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Must see/dos in Phoenix area??

m61376

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We decided to get away and booked a mid-December week in Phoenix. We've never been to the area, so I'd appreciate some of the highlights- things to see/do, good restaurants, etc.. We're not golfers, btw.

Thanks- and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!
 

MommaBear

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It all depends on what you like to do... We really like the Desert Botannical Garden, Taliesin West and the drive through Sedona. There is a neat train ride through the Green Valley(may be seasonal only), there are Native American historical sites both north and south of the city, there is a historical frontier town north of Phoenix, casinos on the East side, multiple music/theater/ concert venues... Old Town Scottsdale is very attractive as are the Cave Creek and Carefree areas. Up near Sedona there is a living museum of an old Army outpost. This time of year is relaly tooo cold for Grand Canyon or Flagstaff.

I come to this area usually a week a year and am actually leaving tomorrow. The weather is great- low 70's, blue skies with the occasional cloud- perfect! I am heading back to 8 inches of new snow. Guess I will go skiing this weekend.
 

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I'm not sure what your interests are, but here are a few suggestions:

The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is very nice and offers a good walk among wonderful desert landscaping. http://www.dbg.org/

If you are interested in architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright's home and school are worth a visit. http://www.franklloydwright.org/fllwf_web_091104/Home.html

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum is about an hour and 1/2 from the north side of Phoenix near the town of Superior, and it is well worth the easy drive. It's a great botanical garden with incredible variety. The pictures don't do it justice. This is an awesome spot to really get a feel for Arizona. http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/tour.html

This is an old victorian house that you can tour in downtown Phoenix. I really enjoyed the tour. http://www.rossonhousemuseum.org/

If you want to view Christmas lights, there are two great displays:

One is at the Phoenix Zoo. http://www.phoenixzoo.org/events/ZooLights/

The other is at the Mormon Temple in Mesa. http://www.mesachristmaslights.com/

There are lots of other things to do and places to visit, but these are a start. I'll let someone else suggest restaurants. Again, there are a great many to choose from.

Have fun!

Steve
 

m61376

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Thanks- other than the zoo (hubbie is too allergic) the suggestions are right up our alley- thanks!!

Any recommended routes to go to Sedona/things to do for a day there?
 
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restaurant - noca
restaurant with view - elements at sanctuary in scottsdale
 

Karen G

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Once owned these: FirstFairway@Walden X 2; Lawai Beach; ManhattanClub; PuebloBonitoRose; 4 South Africa--now timeshare-free

eal

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Close to Montezuma's castle is the V Bar V Ranch, open Fridays thru Mondays. There is an amazing wall of petroglyphs, sometimes affectionately called "the bulletin board", with over 1000 figures. The petroglyphs include a crop calendar that is illuminated at different times of the year by a shaft of sunlight. The interpreter at the site is fascinating and our trip there was the highlight of our archeological tour around Sedona.
 

m61376

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Any other suggestions?

Finally going to try to put together an itinerary of sorts, and was hoping a few more Tuggers would be kind enough to post other suggestions for good day trips and restaurant recommendations. Any good shopping (always a nice diversion ;-))? I know there is great sight-seeing, but am totally unfamiliar with the area so don't know what would make for good day trips and I have had so many things going on here that I haven't had the time to research things- so I was hoping to impose on other's expertise for assistance here.

If anyone did a similar trip and has more info., I would sure appreciate the help!!
 

sjuhawk_jd

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Finally going to try to put together an itinerary of sorts, and was hoping a few more Tuggers would be kind enough to post other suggestions for good day trips and restaurant recommendations. Any good shopping (always a nice diversion ;-))? I know there is great sight-seeing, but am totally unfamiliar with the area so don't know what would make for good day trips and I have had so many things going on here that I haven't had the time to research things- so I was hoping to impose on other's expertise for assistance here.

If anyone did a similar trip and has more info., I would sure appreciate the help!!
How about chilling by the hot tub :whoopie:
Use the exercise room/gym
 

eal

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We went to the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale on Sunday and it was absolutely amazing! Beautiful building, fabulous exhibits, I was blown away.
 

Passepartout

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Seeing that the op is from NY, in order to get a REAL Southwest experience, I'd suggest at least an overnight in the Sedona area. It's really too far for just a day-trip. Then perhaps take a Pink Jeep (or similar) tour the next morning before moving on. They are fun ways to get out into the red rocks- and it's something completely unlike you'd do at home. Even at that it would take another overnight to see the Grand Canyon and do it any sort of justice. Do-able, but not on a day trip from Phoenix.

While shopping is a nice diversion, compared to NY, Phoenix area is pretty pale by comparison.

Jim Ricks
 

Lydlady

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We went to the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale on Sunday and it was absolutely amazing! Beautiful building, fabulous exhibits, I was blown away.
This is a must-see for sure. Be prepared to spend at least a few hours there.
 

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I grew up spending a great deal of my summer vacations in Phoenix (Mesa, actually) when my grandparents retired there. Two of my uncles later moved there and I think of AZ as a second home. As a vacation spot, the desert is best for active outdoorsy people who enjoy hiking or for more laid back vacationers who enjoy golfing. Of course, the Phoenix area is something like the Promised Land for Canadians and retirees, too. With that said, as a vacation spot in terms of attractions, the desert doesn’t have a lot to offer. Think of Phoenix as one big giant urban sprawl area with all the typical attractions of a suburb. Yes, there is a zoo and sports teams and fancy golf courses and Sedona and the Grand Canyon are within driving distance but in terms of tourist attractions, it’s kind of a stretch to find anything of much significance.

