TUCSON, AZ (ARIZONA HIGHWAYS TV)-- Summerhaven is one square mile of private land that is surrounded by national forest. The main draw is that in the summer we're about 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Tucson.
"You can sit on your front porch and hear nothing but silence. There's an occasional car that will pass by and it's usually going to be somebody that we know." said Carol Mack, who owns Summerhaven's general store by day and is a volunteer firefighter by night.
With only 35 year-round residents, you can say that Mack and her husband, Phil, know pretty much everybody. "Sometimes more than you want to [laughs]." "They're all nuts, [laughs] I think it's the altitude that gets 'em, but they're great people, it's a very close community."
Resident Bob Zimmerman doubles as a realtor, restaurant owner, and is considered the town's unofficial mayor. "I don't know where this idea got going, but it did," he said.
While Summerhaven is a peaceful retreat for visitors looking to escape the summer heat, this close-knit community is simply called "home" to its full-time and part-time residents.
"Mostly the hangout is during the day, check in at the general store, see what's going on, the second place you check in at is the post office," Zimmerman added.
"You get filled in on what's going on with anybody who's going somewhere, who's not feeling well, you know, who needs a pot of chicken soup or whatever."
The Summerhaven community became even closer when the town pulled together after the 2003 aspen fire. "It was very heartwarming and it kind of set a basis for us to move forward in rebuilding, Zimmerman said."
Although 10 years later, those who visit Summerhaven can still see fire damage to the forest, folks here have been busy restoring their faith, their fortitude and their small town.
As the rebuild continues, shops and restaurants are open for business in summerhaven.
The goal? Helping tourists enjoy the simple pleasures of a tasty life.
"We have so many repeat customers for our fudge and we get to welcome them back year after year," Mack said.
Carol Mack's general store and gift shop, fudge made fresh and daily is their specialty.
"We have a plethora of flavors. 25 flavors to be exact," she said.
"We have exotic things like jalapeno fudge or chewy praline, cappuccino, just all kinds of fun stuff."
Another store called "The Living Rainbow" has dangling wind chimes and crystals, this shop is all about art and color.
All this window shopping can really work up an appetite, good thing the cookie cabin is right next door. "Pretty good stuff." piping hot pizza's on the menu here, but what they're really known for is their cobbler and giant-sized cookies served up paper-plate style.
Some people just wanna get out of town and see the forest and their outdoor experience is driving here and stopping in some place and having a cup of coffee or a piece of pie or something and going back to Tucson."
Did somebody say pie? The pies are there, we got 'em and people like 'em."
The third restaurant we visited, the Sawmill Run Restaurant.
They're known for their pies, you will find good, old fashioned mountain food on this menu. The Sawmill Run is the Summerhaven's newest hangout, and with its cozy atmosphere and down-home cooking, visitors will definitely eat, drink and have some fun.