What to do/see in Phoenix - Sunday and Weeknights - Early August
July 12, 2017 10:38 AM   Subscribe

I'll be in Phoenix on business for a week in earl August and have some extra time, so wanted to see if anyone has suggestions for things to see or do. (More details inside.)

Random details:
Time is the first week of August.
I'll have one full Sunday free (arriving Saturday), Saturday afternoon, and weeknights. I have a Saturday that I can spend either in Phoenix or Flagstaff.
Have a rental car, unlimited mileage/gas, and don't mind driving.
Staying in Tempe/Scottsdale (near Scottsdale Rd and the 202).
Probably alone, but may have a friend along.
I live in the Mojave, so I'm used to the heat (although the humidity in the Sonora is annoying).
Budget is flexible, but prefer to stay under a $200 a day (excluding travel and most meals).
Middle age, reasonably fit male, with the associated privilege of not having to worry too much for my safety.

Places I've been in the past:
Art Museum
Heard Museum
Museum of Musical Instruments
That old west tourist town near the NE area (not my idea or desire)
Tuscon (I wanted a hotdog)
The lakes past Apache Junction
Tortilla Flat

I generally don't much care for things like night clubs, long lines, or bro-attractions.
I do like nature, museums, cars, anything offbeat, manufacturing (plant tours and such), books, anything I haven't seen or experienced previously, hiking, offroading, learning about other cultures and groups, history.

Other bits:
I've thought about the zoo on past trips, but skipped it for a few reasons.
If anyone could recommend good places to eat in the Scottsdale/202 area, or some good used book stores, that would be really helpful, too.

On my return trip I'm going to stop by Flagstaff for some cave tours.

I've looked through this previous Ask and some of the suggestions are great, but it's a year and a half old, so figured it might be okay to post a question.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or tips.
posted by BenevolentActor to Travel & Transportation around Phoenix, AZ (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Metallica concert on august 4?
posted by Sassyfras at 10:48 AM on July 12, 2017

Book store: My personal favourite is Changing Hands.

Out door experience: Phoenix desert botanical garden.

You really missed out on a couple of tricks in Tucson. "Hotdog"... My gosh. The pinball museum there is amazing, to start.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 10:54 AM on July 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding the desert botanical garden.

For food, we enjoyed the food at the Scottsdale Brewing Company, but if you haven't been, I highly recommend going into Phoenix and eating at the Barrio Cafe. By far the best meal we had in Phoenix.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 11:04 AM on July 12, 2017

If you find yourself down near Tuscon again, the Titan Missile Museum is worth seeing.

If you have some time on your Flagstaff drive, you could ditch I-17 and wind down 260 and 87 through Tonto National Forrest. Lots of pretty country that way.
posted by craven_morhead at 11:13 AM on July 12, 2017

-Eat at tuck shop.
-Want to do some shopping for some really cheap designer duds? Hit up Last Chance (but be prepared for crowds and jostling).
-Eat at St. Francis
-Ice Cream at Mary Coyle
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 11:31 AM on July 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Thirding the botanical garden.

Great hiking in South Mountain and Lost Dutchman.

Pizza at Pizzeria Bianco. Pasties at the Cornish Pasty Co.!! Chill pub food and beer at Sleepy Dog Brewing Co. in Tempe (often with food trucks in the parking lot).

Zoos are hard in Arizona this time of year because it is just so oppressively hot - the animals don't want to be outside any more than you do.
posted by honeybee413 at 11:41 AM on July 12, 2017

Also, honestly, even though you're used to the heat, it's been BRUTAL and it may not be a great idea to hike right now. Maybe go out to South Mountain at night and look at the lights of the city. it's STUNNING.
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 12:29 PM on July 12, 2017

Also, if you are there the first Friday of the month - First Friday's - art walk and free admission to the Phx Art Museum. Vendors and such. Lots of fun. Great people watching and energy.
posted by Sassyfras at 5:07 PM on July 12, 2017

Taliesin West (Frank Lloyd Wright's "camp" in the desert). Close to your Scottsdale location, and they have evening tours, too.

Sedona was beautiful to look at but so touristy I drove right through. Up that way I'd suggest the three NPS historic sites: Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well, and Tuzigoot. All are close enough together that you could do them in half a day.

Arcosanti/Cosanti are also pretty cool.

Phoenix has a ton of fantastic Modern architecture. If you're interested in driving around and seeing some, head over to Modern Phoenix - they've got some great maps and driving tours.
posted by Preserver at 6:05 PM on July 12, 2017

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, all. Looks like I'll get to the botanical garden on Saturday, then Tuscon on Sunday for the Titan Missile Museum (and a hotdog).
posted by BenevolentActor at 10:51 PM on July 13, 2017

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