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Phoenix and Scottsdale

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Montezuma Castle Rd, Camp Verde, AZ, USA
As Anglo settlers arrived in the 19th century, several sites throughout the Southwest desert were named, erroneously, for the Aztec emperor Montezuma (Moctezuma). The most famous one—and the one to keep this name officially—is Montezuma Castle...
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675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, USA
The sweeping view in Utah's Dead Horse State Park was made famous by the final scene in Thelma and Louise. The park is mostly comprised of a small overlook area, but the grand scenery of the valley below is breathtaking. It is a quick and worthy...
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1100 W Ruins Dr, Coolidge, AZ 85128, USA
Don't go looking for Casa Grande, the national monument of pre-Columbian ruins, in Casa Grande, the sprawling exurb of a town about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. You have to drive about 20 miles away to the small town of Coolidge to find the...
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4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85050, USA
Don a headset, approach an exhibit, and wirelessly listen to African thumb piano or Mongolian throat singing at the vast Musical Instrument Museum. Besides browsing some 15,000 artifacts that represent different musical genres, visitors can catch...
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6820 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek, AZ 85331, USA
Outside Scottsdale, the little Western town of Cave Creek is full of kitsch. One shop in particular stands out. The Town Dump is a sprawling indoor/outdoor store devoted to eclectic curios of every kind. From antlers and Mexican glass to beads and...
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6166 N Scottsdale Rd #601, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
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Tacos. Traditionally Mexican. These days, however, tacos are taking on some new personalities. Though some of the most memorable flavors I've ever had on a corn tortilla are still traditional, (pickled onions, please) there are a few new taco...
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3815 N Brown Ave, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
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You will want reservations to get into this place. The Mission Restaurant and Lounge serves modern Latin cuisine in a fantastic bar restaurant with a wonderful outdoor back patio (seen here). The chef is Matthew Carter, also known for the House...
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4402 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012, USA
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Lux has the best vibe in town. Jeff built the coffee shop in such a central location to be near the soul of creative Phoenix. The coffee is hand-roasted in house, and you can pair it with a seasonal pie or a bear claw, or even a full-fledged meal....
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6335 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
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I've been going to Richardson's as my favorite neighborhood local since they opened over 20 years ago. Great southwestern food, seafood and margaritas. They opened a sister restaurant a few blocks away called Rokerij a few years ago. It was really...
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Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
On an otherwise nondescript downtown wall behind a light rail transit stop, a line-up of bolas make for some unlikely art in Phoenix. Artist Michael Maglich has interpreted Arizona's official neckwear, the bola tie, in a row of a few dozen...
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Scottsdale Vista Estates, Scottsdale, AZ 85266, USA
In downtown Scottsdale, Arizona, there's a new taco place called Barrio Queen Tequileria. They serve more than 50 kinds of tacos, and I wish I could have tried them all. I lingered there yesterday, and enjoyed a long lunch of shrimp and carnitas...