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Phoenix/Scottsdale

soccermom's picture

DH is going to a conference in Phoenix in late September and I can accompany him. The resort is on the border of Phoenix/Scottsdale and I'd be there for probably three days. I'm not interested in hanging by the pool; I've never been to the southwest and would prefer to see whatever's there. However, the resort seems isolated. I've found a Grand Canyon tour (14-hour day) and wondered what else I should see if I decide to go with him.


Art galleries aren't my thing, and neither is the high-end shopping mentioned by the resort. Not a spa gal either. Can anyone give advice? What's the weather like at that time of year? TIA


 


 

 

 

BoofyQ's picture

(post #43708, reply #1 of 42)

How do you feel about architecture? Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West is right there in Scottsdale - it's a lovely site and the tours give an enjoyable overview of the buildings, Wright and his apprentices. IMHO you don't need to be an architectural fanatic to enjoy it. It's just an amazing interaction of humans and the land.

It will be HOT... the average September high temp is 99. Gloriously sunny.

You absolutely should see the Grand Canyon!

If you'll have a car, why not drive 2 hours north of Phoenix to visit Sedona. The scenery is AMAZING. There are some fun gift shops if you like that sort of thing. Plenty of high-end shopping too, but you can avoid that. Along the way there are some historic sites to see (eg, Montezuma's Castle and Montezuma's Well).

Check out: http://www.phoenix.gov
You might see some activities you'll enjoy.

Do you have any favorite hobbies? Crafts? If nothing else, you can go and enjoy the food!

Do go, and have fun!!

:-)
Nancy

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #3 of 42)

Hi,


I hadn't thought about renting a car; I assumed I'd try tours. But a car would be much better. DH has only the Sunday off and is disappointed to miss the Grand Canyon. With a car we could both do it--and then I could do Sedona etc on my own.


Temperature isn't a problem; as we say in Toronto, "at least it's a dry heat," LOL, and I'll come back with some colour.


Frank Lloyd Wright was mentioned to me by a friend and seeing his work is something I'd like to do. However, because your scenery is so completely different from anything I've ever seen, I'd like to fill up on that first.


I'll check out the website and get some other ideas. Any good local food/restaurants that you like for lunch (most of our dinners will be part of the conference, unless I can sneak away)? Not fancy, just something that is traditional or good.


Thanks so much for this; I knew I'd get the best travel advice here.


 


 

 

 

BoofyQ's picture

(post #43708, reply #7 of 42)

Taliesin West will give you a big dose of scenery in addition to FLW's architecture. Really, it's mostly ABOUT the scenery and how, over the course of the last 70 years, his apprentices have integrated their lives there into their environment. Because it is so close to where you'll be staying, you could make a half-day trip out of it and still see other things.

More info: http://franklloydwright.org/index.cfm?section=tour&action=taliesinwest

If you get a car and you and DH drive up to the Grand Canyon it'll still be a long day, but more fun to go together and at at your own pace. The way we did it when we were visiting my dad in Sedona was to drive north from there, up through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff, and then from Flag to the GC. Beautiful drive (even in February!) and we could take our time while we were there. Have lunch at El Tovar, too. You can take your time walking along the south rim, enjoying how the view changes with each passing turn.

:-)
Nancy

Gretchen's picture

(post #43708, reply #8 of 42)

If you like silver jewelry shop in Flagstaff.

Gretchen

Gretchen
shywoodlandcreature's picture

(post #43708, reply #18 of 42)

I haven't read all the messages here, but I second every recommendation to see Taliesin West.

I also recommend a trip to Arcosanti (Google on it - it's a fascinating experiment in city building in the desert. I can't make a hot link on a Mac, or I would). It's just a couple of hours north of Phoenix, but a whole other world away. Very magical place.

Also, if you do go to the Grand Canyon, try to visit one or two of the trading posts in the area - Stewart's (I think that's the name!) is especially fine! They all have a lot of touristy junk, but mixed in are some very spectacular, jaw-dropping examples of First Nations arts - silver, weavings, sand paintings, ceramics. Stewarts also has a restaurant that serves up good, SouthWestern-style food at a very reasonable price.

It's been a long time since I was in the area, so I've forgotten what distances/driving times are, but for my money, I liked Canyon de Chey (spelling is wrong - my apologies) better than the Grand Canyon - easier to access, fewer tourists, equally spectacular, and a very intriguing Navajo village at the bottom of the canyon.

If you're interested in anthropological stuff, the Hopi Nation is also well worth visiting if time allows.





"All of life's big problems include the words "indictment" or "inoperable." Everything else is small stuff." Alton Brown


http://costofwar.com/

Wolvie's picture

(post #43708, reply #31 of 42)

I lived in Scottsdale years ago, and all the suggested travel bits are great.


As for dry heat, huh. Well, you'll see. ;-)


I did get acclimated tho. When I moved back east, I thought 70 what downright winter weather!



Your first job is to prepare the soil. The best tool for this is your neighbor's garden tiller. If your neighbor does not own a garden tiller, suggest that he buy one.


