Phoenix, Arizona

  • So I am going to be in Phoenix Arizona for most of a week in late February thanks to my new job. I will be busy with work and being jetlagged but will probably have some time to explore, can anyone recommend anything particularly interesting, things to see or do?

  • @packrat said in Phoenix, Arizona:

    So I am going to be in Phoenix Arizona for most of a week in late February thanks to my new job. I will be busy with work and being jetlagged but will probably have some time to explore, can anyone recommend anything particularly interesting, things to see or do?

    Yes, see Las Vegas!

  • Pitcrew

    Phoenix has some great restaurants I would check out the food scene.

    I would also check out the Phoenix Zoo if that is something you're into.

    If you like drinking there's Mill Ave and Scottsdale Old Town.

    There's also a weekly art walk, you'd have to google that Phoenix Art Walk where you can check out street artists and the like.

  • @rnmissionrun That might be a little out of the way! I am flying in on the Saturday and have the Sunday free along with most of Thursday but taking an uber 300 miles might be excessive in both time and cost.

  • Pitcrew

    I ADORED living in Phoenix. 5 amazing years.

    1. Hike Camelback mountain early in the morning. (like, 5 am!)
    2. World Wildlife Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park. It's smaller than your normal zoo, but you get closer than normal too.

    This time of year there aren't a lot of farmers markets going on - it's too cold for them really.

  • Pitcrew

    @packrat Native here.

    What are you into, that would help?

  • Pitcrew

    @silverfox There's farmer markets every saturday morning in Glendale, Peoria and Phoenix and other areas. It's not cold, the weather during the day is 60- high 70s. It's cold at 6 am, sub 60. Not around 9-10 am.

  • Pitcrew


    Cold for Arizona. I vividly remember not being allowed to take my students out some days in January/February because it was "too cold."

  • Pitcrew

    @silverfox ...what? That's why people invented jackets! That's so strange. What a silly school.

  • Pitcrew


    A lot of my kiddos didn't own jackets!

  • Pitcrew

    @silverfox That may be why they couldn't go outside. ha.

  • Wait, I checked the weather when I realized I was going to be travelling there and it was saying daytime temperatures of twenty Celsius. That does not require a jacket! That does not require anything other than a t-shirt!

  • Pitcrew

    @packrat We're not made for the cold out here. We're very accustomed to 100 fahrenheit, or 35+ celsius in the valley. And lots of sun, you'll need sunblock.

  • @doozer Yes, my (future) boss did caution me to bring sunglasses and sunblock. Where I live right now it is hovering around freezing all day/night. The January/February temperatures for Phoenix seem to be about what I would expect for say, May here, albeit with far lower humidity.

  • @packrat You're lucky to be going there during the winter when the temperature is too low to melt trash cans and liquefy asphalt :)

  • Pitcrew

    It would also help to know which portion of Phoenix you'll be in, as the different activities can be pretty spread apart. Generally, as long as college kids don't bother you, a lot of the nightlife is going to be in the Tempe area, though you can also check out Downtown Phoenix, Old Town Scottsdale, and the Gilbert area if you're on the southeast side of town. Basically the farther you get from Tempe, the less things there are to do.

    A lot of the suggestions above are solid, though one thing that hasn't been mentioned is that we have a ton of little secret parks scattered throughout the city. There's a bunch of local natural art landscaping schools that basically just buy some land usually behind commercial buildings and turn it into cute little parks with waterfalls and ponds and ducks. It's pretty much the only time of year to realistically enjoy these too, so that's a plus.

    Most of our malls are pretty standard, but Tempe Marketplace is a cute outdoor shopping center with some decent places to hang and drink, and quality food, including a Portillo's, which is a huge deal restaurant from Chicago. We also have In 'n Out and Cane's (which is a chicken finger joint) which are pretty widely loved, but regional restaurant chains that you can't find across the country.

    But, if you're looking for traditional tourist-y stuff, google some local hiking trails and go at them. It's the time of year to do it, just remember to take water. You're not going to die like tourists do when they try to hike here in the summer, probably, but it's never a bad idea.

    ETA: I'm also a local, born and raised, so if you're looking for some of the harder to hit stuff, I'd be happy to recommend that too.

  • @sab I am going to be in Mesa, at the Hilton next to the 'Freedom Golf Course', so not -that- far from Tempe when I look at the map.

  • Obviously "interesting" will vary depending on your tastes, but here are some fun things I did when I visited Phoenix:

    • Phoenix Zoo - It's a cool zoo, with some neat 'desert-y' exhibits that we don't have out east. And it's right next to...
    • Papago Park - Has some cool walking trails and cacti and desert flowers and stuff. The botanical garden and history center are nearby, but I didn't visit those.
    • Hall of Flame Museum - I'm in EMS so I was biased, but I think seeing all kinds of old firefighting equipment is neat.
    • Horseback Riding - There are various tourist-y stables around the area. (Hey, I'm a city girl. We don't get to do these things when we're not on vacation.)

    A little further out of the city (but not as far as Vegas or the Grand Canyon):

  • Pitcrew

    @packrat Ha! I remember one year I was teaching down there it got SO COLD that the puddle behind one of the buildings actually froze over. I took my whole class out and they were BLOWN AWAY that water could freeze OUT SIDE just from the weather. I swear we took 30 minutes just touching and poking at the ice while I did an impromptu lesson about the states of water. Of my class of 32 kids, only one had ever been up to Flagstaff to see snow on the ground.

    That said, moving back to Colorado after loving the heat there was the worst transition. Your body acclimates to the higher temperatures very quickly, but it's a lot harder to get use to the cold!


    Basically anywhere you go on Phoenix-area is going to require some driving. You're pretty far from everything out in Mesa. The freeways are fairly good though (I mean, they're freeways so, ymmv) so you can get to most places within 30-60 minutes.

  • Pitcrew

    Don't listen to @Sab with all those chain restaurant foods. He knows a kick ass hookah bar near ASU. Get him to setup a meeting and we can all get some Middle-eastern/Turkish food and hit the hose.

    Also there are some pretty fun adult amusement things like adult go carts that go 30mph+ and indoor skydiving. Not exactly taking advantage of Arizona's natural beauty but also might not be around where you live.

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