Why choose Arizona Vacation Home Rentals (AVHR)?
We are a local, in-person contact. You are NOT routed to a call center in Austin or another country.
We are available to take care of your home and guests, 365 days a year.
Customer service is our Number 1 priority.
We make you the most money possible.
Our housekeeping and maintenance exceed the industry standard. Just look at our reviews!
Our frequent wellness checks on your home, occupied or empty, are the best way to safeguard your investment.
We are a WINNING combination of local, experienced and committed to the guest experience!
For more reasons why AVHR is the best choice, please read Why Choose AVHR.
Why is a local property management company best?
The vacation rental market is best run by a local team who live in the area and can respond 24/7 and in person to guest questions and problems.
Local teams know the local market, communities, services and vendors.
For additional reasons read Top Ten Reasons For Choosing A Local Property Management Team.
What is the property management fee?
The start up fee is $1295 which covers your first year of advertising on Vrbo and other top booking sites, professional photos with staging, a home audit and a professionally written home listing.
Our management fee is 22% which includes eye-catching advertising of your home and managing all aspects of your reservations and guests.
How do I get started with AVHR?
Our virtual desk is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, to answer questions about our Property Management services. Our guests and owners do not take days off and neither do we.
Email us at email@example.com or call/text us at 480.626.4072 and our homeowner consultant team will get back to you.
Our full service property management company includes Owners Choice: we seek your input at every step of the process and allow you to choose how you customize your home.
What are the steps to a seamless start?
After reviewing your goals for your vacation rental, we will discuss the next steps in our co-hosting partnership.
Once your home is guest ready we move quickly to prepare and submit optimized listings to the top booking sites including Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia and more.
Our team visits your home to secure the listing details.
We stage your home for eye catching photos.
Our professional writer creates a detailed description and adds photo captions.
For more details please read Make Money Renting Your Home.
What cities does AVHR cover?
We manage homes in the greater Phoenix area as well as in the mountains near Payson. The cities we cover include:
San Tan Mountains
Where do we advertise your home?
AVHR advertises your property on Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia and other major channels to keep your home’s booking calendar full. We have great partnerships with all the major vacation rental sites so our homes often appear at the top of the inventory that guests browse.
Best of all, our exceptional guest reviews earn us a Premiere Host status with Vrbo and Superhost standing with Airbnb. We’ve earned these rankings by meeting and often exceeding guests’ expectations. Guests seek hosts with these standings as assurance they are renting quality homes with proven hosts.
We also market your home on our website, Arizona Vacation Home Rentals, which allows guests to book directly at discounted prices and saves owners the fees charged by other OTAs. Our website reaches thousands of guests every day.
How do we advertise your home?
It’s not just about where your home is listed, but how. AVHR uses both digital and direct marketing to advertise your property.
Digital Marketing: to make your listing outshine other homes on the major channels, AVHR uses professional, high resolution photos and a custom-written description with the details guests appreciate when they are exploring rental options.
Direct Marketing: we strategically market your home to both past and potential guests using search engines, email, social media, and more.
How do I get my home guest ready?
The goal is to create a home that make guests feel like they never want to leave. As part of your action plan we provide:
A detailed start up analysis to prepare home for vacation renting
Audit of home and creation of the punch list for home maintenance items
Recommendations for appealing amenities
For detailed information about getting your home guest ready read Creating the Ideal Short Term Rental Space.
Who manages the reservations at my home?
Once your home is guest ready and listed on 200+ websites, we take care of all aspects of guest booking.
Our 24/7 guest hotline connects directly to local staff who know your home.
We screen all guests by talking to them in person and conducting background and credit checks.
All guest communication regarding the reservation, rental contract, arrival, departure and reviews is handled by our team.
We maximize your revenue by using dynamic pricing technology to automatically update your prices.
We encourage booking directly on AZ Vacation Home Rentals to minimize your OTA fees.
Following a reservation, we do our best to motivate guests to post 5 star reviews of your home.
Your owner portal keeps you informed about all reservations and finances.
How do we protect your home?
AVHR screens all guests using digital technology to conduct background and credit checks. We also talk to guests before confirming a reservation.
We use state of the art technology to protect your home and guests. To learn more about this technology please read We Upgraded Our Technology.
We conduct frequent in-person wellness checks on your home, occupied or empty.
What is the service period if you choose AVHR?
You can cancel your service agreement with AVHR with 30 days advance notice.
You may need to honor any reservations that are already booked at your home.
How often can you use your home?
Your vacation home is, first and foremost, YOURS!
You are always welcome to use your home for personal use provided you honor any guest reservations that are already booked on the calendar.
We do not limit how often you visit or how long you stay.
You can easily enter the dates you want to stay at your home in the owner portal.
How do we keep you informed?
You can stay up to date on your vacation home using our owner portal. It’s easy to use and you can access it from your phone or desktop.
The portal allows you to:
Block the dates you want to stay at your home
Review upcoming reservations
See all your email and texts from the AVHR team
Check financial transactions and revenue
Read your guests’ reviews
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1. The vacation rental market is a local business and is best run by a local team, not managed by calling Austin or another country.
- Arizona Vacation Home Rentals (AVHR) is available 365 days to talk, text or email with owners and guests.
2. Teams of local people who live in the area have detailed knowledge of communities that are safe and HOAs that are friendly to owners and guests of short term rentals.
- AVHR has 14 years of experience and prepared hundreds of homes to be ready for the short term rental market. We can recommend locations and styles of homes that will maximize your returns. Prior to your purchase we will walk your home and provide you with a detailed list of exactly what you need to be ready for guests as well as a financial estimate of your costs.
3. Local teams understand the local market and will guide you with pricing and advertising to augment the profit on your home.
- AVHR has expertise in all areas of marketing a home. We also have a customized Owners Choice approach that gives owners a voice in all decisions. When you talk, we listen!
4. Local management teams provide 24/7 personalized support for owners and guests.
- AVHR has detailed knowledge of their rental properties and often problem solves over the phone for electrical, plumbing and pool control problems. This greatly speeds up the resolution process and saves money.
- Guests may request specific items at the last minute. AVHR delivers guests’ requests such as Pack ‘N Plays and unique kitchen gadgets 365 days. This makes for happy guests who are able to enjoy their vacation with little interruption.
