I've heard nothing but good things about Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale.
So as I mentioned in the San Diego thread, my better half and I are headed down the Arizona for a few days, renting a car, then driving to San Diego for a few days for the 2nd half of our trip. Anyone from Arizona (Phoenix area) and/or is very familiar with the area recommend any must sees places to visit and great places to eat in Phoenix and the state in general as we have a rental the entire time? We do plan on driving up to the Grand Canyon one day (still deciding if we want to drive back that night as we have no hotels booked near the Canyon).
We prefer off the beaten path type stuff and places where the locals go to eat. We did get a guide book so have a decent handle on some of the more popular touristy destinations.
Thanks a ton...
I've heard nothing but good things about Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale.
When are you going to be in the Phoenix area?
A sentence is worth a thousand words.
The week after next. Probably not the most ideal time to go down, but it's the way things worked out. Might have to check out Amy's.
Phoenix > Grand Canyon is about 3 1/2 hours. If youre thinking about getting a hotel up there just get one in Flagstaff(which I assume would be alot cheaper) instead, its only an hour away. You can go up there and come back in a day but thats pushing it. Also plan ahead and take any snacks/food you want with you, like any tourist trap that shit is expensive if you buy it there.
One thing you should defiantly do though is when heading back to Phoenix take 89A South instead of I-17, its an amazing scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon and then into Sedona. Sedona is pretty touristy though, but lots of outdoor activities to be had around it. If you do take the scenic route it adds about two hours(Sedona is terrible for traffic) but more than worth it.
My favorite places to eat that are local in Phoenix are
Matt's big breakfast $ (must like pork to eat here)
Lux $ (great coffee)
Ritos Mexican Market $(Cash only closed on weekends)
Pane Bianco $(sandwich's during the day pizza at night)
Carolina's $(authentic Mexican food in a shady part of town)
Duck and Decanter $(Sandwich shop)
Welcome diner. $$
St Francis $$ (Country french great for dinner)
Windsor $$ (next to a wine bar and icecream parlor)
La Grande Orange Pizzeria $$
Moira $$ (sushi)
Dicks Hideaway $$(A bar with great Mexican food)
Sierra Bonita $$ (My sisters restaurant)
Lost Leaf $ (Bar)
Bikini Lounge $ (Dive Bar)
Rum Bar $$ (Bar)
The Vig $$(Bar)
Side Bar $ (Bar)
If you are staying overnight in Phoenix you can get some great deals on resort hotels such as the Blitmore, Valley Ho, Phonecian, Camelback Inn and Royal Palm.
Last edited by Agripa; 06-27-2013 at 06:30 AM.
Places to eat: Matt's Big breakfast, chino bandito, four peaks brewery (located in Tempe; close drive though). Those are all local favorites.
Phoenix to the Canyon is a fucking haul. Besides, it might be worth it to see the Canyon at sunset (the colors are awesome), stay the night, then come back the next morning and see other parts before taking off.
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express right outside the Canyon.
Fairly brand new building (built in the last 5-6 years or so I think) and it was clean. It was like $100 a night or something about 4 years ago. It's also like 1 minute from the park entrance. Might be worth planning your trip so you get to the canyon park around sunset, then you can stay the night nearby, then head over early morning and catch some sites, then take off. Btw, just remember there are no rails near the canyon edge and it can get really windy ;P Also, if you go during the summer, it's -really- hot (hell, it's Arizona, so you should expect this anyways).
Also, on the way back from the Canyon, depending on which route you take, you could end up near the Meteor Crater which is cool to see (you have to pay to see it, btw).
Awesome...thanks for the info so far guys and I actually modified our itinerary based on some of the information. The Holiday Inn was booked up, so instead we are staying in Flagstaff which gives us more time to enjoy the Canyon. The burros and white water rafting (which I really wanted to do) were booked up months in advance and the way this trip came to be was sort of last minute/spur of the moment, so as a compromise we are doing a (pedal) bike tour of the canyon so we'll see how that goes.
The meteor crater is definitely on the list of things *I* want to see. Thanks for the restaurant recommendations and when we are in Phoenix and I know we will check a few of those out.
One thing that we need to be mindful of is keeping plenty of water around. Hell might stop by a Sams/Costco and pickup a case or 2 to keep in the car.
Are going during the summer? If so, then bring lots of water. Depending where you go in the Canyon, it gets insanely hot. It's not uncommon for people to die of exposure. If you're part of a tour, they will probably take steps to reduce the risk of heat stroke.
Canyon is awesome, though. It's no joke to say that pictures don't do it justice. It's one of things you need to see in person. Meteor Crater as well. You can't appreciate the scale/size unless you're actually there.
Oh ya, word to the wise: You know those traffic light cameras that snap a pic if you run a light and you get a fine in the mail? Arizona has that for speeding. Phoenix has them on the highways (usually near access ramps) and they sometimes setup mobile units on the more rural highways. Also, make sure your rental has good breaks. Driving over some of the mesas is really scary (ie, super steep/curvy and there isn't much between the road and falling 1000 feet to your death).
Any advice about Tucson and wtf to do there?
Kartchner Caverns are kinda near Tucson. They only allow like 50 people a day or something to visit them. You can google it for more info. You have to essentially go through an airlock/water
misting process because the place is almost pristine and they want to preserve it.
The Pima Air Museum/Military aircraft boneyard is also near/in Tucson. They have a lot of rare stuff, including JFK's Airforce 1(which you can go inside), rare German WW2 aircraft/rockets, b-17s, etc. They even have the sword Japan presented to the US during the formal surrender at the end of WW2. There is also tours of the military boneyard where they store surplus aircraft/bombers/etc.
Id bring the sunscreen but dont worry abou the heat unless youre hiking into the canyon. The south rim is at 7000ft elevation so always nice and cool at the top.We are going to be there the following Saturday so I'm sure it'll be a tad warm...and coming from Minnesota it'll be quite the change...dry heat or not, I'm preparing to sweat my ass off and actually pack some sun screen which I rarely do. I've been wanting to go down there for years and finally am getting the opportunity and I can hardly wait.
Some restaurants that I really enjoyed were
No Anchovies (Pizza by the slice)
Bisionwiches (great soup and sandwich place)
El Charo ( their carne seca is crazy good)
Cafe Poca Cosa
Arizona Inn(great for brunch or for a fancy Dinner) It is also a nice place to stay.
4th Ave is where most of the college bars are.
Last edited by Agripa; 07-07-2013 at 04:27 AM.
Do only tourists like me go to chino banditos?
We used to go hiking at Fossil Creek in Payson/Strawberry a couple of times a year, it's mildly on your way to the Grand Canyon and it's about a 6-8 mile hike in/out but I haven't been there since they took out the dam and I hear it's not as amazing anymore.
Outside of that, there is almost nothing in Phoenix that is worth going too, it's a stretch of shopping malls/housing developments. Though, if you want to go to a third world country you can take a drive through Guadalupe.
No choice. Wife is moving there for a year and i will be visiting once a month. Need to know what the shit to do when i am there. Thanks everyone for advice.
Good hiking in and around Phoenix, just pretty much off limits for like 4-5 months out of the year(unless you love hiking in 100+ temps). If you dont mind driving there tons of hiking/outdoor activities in the mountains to the north and east.
Lies, Pima Air Museum is awesome. Probably the best air museum I have ever seen just because the sheer size of the aircraft they are able to keep (b-52s, etc).Leave ASAP. Tucson is only mildy decent when school is in session and you are early 20's or you love meth and Indians.
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