Girls' Weekend in PHX?
September 6, 2011 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Phoenix for a girls' long weekend - recommend some fun things, please.

A group of girl friends are planning a weekend get together this fall. Due to the fact we are coming in from different cities where we live & work, Phoenix is looking like the meetup place.

We are in our 30's & 40's. We like cocktails, good food, spas, and a bit of gambling so any area casino information is good. We also might be up for some outdoorsy stuff if the weather is amenable. We're all in pretty decent shape.

Other than that, we have some diverse tastes, so feel free to suggest hi brow, low brow, quirky, or otherwise. for the sake of this question, assume Phoenix is the destination. We may be looking at other cities if circumstances change, but I'd love great info on PHX for now
posted by pointystick to Travel & Transportation around Phoenix, AZ (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Hotel/resort reservations are also welcome. I think I didn't make that clear. Thank you!
posted by pointystick at 8:12 AM on September 6, 2011

Add this to your "high brow" list: a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale. This was Wright's winter home. I visited earlier this year with my wife, and if you're a fan of American architecture, this is not to be missed.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:23 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Phoenix is home to Nordstrom's Last Chance outlet. There are some great deals to be had if you are up for digging through racks of clothes and shoes.

Depending on where you're coming from, a stop at In-n-Out Burger is a good idea if don't have them back home. My favorite lowish brow place to eat when I'm there is the Cornish Pasty Company in Tempe.
posted by honeybee413 at 8:48 AM on September 6, 2011

Oh, and the Mystery Castle, which is fantastically weird.
posted by honeybee413 at 8:51 AM on September 6, 2011

Scottsdale has a ton of resorts with spas. The Arizona Biltmore is a personal favorite but it's very pricey.

Seconding Last Chance, boy do I miss that place.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:52 AM on September 6, 2011

Sorry if I wasn't clear. Scottsdale has a lot of resorts, but the Biltmore is in Phoenix.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:53 AM on September 6, 2011

For outdoorsy stuff, you may also want to look into hiking up Squaw Piestewa Peak. It'll take you about 90 minutes to go up and down...
posted by BobbyVan at 9:01 AM on September 6, 2011

Fantastic cocktails and a good, old fashioned, darkened bar/restaurant with tufted leather seats can be found at Mabels on Main in Scottsdale.

My favorite restaurant in the area is Petite Maison, a tiny, lovely French restaurant run by wonderful people. Great French food, but Thurs-Sat, they do "late night" from 10-12, including two strange/different entrees announced day-of on Twitter for $8-$12.

The Phoenix Art Museum is pretty sweet, and has a lovely exhibit of "fireflies": hundreds of suspended LEDs hanging in a darkened, mirrored room. Definitely cool. (Along with a bunch of other stuff, but that's my favorite thing there and it's permanent.)

The Arizona Science Center has Adults Night Out on the first Friday of nearly every month.

House of Tricks in Tempe is a beautiful, primarily outdoor restaurant with a fire pit and cool front lawn that serves amazing food. It's in downtown Tempe, which is central to pretty much everything.

Hotel Valley Ho is a cool, weird-vibe hotel and pool and lounge area. Really neat.

I'd skip Taliesin West, personally. It was... kind of cool to see a bunch of rock and mesh and such, but it wasn't what I was expecting and was mostly a boring way to blow $45 or so per person. The pictures do it justice, and you can get away with just that.

Wrigley Mansion has incredible views of the entire city and a lovely lunch or dinner. Overlooks the whole Valley. Really neat place, and you can wander/explore the mansion.

If you're here in December (which is Fall here...), the Tempe Festival of the Arts is loads of fun.

AZ 88 in Scottsdale is a hip restaurant with a rotating massive art exhibit, great outdoor seating, and located on the "Scottsdale Mall" (which is NOT the Scottsdale Fashion Square that has Barneys or Nordstrom or whatever; that's different). Great eats, open til midnight basically every night, and they fly in Carnegie Deli cheesecake from NY.
posted by disillusioned at 1:35 PM on September 6, 2011

If I were getting together with friends I'd want to stay at the Hotel Valley Ho. It is in "old town" Scottsdale which has shops (kitch and high end), restaurants, nightlift and shopping at the Scottsdale Fashion Square. The Hotel has a great happy hour (little brie sammies, how I love you) and a spa, pool, etc. 2nd AZ 88 as well for a night out (walking distance from the "Ho" if it isn't 120 degrees). Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts are also nearby.

There are a few casinos around, but I'm not a gambler, so no recommendations:
Gila River
Wild Horse Pass (newly built)
Casino Arizona
and the Harrah's Ak-Chin

If you have time and are so inclined, the Grand Canyon is about a 5 hour drive north. It really is gorgeous. Otherwise there is lots of hiking around the Phx metro area.

Have fun!
posted by TishSnave at 3:06 PM on September 6, 2011

If you can handle some heavy duty food, get a frybread taco at the Fry Bread House. You will not be disappointed.
posted by scose at 8:25 PM on September 6, 2011

My cousins who live in the area took me to Pinnacle Peak. It's not too stressful a hike, and you can take it at your own pace. You'll want to bring plenty of water and sun gear. Great views of the valley.
posted by xiaolongbao at 9:26 PM on September 6, 2011

I also heartily second BobbyVan's recommendation of Taliesin West.
posted by xiaolongbao at 9:27 PM on September 6, 2011

Seconding Valley Ho, great stay!

Eddie V's Seafood place in Scottsdale, Keirland area. share the Butter Cake.
posted by jennstra at 10:17 PM on September 6, 2011

Response by poster: These are all awesome! Thanks so much!
posted by pointystick at 5:55 AM on September 7, 2011

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