I Knew I was going to love Arizona, and I did! It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. For this time of the year it was not as hot and dry as it could be on summer so our clothes were for summer in the day and for fall in the nights. I spent almost a week with a group of 12 friends, and our main reason to come was to go to an Engineering Conference. Check out my travel guide for the best activities, restaurants and accommodations while in Phoenix
WHERE TO STAY: Phoenix Home, Remodeled with Balcony Views Because we were such a large group we decided to stay in an Airbnb instead of booking 4-5 rooms. It is a large house right next to downtown, it is literally a 10 minutes walk and a 5 minutes on car, which made it so much easier being such a big group to go on our times to Downtown. We did not rented a vehicle because we could get to downtown very quickly and the Lyft/Uber were not expensive at all. We decided to go grocery shopping and most of our breakfast and some dinners were done in the super huge kitchen. I highly recommend this airbnb if you are planning a trip to this area.
WHAT TO DO:
Hiking - Everywhere you turn in you'll see a beautiful mountain, some closer than others. If you are planning a trip make sure to pack some workout clothes and/or hiking gear. I am not such an active person so we found some begginners tracks. The Papago Park offers fabulous desert trails and there are bathrooms and water fountains. We hiked to the Hole in the Rock and depending where you park the hike can be 15 to 30 minutes.
Desert Botanical Garden - The Desert Botanical Garden is a must see in Phoenix! Over 140 acres, 50,000+ plant displays and art exhibits make it a perfect location to experience and learn about the desert terrain. Make sure to bring close shoes because there is a lot of walking.
Oldtown Scottsdale - One of my favorite areas to explore was Oldtown Scottsdale! Tons of shops with clothing, art, turquoise jewelry and more. We took a food tour in this area (I'll touch on that in the food section), but it was the perfect area for a walking food tour. There are great restaurants, sweet shops and a few bars.
Hot Air Balloon Ride - We did not have the time to go on a hot air balloon, but next time I go back I would love to ride one. Rainbow Ryders has a great reputation and has been in business for over 30 years. They offer sunrise and sunset rides!
WHERE TO EAT:
Breakfast Club - A modern breakfast spot with a small yet super fresh menu. I had the Grilled Chicken with swiss cheese, chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, toasted bagel and chipotle mayo.
Chico Malo - Inspired largely by Mexican street food. I ordered from taqueria where you get 3 tacos for $10, I got the Pollo Tinga, Green Chile Pork and the Al Pastor. The taste of everything was really good but the size were not the best.
Copper Blues - We went on Karaoke night but they offer a solo acoustic act, country band or a group recreating the magic of 80’s rock. Beer, music, and food. We went there for dinner and even thought it was packed we had a really good time
Gallo Blanco Cafe and Bar - One of the best tacos I've had, they are committed to supporting local community and farmers sourcing local ingredients to create a menu of flavorful and healthy fare.
We had an amazing time and even thought it was not a trip to actually travel and explore we did the best we could with the time we had to get to know the places around where we where staying.