Dave Barry





 

 

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #32 of 42)

Hmm, I can't afford to get used to 100 degree weather when I'll be returning to a Canajun winter. ;)


Does the temperature plummet at night? How cold will it get?


 


 

 

 

anneelsberry's picture

(post #43708, reply #33 of 42)

100 degrees in Az, isn't too bad, its when it gets over 105 that it feels like a blast furnace.  (yes, its dry heat but. . . )  You have to watch out so you don't burn yourself on things like the car seat, the steering wheel and the seat belt buckle.  In the city it doesn't cool down too much, maybe 20 degrees.  All that concrete keeps the heat in.  It will be much cooler in Sedona or the Grand Canyon, though -- in the mid-80s.


I'm biased though.  I don't turn on the AC until it hits over 95 and I keep the temp at about 82 in the summer.  I'm a lizard.


Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Wolvie's picture

(post #43708, reply #37 of 42)

it will get in the 70's most likely, by that time of year. Or at least, it used too.


Dry heat is a misnomer out there to me. When I left, they were building like crazy, making lakes, etc. - all of which contributed to a general / localized  humidity upswing. Very noticeable for someone who had lived there before that all started. Sorta like being in the citrus groves overnite. ;-) Of course, I moved back east in '84, so maybe they have taken some of that stuff away, and put it back to dessert landscaping. Maples in Scottsdale, I ask you? LOL


Still - you should enjoy yourself, especially if you get a car and get out to Sedona, etc.


Meanie's recommendation is one that my Dad and Sis would give you - they HATED the heat - but then, they chose to visit me in July. Duh. 99F at midnight when I picked them up, and that was the cool point of the day.



Your first job is to prepare the soil. The best tool for this is your neighbor's garden tiller. If your neighbor does not own a garden tiller, suggest that he buy one.


Dave Barry





 

 

Gretchen's picture

(post #43708, reply #2 of 42)

We went to The Boulders one time and they took us on a desert tour. It was pretty interesting. If this is your chance to see the Grand Canyon, don't miss it.

Gretchen

Gretchen
soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #4 of 42)

Yes, the desert tour is one I thought I'd take. I've never been to a desert before and it does look fascinating.

 


 

 

 

deejeh's picture

(post #43708, reply #5 of 42)

Ooh, you lucky thing!  Phoenix/Scottsdale is a great place to visit.  I second the idea of the Grand Canyon and Sedona.  While you're on your own in Phoenix, though, check out the Heard Museum.  It's a wonderful place, and gives one a real insight into the history of the desert peoples.  The last time we were there, there was a photographic exhibit which was outstanding.  Here's a link:  http://www.heard.org/


deej

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #6 of 42)

Thanks, this looks great! I was actually debating going, simply because it seems difficult to get away from the resort. But there must be a shuttle into Phoenix, and if we rent a car, I'll have freedom. This could be enough sunshine to see me through till Xmas :)


Different topic: Have you been to Costco lately? I was at the Warden/Ellesmere one on Friday (stocking up on St Andre of course) and they had all four Barefoot Contessas for $28 each. DH paid $54 for mine last October argh. Also three of the Nigella books, each for $19.99. If I only knew someone getting married, or having a birthday, I'd stock up.


 


 

 

 

deejeh's picture

(post #43708, reply #9 of 42)

I know - it's a major test of self-discipline to pass the book table.  I've managed not to succumb to the temptation of the Barefoot Contessa books so far, but I did buy the Giada De Laurentiis book last time I was there.  If I were going to get only one of the Barefoot Contessa books, which would you recommend?


deej

Gretchen's picture

(post #43708, reply #10 of 42)

Join the Good Cook Club. Get the Barefoot Contessa books you want. I got 5 books (each listing for $35) for $35, including shipping.  Four to join and one half off.  Only one more book to buy.  I consider that a deal.

Gretchen

Gretchen
deejeh's picture

(post #43708, reply #12 of 42)

Done that already - and love the books I got.  Barefoot Contessa is at Costco at a better price than through the book club.


deej

TracyK's picture

(post #43708, reply #17 of 42)

Sign up your DH or one of your kids and get five more, free. :-)

Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits.
       -- Carrie Bradshaw

deejeh's picture

(post #43708, reply #30 of 42)

Now that's a thought - I may just enrol SO - it seems only fair, since he's the one who benefits when I try new recipes :)


deej

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #13 of 42)

Family Style or Parties. One of them has the Lemon Bars and Lemon Cake that are perfect.

 


 

 

 

deejeh's picture

(post #43708, reply #15 of 42)

Okay, thanks.  I was leaning towards Family Style, so your recommendation may have tipped me over the edge...


deej

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #16 of 42)

I'm here to enable you. You won't regret the purchase.

