5 Hours in Phoenix
March 3, 2008 8:44 AM   Subscribe

What to do in Phoenix for 5 hours?

I have a 5 hour layover in Phoenix, AZ on Monday from 5 pm to 10 pm.

Is this enough time/worth it to leave the airport and do something in town?

What should I see that is open after 5?

About how much would a taxi cost from the airport into the city?

Is there anything to do in the airport itself?
posted by rmless to Travel & Transportation around Phoenix, AZ (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The airport is conveniently located about 10-15 mins away from both downtown/central Phoenix and downtown Tempe (where Arizona State Univ is located). Therefore, plenty of culinary and cultural things are doable. Phoenix's downtown-proper is mostly empty after business hours, but the surrounding area has plenty of trendy restaurants and hang outs. Downtown Tempe is a college town and everything will be open after 5pm.

Cabs aren't cheap in Phoenix (but it's a relatively short ride to either downtown) and you'll have to arrange for your ride back to the airport ahead of time. You won't have luck hailing a cab on the street.

Anything in particular you're interested in doing? If it were me, I'd get some of that great Mexican food that I miss as a Phoenix expat. First stop would be the food court at Phoenix Ranch Market. If you're not a fan of Mexican food, there are still plenty of great restaurants and decent bars in both downtown Phoenix and Tempe.

For cultural stuff, you're close enough to the Phoenix Art Museum and there's a gallery scene downtown too (someone else here can surely guide you to that).
posted by mullacc at 9:48 AM on March 3, 2008

This is what I debate every time I go to visit my in-laws. The Phoenix downtown library is really cool and would be an easy way to kill some time. If you get hungry and want some killer Mexican food, check out Los Dos Molinos. I go there every time I go to Phoenix.
posted by trbrts at 9:54 AM on March 3, 2008

Unfortunately, Los Dos is closed on Mondays.
posted by mullacc at 9:58 AM on March 3, 2008

Best answer: Cab from airport to downtown will run you 12-20 bucks depending on the company. (I know, it's a wide range.)

It should take you 15 minutes to get downtown, depending on the time of day. You could visit the Phoenix Art Museum and then run across the street for some delicious, authentic Thai food at Thai Hut.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 10:16 AM on March 3, 2008

For a few more bucks, you could also cab it to Copper Square. Plenty to eat, drink and see there.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 10:29 AM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks! I'll be coming back from Mexico, actually, so I'll probably have eaten enough Mexican food, but do love Thai.

Keep the suggestions coming!

And if anyone wants to meet up for dinner (I know you guys just had a meetup...but you didn't meet me!) me-mail me, I'd love to meet the fine folks of Arizona.
posted by rmless at 10:40 AM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: Looks like the Art Museum is closed Mondays- are there any other artsy things that might be open? I like museums and galleries a lot.
posted by rmless at 10:43 AM on March 3, 2008

Best answer: Desert Botanical Gardens. I would suggest the Arizona Science Center - it's cool! But it looks like their hours are 10 am to 5 pm. Sheesh, I didn't realize how much stuff is closed on Mondays. That makes it tough!

Here's an entertainment calendar for the Phoenix area.

Best of luck! Have fun!!
posted by Sassyfras at 10:55 AM on March 3, 2008

Go to La Tolteca on Van Buren west of 7th Street a bit (it's got a huge sign on the south side of the road). If you order the super burrito and submit evidence that you finished it on the premises it's on me via paypal. It's got some murals that I think technically qualify it as a museum. That's probably the only thing I'd miss about Phoenix if I left.
posted by moift at 11:16 AM on March 3, 2008

Crap, it's EAST of 7th street a bit.
posted by moift at 11:17 AM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: Any cute clothing stores or record stores in Phoenix or Tempe since the museum thing seems out?
Would Tempe be a better bet to walk around and kill some time?
posted by rmless at 11:31 AM on March 3, 2008

Best answer: Eastside Records in Tempe, which is near Mill Ave, the main drag through downtown. It's also right next to a Buffalo Exchange.

Eastside was my destination of choice back in my punk rock days, but I have no idea if it's the hippest thing around anymore. However, it may be ideal for you since it puts you right in one of the few areas where it's feasible to walk around and shop/eat/whatever. Also near Eastside is Casey Moore's, a great neighborhood bar/restaurant with lots of outdoor seating (and the location of one of our few Phoenix meetups!).
posted by mullacc at 11:47 AM on March 3, 2008

Best answer: Also, there's an informal cab stand at the gas station on the corner of Mill & University.
posted by mullacc at 11:49 AM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!
Tempe seems like a good choice for me, though the botanical gardens also sound awesome. Maybe I'll do both.

You guys have been so helpful, I appreciate you answering my ever-longer list of questions.
If anyone wants to come out for dinner or a drink in Tempe, I'll buy you a beer!
posted by rmless at 12:12 PM on March 3, 2008

Response by poster: (oh and I will be there next Monday, not today)
posted by rmless at 12:21 PM on March 3, 2008

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