5. Local teams have personal knowledge and experience with community maintenance and service companies and can best advise owners in terms of quality and price for reparations and remodels.
- The AVHR team members are home owners, have knowledge of local vendors and know how to get things fixed quickly and at the lowest cost.
6. Local teams provide wellness checks on homes.
- AVHR makes frequent in-person wellness and safety checks on all homes, occupied or empty, to safeguard your investment.
7. When alerted by security systems, local teams go to your home to handle emergencies or guest concerns.
- AVHR responds immediately and in person to all alerts from security cameras and safety monitors, as well as all emergencies.
8. Local teams are weather aware and advise guests on safety precautions or property care to prevent weather-related damage.
- AVHR sends emails and texts and makes phone calls to guests to warn of last minute storms or weather related hazards. We then check homes in person after storms or concerning weather events.
9. Local property management companies know regional laws and requirements.
- AVHR stays up-to-date on all state and local laws, restrictions and policies in the municipalities we cover. We help you adhere to the applicable restrictions and avoid the consequences of non-compliance.
10. Local teams have personal knowledge of nearby attractions, events and services to recommend when guests ask.
- AVHR team members and their families live in the area and use first hand experiences to answer guests’ questions.
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If you rent vacation homes you have possibly wondered about the advantages to owning one or even several. You can easily transition from renter to owner and there are many convincing reasons for doing this. There’s also important information to know in advance of making the decision to convert your property or invest in a second home for this purpose.
Why It’s a Good Idea
- Possibly the number one reason for owning a dual purpose home is that you can spend your vacations here and rent to others to pay for the home’s cost and upkeep.
- Vacation rentals are not like time share units: you block off the weeks or months you want to be at the home and make it available to others the remaining weeks.
- If you rent it out more than 14 days each year you can write off your expenses for maintenance and repairs.
- Over time and with the right investment, your property can increase its value.
- It might be a way to pay for a future retirement home.
What You Need to Know Before Committing
- Location is critical!
- You will have an initial cost for converting a home to a rental property.
- Depending on the home, it can take a month or longer to get it ready for guests. AVHR does have a “fast listing” process that can get your home on-line in just one day.
- There will be marketing and maintenance costs as well as taxes and insurance plus unforeseen expenses.
- It can be a demanding experience unless you hire a manager to oversee marketing, cleaning, stocking, repairs, etc. Long distance landlords are not ideal when guests lock themselves out of the home or the hot water heater breaks. Local is best!
- There are off seasons and shifts in demand that affect how often the home is rented.
- Choose a general location.
- Shop houses with a projected income in mind. Location and amenities such as pool, hot tub, etc. will impact your potential earnings. AVHR has knowledge of the greater Phoenix area and can help you shop wisely.
- Be smart about HOA covenants as well as state and local ordinances that could affect your rental opportunities. Contact AVHR for information. We know our local communities and regulations.
- After purchasing the home (if not before) we highly recommend you hire a manager or consultant to help you complete the start-up process.
- Arizona Vacation Home Rentals is a full service, Five Star, local property management company that brings years of expertise to all areas of the vacation rental management business.
How Arizona Vacation Home Rentals (AVHR) Can Help You
- Our “Owners Choice” program gets you involved early and includes you in all steps of the rental process.
- We will provide you with a list of recommended items for all rooms in the house as well as a list of suggested improvements and amenities to increase the home’s appeal and rental fees.
- We will either help you with marketing or market the home for you. This includes but is not limited to professional eye-catching photos, written descriptions and optimized listings on the larger vacation rental platforms such as Vrbo, Airbnb, Expedia and more.
- We can manage your rentals from start to finish allowing you to be an absentee landlord by:
- Securing guests and replying to inquiries and questions.
- Handling collection of money including deposits, add on charges and refunds.
- Ensuring smooth check-ins, check-outs and pleasant stays.
- Providing 24/7 hour availability for emergencies and problems.
- Cleaning and restocking your home between each visit.
- Making minor repairs and overseeing maintenance.
- Requesting feedback and replying to guest reviews.
Arizona Vacation Home Rentals is a full spectrum property management company that specializes in vacation rental start-up projects, marketing and owner/guest liaison services for vacation rental properties in the greater Phoenix and Payson areas. We have more than 14 years of experience marketing all levels of vacation rental properties. We have helped over 200 owners transform their home into a vacation rental.
If you have questions or would like to discuss converting a home or purchasing a vacation rental property please contact us.
Today’s traveler expects vacation rental properties to have all the conveniences of home. Many travelers are looking for the ultimate escape and seek homes with resort amenities or features above and beyond their own living accommodations.
Homes stocked with quality items make guests feel pampered and contribute to a better overall experience. No surprise that great experiences lead to better reviews and yield more bookings. Amenities and the guest experience can turn the one time visitor into a repeat guest.
The goal is to create spaces that make guests feel like they never want to leave. Arizona Vacation Home Rentals (AVHR) provides owners with this spreadsheet New Home Inventory List to help you estimate your start up costs. What follows in this blog is essential information along with the rationale for our recommendations.
- Pet Policy – We do not allow pets inside our homes. Many owners and guests are allergic to them and having a pet in the home can cause damage and extra cleaning.
- Smoking Policy – Absolutely zero smoking is allowed inside or outside of our homes.
- Summertime Thermostats:
- We send guests emails with summer time thermostat expectations.
- We ask owners NOT to put locks on their thermostats.
- We ask owners with remote access not to touch the thermostat when home is occupied with guests. Guests experience different levels of temperature comfort and we want them to be comfortable both day and night.
Doing Our Share
- AVHR installs a camera on the front of your home’s garage facing the street:
- These cameras have audio capability turned off for guest privacy.
- Cameras help us keep your home and guests safe and assist with ensuring the home isn’t over occupancy limits.
- We are unable to provide owners access to these cameras.
- We ask that owners who have security cameras on homes remove them.
- If owners have cameras to monitor landscaping, pool and pest services, we ask that these be mounted near our camera on the front of the garage. Audio capabilities should be turned off.
- We strongly urge Ring doorbells be removed. The feedback from past guests is that Ring doorbells make them feel as if they are being spied on.
- Highchairs and Pack ’N Plays are available for guests to reserve for an additional charge. We will deliver and pick them up from your home after the guests check out.
