Why Travel Far Away When You Can Create Your Own Local Experience?
By Brooke Wasowicz
It’s a new year, which for many means a clean calendar to start planning vacations for the upcoming 365 days. However, 2022 was not a cheap year, so travel plans might look a little different. Instead of booking big-ticket travel, a great alternative is a staycation in your favorite part of town. Sometimes just getting out of your normal routine and staying in a cozy king bed is just what you need to feel like you’ve gone on a trip, and what better way to support your local small businesses?
The Christmas budget might have been blown, but a staycation is an easy and cost-effective way to get out. My ideal trip—staycation or otherwise—must include the following: great food, amazing wine, and a fun experience.
Where might someone be able to find all of these things in Prescott Valley, you might ask? The short answer: Rafter Eleven. The long answer: keep reading.
You come to Rafter Eleven for the scones and specialty coffee. You stay a little longer for wine and live music, and you come back for a cooking or paint-and-sip class. All three of those travel boxes are checked all in one fabulous local place. You can easily spend an entire day at Rafter Eleven and have a completely unique experience each part of the day.
Late morning: You’ve just woken up in that king-size bed at a nice hotel or comfy Airbnb, and are in need of caffeine ASAP. You pop over to Rafter Eleven and choose from a list of European coffees ranging from classic Americano to something a little more fun like a raspberry mocha with whipped cream and maybe a shot of Bailey’s (hey, you’re on vacation, right?). Pair that with a homemade scone resident scone aficionado Arin has just taken out of the oven. You can usually find an array of fruity, chocolatey, or specialty scones available. Sit back, relax, and sip in the newly renovated lounge area in the corner.
Afternoon: Things start picking up inside. Chef Deb is behind the bar doing her final prep for her deliciously themed cooking class. Each class has its own tasty theme ranging from holiday to tapas and everything in between, and each dish incorporates the specialty oils and vinegars Rafter Eleven carries year-round. The class is a hit. You get to watch a professional chef whip up seamlessly easy dishes and you get to eat every course (there are usually four or five). To top it off, each course has a complimentary wine pairing Rafter Eleven owner, Dawn, describes with so much emotion, you’ll want to take home a bottle of each (which you absolutely can). You’re full of great food and amazing wine, and you just had a unique and delicious experience. After class you get to shop your favorite ingredients from the dishes (and yes, wine does count as an ingredient).
Early evening: It’s a cool, crisp night, which is perfect patio weather. Luckily Rafter Eleven’s patio is dog friendly, so all your furry friends are welcome, too. The sun is setting, and the live music of the night is floating through the air because Rafter Eleven showcases local artists every Friday and Saturday night. You’re vibing to the music, drinking a little bit more wine and eating your way through the brand new menu, which includes a variety of homemade soups, sandwiches, quiches, and, of course, bruschetta.
There you have it! You’ve now spent your entire day at Rafter Eleven and experienced so many different things all in one local place.
I love traveling as much as the next person, probably even more than average, but I always love a good staycation so I can spend a day at my favorite community spot, Rafter Eleven.
Bring in this article through the end of February for a free homemade bread loaf, paired with Rafter Eleven’s Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and 18 Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar.
Rafter Eleven is at 2985 N. Centre Court, in Prescott Valley. For more information call 928.227.2050 or visit www.raftereleven.com.