Chapter Fifteen Travels: Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale, Arizona
My first time off the East Coast! Prior to this, the most west I’ve ever been was Ohio. I know, not at all west. It was so fun getting to explore the desert especially when it was cold and wintery back home on the East Coast. I flew out to Tempe for a writing conference that was part of the course I’ve been completing to finish a book. Once the conference ended that weekend, I had the rest of my trip to find out why everyone goes west. And let me just say, now I know and I’m ready to pack my bags again and live out in the sun as a desert flower.
Visit Now: Arizona is blistering in the summer, with temperatures getting as high as 104°! Many people who live in Arizona spend the summer months inside, enjoying the air conditioning. But you can’t get the beauty of the state from indoors. The winter and spring have temperatures more comfortable for many travelers.
Stay Here: The Moxy, Tempe. Tempe is in between both Phoenix and Scottsdale, about fifteen minutes to either city, which makes it the perfect place to stay to explore the Sonoran Valley. This is an incredible place to stay, with a signature cocktail, arcade games in the lobby, a bar and lounge, and a playful minimalistic feel, it’s idea for millennial and families.
In Tempe: Spinelli’s Pizza ● Snooze ● Postino Wine Cafe
In Phoenix: Blanco’s Tacos and Tequila ● Zinburger
In Scottsdale: The Mission ● Tommy V’s
If you’re a lover of Mexican food, this is the area for you. Everything is authentic and beyond delicious. The Mission had the best tacos I’ve ever had and Blanco’s Mexican street corn was beyond delicious. And if you’re a fan of guacamole, The Mission makes it fresh tableside with your requests in mind.
For Dessert: Sugarbowl ● The Baked Bear
I’m a sucker for anything sweet and both of these ice cream places are perfect to beat the Arizona heat. Sugarbowl is an ice cream shoppe straight out of the 50s with retro vinyl booths in the cutest pink. The Baked Bear has custom ice cream sandwiches, choosing between a variety of flavors and cookies and brownies to make your ideal sandwich.
Go Here: The Sonoran Desert, The McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Desert Botanical Garden, The Wrigley Mansion.
Arizona is absolutely gorgeous with their red mountains and stunning views from nearly every vantage point. If you love the outdoors, this is the place for you. Go hiking on beautiful trails to get the full effect of the desert. Or, if strenuous physical activity isn’t your thing, try the Desert Botanical Gardens, which puts all the unique desert plants in one place. Walk their loop trails which include Plants and People of the Sonoran Desert, Desert Wildflowers, Desert Discovery. You can see native scenery and animals like hummingbirds and, my favorite, the butterflies.
Shop Here: Frances, Alixandra Collections, Pitaya
When I travel, one thing I love is going to local boutiques. They’re my favorite place to shop because the pieces are cute and unique. I found these shops have the cutest dresses and you know how much I love a cute dress. The best part: a lot of these boutiques are available to shop and purchase the pieces online.
Travel Notes: This city is a biking haven. Driving around, we found it hard to find parking that was close to restaurants and shops we wanted to go. All three cities have a bike-share program, where you can easily rent bikes by scanning the QR code and have your way with the city without having to deal with pesky parking. Definitely consider parking the car and using a bike to get around!
• always choose adventure •