Valley of the Sun
Collected by Lindsey E Keeler, AFAR Local Expert
Central Phoenix is not just a desert wasteland. Over the years it has become a thriving metropolis that offers an amazing art and music scene, top notch local restaurants, and the weather is pretty amazing. Phoenix offers an amazing backdrop for a trip to remember. Growing up in the area I never appreciated the city until I returned after a few years. Now I look back and see how much the city has to offer. Hiking, shopping, culture and a unique city life.
10600 E Crescent Moon Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
This is my favorite Scottsdale resort because it gets Southwestern style down without being kitschy or over-done. There are no cheesy dream catchers or Kokopelli statues here – just a color palette as bright and breathtaking as a desert sunset....
Page, AZ 86040, USA
I saw this place in so many photos before but when I got there and saw it in person it was such an overwhelming experience. Getting there is easy. You take the Interstate 89 South from Page and after 7 minutes you get to the parking lot. The road...
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...
Brown & Stetson Business, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
The owners of FnB—James Beard Award semifinalist chef Charleen Badman and front-of-house manager Pavle Milic—were early champions of Arizona wine and produce, curating a wine list that includes lots of Grand Canyon...
6335 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
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...
825 N 1st St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Sometimes the experience of coffee is enhanced by pleasing color schemes. That is exactly what I discovered at Matt’s Big Breakfast in Phoenix, Arizona. The menu is everything that it should be, and more, with griddlecakes, omelets, waffles, and...
623 E Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
This place always has a wait (though reservations are available for a party of six or more). Thankfully, the bar across the street makes waiting a little easier, and when you taste the pizza, you'll know why Pizzeria Bianco has...
5402 E Lincoln Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85253, USA
Camelback Inn is offers my dream staycation. This AAA 5-Diamond hotel has maintained its excellence since it first came around in the 1930's. it has an old pueblo-style feel that really exemplifies Southwestern culture. You'll get the most amazing...
6850 E Main St, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
I am obsessed with the hit series Mad Men and the Hotel Valley Ho, located in downtown Scottsdale, is one of my favorite hotels to stay at because it feels like you get transported into another time. Every time I stay there I end up never wanting...
902 N 6th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
I stumbled across GROWop while taking a little stroll down Roosevelt Row in downtown Phoenix. It's a clothes shop meets home decor store meets vintage finds meets local vegetable garden. GROWop (the name stands for 'growing opportunity') supports...
810 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Angels Trumpet Ale House boasts a rotating roster of 36 beers and 6 wines on tap. Their building design is centered around beer, so patrons are served only the freshest, coolest beer. Committed to encouraging craft brewing, their beer knowledge...
7011 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, USA
Tis the season to be jolly! If you’re feeling festive around the holidays or perhaps you want to keep Christmas going all year long, then a visit to the Coach House should be on your holiday wish list. When the holiday season approaches, ...
2502 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA
When I heard Smeeks was moving from their downtown Phoenix location I thought I might lose it until I heard about the hip new concept they were becoming a part of thanks to the opening of Union at Biltmore Fashion Park. It is a one-stop shop for...
308 N 2nd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA
Phoenix has been begging for a great music venue that supports top-notch indie tastemakers all while helping create a thriving music scene in the valley. Bands like Iron and Wine, Phantogram, Dawes, Blitzentrapper and more have graced this music...
7555 N Pima Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85258, USA
If you can imagine baseball heaven—a lush green field nestled between mountaintops and perpetual sunshine—Salt River Fields just might be what it looks like. Spring training season offers a high concentration of the best American...
929 E Pierce St, Phoenix, AZ 85006, USA
Welcome Diner may be new to downtown Phoenix but it has quite a history. Built in the 1940's in Kansas, it was trucked over to Arizona where it operated on Route 66 for 25 years before it moved to its current location on Roosevelt. By partnering...
10 W Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013, USA
Frances Vintage has secured itself as a local gem. By bringing in local designers for special events and partnering up with their neighboring shops, they have been known as a Phoenix staple for over five years. The studio space features an...
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