- As part of our service we supply and restock the following:
- Dish soap, laundry soap, hand soap
- Toilet paper, paper towels
Less Pricey Shopping with Quality in Mind
- Our favorite affordable furniture store is American Furniture Warehouse.
- Costco has high quality items for good prices. We recommend purchasing as many of your furnishings (towels, sheets, kitchen items) as possible from Costco.
Home Smart Technology
It goes without saying that travelers expect the best home smart technology in their vacation homes whether they are traveling for pleasure or their destination is work-related:
- We recommend high speed internet so guests can log into their personal streaming accounts for watching TV and more.
- Larger homes should have internet extenders to allow access on pool decks.
- Cable TV service is not necessary. Guests can stream their personal apps on smart TVs.
- Choose Smart TVs with a variety of apps and high speed internet options. Samsung is our favorite because they have all the streaming apps, are easy for guests to use and connect to the home’s wifi.
- Many travelers have TVs in their bedrooms at home and expect TVs in the bedrooms of their vacation homes.
- When multiple or large families rent a home together, bedroom TVs offer a quiet place to escape the crowd and view a favorite show.
- Bedroom TVs should be at least 50 inches in size.
- Great room TVs should be at least 65 inches; a sound bar is helpful for homes with movie/theater rooms.
- We do not recommend you subscribe to a streaming service for your home. We will provide an account for guests who do not know how to stream.
Kitchens for Cooking and Eating
Well stocked kitchens are a perk to staying at a vacation home instead of a hotel. Guests may want to prepare home cooked meals and expect the usual staples to be supplied:
- Double the guest count for dishes and silverware. If your home sleeps 10, purchase 20 counts of plates, cups, bowls, spoons and so on.
- Melamine dinnerware and acrylic drink ware is recommended to have on hand for outdoor/poolside eating and drinking.
- Select by Calphalon pots and pans hold up longer than teflon.
- Providing only silicone spatulas and utensils prevents scratching and damage to cookware.
- We think it is prudent to have both Keurig and drip coffee machines since guests may strongly prefer one over the other.
- Homes for large families often need extra refrigerator space. For homes with only one kitchen fridge we recommend a beverage fridge for the garage or laundry room, or a weather friendly one for the backyard.
Good Night, Sleep Tight Bedrooms
Everyone deserves to sleep comfortably while on vacation or working away from home. Owners should consider furnishing each bedroom to function as a mini-hotel room:
- Because many people have king beds in their bedrooms at home, our first choice is king beds for ALL bedrooms that have enough floor space. King beds in multiple or all bedrooms reduces arguments over sleeping arrangements and who gets the “primary suite.”
- Queen beds are not usually recommended. Guests have never complained about a bed being too big for a bedroom but we do get comments about not enough king beds.
- In some homes we recommend 2 king beds with a nightstand between them which increases occupancy and allows us to increase the pricing of the home. Please talk to someone at AVHR before purchasing 2 kings beds for a bedroom.
- If a king bed does not fit, the next best option is two XL twin beds.
- Cozy and premium bedding enhances everyone’s sleep. We recommend hotel style comforters that are easy to wash and protectors to keep pillows and mattresses fresh and long-lasting. Avoid cheap, ill-fitted bed sheets as guests notice and comment in home reviews about preferring luxurious bed linens. Kirkland Signature sheets at Costco are a good choice.
- Provide extra blankets that are the same size as beds. Store these in clear sweater or blanket bags on closet shelves in the bedrooms. Our cleaning staff will know blankets need washed if they are out of storage bags or closets.
- Supply one set of sheets per bed. Choose white which can be bleached or a neutral color. Guests will typically use any and all extra sets of sheets so please no more than one or two extra sheet sets in your home. Too many linens to wash makes it challenging to turn homes in a timely manner.
- Area rugs are recommended for bedrooms without carpet. Keep in mind that rugs (and carpets) will need to be cleaned when dirty or replaced when stained or worn.
- Guests want to unpack their luggage and move into their vacation rental home: a luggage rack is recommended for each bedroom.
- Bedrooms should have closets and dressers. We recommend a hanging closet organizer for bedrooms that are don’t have space for a dresser.
- Bedrooms without closet space should have an armoire or wardrobe for guests to hang clothes.
Fresh and Clean: Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms
Bathrooms and bedrooms tend to be the rooms that leave lasting impressions on guests. Guests respond well to bathrooms that are updated so this may be money well spent:
- Tan, grey or white towels are the best choice of colors for towels. You need two towels per guest. If your home sleeps 10 you will need 20 bath towels, 20 hand towels and 20 wash cloths.
- Charisma 100% hygrocotton towels from Costco are perfect. Walmart has a cheaper towel option (standard bath towels are about $5); however, the price reflects the quality and they will likely need to be replaced more frequently.
- Pool towels should be the same number as the maximum occupancy in your home and a separate color or pattern to avoid confusion with bath towels.
- Towels should not be stored under sinks as problems may occur; place them in linen closets or bedrooms
- Clear, plastic soap dispensers ensure the cleaning crew sees when they need to be refilled. The metal kind tend to corrode.
- Step stools for hand washing and toothbrushing are advised to discourage children from standing on and breaking commode seats.
- We highly recommend adding a commercial grade washer and dryer to your home. The washer should have a quick wash feature to facilitate flipping your home quickly when necessary.
- An iron and ironing board are a must; a steamer is even better.
- No bleach products – we will remove them from your home if we find them as guests tend to bleach the wrong things. This will help protect your towels and bedding from being ruined.
The Outdoor Oasis
Many guests comment in home reviews how much they enjoy the outdoor spaces at their vacation home. Lay a foundation for memory making with an amenity rich outdoor setting that includes comfortable furnishings and activities for guests of all ages:
- We recommend adding a hot tub to your property if you do not have one. Even with a heated pool, the weather can be too cool for swimming in the winter. Hot tubs are high on the list of searched amenities and add value to guests’ experiences. We find chlorine works best for hot tubs.
- Patio furniture should include a dining table and chair set with enough seating for the guest occupancy number.
- Extra chairs that are light, comfortable and can be easily moved to and from the pool area are also needed. Home Depot has inexpensive choices: non-metal is preferred as metal gets hot in the sun although wicker tends to break down in the sun over time.
- Several small outdoor end tables are a nice touch and add to guests’ comfort.
