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Old 04-30-2018, 12:24 PM   #1
gflatto
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Default Phoenix area suggestions?

This isn't really a trip report, but in non-Disney, so thought I'd post it here.

My family is likely going to head to the Phoenix area for Christmas this year, renting a house with some of my siblings. We (actually, my daughter) have done some research on things to do in the area, but would love to hear any recommendations from others on things to do in that area. Also, if we rent a house, anyone have any information on areas/neighborhoods that would be good to target? (And it doesn't necessarily have to be Phoenix proper, if something like Scottsdale would be better, etc.)

Thanks!

Gretchen
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October, 1992 - Yacht Club - Honeymoon
May/June 2008 - BWV - New DVC Member
May/June 2009 - AKV (Kidani) and BCV
May/June 2010 - VWL
July 2010 - VGC
Christmas 2010 - BLT
May/June, 2011 - Dream Cruise and BWV
July 2011 - Grand Villa at Kidani!
October 2011 - BLT for MNSSHP
May/June 2012 - BCV
Christmas, 2012 - BLT
June, 2013 - AKV (Kidani) and BWV
December, 2013 - VGF and BLT
December, 2014 - BWV
June, 2015 - AKV (Kidani) and SSR
December, 2015 - Christmas Cruise on the Fantasy
October, 2016 - BLT
May/June 2017 - BWV
October, 2017 - AKV (Kidani) and CCV
Next Up: June, 2018 - BWV (No kids!)
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:38 PM   #2
ggatorgirl
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The Musical Instrument Museum is FABULOUS! It's up north, very near the Mayo Hospital and the Dessert Ridge Mall.

It is huge and is organized primarily by continent with small displays of the instruments, clothing, songs and other artifacts of each country. The US is further refined with exhibits by musical genres.

There are also exhibits of special items such as the piano John Lennon used to compose Imagine and a large drum used in the Opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

There is a lovely little restaurant there too.

We go there almost every time we are in Phoenix and never tire of it.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:27 PM   #3
mikayla73
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Just a few ideas:

An easy day trip to Sedona (~2hrs north of PHX). Just check the weather before you go, because they can get snow there. But if it's covered in snow, it makes it all the prettier. You can stop at Rock Springs Cafe on the way back (if there's time) for pie. They serve burgers and comfort food too, but we always had pie. There's a general store too.
http://rocksprings.cafe/

There are lots of hiking areas in the mountains: Camelback Mtn, South Mtn, Superstition Mtns, White Tanks to name a few. Camelback and Superstitions are on the east side. South mtn is well, south of Phoenix and the White Tanks are west. All pretty easy to get to though. South Mtn has a couple of cool lookout areas you can drive to also and see the entire valley. Dobbins Lookout is one of them, great for a sunset view.

It's been a while since I was out that way, but lots of people like Tortilla Flats. The road going there can freak out some people who don't like heights (i.e. no guard rails in some spots) unless they have changed it.
http://www.tortillaflataz.com/

Goldfield Ghost town is on the way to Tortilla Flats. It's touristy, but interesting.
http://goldfieldghosttown.com/

Eat at Matt's Big Breakfast: http://mattsbigbreakfast.com/
It's only open until 2:30p. The best time to go to avoid a wait is either really early on a weekday or any day around 1p-1:30p. Otherwise, be prepared to wait. I haven't been to the one in Scottsdale, so I'm not 100% sure on the best times to go there, but those times usually work best for the downtown location.

Also downtown a couple of other downtown eats:
La Piazza PHX with certified Neapolitan pizza, sooo yummy. Also The Arrogant Butcher. The butcher's platter is chef's choice, so it changes, but it's been very good for us.
http://www.lapiazzaphx.com/
https://www.foxrc.com/restaurants/the-arrogant-butcher/

That's all I have time to add now, if I think of anything else, I'll add it later.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:27 PM   #4
henrycpa91
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2 hour trip to Sedona... Well worth it.

Are you a golfer. Obviously the TPC in Scottsdale. Also, the Westin Kierland a great course and has a great Tex/Mex Upscale restaurant and it has a top shelf Scotch Bar. At dusk they play Bagpipes every night.
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:16 PM   #5
flypwm
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We stay in the Phoenix area every year for Christmas - my wife's entire family is there, so we mostly stay with someone, but occasionally we've done hotels. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is the best themed - they do a a great job decorating the grounds. However, we consistently like the Hyatt Gainey Ranch better as a place to stay (Christmas or otherwise) for the pools and the activity schedule.

If you plan to shop, Fashion Square in Scottsdale is the obvious choice for mid to high end. If you like the outlets, going up to Anthem is probably the best bet.

I don't really want to get into restaurants because my extended family mostly loves chains, and the Greater Phoenix Area has every chain restaurant known to man. That's not really my thing, but if you like chains I can tell you what they like

For things to do, if you haven't been there before, December has great weather and to a Northerner like me is the time to do things like a desert tour. I also like to get to a hockey game - the Coyotes aren't a huge draw, so you can usually get great seats at a reasonable price and concessions aren't too bad either. Lots of golf as well.

I'll add more once I'm out of the office and can think a little
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Old 04-30-2018, 04:47 PM   #6
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Limited experience but I loved 4 Peaks Brewing. Good food and beer.
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Old 04-30-2018, 05:10 PM   #7
flypwm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyEater View Post
Limited experience but I loved 4 Peaks Brewing. Good food and beer.
+1. I've enjoyed the Four Peaks in Tempe. While my mind is there, Mucha Lucha for a burrito is also a good memory.
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Old 04-30-2018, 09:06 PM   #8
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One of my favorite vineyards, Su Vino Winery, is in Scottsdale. Their wine is so unique and delicious. If you get a chance, stop in there. My favorite is their summer rain. I believe they are family friendly. I remember they had board games.

Also, we did the Scottsdale walking food tour. It was really fun and the food was delicious. I have food allergies and they were very accomodating.

Also, the mall was huge and I imagine it is amazing at Christmastime.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:28 AM   #9
henrycpa91
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Kierland Commons has a lot of shopping and restaurants.

I know when we are there for conferences many like to eat at Mastro's Ocean Club. I have had a great steak at Dominicks Steak House.
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Old 05-01-2018, 12:02 PM   #10
mikayla73
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Kierland Commons will be great at Christmas time. They had carriage rides and Santa there.
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