There are plenty of small things to do in the Phoenix area and lots of places to eat but it’s not built up for tourists the way say Orlando, Branson, Williamsburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, the Rocky Mountains, the CA desert (maybe), etc…

I love Phoenix, don’t get me wrong but I think it is a great place to live, not so much to spend a week on vacation doing tourist things. It can be done, don’t get me wrong but outside of golfing, spending a week in Phoenix without golfing is kind of like spending a week at a ski resort and not skiing. Sure, there are other things to do but enough to fill a week? Maybe, but it depends on your vacation style.

I see that you are from New York, so I would imagine just being in Phoenix will be such a change of scenery and weather, that alone will make a week of doing relatively nothing seem like much more. One thing to be prepared for is cooler weather. You can usually bank on sun and pleasant to very pleasant temps in December but I would say half of the days will be surprisingly crisp and the nights are always cool – so pack a light to medium jacket.

Make sure you get outside a lot when you are in Phoenix. The sun is the best tourist attraction there is, especially when you come from December in New York.
 

PamMo

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We just came back from a fantastic week of hiking in Sedona, and I'd highly recommend a day trip up to Red Rock Country!

For Phoenix, the Heard Museum (www.heard.org/) is a great place to spend an afternoon - after a leisurely lunch at Vincent Market Bistro (www.vincentsoncamelback.com/bistro)
 
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lainie3

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Phoenix Restaurants

Hi All,

My daughter and I will also be in Phoenix next week. Can anyone give me any recommendations for restaurants? What about T. Cooks at the Royal Palm? Does anyone know anything about that restaurant?
 

deemarket

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Visiting Phoenix - Shopping

Finally going to try to put together an itinerary of sorts, and was hoping a few more Tuggers would be kind enough to post other suggestions for good day trips and restaurant recommendations. Any good shopping (always a nice diversion ;-))? I know there is great sight-seeing, but am totally unfamiliar with the area so don't know what would make for good day trips and I have had so many things going on here that I haven't had the time to research things- so I was hoping to impose on other's expertise for assistance here.

If anyone did a similar trip and has more info., I would sure appreciate the help!!
Biltmore Shopping Mall -24th St and Camelback Rd, Upscale Shopping- Saks, Ralph Lauren, Macy's, Chico's http://www.shopbiltmore.com/Map/

On way to Sedona -few miles north of phoenix -Anthem Outlets- Located on the NORTHWEST CORNER of I-17 and Anthem Way, I-17 - Exit 229

Scottsdale area - Scottsdale Fashion Square - Very Large upscale mall - worth the visit. http://www.fashionsquare.com/

Hope you enjoy your visit! If you want to post where you are staying, perhaps we can let you know what is close by for restaurants, etc.
 

dwojo

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Finally going to try to put together an itinerary of sorts, and was hoping a few more Tuggers would be kind enough to post other suggestions for good day trips and restaurant recommendations. Any good shopping (always a nice diversion ;-))? I know there is great sight-seeing, but am totally unfamiliar with the area so don't know what would make for good day trips and I have had so many things going on here that I haven't had the time to research things- so I was hoping to impose on other's expertise for assistance here.

If anyone did a similar trip and has more info., I would sure appreciate the help!!
The Apache trail is a nice scenic drive and there are some other tourist attractions in the vicinity of the trail.
 

deemarket

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The Apache trail is a nice scenic drive and there are some other tourist attractions in the vicinity of the trail.
Ok yes - Apache Trail would be a very scenic drive where you will see the untouched desert scenery. We took visitors from Atlanta there and they really enjoyed it. A must see on the way is Tortilla Flats which is a restaurant and bar (the bar stools are made with saddles).

If you like a little gambling, I would suggest Casino Arizona at Talking Stick (there are two) on the boundary to Scottsdale off the 101 and Indian Bend (Exit 44). Great restaurants and buffet to eat at oh and of course the slots and they have one of the best poker rooms in the states in IMHO.
 

patty5ia

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We were there last week. We had wonderful sushi at Kyoto in Old Town Scottsdale. Real Food in the Quarter across the street from Kierland Commons. Hike up Pinnacle Peak. Hikes in Cave Creek area.
 

m61376

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Hope you enjoy your visit! If you want to post where you are staying, perhaps we can let you know what is close by for restaurants, etc.
Thanks- we're staying at Marriott Canyon Villas in Phoenix.
 

deemarket

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Your Phoenix stay

Thanks- we're staying at Marriott Canyon Villas in Phoenix.
You will be so close to the Desert Ridge Shopping Mall with so many great restaurants - full service and great fast food IMHO like Rubio's for fish tacos, etc and the famous California Burger stop In And Out Burger. Then there is the shopping and movie theater. Check this out http://www.shopdesertridge.com/shopping/dining.aspx

Costco is not far to the west on Cave Creek and the 101 if you need to make that stop. I really like the Whole Foods stores because I like to eat and buy organic. It is just south of the 101 and Scottsdale Rd on Mayo Blvd. This is one of the premium Whole Foods locations. They have several pick up at the counter food choices to eat in or take with you. They have two salad bars one organic the other not. And a hot food bar specialty cheese counter and a deli. And of course all the grocery choices.

Not far is another outside Mall area at the southeast corner of Scottsdale Rd and Bell/Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd a mile south of the 101 Freeway and Scottsdale Rd. A lot of different kinds of stores and places to eat. Now you are in Scottsdale and you can take a ride down Scottsdale Road and see the nice resorts along the way to Scottsdale downtown and Scottsdale's 5th Ave area and the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall at Camelback and Scottsdale Rd.

Of course I am assuming you will have a car. Let me know if you have any specific things you are looking to experience.
 
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