This is a list of the places we visited while in Phoenix that I didn’t blog about (all the photos on this page are from Old Town Scottsdale):
The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” and as having “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene”. Its slogan is “The West’s Most Western Town”.
Old Town Scottsdale is a touristy shopping and restaurant district, where we wandered the streets looking at t-shirts, hats, and jewelry. We’ve been keeping an eye out for hats to use at Burning Man (if we ever manage to score tickets!) and other forays into the desert and Harold found one we both liked. The only problem being they only had a small, and Harold has far too many brains to ever fit his head into a small.
So we spent the next hour or so wandering through stores looking for hats just like that one. On the way we browsed into a leather store, by accident, not by choice. “Take a big whiff. That’s what cattle misery and death smells like.” I told Harold, to which he rolled his eyes and laughed. “It does not smell like that!” “Well, of course you can’t smell it. You’re beef-addled!” I came back. He ushered me out of the store before anyone heard me. I used to like the smell of leather.
Driving through the rest of Scottsdale to our dinner spot, we took a few wrong turns and went through some very lovely neighbourhoods. There are a lot of rancher style one floor homes here, which makes sense given the retirement ages of many who live here during the winter. The houses sprawl on large double or triple size lots, all beautifully landscaped with the requisite orange trees and cacti. Up above is Scottsdale Mountain, dotted with mansions looking out over the community. It is a really gorgeous setting.
Tempe, named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece, is located just east of Phoenix and south of Scottsdale. It is the home of Arizona State University. On New Year’s Eve, the city hosts the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl Block Party, one of the nation’s largest New Year’s Eve parties.
The Mill Avenue District of Tempe, part of the ASU campus, is a really nice looking modern area full of trendy restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shops. The area dates back to the 1800s as one of Arizona’s first urban areas. Some of the original buildings still exist.
The Tempe Town Lake borders the north side and there was a triathlon going on. Along the edge of the lake is a bank of ultra modern high-rise office towers with big logos at the top for KPMG, Microsoft, US Airways.
Mesa is where our RV Park was located. Of course this is because it’s like the RV/Trailer Park capital of Phoenix. We enjoyed our stay at Palm Gardens, and can understand why some older people like these sorts of places, even though it’s not really for us. It feels very safe and secure. Nobody even locks up their bikes and they leave all manner of items you might be afraid to leave out in a non-gated community. Everybody is so friendly and helpful, and they are all out walking and cycling and chatting to their neighbours. It’s like a Beaver Cleaver neighbourhood, except you have to be 55+ to fit in.
The area of Mesa where we were was very old style, with no cool restaurants or shops. Every 5 blocks you’d find the same set of stores, with a Fry’s Grocery store as the anchor for a few smaller ones. There is a Camping World right down the street but we never got to it.
The only things we did in Gilbert was shop and drink wine. Our favorite wine bar, Postino had a location here, surrounded by other trendy restaurants. We were able to find two Walmarts, and a Trader Joe’s here as well. I believe there was also a Costco but we never made it there.
There are many places we just didn’t make it to on this trip, but that’s okay, we’ll definitely be back. We enjoyed the weather, shopping, restaurants and anywhere with good wine bars is our kind of town. We really enjoyed our week in Phoenix. So long and thanks for the ladder!
Overnight spot: Palm Gardens RV Resort, Mesa, ZA
Price: $40.00/night ($19/night with Passport America) Full hookups
Includes: A back-in space, garbage, water, sewer, power, pretty bad Wifi
Garbage: individual garbage cans for every site.
Cell & Wifi: Verizon – 4 bars of 4G LTE.
Antenna tv reception: Great!