Pre Pigskin Party Pastimes Peeks
January 27, 2008 8:36 PM   Subscribe

Interesting, unique and quirky things to do and see in Glendale, AZ in the 3 days leading up to the Superbowl next Sunday...

I'll be in the area on Superbowl related business the 3 days leading up to the game. I will be very busy working in the area 90% of the time...

But I figure I will have 3 or 4 periods of downtime lasting about 1-2 hours each. I've been to Vegas twice and that's the farthest out west on the mainland i've ever been.

Help this NYC lifer not just order room service and watch TV to kill time. I will have access to a company car.
I've never been to the state and would love any quick must see's or do's that don't relate to the mega event and related touristy things cities usually set up for the throngs of people pouring into town. It could be food related (love all types of food), unique shops or stores whatever.
many thanks in advance hive mind
posted by stavx to Travel & Transportation around Glendale, AZ (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Will you be staying in Glendale itself? There are quite a few great vintage/antique/junk shops there, could make for fun browsing and you could always ship anything home that you couldn't carry.
posted by padraigin at 8:41 PM on January 27, 2008

100% quirky.
posted by Exchequer at 8:46 PM on January 27, 2008

Ugh, man.

Glendale's antique shops are weird and not particularly awesome. If you're not into antiquing, you'll instead want to kill yourself.

The "hip" and "with it" part of town would be down in Scottsdale and Tempe, on Mill or Rural/Scottsdale Rd.

About a half hour from the stadium is Stax Burger Bistro, a nifty mini-burger paradise that's right next to Scottsdale Fashion Square and a bit of a mini shopping mecca.

In downtown Tempe, in the "college" area of Mill, there are some great restaurants, including Caffe Boa, a fabulous mediterranean-italian place that typically requires reservations but is great food.

The Wrigley Mansion is a great way to blow an evening and not that bad a drive, but it's typically only that great with a date. You can simply peruse the grounds and enjoy yourself, have dinner in their restaurant or the bar and all that jazz.

Not exactly helpful, but Glendale and Peoria are kinda... dead. (Much like my side of town, the east valley.) Downtown Phoenix is regrettably, sadly, wildly unimpressive, but the Science Center can be fun, if you're 12. (Or go on Friday nights for "adult night," again more a date thing.)

There's also Pizzeria Bianco which is supposed to have the VERY best pizza in the ENTIRE country, including New York. (The owner is from the Bronx apparently.) I've never been because the wait was... in the three hour range, but I think that was just after this rating came out.

Good luck. Regrettably, nothing is "close by" but with the wonders of the our freeways, you can bounce on the 101, the 10 or the 60 and get from point a to point b pretty damn easily, especially on the weekends. (You just take Grand, which is sketch as hell but not terrible, down to downtown Phoenix and you're there. But again, nothing to really look at.)

Hope this helps.
posted by disillusioned at 12:12 AM on January 28, 2008

Personally, I dig Glendale's little antique stores and whatnot, but yeah... you've gotta be into that kind of thing. The action is out in the East Valley -- come on out to Old Town Scottsdale or Mill Ave in Tempe if you wanna grab a bite to eat or mix it up with the revellers.

There really are a million great places to eat here -- I mostly crib my fine dining choices from the the Southwest board at Chowhound. Totally reliable... nothing mentioned in there has ever steered me wrong.

Phoenix doesn't have a lot of "quirky," really. I mean... it kinda does, but really, this is a vast suburban wasteland. If you're into playing outside, though, this town is awesome. There's tons of hiking right in town -- from where you are, you could head out to the White Tanks or hike in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve within a few minutes -- and if you don't mind driving a bit, the trip up to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon is totally worth it.

Tucson's got a lot of weirdness, too. I think the Desert Museum down there is a must see and during the week I bet ya could get in to see the Airplane Graveyard.

More locally, the Desert Botanical Gardens are a pretty good introduction to life in the desert, the different plants and whatnot. I dunno, take a look through New Times Best of 2007... it's not a bad overview, really.

Disillusioned -- you're not wrong, but downtown is starting to get a little hipper. The Lost Leaf and the Roosevelt down by 7th st and Roosevelt, that stuff is alright.
posted by ph00dz at 5:10 AM on January 28, 2008

If you like pizza, or good food in general, I would second the recommendation for Pizzeria Bianco. The wait still is long (it's usually almost all regulars), but you just make a night of it. You can either go 45 minutes before they open and get in line for first seating, or you can come at your leisure, put your name in and go next door to Bar Bianco. Have a cheese plate or some olives and drink some beer/wine.

Why do I bother defending this place? Since I first went almost 3 years ago, it has been our go-to location for any special occasion. No one I have ever recommended it to has ever not loved it. It's cheap, too boot! Average $14 a pizza, lots of wine by the glass under $10.

Yeah, there's not much going on in Peoria.
posted by lizjohn at 6:08 AM on January 28, 2008

If you have someone to go with and even the slightest interest in southwestern plant life, check out the botanical gardens in north Tempe. Quite impressive. More impressive in the spring, but a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Besides, if you're from someplace cold, the sheer novelty of being able to walk around outside in February may be enough. There's a zoo next door, but I've never really had a chance to check it out.

I only lived in the area 9 years, so I'll ask my girlfriend who spent her first twenty-something years in Tempe and get back to you with more suggestions this evening.
posted by ErWenn at 7:57 AM on January 28, 2008

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