 


 

 

 

dlish's picture

(post #43708, reply #11 of 42)

Hello! I am a native of the Phoenix area (live in central Phoenix, work in Scottsdale). September is still hot -- 100 - 105+ degrees. It is also very advisable to have a car, our public transportation system is not very good.
The Grand Canyon will take all day. Sedona is a nice alternative. There are a lot of hiking trails up there. It is also cooler. The Oak Creek Canyon drive is also very nice. At that time of the year in Sedona/Oak Creek, it will probably rain in the late afternoon.
You could also travel south about 3 hours and visit our "wine country" in Sonoita which is southeast of Tucson. That is also a nice day trip. Prescott is about 90 minutes north, it is cool up there too and there are some cute antique shops, if you like browsing.
Which resort are you are staying at? I can also make restaurant recommendations.

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #14 of 42)

Oh, perfect, a native of Phoenix! We'll be at the Desert Ridge. The resort says that Scottsdale is also worth a visit, but the website I tried isn't very helpful. Any particularly foodie ideas in either city?


Tried to book flights today. @#% rate went up $70 while I was booking, so I'm calming down before trying again. Luckily/unluckily, we're not wine drinkers, which save us lots of $ but means that we don't really visit wine regions, which saves us more $. :)


We definitely will do the Grand Canyon, because I don't know when we'll be in that area again, and I will visit Sedona; it looks beautiful. DH is a wee bit jealous that I'll be having all this fun while he's listening to insurance seminars. HA.


I'd really appreciate restaurant recommendations; I haven't had much real southwestern food and would love to try it. Not particularly fancy, just the places you can count on for good food. Thanks so much.


 


 

 

 

anneelsberry's picture

(post #43708, reply #19 of 42)

Another Arizona native here, from Mesa but live in Tucson now.


Second the idea of getting a car -- its nearly impossible to get around Phoenix otherwise.  Likewise the Heard Museum.  I know you said you're not a museum person, but its a great way to get a handle on what we're all about.


If the Grand Canyon seems like too much, try either going north to Sedona or going south to Tucson.  We have the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, kind of a mix between an arboretum and zoo with incredible exhibits of the native flora and fauna.


As for restaurants, I'm partial to Los Dos Molinos for New Mexico-style Mexican.  Its in the old Tom Mix studios way south on Central Avenue.  Also love Le Grande Orange on 40th Street in Phoenix for trendy pizza.  In Scottsdale there are a ton of little galleries and such-like in the old town and the Sugar Bowl -- an old-fashioned soda fountain that is often featured by Bill Keane in the Family Circus cartoons.  There are also upscale modern southwest restaurants all over the place.  Roxsand's at the Phoenician is a particularly popular one.


Also, if you're at all interested in gambling, there are casinos all over the place now.


Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

Somebody put a stop payment on my reality check!

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #22 of 42)

Thanks for your ideas. I searched Los Dos Molinos and it sounds great. We'll book there for Friday dinner, I think. No gambling; we have casinos here, and I know I'd lose my shirt (and my house, and my car), so I don't bother.


Sedona and Tucson both sound good; which one would you choose if you had to? I think we just won't have enough time to do everything (arriving on Friday afternoon [probably see Phoenix and have dinner], I have all day Saturday to myself, DH and I will do GC Sunday, then I have Monday before flying home Tuesday). 


What sorts of food/kitchen things MUST I get? TIA


 


 

 

 

BoofyQ's picture

(post #43708, reply #28 of 42)

I'm biased and haven't yet been to Tuscon... but Sedona's scenery is not to be missed, IMHO!

You can squeeze it in with your GC trip.... drive north on route 17 out of Phoenix, about 100 miles to exit #298. Take Route 179 north to Sedona...it's about 7 miles til the red rock scenery kicks in.

From Sedona, you can take 89A north through Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff, and on to the GC from there. On your way home, you can take the faster, more direct route straight south from Flag back to Phoenix.

:-)
Nancy

MEANCHEF's picture

(post #43708, reply #29 of 42)

The key to Phoenix/Scottsdale is to stay inside where it is airconditioned.

dlish's picture

(post #43708, reply #23 of 42)

oooh! I second the Sugar Bowl! It is a perfect pink, old-fashioned ice cream parlor!

Dos Molinos is another excellent suggestion! Amazing food -- very spicy.

Unfortunately RoxSand closed down abruptly last year. (That used to be another top pick). The story I read was that she didn't tell hardly anyone (even emplyees, I think). There was a short story in the paper saying that she retired.

La Grand Orange is another great pick -- they have taken over the restaurant next door and expanded the menu. I just ate there on Saturday. The pizzas are wonderful -- sourdough crust! You must save room for the lemon cake. The service is also very excellent.

soccermom's picture

(post #43708, reply #26 of 42)

OMG; I'm going to just put on tons of weight on this trip. I don't think I have enough mealtimes to do justice to all the good restaurants. Hmm, maybe I'll have to add some snacks. And ice cream doesn't really count does it? :O 

 


 

 

 

Astrid's picture

(post #43708, reply #27 of 42)

As to a choice between Sedona and Phoenix, Sedona is out in the hills and desert and small, arty, and dusty. Phoenix is more metropolitan and might be less strenuous. Be sure to get an air conditioned car for more comfortable travel.

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson