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My dad and I are home from spending 7 days in Phoenix, Arizona enjoying the heat and good food. It was VERY hot while we were there! It’s very weird to be back in a climate where I need a jacket.
We primarily explored the city of Scottsdale and here are our recommendations:
Our favourite restaurant we stumbled upon on our way to the Cheesecake Factory (where we obviously picked up cheesecake for dessert!).
We tried CULINARY DROPOUT on one of our last nights and it was our best meal. Dad had the BBQ ribs and I had the perogies. Both dishes were delicious. I would recommend eating outside as the inside of the restaurant was very loud. The outside patio was much more comfortable, and as with most restaurants we ate at, had outside patio misters.
Another restaurant we enjoyed was HULA’S MODERN TIKI. We ate there twice, once for dinner and once for an early lunch. As someone with a soy allergy, there wasn’t a ton on the menu that I could eat. For dinner I had the Lobster Bisque. It was delicious. Dad had the ribs, which he said were good, but he enjoyed the ribs at CULINARY DROPOUT more.
A couple days after having dinner at HULA’S we returned for an early lunch after a round of golf. I tried the Ahi Tuna Tacos. I was shocked at how much tuna was on each taco. I would definitely get these again. Dad had the Habanero Chicken Tacos. He really enjoyed them and would recommend them.
For his birthday brunch, dad really wanted waffles. We went to LO LO’S CHICKEN & WAFFLE HOUSE. They had a variety of chicken and waffle plates to order. We also enjoyed mimosas with brunch. (FYI, the mimosas were huge!)
There were quite a few tex mex restaurants around. We stumbled upon a pub called CARLSBAD TAVERN. it had a bat theme, which was odd as it served primarily Mexican dishes. We stopped in for happy hour and split the nachos which were amazing and we would both highly recommend.
We ate dinner there a couple nights later. Dad had the stroganoff which was delicious (I definitely stole a couple bites. I had the blue corn tacos, there were good, a bit spicy for my liking. I ended up asking for a side of sour cream to tone down the spice. The outside patio at CARLSBAD was stunning and you can catch a glimpse of the sunset. So I would highly recommend this restaurant for the view.
You can’t have birthday and Father’s day celebrations without dessert! My father-in-law suggested a breakfast spot close to where we were staying called RANDY’S. It also had pie and ice cream. We stopped there for dad’s birthday. He had pie and ice cream and I had mud pie.
After an amazing meal at CULINARY DROPOUT we were both craving some gelato. Quite a few places are closed on Mondays, but we did find a place called the GELATO SPOT in Old Scottsdale.
THINGS TO DO //
After eating all this amazing food, we of course needed to stay active.
We enjoyed two days at TOP GOLF. Once for dad’s birthday, which was his first time playing and the second time we went on a Tuesday for ½ off day! I would highly recommend going to TOP GOLF if there is one where you are visiting. It is a really fun time and you don’t need to be an avid golfer to have a good time or play well.
There was a 9-hole golf course behind the house we were staying at. We played it three times. It was the perfect course for such hot weather! We would start around 8:30 and end around 10am just as the sun was truly heating up.
To cool off in the evening we went to the movie theatre at FASHION SQUARE MALL. The prices were the same as Vancouver, but the all the seats reclined. It was quite a small theatre and very quiet.
Before we left Phoenix, dad discovered that the PGA course in Phoenix can be played publicly, something to do next time for sure!
Now here’s what not to miss on you visit to Phoenix:
Here you will find great places to eat, drink, and shop. From souvenirs to beautifully crafted local art. We had a nice time walking through the town. Apparently you can partake in your own self-led wine and/or beer tour. I discovered this on our last day so we didn’t have time for it. It’s definitely on the list for next time.
We were fortunate to be able to attend a baseball game while on our trip. They didn’t win, but it was a fun night out. The food and beer were quite expensive, but there were a few restaurants around and in the stadium if that is more your style. They also had a pool inside the stadium where you could watch the game from!
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
I’m a sucker for visiting local universities. It was way too hot to walk around, but we stopped into the gift shop to walk around. Next time I visit Phoenix I will definitely go back to walk around, hopefully when classes are in session.
THE GRAND CANYON
We drove to the GRAND CANYON on Father’s Day. It was about a 4-hour drive from Scottsdale. It was very busy at the park. We ended up walking the RIM TRAIL for about 45mins or so before it started raining.
I can’t wait to go back. I would love to stay at a hotel in the GRAND CANYON and spend a good couple of days there hiking and exploring. It definitely cannot be done properly in only a few hours.
On the way home from the GRAND CANYON we drove through SEDONA. It was a long winding road that seemed like it would never end. But when we got to town, it was absolutely stunning. We stopped for beers and appies and soaked up the view.
FINAL THOUGHTS //
Our rental car was a diesel, which was so weird as neither my dad or I had ever driven a diesel before. It felt a bit temperamental, but even with ALL the driving we did, we only filled up twice.
There was a lot of construction going on around where we were staying. But, since it was their down season, it didn’t back traffic up too much and it was easy to avoid if you knew where it was going on.
If you love the heat, like I do, June is a great time to go explore Scottsdale. But, if you’re not a fan of the heat I would go when it’s a bit cooler for sure.
I can’t wait to go back!
Have you been to Phoenix before? What was your favourite part? Please share in the comments!
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