Vacationy things to do, see, eat in Phoenix?
September 20, 2018 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Myself and co-worker are going to be in Phoenix for a few day of training (actually in some community just outside apparently) the third week of October. While we'll be busy most of the time we'll be there we do have one day and potentially one evening free plus a rental car to get around. Looking for recommendations of must see things we could fit into a relaxed day off whithout consuming all day driving.

I'm into photography and accessible outdoors; my companion is a bit of a foodie. So recommendations for an easish < 1 hour hike with a view or interesting natural or artifical features and/or suggestions on where to eat on a moderate expense account budget would fit into our interests.
posted by Mitheral to Travel & Transportation around Phoenix, AZ (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Depending on how far you are willing to drive (it's maybe an hour from downtown), Lost Dutchman east of the city in Apache Junction has a loop trail that's a nice easy hike with cool views. There's a bit of elevation change, but only gentle. There's also a bit of walking around the top of the peak at the south end of Central Avenue -- I only went up there once, and I'm not sure of even the name anymore.

There's also at least one nice trail around the mountain in the north part of the city. Can't remember the name, hopefully someone will be along shortly who's local and remembers what I've forgot. Not Camelback (do NOT do Camelback for "accessible" -- there's a lot of vertical and some relatively easy scrambling. It's a great trail but it's not easy -- I probably couldn't hack it in my current been-flying-a-desk-for-six-years state).
posted by Alterscape at 7:24 AM on September 20, 2018


If you can muster a round trip drive of 4 hours, Sedona is beautiful.
posted by exogenous at 7:45 AM on September 20, 2018


The Phoenix Mystery Castle is pretty cool. Los Dos Molinos is very good mexican food. Get the Adobo.
posted by trbrts at 8:30 AM on September 20, 2018


If you just want some beautiful scenic views with little/no hiking involved (I think there are hiking paths etc but many people just drive up) head to South Mountain scenic lookout. Fantastic views. Only 15-20 mins from downtown Phoenix, if that's where you'll be.

Eat: Pizzeria Bianco, Restaurant Progress
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:32 AM on September 20, 2018


Eat at La Santisima! I don’t even usually like Mexican food, but it is SO GOOD! I recommend the Oaxacan Black Mole Quesa.

As far as doing stuff and not spending all day in the car, knowing which outside city in the Phoenix metro area you’re going to be in would help. Phoenix is big! You don’t want to be criss-crossing the valley; you’d just spend all day in your car.
posted by Weeping_angel at 9:27 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I have been wanting to go to Pheonix for ages to check out the Museum of Musical Instruments I have heard it is incredible.
also maybe check & see if Wonderspaces is open yet as the date gets closer
posted by wowenthusiast at 10:01 AM on September 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Museum of Musical Inatruments is indeed cool, especially if you're interested in music from around the world.

I also love Desert Botanical Gardens in Scottsdale, and Cornish Pasty Co in Tempe.
posted by sugarbomb at 10:09 AM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Seconding everything sugarbomb said. Desert Botanical Gardens would be a nice walk and it's close to the Pasty Co in Tempe.
posted by entropyiswinning at 10:33 AM on September 20, 2018


I much prefer the Phoenix Zoo to the Desert Botanical Gardens, but that choice probably depends on how much you love seeing animals. The Phoenix Zoo has some really great exhibits, and it's literally right next door to the botanical gardens.
posted by meese at 12:04 PM on September 20, 2018


I have been wanting to go to Pheonix for ages to check out the Museum of Musical Instruments I have heard it is incredible.

If music is your thing in any way (or like geography and music) it is actually incredible. Not cheap and there's not much else in the immediate vicinity, but I have family in the "outside of Phoenix" area and I like going here.

I also love Desert Botanical Gardens in Scottsdale

Yep, it's not that far and is lovely. When I was there they had a cool art installation and it's pretty accessible walking unless the weather is beastly.
posted by jessamyn at 2:53 PM on September 20, 2018


I had this exact issue a while ago and had a truly wonderful day at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, doing an (excellent) tour and exploring the desert sites in the grounds. Just fantastic.
posted by tardigrade at 3:40 PM on September 20, 2018


Weeping_angel: "As far as doing stuff and not spending all day in the car, knowing which outside city in the Phoenix metro area you’re going to be in would help"

Found out the business and our hotel is in Chandler. We are flying to/from Phoenix though.
posted by Mitheral at 7:13 PM on September 20, 2018


I really like eating at Matt's Big Breakfast.
posted by kensington314 at 10:32 PM on September 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Seconding Matt's Big Breakfast. I did not have a great Phoenix experience, but Matt's is unequivocally awesome. It'll be a hike from Chandler, though. Cornish Pasty is also solid.
posted by Alterscape at 8:09 PM on September 21, 2018


So for *REASONS* and family obligations I unfortunately didn't manage to get to any of these places. I did get to Papago Park where a fairly easy hike got us good views of downtown and a hike up hieroglyphic trail where recent rains greened up the foliage and had water in the creek.

The only place we ate of note was Rúla Búla which really did have excellent Fish and Chips.
posted by Mitheral at 7:35 AM on October 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


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