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Arizona Day-Trippin’

Old Town Cottonwood Offers a Wealth of Excitement

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Arizona Day-Trippin’

Old Town Cottonwood, Ariz.

Courtesy of Pillsbury Wine.

Located in northern Arizona, Old Town Cottonwood has long been a quaint place for a quick day-trip. Now, thanks to a host of new shops and restaurants, it's also a destination in and of itself. Expect wine tasting, homemade gelato, locally made cheese, olive oils and more. Here are some places not to miss on your next trip to the area.

Pillsbury Wine Company Tasting Room: Run by Sam Pillsbury, this tasting room is located at 1012 E. Main St. along the Verde Valley Wine Trail and specializes in wines from the Arizona region. Sample a variety of wines here and buy them as well. Types of wine include Wild Child Red, Wild Child White, Rose, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Roan Red and Diva.

Verde Valley Olive Oil: Located next door to Pillsbury Wine Company Tasting Room at 1014 N. Main St., Verde Valley Olive Oil serves more than 30 varieties of fresh oils and vinegars, ranging from a dark, flavorful balsamic vinegar to a white balsamic vinegar made from white grapes. Both olive oil and vinegar have a impressive health benefits, and there's no better place to try out a variety than Verde Valley Olive Oil. Drop by to check out everything from roasted garlic, cilantro, blood orange and butter-flavored olive oils as well as balsamic vinegars in flavors such as strawberry, dark chocolate and blackberry ginger. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

AZ Stronghold Tasting Room, Vineyard and The Wine Cellar: All offer visitors a chance to sample locally made Arizona wines. Expect free Wi-Fi, live music on Fridays and a variety of wines that include limited editions.

Crema Coffee and Creamery: Whether you have a sweet tooth or need a java fix, don't miss the chance to drop by Crema Coffee and Creamery, a locally owned and operated cafe and coffee bar and Italian-style creamery. Featuring small batch artisan gelato and sorbet as well as gourmet sandwiches and house salads, Crema Coffee and Creamery is sure to satisfy any craving you have. Gelato types include dark chocolate, chocolate milk, caramelized pear, butter salt caramel, vanilla bean, peanut butter cup, chocolate mint leaf, toffee crunch and jasmine green tea. The store is open prom 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bonne Lait: Is there anything better than delicious cheese and chocolate? Find both in one place at Bonne Lait, located at 926 Main St. Expect to find artisan cheeses, gourmet local chocolates, relish, Wei vegan chocolate, Poppamaize popcorn, pecans, cheese sets, greeting cards, Decio handmade pastas, Cheri jelly and all-natural seasonings and rubs.

Rendezvous: With 20 beers on tap and 21 wines, Rendezvous is a wonderful place to stop in for a drink. Not only that, but the cafe also serves up a great menu that features items such as salads, cheese and meat platters, ceviche, carnitas and a lobster sandwich. Don't miss the discount for seniors offered Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. or happy hour, which is offered daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and includes $1 off all drinks.

Orion Bread: If you love fresh bread (and, let's face it, who doesn't?), then you'll love the Orion Bread Company, which opened in Old Town Cottonwood in 2007. Offerings here include loaves, round and mini-round breads, rolls, baguettes and boules. There are also many other items that include sandwiches, espresso drinks and more.

For more information about Old Town Cottonwood, visit www.oldtown.org.

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