- Umbrellas are needed for pool decks and patios. Unfortunately, umbrellas wear out. Expect to replace them every 1 – 2 years.
- Sturdy umbrella stands are a must! The wind picks up quickly during monsoon season and can knock the umbrellas and stands into the pools. Choose stands that are at least 30 lbs; heavier and with wheels are even better.
- We highly recommend adding pool heat to your pool. Electric is preferred because although it takes longer to reach the desired temperature, it costs far less to maintain the temp goal.
- Electric heat costs roughly $7-10/day; gas heat can be as much as $25/day in cold months.
- We charge guests for daily pool heat; therefore, the cost of adding a heater will pay for itself in 2 – 3 years.
- We turn pool heaters on in October and run them full time until May. The exception to this is if we have a vacancy gap longer than a week or two. The actual cost to heat a pool from the ambient temperature of 55°- 60° up to 85° is more than if we leave the pool heat on all the time.
- We suggest pool covers for pools that have electric heat pumps.
- We recommend leaving pool pumps on 24/7; this ensures the pool stays heated and clean.
- You will need to set up weekly pool service with a pool maintenance company. The service needs to be available for weekend service calls.
- For liability reasons we do not supply pool toys or life jackets. If owners or former guests leave these items for incoming guests to use we advise guests they are to use at their own risk.
- Outdoor toys such as corn hole add exciting choices for guests. Expect all toys to get wet and wear out over time. Wood products should be avoided.
- Bikes are recommended for each home. We suggest four mountain bikes: two men’s and two women’s. AVHR can refer you to our bike service for regular maintenance.
- Landscaping services should be set up for twice each month.
- A monthly pest service is recommended with a repeat, no cost, same-day call out as needed.
The Final Touch
- We ask that owners provide a key package that includes 4 sets of each key to the home: door, mailbox and community pool. We will label the keys.
- Guests respond well to updated homes. This may seem small but we recommend changing any brass hardware: door knobs, pulls, handles, and hinges as these age a home.
- And finally, your vacation rental should meet high standards of comfort, convenience and cleanliness. These significantly impact impressions and reviews. Guests may have suggestions that are helpful and we will keep you apprised of these. Over time AVHR will help you review the quality of your vacation rental property and recommend upgrades and improvements when needed.
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Our guests’ safety and security is our number one priority. We also want our owners to feel comfortable with how we safeguard their investments and protect guests. While most short term renters treat our homes as they do their own, there is the occasional guest who violates our NO party, event or large group policy. A party can be devastating: neighbors are annoyed, the police are called and HOAs impose owner fines or pass covenants that restrict short term rentals within the community. Damage from a party can be extensive: insurance and other claims rarely cover all expenses.
Arizona Vacation Home Rentals is taking steps to improve the overall guest, neighbor and owner experience by increasing the smart technology at our homes. The installed devices add another layer of protection and ultimately reduce incidents which result in rental violations, unwarranted damage to property and annoyed neighbors.
Guest privacy is critical and installing camera and surveillance devices inside of vacation homes is illegal. Exterior cameras are legal; however, disclosure of any cameras on a property is required by many online travel agencies such as Airbnb and VRBO.
Arizona Vacation Home Rentals has added cameras to the exteriors of many of our homes. The cameras face the street and provide a clear view of the entire driveway both day and night. The audio capability of the cameras is off: we do not record conversations or sounds. The cameras are monitored to ensure guests are not having parties or groups larger than authorized in the rental agreement. They enhance guest safety by catching break-ins and and identifying suspicious activities. In case of incidents, the cameras have playback capabilities which protect guests against unwarranted claims by an HOA and other conflicts of interest.
To keep neighbors happy and prevent incidents we have added NoiseAware to our homes. Two or three of these small units have been placed both inside and out at all of our homes. NoiseAware does not detect or record any sounds or conversations. Instead, the units measure noise levels in decibels and, based on preset noise levels, alert guests when there is excessive noise at a home. If guests do not respond and reduce the noise Arizona Vacation Home Rentals is notified. NoiseAware is another use of technology to guard against unfair accusations by HOAs or neighbors.
Remote locks have been added to improve security and facilitate both keyless and contactless entry into our vacation homes. The locks are integrated with our reservation system: guests will receive a unique code that allows entry for the duration of their reservation. Problems with lost keys, duplication of keys or guests being locked out are avoided. The codes are modified remotely between guests to give future guests peace of mind in knowing the home is secure.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are familiar technology that protect guests and homes. In some houses the alarms are wired to the home’s electrical circuit and connected to the other detectors in the home. When any unit detects smoke or carbon monoxide, the alarm activates a sound simultaneously throughout the home. Should the home lose electricity they default to battery power.
Some homes utilize battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. The units function individually, detecting dangerous smoke or carbon monoxide levels and emitting an alarm to notify the people in the home. Many of our vacation homes have both electrically wired and battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
The Bottom Line
Arizona Vacation Home Rentals wants to deliver an optimal experience for our guests and owners. We know travelers rely on technology to plan and book time away with the expectation that travel agencies stay current on best practices. With our new smart home tech solutions travelers can be reassured the vacation property they choose for relaxing or working is safe and secure. Owners’ confidence and peace of mind will grow knowing we have upped our tech game to protect their investments and guests.
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Yes, we have bobcats in the greater Phoenix area. In fact, bobcats are common throughout Arizona and found in all contiguous states in the USA with possibly one or two exceptions. In Arizona, and specifically the Sonoran Desert, they especially thrive in forested mountains, rocky canyons and dense brush areas. Sometimes referred to as wildcats, the development and occupation of their natural habitat has forced bobcats to adapt to living in more populated areas which include our suburbs and the outskirts of cities.
Bobcats, named for their bobbed tails, are bigger than house cats but smaller than mountain lions. They have flat faces, furry cheeks, long legs and big paws. Size-wise, they are 18 – 24 inches tall, 2 – 3 feet long, weigh 15 – 35 pounds and have tails that are 2 – 8 inches in length. Bobcats can jump heights of 10 plus feet and climb small trees. On the move, they are usually solitary unless it’s a female moving kittens between dens, siblings or mating pairs. In Arizona, breeding usually occurs December through April. The kittens are born April to early June and litters are mostly 2 – 3 in number. The kittens stay with their mother for most of their first year and start learning to hunt at 4 – 5 months. The average lifespan of a wild bobcat is 12 – 15 years.
