Phun in Phoenix: Time to Burn
October 27, 2013 6:26 AM   Subscribe

The Corrocio family is, this very moment, headed to a Phoenix resort for some much needed R&R. But, we arrive there around 9am and can't check in until 3pm. Dear MePhytes, what would be a phun way to spend our 5 or so hours?
posted by ecorrocio to Travel & Transportation around Phoenix, AZ (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If it's close enough, maybe go for a low-key hike up Camelback Mountain? It was always a highlight for me back when I was visiting my grandparents in the area every year.

Also (and pardon me if I'm just telling you stuff you already know!) I'm sure the resort will be happy to let you leave your bags when you arrive in the morning, so you don't have to worry about them. And in my experience, the "3 PM check-in" is almost never strict -- generally hotels and resorts let me check in whenever the room is ready, which can be as early as 9am if no one was staying in the room the night before and is often as early as noon. Definitely worth asking about when you arrive.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:21 AM on October 27, 2013

Seconding taking a nice hike. Today will have a high of about 90, but until 1 or 2 PM, you'll still be down in the 70s or 80s and have beautiful weather. Another option would be Piestewa Peak- this is a little less crowded than Camelback (and the views are a little less dramatic), but a nice area for a desert hike for an hour or two. North Mountain has some nice hikes and nice views, too.

Today will also be a great day to visit the Phoenix Zoo or the Desert Botanical Garden. Both are right by each other on the east side of town, near South Scottsdale. The Botanical Garden is definitely a bit less kid-friendly, but it's still beautiful and a great walk for a couple hours with lots of amazing plants and exhibits. The Zoo just opened a bunch of brand new buildings and exhibits, and the mild temperatures should have lots of animals out and about today. Of the two though, the Zoo will probably be more crowded today... perfect day, Sunday, etc.

I'm assuming you're staying on the Camelback corridor in one of the resorts near Camelback and Scottsdale? If you can post back and tell us the rough area of your resort it'd make it easier to come up with more suggestions, too. Phoenix is so huge that if you're staying in Cave Creek somewhere, I don't want to be giving you ideas about things to do that are 45 minutes away, for example.

Definitely check with the resort if you can check in early, too... it's not quite peak season yet so they should be able to do something for you.
posted by Old Man McKay at 8:10 AM on October 27, 2013

Forgot to mention- if you're near Scottsdale and you're an architecture buff or enjoy Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West has good tours that last for an hour or two. It's a very popular tourist stop and you learn a lot about just how influential Wright was.

And, if North Scottsdale isn't too far for you, one of the most unique museums in America is here: the Musical Instrument Museum. It's very cool, and they also have an in-house cafe that makes all their food using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. All told it's probably the most popular museum in Phoenix.
posted by Old Man McKay at 8:18 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]

Oh gosh, yes, if you're anywhere near Teliesin West absolutely check that out, it's lovely and peaceful and absolutely perfect for a relaxation-centric trip.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 8:42 AM on October 27, 2013

Response by poster: Great suggestions! We are here... And may try the botanical gardens. Staying at the Hyatt in Scottsdale. Thanks!
posted by ecorrocio at 8:57 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Update: we went right over to the botanical gardens - fantastic! We had a nice breakfast on the shady patio at Gertrude's, then walked the gardens. Beautiful. I'd recommend to anyone visiting. Thanks.
posted by ecorrocio at 1:41 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Glad you enjoyed it, and hope you enjoy your stay! The desert is beautiful now that fall is here, and the garden is always great for a relaxing walk and a nice lunch. Let us know if you'd like any other recommendations- lots of great MeFites here in Phoenix!
posted by Old Man McKay at 3:03 PM on October 27, 2013

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