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Downtown Phoenix

Byron, Minnesota
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18 reviews
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Downtown Phoenix

My husband and I will be traveling to AZ from MN in November. After spending three days in Sedona, we will be driving to our hotel in downtown Phoenix (the Sheraton) where my husband will be spending his days at a conference.

I'm looking for things to do myself during the day. From the sounds of it, the area isn't real exciting. I will have a rental car but don't want to be traveling an hour just to find something to do. I enjoy shopping, browsing boutiques, and just being outside (wineries, sculpture gardens, etc). I prefer to immerse myself in local stores and restaurants verses going to a mall that has all the same stores that we have here at the Mall of America. I am also a photographer and would love to spend time exploring with my camera in hand .. Provided I felt safe.

I am also looking for restaurant ideas for my husband and I for dinners each night. Again, we prefer local restaurants over chains. We are not necessarily fancy people, but we enjoy good food. Would love to try some southwest cuisine.

We have been to Scottsdale for a conference and stayed at the Westin. Neither of us got to explore much that visit though. This time we are looking to a kid free vacation (we are in our 30's) and hope to have a great time outside the conference.

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Sedona
Sedona
Arizona
Scottsdale
Scottsdale
Central Arizona, AZ
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Scottsdale, Arizona
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1. Re: Downtown Phoenix

There are several opportunities for you. Downtown we have Heritage Square, which hosts one of the best pizza places in the country, and two museums (an art museum and a Native American museum) that are excellent. As for restaurants, Durant's, which is a short distance from downtown Phoenix, is an institution complete with black tie wait staff and flocked wallpaper. Another valley chain, Macayo's, offers Mexican food that pleases most everyone.

If you wish to go to Scottsdale, it's a short trip to Old Town, which has a number of galleries on 5th Avenue and usually an 'art walk' on Thursday evenings. A short distance from Old Town is the Desert Botanical Garden, which is an excellent place to encourage your inner photographer.

Good food is easy to find in Scottsdale too. The best Mexican food, in my opinion, is at Barrio Queen, which is on the northern end of Old Town and close to one of Scottsdale's established malls.

This is just a short list of things to do/see, and considering you're coming when we have some of our best weather, you're sure to find things to keep you busy and having fun.

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Heritage Square Phoenix
Heritage Square Phoenix
77 Reviews
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale
Scottsdale
Central Arizona, AZ
Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden
7,285 Reviews
Phoenix, AZ
Barrio Queen
Barrio Queen
43 Reviews
Phoenix, AZ
Harleysville...
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for Fountain Hills
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2. Re: Downtown Phoenix

I also recommend the Desert Botanical Garden as the Chihully Exhibit will be there coinciding with your trip. It was there several years ago and was just stunning and I expect it to be so again.

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Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden
7,285 Reviews
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale, Arizona
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for Phoenix, Scottsdale
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3. Re: Downtown Phoenix

In Downtown Phoenix, you should be close to the Light Rail. It runs westbound on Washington Street, north on Central Avenue and eastbound on Jefferson. You can ride it north to the Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum. See Things to Do in Phoenix here on TripAdvisor. You can also take it east to Tempe and Arizona State University where there are numerous museums and galleries.

The Chihully is colored, blown glass in shapes resembling desert plants. The previous exhibit was absolutely fabulous.

I second the recommendations for Durants and Macayo. I generally recommend Maycayo for folks who are not used to Mexican cuisine. Their dishes are not as volatile as some and overall very tasty.

Check with the hotel on a free shuttle that runs from downtown to the State Capitol. It ran when I worked in the Capitol area 10 years ago. The Old Capitol has a couple of historic museums and across the street is Bolin Plaza, which includes the USS Arizona Memorial.

You may want to drive your car to the Desert Botanical Garden and Scottsdale Old Town/Downtown. Public transit to those areas is not good. The Garden has ample parking, and street parking in Old Town is free for 3 hours. There is a free shuttle that does a circuit of Old Town and Downtown roughly every 15 minutes from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Loads of restaurants and shops.

Also, drive out to the Musical Instrument Museum on Tatum Blvd. in north Phoenix. Very unique and you can spend a couple of days taking it all in.

Good luck and enjoy your stay.

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Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Art Museum
891 Reviews
Phoenix, AZ
Tempe
Tempe
Central Arizona, AZ
Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Botanical Garden
7,285 Reviews
Phoenix, AZ
Musical Instrument Museum
Musical Instrument Museum
5,134 Reviews
Phoenix, AZ
Tempe, AZ
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4. Re: Downtown Phoenix

Check out City Scape. The Hotel Palomar has a couple cool bars, and the restaurant, Blue Hound, is very good.

5. Re: Downtown Phoenix

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