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Week long visit in Mid-February

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posts: 41
reviews: 57
Week long visit in Mid-February

We (I am 55, my wife is 52) will be visiting for about 1 week in mid-February. We are looking for recommendations of things to do, places to eat and places to stay. Some info on our likes and budget:

We enjoy scenic drives, photography, wildlife, unusual museums, parks and conservatories. Normally we are up to a fair amount of walking, but will be limited on this trip as my wife will be about 8 weeks post knee replacement surgery.

For restaurants, we like places that have simple good food with friendly service. We are not interested in "fine dining" - more of a "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" eaters. If the Phoenix area has a local specialty, we are interested in trying it out.

For hotels, we are middle of the road. Typically we stay at a Hampton or similar hotel. Our budget is flexible here, but I would expect 110-150/night.

Thanks in advance for your help - Looking forward to our visit.


Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix, Puerto Penasco
posts: 1,643
reviews: 12
1. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

Hi Bill;

I would start by the "things to do" tab on the right. The must see attractions, IMO, are Musical instrument museum, Desert botanical garden and Heard museum. My favorite authentic Mexican restaurants are Rosita's at 24th St . & McDowell as well as Los Reyes de la tort a at 7th St & Hatcher. In central Phoenix, Otro and Tico's are great hidden gems. Happy hour on the patio at Aunt Chilada's as well as breakfast at Chompies will also be a great experience. I'll leave the hotel recommendations to others. Enjoy your time in Phoenix.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix, Scottsdale
posts: 1,690
reviews: 65
2. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

Late December through the end of March is when the tourists flock here so rates are generally higher. Take a look at the hotel/motel listings for Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa and Glendale. To see what looks good. Make a reservation ASAP.

Also you will need a car to get around. Public transportation here is abysmal and often non-existent. There is a light rail system that runs east/west out of Downtown Phoenix into Tempe and Mesa and north/south along Central Avenue. It will get you to some places, but not all.

You might enjoy Scottsdale Old Town/Downtown. You can stroll around there to see lots of shops , restaurants and galleries. There is a free shuttle that does a circiut of the area and runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. In Tempe, there is Arizona State University with loads of museums and galleries plus Mill Avenue with shops and restaurants.

Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
posts: 3,766
reviews: 27
3. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

Definitely plan a day trip up to Sedona, or better yet spend a night or two up there, see the Grand Canyon if you have not done that yet.

One of my favorite drives through some back roads of AZ is up hwy 60 from Phx to historic western town of Wickenburg, have lunch and ice cream at Chaparral Ice Cream store, explore small cowboy and mining museums there, then head up over the mountain on hwy 89 into another historic town of Prescott, even more small museums, antique stores, Whiskey Row saloons - all around Courthouse Square. Come home via Interstate 17. (If you like historic hotels take a look at one of my favorites The Hassayampa in Prescott, rates are good there now and breakfast in their Peacock Room is wonderful.)

My short list of best museums in the valley here is The Heard, Taliesin West and the Musical Instrument Museum - all are excellent.

Agree with suggestion above to look in Scottsdale area, plenty of chain hotels here, on Scottsdale Rd, Indian School Rd. Take a look and come back with location questions on what you find.

posts: 41
reviews: 57
4. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

Thank you all for your suggestions - we should have a great time!

posts: 627
reviews: 73
5. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

Any other scenic drive suggestions?

We will be in Phoenix for only 2 days this time and have been to Sedona a couple of times so won't go there for this short visit ( We love Sedona ....the motel up by their airport is our favorite for the views). We will definitely try Wickenburg.

Scottsdale, Arizona
posts: 4,996
6. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

I would amend the route to Wickenburg by suggesting you take the I-17 to hwy 74 and then across to the US 60. This avoids all the traffic lights on lower 60, is much more scenic and gives you a chance to pull off to see the often overlooked Lake Pleasant with the cactus growing down to the water's edge.

Another scenic drive that doesn't require driving one or two hours out of the city is South Mountain Park, the largest city park in the world. Drive to the top and you will have a stunning view of not just the city, but of other valleys and mountains. It will give you a real sense of what the low desert is all about. Enter off of Baseline Road. You can also rent horses and have a cowboy steak or really good Mexican food while you are there.

Scottsdale, Arizona
posts: 4,996
7. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

Look at the views of and from South Mountain Park.


posts: 627
reviews: 73
8. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

Thanks for the suggestions

9. Re: Week long visit in Mid-February

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