor and investor to growing companies, Angela is an entrepreneur, global retail expert and travel enthusiast, currently serving as president of Kappcorp, a strategic consulting and investment company. And Michael, who previously navigated a successful career on Wall Street, is now the head coach of the University of Arizona Women’s lacrosse team where he’s continuously led the team to the regional playoffs. Also a 2017 winner!

Best College Party Bar: Maloney’s Tavern

For that nitty gritty dive bar experience we all need sometimes, Maloney’s Tavern has got
you covered. A frequent hang-out for college students, this space is located on the eccentric and historic Fourth Avenue near the University of Arizona main campus. Bar-goers can chill and play a game of pool or hang out on the patio by the fireplace. Holiday tip: On St. Patrick’s Day, Maloney’s is known to get pretty fired up.

Most Influential Man in Tucson: Chef Janos Wilder

Chef Janos Wilder is a culinary trendsetter and winner of the prestigious James Beard Award. Wilder is known for his love of local ingredients, and his eventual journey to the Sonoran Desert led him to utilize regional foods, like prickly pear cactus and mesquite flour in his dishes. Currently, Wilder is the chef at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails and The Carriage House in central Tucson, where he connects the unique flavor of his cooking with the hard work of local farmers and growers.

Best Breakfast/Brunch Spot: Prep & Pastry

Prepare to indulge: Prep & Pastry is a breakfast/ brunch lover’s dream come true, a paradise of poached eggs, pancakes, omelets, French toast and other morning delicacies (there is also a stellar lunch menu). You’ve got to try the prickly pear- lemon pie pancakes or sink your fork into a smoked salmon beni. And no brunch retreat is complete without a drink in hand—Prep & Pastry has an extensive cocktail list including a variety of mimosas as well as a build-your-own option.

Fast Favorites

Best Boutique: Grand Central Clothing,

Best Dentist: Dr. David G. Burros, Southern Arizona Endodontics,

Best Lunch Spot: BOCA Tacos y Tequila,

Best Ranch Escape: TIE between Tanque Verde Ranch,

Best Tucson-based Fashion Designer: Abel Gallegos, Jr.,

Best Wedding Venue: TIE between Carriage House,; Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort,

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