The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
Catch an early flight to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and check into your hotel upon arrival. Make your way down to Tempe to have lunch at Four Peaks Brewpub before heading across Tempe Town Lake to get to know the Valley from its geographic heart, Papago Park.
The easy climb up its rounded, red-hued butte to the Hole-in-the-Rock formation rewards visitors with a spectacular view of the city. Within the protected reserve, you’ll also find the Desert Botanical Garden, an impressive collection of the diverse cacti and plants that make their home in the Sonoran Desert.
Then, visit Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, the remains of the ancient Hohokam civilization from which the modern city of Phoenix rose. For dinner consider dining in Central Phoenix at the casual Tee Pee Mexican Restaurant. Afterward, grab a beer and play a little bocce ball at The Vig.
Rise with the sun and pick up some fresh orange juice and a Commuter Sandwich at the popular La Grande Orange. Then, head out for a round of golf at one of the city’s championship desert courses or hike the red-sandstone Camelback Mountain, an iconic Valley of the Sun landmark. Spend the rest of your afternoon relaxing, either poolside at your hotel or shopping at the open-air Biltmore Fashion Park shopping center.
Have dinner at Pizzeria Bianco, The Tuck Shop, or Barrio Café, independent restaurants that regularly earn praise from foodies. Later, join the locals at Bomberos Café & Wine Bar for a glass of South American wine on the cozy patio.
Begin your day in Scottsdale with breakfast at Breakfast Joynt before driving north to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and architecture school, which still trains young apprentices. Learn how Wright’s revolutionary work blended modern design and the Sonoran Desert landscape.
Have lunch in Old Town Scottsdale at Arcadia Farms, and visit the district’s Southwestern boutiques and the Old Adobe Mission, Scottsdale’s first Catholic church. Head across Scottsdale Road to the art districts of Marshall Way, 5th Avenue, and Main Street, where the city’s chic galleries showcase contemporary and Western art.
Have breakfast at Morning Glory Café on your last day. Check out the Desert Modernist Burton Barr Central Library in downtown Phoenix, then get a dose of culture at the Phoenix Art Museum or the Heard Museum, one of the nation’s finest collections of Native American art and artifacts. Grab a gourmet Pane Bianco sandwich for lunch before you have to catch your flight home.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition