It's a hefty drive -- some 35 miles north of downtown Phoenix -- and there's not a lot to look at on the lonely stretch of highway leading to this massive master-planned community in the middle of nowhere.
But that's exactly what makes the final destination so spectacular. Once parked on the patio at Persimmon, there's nothing to compete with the views of Daisy Mountain, soaring almost 3,200 feet above the desert floor. No towering buildings. No sense of the pulsing, gasping rat race we've left at the far fringes of Phoenix. Once the sun goes down, there aren't any city lights to compete with the twinkling stars above -- just a few muted porch bulbs from homes tucked across the yawning golf course that serves as Persimmon's backyard.
The grill faces west, meaning we're in for spectacular sunsets. The country club has yet to be overrun with residents, meaning we're able to enjoy some peace and quiet with our Pinot Grigio. The outdoor furniture is fancy, cushy and clumped in private tête-à-têtes.
And for now, the view is free. The grill is open to the public. Now, that's worth a toast.
Readers' Choice for Best Outdoor Patio: Dos Gringos and The Grapevine (tie)