Pouncing on their prey like mountain lions, Arizona bobcats are opportunistic carnivores with a menu that includes rabbits, rodents, other small mammals, birds and occasionally lizards and snakes. Occasionally they are seen eating small deer and pronghorns. Unsupervised cats and small dogs also provide meals to hungry bobcats who are known to visit backyards in search of food and water.
These shy and often reclusive animals are nocturnal hunters but may be spotted sleeping or reclining during daylight hours. Some favorite roosts are dens, low tree branches, hollow logs, tree and bush thickets, and caves. In developed areas bobcats choose patios, under decks, empty lots, enclosed yards, rooftops or driveway culverts – any place where they feel secure for a daytime nap.
It’s important to note that bobcats almost never attack humans. The few documented cases involve bobcats with kittens or rabies; however, rabies in bobcats is very rare.
In Arizona bobcats are considered a species of concern with populations relatively stable overall. You must have a license to hunt bobcats and keep in mind that most Arizona cities ban shooting firearms within city limits. Possession of live bobcats is illegal.
What To Do If You See A Bobcat
- As with all wildlife, keep your distance! Attempting to touch or feed is not appropriate.
- Do not turn your back or run which may invite the cat to chase or attack you. Instead, back away and use loud noises and arm movements to distract and scare away.
- Spraying with a hose or throwing water are also deterrents since, like most other cats, they do not like water.
- If you have a small pet, pick it up to make the pet appear larger.
- If the cat appears to be unhealthy, please contact Arizona Fish and Game or your local wildlife commission. Do not attempt to capture or treat.
Important Wildlife Safety
Wild animals are exactly that, WILD! Their response to human encounters is unpredictable at best. When wild animals injure people they are removed or euthanized because of people’s behaviors. Please act responsibly!
The following applies to all wildlife and within the greater Phoenix area especially relates to bobcats, peccaries and coyotes.
- Keep a respectable distance from all wildlife and do not interfere with their natural behaviors.
- Never feed or harass wild animals.
- When hiking, stay on trails and keep pets under control on a short leash.
- Supervise your pets in yards and especially dusk to dawn.
- Trim vegetation around your home to discourage animals from seeking refuge.
- Avoid leaving food overnight in front or back yards. This includes birdseed, pet and human food.
- Report unhealthy looking animals to the local wildlife commission. Never attempt to capture or treat.
Arizona Vacation Home Rentals has a home, Bobcat Den, that has a neighborhood bobcat. The cat is sometimes spotted napping in the home’s front and back yards. It’s quite likely that you will view bobcats at some of our other homes and especially if there are green spaces that border the homes.
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* Special thanks to all the Sonoran Desert Wildlife group members who contributed bobcat photos for this blog!
Across the United States, local and state governments are exploring ways to micromanage the short term rental (STR) industry. The controls they seek come in the form of additional fees and taxes for STR properties, limiting the number of STRs in a given area or banning STRs altogether. Home Owner Associations (HOA) are also expressing their opinion of STRs by including covenants that prohibit STRs and harassing guests who stay at permitted STR properties.
Why? Media publications occasionally try to stir up trouble by incorrectly printing that STRs negatively affect housing availability and costs. But largely the opposition are a few people who are annoyed (justifiably or not) with STR guests in their neighborhood. These grumblers join HOA boards or get elected as local commissioners to oppose STRs and go so far as to embroil others to revise the STR statutes in their community. Some are unconscionable and reward homeowners for reporting or even fabricating problems with STR guests in an effort to promote their anti STR agenda. The NIMBY (not in my backyard) phenomenon comes to mind because most of the STR opposition admit to using STRs when they travel.
Direct and Indirect Contributions
I’m here to say, watch what you wish for! I live in an east coast city that was once home to a lucrative film industry. In the last 40 or so years, more than 400 movies and several TV series as well as individual episodes, were produced here. Less than a decade ago, sketchy local and state politics that included initiatives to shrink film industry incentives and ban short term rentals (preferred housing of actors and crews during filming) sent full time agents and producers in search of more user friendly settings. Quickly and quietly the agencies and their crews vanished to other states taking with them scores of people who made their living providing services they needed: hair styling, make-up, costume design, set design and special effects to name a few.
No big deal you might think but keep reading! The people who left had contributed both directly and indirectly to our local economy. They bought coffee at Starbucks, dined in our restaurants, shopped at our stores, rented or bought properties and participated in local events. In other words, they spent their time and money here. The celebrities and shows made us famous which attracted tourists from all over the world who came and spent their time and money here. We were the winners: we saw increased tax revenue and job growth, especially in tourist and service factions. Unfortunately and not surprising, when the major and minor players in the film industry relocated to greener pastures their spending power and influences moved with them.
Connecting the Dots
How you wonder are filming and STR companies like Arizona Vacation Home Rentals similar? For starters, they are both environmentally clean industries as opposed to corporations that pollute water, soil and air and spend our tax dollars to clean up their mess. If you aren’t a tree hugger and this doesn’t matter to you perhaps I can hook you by explaining how the STR industry, similar to the film industry, positively impacts the local economies in Arizona.
Rounds Consulting Group (RCG) conducted an economic impact analysis and published the results in The Economic Impact of Short-Term Rentals in Arizona, February 2022. The results are impressive! Guests who stayed at STR properties generated $538.4 million dollars in Arizona county and city tax revenues in 2021. These included taxes levied on rental fees, sales taxes from guests’ spending and tax revenues from the 75,500 jobs created by the short term rental industry.
RCG used a common economist model that measures the effects of activities related to the industry and converts the activities into estimated tax revenues. They included direct effects such as taxes generated by guests as they spend money in the locale where they are staying e.g., dining at restaurants, playing golf, buying food and visiting attractions. They also counted what they labeled as secondary impacts that result from increased demands on companies that supply goods and services to the STR industry. Examples of this include the tax increase in revenue and jobs or payroll hours affiliated with the suppliers of goods and services to STR companies e.g., housekeeping and maintenance crews, cleaning supplies and fuel. And as RCG points out, the rippling effect continues as employees of the suppliers spend their earnings on goods and services and so on and so forth.
