We have spent most of the summer up at our home in Lakeside. It's a beautiful area. I walk every morning through our community enjoying the fresh air, beautiful scenery, and the sounds of the creek and waterfalls. Recently I saw an eagle fly over.
Our favorite restaurants include Charlie Clark's Steakhouse, Bobbie Jo's Diner (for lunch), and Mama Bear's (lunch). Marble Slab has the best ice cream in town. They're located near the movie theater in Pinetop/Lakeside. Red Devil has good pizza and Italian food.
Be careful going out at night and being distracted with your telescope. The bears have been driven into our towns due to the fires and you must be on your guard when the sun starts to set. There are signs up at all the lakes and parks warning of active bear activity but people still get careless. You may have heard about the poor woman who died from being mauled by a bear. She was walking her dog at ll pm near a dumpster on the outskirts of Pinetop. The bears are shy by nature but a predator at heart. Attacks are rare but you need to be on your guard. If one comes near you, yell or make loud noises and make yourself look as large as possible and slowly back away. Don't run.
Be sure to take a ride over to Greer. A good place to eat there is Molly Butler's Restaurant. Early in the morning you may get lucky and see elk in the meadow across the way.
Check with the visitors' center on White Mountain Blvd. near Safeway for a current list of activities going on while you are there. This site might also interest you. http://www.pinetoplakesidechamber.com/
If you like antiques there are a few nice little shops in Pinetop/Lakeside - one located right by Mama Bear's restaurant.
There's an alpaca farm between ShowLow and Heber that's fun. There's also a lavender farm that's fun but rarely open - located east of ShowLow. Call both before driving the distance.
There are several lakes providing opportunities for picnics, boating, and fishing.
If history interests you, in ShowLow there's a wonderful museum that is a "must see". You'll be surprised at how many rooms it encompasses. There's a smaller museum of interest in Lakeside.
Be sure and visit our favorite little tourist store called Burly Bear. They have a talented artist who carves wooden bears and other creatures with a chain saw. He's lots of fun to watch.
Enjoy your time in our favorite part of Arizona - such a nice retreat from the heat of Phoenix.