Before you support or vote in favor of limiting or banning STRs think long and hard about $538.4 million dollars in tax revenues and 75,500 new jobs. Those are BIG numbers! Everyone benefits, everyone is a winner because more people are working and tax revenues pay for schools, roads, first responder salaries and equipment, and so much more, without raising everyone’s taxes.
The Blame Game: Get It Right!
You should also contemplate this: long term renters have a greater negative impact on communities and house prices than STR guests and homes. If you doubt me, talk to a landlord. Their top 3 challenges include evicting tenants who stop paying rent (good luck with this!), periods of vacancy between tenants and property damage. Next, talk to a realtor who will confirm that these behaviors directly contribute to the decline of neighborhoods and falling home prices. STRs are not problem free but evictions, property damage and in most cases vacancy are rarely the challenges. The very nature of STR income motivates homeowners to keep their properties occupied and in excellent condition, stay on top of problem guests and resolve damages quickly in preparation for incoming guests. These desirable behaviors contribute to maintaining everyone’s property and community values and promoting neighborhood civility.
Support Clean Industries
Hands down, the benefits of STRs far exceed the few nuisances, but that’s another blog (to be written soon). For now, don’t make the mistake my urban area did and allow an environmentally friendly and lucrative industry to decline or disappear. My home city is currently scrambling to right their mistakes and encourage the return of full time filming productions. Be smarter! At the very least, elect representatives and vote in favor of ordinances that support STRs in your community. If possible, get involved to help ensure STR regulations make good neighborly sense without limiting their ability to contribute generously to Arizona’s economy and job market.
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A recent and popular trend with business travelers as well as families on the go is to stay in a vacation rental home instead of a hotel. If you haven’t explored renting a home in place of reserving a hotel room, keep reading…
Four Advantages to Vacation Rental Homes
1. Space and Well-being
It’s about space (lots more) and convenience:
- You can spread out and make yourself at home.
- There is more privacy for sleeping, working and all other activities.
- Everyone isn’t sharing one bathroom or one bedroom or one TV.
- You can have fresh brewed coffee (in a Keurig no less) at any time and in your pajamas (one of my favorite reasons).
- There are multiple televisions to match your viewing preferences.
- Some homes have garages to protect your vehicles, golf clubs, bikes and other gear.
- Homes are self-contained meaning everything you need except food, paper products and personal items are provided.
- Spaces are safer if you want to quarantine.
- Homes give you the space you need for a staycation.
2. Cost Effective
Hotels cost more than rental homes:
- Multiple families, couples or corporate executives can save by sharing a home.
- You can eat healthier and save money by preparing meals in the home.
- Parking is free.
- You can avoid baggage fees by packing less because your laundry can be done in the home.
- There are no hidden costs for the internet, pool towels, laundry, parking or more than one bed.
3. Comfort and Flexibility
Vacation rentals offer more flexibility and benefits:
- Homes are usually cleaner, safer and in quieter neighborhoods than hotels.
- Versatile booking options include length of stay as well as early arrivals and late departures.
- You can choose from a variety of amenities such as private pools, spas, putting greens, fire pits and games
- You’re not expected to share the amenities or elevators, lobbies, etc. with strangers.
- You can mix with the locals and discover the community’s hidden jewels such as the best restaurants, bars, museums and hiking trails.
- Homes offer a variety of floor plans and may be well suited for business meetings or team building conferences.
- You can work and play at the same location if you choose a home with a ping-pong or pool table, bikes, kayaks, nearby trails or a swimming pool.
Vacation homes are safer:
- Vacation rental properties offer you a self contained home so you can avoid crowds and public spaces.
- Check-in and check-out are contact-less.
- Meals can be prepared and served at the home.
- All of our homes have laundry rooms with washers and dryers so you can avoid public laundromats.
- Remote work, school and play can all be conducted at one place.
- Rental homes have amenities such as pools, hot tubs and putting greens that are not shared with strangers.
Vacation rental homes are literally everywhere. Once you’ve determined your destination you can find the ideal home by locating a local Online Travel Agency (OTA) such as Arizona Vacation Home Rentals, searching the homes on their websites and contacting the property managers. Booking directly with OTAs and avoiding the large vacation rental markets is a HUGE money saver!
Arizona Vacation Home Rentals offers a wide variety of rental properties in the Greater Phoenix Area. Our local team will personalize your experience and make you glad you decided to rent one of our homes!
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AVHR Winter Newsletter 2021
Welcome! This quarterly newsletter will give you the scoop on Arizona Vacation Home Rental’s newest homes and winter activities in the greater Phoenix area. In addition, look for the following:
- guest discounts
- weather overview
- travel tips
- what you need to know about pool heating
- links to help you find more information
We encourage you to browse and find what you need to customize and plan the perfect Arizona vacation.
Discounts if You Book at Azvacationhomerentals.com
When you’re ready to book ask us about the following discounts:
- 5% discount on nightly rate for returning guests
- 5% discount on nightly rate for veterans with proof of service document
- 10% discount on nightly rate for last minute booking within 3 days of arrival date
- Reduced fees for early check-in or late check-out on select homes
The following homes are discounted 10% if you reserve days in December, January or February and 15% if you are a returning guest. Other discounts at these homes include free pool heat and free highchair and Pack ‘N Play rentals during the same months. Just ask us!
What’s New & Different at Arizona Vacation Home Rentals
We have two new properties we’re excited to showcase. All that’s missing from these dream come true vacation homes is YOU! For more information or to book, visit Arizona Vacation Home Rentals. Booking directly at Arizona Vacation Home Rentals saves you money and supports local business.
Our first, newly acquired home is Golden View, a 5 BR, 3.5 BA, single story, Gold Canyon home. Love our Superstition Mountains? They are the golden view from the backyard and many of the interior windows. The resort amenities at this gem include a heated pool, hot tub, covered patios for dining or watching TV and a gas fireplace. The interior of this home is luxurious throughout with a theater room featuring a gas fireplace and TVs in 4 of 5 bedrooms. To spend time at our dream come true vacation home book now at Arizona Vacation Home Rentals and then start packing!
The second of our new homes, but not second best in any way, is Adobe Ranch, a secluded 4 BR, 3 BA, single story home on a large lot in East Mesa. The appealing amenities include a heated pool, covered patio and gas fire pit to warm your toes and heart. The charming southwestern decor in well appointed rooms is both attractive and comfortable. The property’s location is ideal for guests who enjoy golfing, hiking, biking, kayaking, Chicago Cubs spring training, shopping or dining out. Visit Arizona Vacation Home Rentals to see all the wonderful details and book your exciting vacation! Booking directly at Arizona Vacation Home Rentals saves you money and supports local business.
Winter Travel to the Greater Phoenix Area
The fall can be the perfect time to visit the greater Phoenix area. Most days are warm, sunny and ideal for outdoor adventures of which there are many. The chart below features average day and night temps during the fall months.
|Month||Average Day Temp||Average Night Temp|
|December||67° F||46° F|
|January||69° F||46° F|
|February||72° F||49° F|
Packing for Our Winter Months
As you can see our temps are cooler in the winter months. That being said, 300+ of our days are sunny and temps can climb during the daylight hours. Be prepared for the temp changes which can sometimes be dramatic and pack the following:
- Clothing you can layer when temps are cool or warm
- Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses
- Moisturizers to protect against the drying effects of low humidity
- Sweatshirts or jackets for cool days and evenings
- Binoculars, camera gear and field guides
- Insect repellent
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Swimwear if you are renting a home with a heated pool or hot tub
- Recreational gear: golf clubs, bike helmets, tennis and pickleball rackets, etc.
Why Heat the Pool at Your Vacation Home
Guests often ask us if heating the pool at their rental home is necessary. If you read our guest reviews you will learn that pool heat makes swimming in our winter months more enjoyable.
Additional information about pool heat that you need to know:
- Pool heat is available for an additional fee, October through March, at homes with pool heaters. Pool heating is optional.
- We heat our pools to 80°. That temperature might not feel warm enough for some swimmers and especially if the day is cloudy and/or ambient temps are cool.
- You may often choose the days you heat the pool, but it can take up to 3 days for the water temps to reach 80° depending on the ambient temps.
- If nighttime air temps drop significantly, no matter how efficient the pool heater is, the water temperature will drop. Putting solar blankets in place when you’re done swimming each day helps maintain the desired 80°.
Health & Safety
Vacation rental homes are safer than hotels. Our homes are self-contained meaning you have everything you need at the home with the exception of consumable items such as food and your personal effects. We offer no-contact check-in and check-out and adhere to all CDC recommended cleaning practices and employee policies. You’re not sharing amenities such as pools, hallways or dining areas and have absolute control over how you social distance from those not in your bubble.
Currently Arizona has no state implemented restrictions for US travelers from other states. According to CDC guidelines, visitors are encouraged to stay home when sick, avoid close contact with others and wash hands frequently.
Things to Do in the Greater Phoenix Area
Winter months are our peak season. Those who long to avoid freezing winter temps and shoveling snow should escape to the greater Phoenix area. Hikers, bikers and golfers often appreciate our sunny winter days with low humidity and cooler but not brutal temps. Check out our golf blog, Calling All Golfers!, and trail blog, Let’s Hit the Trails, for details on local fairways and trails plus links to the particulars.
Family activities you may find worthwhile are listed below and include links to help you find whatever information you need for an enjoyable experience.
- Arizona is home to the Cactus League’s spring training grounds. The Chicago Cubs is one of many teams who spend the winter and early spring months in Arizona. Read Batters Up for the Cactus League’s Spring Training for fun historical content and helpful links regarding spring training venues and schedules.
- Bearizona is located in Williams and has both drive and walk through tours for viewing wildlife in settings designed to resemble natural habitats. Roads are well maintained and permit you to view wildlife up close from the comfort of your own vehicle. Exciting and educational encounters with bears, wolves, mountain goats and more are always a possibility.
- Butterfly Wonderland offers you a rain forest experience amidst live tropical butterflies and reptiles. Learn about butterfly migration and the importance of protecting pollinators. Watch chrysalis emerge into exquisite butterflies and enjoy the magic of butterfly encounters as they move between feeding stations and greenery. Take a break on Arizona Boardwalk with its restaurants, shops and other attraction venues.
- Looking for a royal treat with jousting tournaments, feasts fit for a queen or king, arts and crafts and interactive entertainment? February 5th marks the beginning of the 34th annual Renaissance Festival and Artisan Marketplace. The festivities at this 50 acre Scottsdale village are held each weekend through April 3 and include free parking.
- If you’ve always dreamed of riding in a hot air balloon, Rainbow Riders in Phoenix/Scottsdale are happy to oblige you. Book a romantic sunrise or sunset flight or enjoy a scenic tour of the Sonoran Desert from a balloon basket.
- Our winter Farmers Markets are where you’ll want to shop for your vacation goodies. Scottsdale, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa and Phoenix are just a few of the locations where you can purchase fresh grown and even fresh chopped veggies year round. Each market offers unique shopping opportunities and times so check the links to help you plan your market excursion.
Other activities that may coax you to our area include car shows, concerts, theater and sporting events. For example, upcoming events at The Orpheum Theater in Phoenix include A Christmas Carol, The Nutcracker (Phoenix Ballet), Waitress and An Officer and A Gentleman.
Additional fine art venues to check out:
- Ak-Chin Pavilion
- Arizona Financial Theater
- Celebrity Theatre
- Centennial Hall
- Marquee Theatre
- Mesa Ampitheater
- Mesa Arts Center
For our sports loving guests there are year round events to keep you entertained. Below are links to professional teams in the immediate area.
Thank you in advance for reading our newsletter. We hope you will pass on to friends and family who are interested in a vacation rental in the greater Phoenix area. Our spring newsletter will be published in February.
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Arizona Vacation Home Rentals
By providing links to other sites, AVHR does not guarantee, approve, or endorse information or products available on these sites.
The smallest bird you’ll observe zipping around or hovering within gardens and parks in the Sonoran Desert is the hummingbird. Southeastern Arizona hosts more than a dozen species of hummers as year round residents, seasonal visitors or accidental tourists during migration. Their wing speed of 80 beats or more per second is remarkable which, along with their flapping tail feathers, accounts for the buzzing noise you may hear as they flit between nectar supplies. Nests are crafted of lichens intertwined with spider webs and well camouflaged. Broods are usually 2 eggs, occasionally 3.
Don’t be fooled by the size of these tiny, fairy like birds sporting iridescent colors and pointed bills. At feeders and darting among tube shaped flowers they are territorial and warrior-like, defending food sources, nests and potential mates with their dagger like beaks. Scrappy and relentless, they are capable of flying up, down, backward and sideways. Many species are also proficient at flying thousands of miles along migration routes between Alaska and Mexico or Central America.
Hummingbirds You’ll See in the Greater Phoenix Area
There are 7 hummingbird species commonly viewed in the greater Phoenix area:
I will tempt you with interesting and fun trivia about each of these plus suggest local habitats where you are likely to find the species. For more detailed descriptions, photos of both male and females and additional fascinating facts, consult a bird guide or websites that feature hummingbirds and their characteristics.
Allen’s Hummingbird breeds along the Pacific coast and is typically viewed in our area only when migrating between western California and Mexico in the spring and fall. They are small, chunky birds measuring about 3.5 inches or 9 cm long and sport shades of copper, orange and green. Males have a distinct red-orange throat and emit a bee-like buzz with their wings. In addition to drinking flower nectar, these hummers flycatch or pluck insects from plants with their straight bills.
Once common to the Phoenix area in winter only, Anna’s Hummingbird has increased both visiting and breeding numbers in Arizona in early spring and late fall, making it one of the hummingbird species you are most likely to see in the Phoenix area. Partial to desert scrub and riparian woodlands, this hummer is also a frequent guest in residential gardens and especially those with exotic plants. Whereas many hummingbirds are vocally silent, these males are unique in their ability to make sounds that are musical in nature. Highly territorial, the males also do elaborate aerial dives ending in tail-produced popping sounds to deter intruders such as other birds and people. Anna’s Hummingbird is one of the larger hummers in the Phoenix area yet is considered a medium-sized, slightly stocky hummer. Grey-green in color, males are distinguished by an iridescent red-pink head and throat.
The Black-chinned Hummingbird is a summer native to Arizona, arriving in March or April and departing in October to spend winter in Mexico. They are highly adaptable and common in middle and lower elevations choosing habitats of deciduous woodlands, canyons, meadows, orchards or cities with flowering trees and shrubs. Similar to the Allen’s Hummingbird in length, they are more slender with an almost straight black bill. Males have a dark throat edged in purple; female throats are pale. Both males and females have muted green back feathers and dull grey chests. They are often spotted on high tree snags when they aren’t zipping erratically between nectar sources. They are frequent visitors to feeding stations throughout the greater Phoenix area. Males use aerial display flights which include 70-100 feet pendular dives to attract females or defend their territories.
Another native to Arizona is the Broad-tailed Hummingbird which typically arrives in late spring and returns to Mexico at the end of September. Breeding habitats include higher elevations on the fringe of pinyon-juniper, oak, pine and evergreen forests. Males make audible metallic chirps with their wings as they dart between blossoms and perform rapid aerial dives. Adorned with noticeable iridescent green on dorsal parts and white chests, their tails flash white tips when in flight. Females and young hummers have green spots on their throats; males sport a magenta-red throat patch. Considered to be a medium size hummer, they have slender bodies and big heads (relative to other hummingbird species).
The smallest of the hummingbirds in our area and in the United States is the Calliope Hummingbird with its relatively short tails, wings and bills. Displaying metallic green on their heads and upper parts, both males and females have white or buff breasts. Males are easy to distinguish because they have long streaks of purple-magenta feathers down their necks and perform impressive 100 foot, U shaped aerial dives during courtship. These birds may be tiny but are fierce during the breeding season and have been observed pursuing much larger birds in defense of their nests and mates. They spend winters in Mexico but travel through Arizona in the spring enroute to their breeding grounds along the Pacific coast. Similar to the Allen Hummingbird, the Calliope sips nectar from plants and is a flycatcher of insects.
The Costa’s Hummingbird chooses desert and sage scrub or chaparral as a preferred habitat and drinks nectar from different desert plants such as ocotillo and chuparosa. Their breeding season falls mainly between late winter and spring and to avoid Arizona’s hot summers they then migrate to the coast of California. The female is the nest builder and chooses shrubs, small trees and occasionally a cactus or yucca for the nest site. These are small, compact hummers with a short tail and stooped presentation when perched. Males feature a remarkable purple-amethyst gorget atop their heads and along their necks that conveys a mustached appearance. Both males and females have green backs and white underparts. Known to be more reticent than other hummers, they are likely to visit your feeding stations if you have more than one nectar source available.
Last but never least is the bold and territorial Rufous Hummingbird, a common visitor to Arizona hummingbird feeders during their long migrations between Alaska and Mexico. In areas where there are nectar rich flowers and feeders they may stay for a week or two to rest and bulk up for their arduous travels. Unfortunately, Rufous Hummingbirds may discourage other hummers from visiting your feeders as they are naturally greedy and will chase competitors away. Males are orange-brown in color; females are green-orange. They choose desert scrubs, mountain meadows and other locations with flowers and feeders for their migratory habitats.
Hummingbirds require a significant amount of nectar to maintain their high metabolic rates. You can attract resident and transient hummers to sip in your presence by hanging specialized feeders filled with nectar and planting native tubular flowers in yards and parks. Red seems to be a favorite flower color although my hummers also frequent pink, yellow and purple blossoms. Native Arizona plants such as trumpet creeper, lupine, salvias, penstemon, Columbine and bee balms are a source of rich and natural food for hummers. Hummers also consume and feed insects to their young so avoid using insecticides in your yard. Nearby branches or perches for resting between drinks add an inviting touch.
Safe and appealing nectar is easily made by stirring 1 cup of white (not raw) sugar into 4 cups of water and boiling for a minute or two. Please do not add food coloring or dyes which are harmful to hummingbirds and not necessary. Leftover nectar should be stored in your refrigerator. Change the nectar before it gets cloudy and toxic to hummers. Feeders will get moldy relative to the humidity and ambient temps and should be cleaned with mild soapy water, rinsed thoroughly and refilled as needed.
Places to See Hummingbirds in the Phoenix Area
- Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix
- Gilbert Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert
- Hummingbird Habitat at Desert Breeze Park in Chandler
- Rio Salada Audubon Center in Phoenix
See Hummingbirds at Arizona Vacation Home Rentals’ Properties
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*Photo credits: © Gilbert S Grant