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Japanfan
05-05-2012, 06:54 AM
Manhn,

My SIL highly recommends the two following sites in Phoenix, Lloyd Wright's house and a botanical garden. We're aren't going to get to Phoenix this trip, but maybe you'll enjoy them. She said the first completely rocked her world.

http://phoenix.about.com/od/attractionsandevents/ss/taliesinwest.htm


http://www.dbg.org/

acraven
05-05-2012, 06:19 PM
I second the recommendation for the Desert Botanical Garden.

Vash01
05-06-2012, 05:51 PM
I second the recommendation for the Desert Botanical Garden.

I third it. It's definitely worth visiting.

A newly built Musical Instruments Museum in North Phoenix may be interesting to music lovers. You can look them up on the internet for details, and live music performances.

If you are willing to drive 60-90 minutes north of Phoenix, you can visit Arcosanti, a different concept in living.

http://www.arcosanti.org/expArcosanti/main.html

ETA:I have not yet visited the Biosphere (south of Phx, about 1.5 hr, I think) but I heard it's very interesting.

paskatefan
05-06-2012, 10:30 PM
Manhn,

My SIL highly recommends the two following sites in Phoenix, Lloyd Wright's house and a botanical garden. We're aren't going to get to Phoenix this trip, but maybe you'll enjoy them. She said the first completely rocked her world.

http://phoenix.about.com/od/attractionsandevents/ss/taliesinwest.htm


http://www.dbg.org/

I recommend both. Plus at the Desert Botnaical Garden, you get to see several specimen's of the crazy Boojum tree (it looks like an upside down carrot rooted in the ground), and the crested Saguaro.

WindSpirit
05-06-2012, 10:33 PM
Yesterday we did the 'Teacup Trail', after getting lost driving up a street called Coffee Pot Road in a search of today's trail. You won't find it on a tourist map, need a local street map (available at the visitor centrers that abound here). The trail is near a residential area and free, whereas Boyton required the $5.00 per day visitor parking past. It was full of viewpoints, whereas Teacup was right in one canyon and the experience was one of immersion, as opposed to admiring breathtaking vistas. Thank you! :) I wasn't planning on going anywhere on foot, but after your posts I've changed my mind. Not sure which trail we'll choose yet, though.

As for the hotel we decided to go with the Sky Ranch Lodge at the airport (thank you to the person who suggested it). We chose a room without a view since there are views all around the place. There's a trail next to the airport, too.


I think the locals keep some of the best trails/locales for themselves - can't really blame them I suppose, given the number of tourists that come here. I don't blame them, either.

I still haven't decided what car I should rent. I wanted a small one and good on gas since we'll do a lot of driving, but then again, if we go on some trails, it looks like you have to drive on some unpaved roads to get there... I wouldn't want to get stuck anywhere out there.

Vash01
05-07-2012, 12:12 AM
Thank you! :) I wasn't planning on going anywhere on foot, but after your posts I've changed my mind. Not sure which trail we'll choose yet, though.

As for the hotel we decided to go with the Sky Ranch Lodge at the airport (thank you to the person who suggested it). We chose a room without a view since there are views all around the place. There's a trail next to the airport, too.

I don't blame them, either.

I still haven't decided what car I should rent. I wanted a small one and good on gas since we'll do a lot of driving, but then again, if we go on some trails, it looks like you have to drive on some unpaved roads to get there... I wouldn't want to get stuck anywhere out there.

If you can rent a 4-wheel drive, it will be great. Otherwise a mid-size car should suffice. I would not rent a compact. There are some steep roads in Sedona.

barbk
05-07-2012, 12:18 AM
Speaking of Coffee Pot Road, the Coffee Pot restaurant at the corner there had a really good breakfast.

WindSpirit -- Glad you got into SkyRanch Lodge. I think you'll really enjoy it, and the units on the inside of the complex face a very attractive garden area.

manhn
05-15-2012, 08:31 PM
A few more days. Can't wait!

I will go to the Botanical Garden, as it's near one of the light rail stations (I am a public transit nerd, so will spend one day in Pheonix just taking the light rail).

However, why didn't anyone tell me about Last Chance Bargain Shoes & Apparel? There exists in the world a discount arm of the Nordstrom RACK?!?!? Must go before I head off to the Grand Canyon.

acraven
05-15-2012, 09:24 PM
I still haven't decided what car I should rent. I wanted a small one and good on gas since we'll do a lot of driving, but then again, if we go on some trails, it looks like you have to drive on some unpaved roads to get there... I wouldn't want to get stuck anywhere out there.

Be very, very careful about unpaved roads. Most car rental agreements explicitly prohibit driving on unpaved roads (this may even be true for rented SUVs, but I'm not sure about that), and the collision damage waiver will not cover you if you have a problem on an unpaved road. I'm nearly certain that credit card protection also does not apply if you do something in violation of the car rental agreement. Not sure whether your personal auto insurance would provide protection.

skatemomaz
05-15-2012, 10:33 PM
A few more days. Can't wait!

I will go to the Botanical Garden, as it's near one of the light rail stations (I am a public transit nerd, so will spend one day in Pheonix just taking the light rail).

However, why didn't anyone tell me about Last Chance Bargain Shoes & Apparel? There exists in the world a discount arm of the Nordstrom RACK?!?!? Must go before I head off to the Grand Canyon.

The light rail stop is about 2 miles from the Botanical Gardens, and since we are already hitting 100 degrees not particularly a comfortable hike. At this time of year the best time to go to the Botanical Gardens is the early morning or evening, it is still cool enough then to really enjoy the gardens. Unfortunately, you just missed the Spring exhibit of the butterfly garden. However, this looks like a lovely evening at the garden. Topia Ballet Arizona (http://www.dbg.org/events-exhibitions/topia)

Last Chance is great just make sure you check over your selections carefully. Nordstrom's generous return policy means some items are well worn and in some cases damaged. That said I have found fabulous items there for a fraction of the cost. Be prepared to dig through the mediocre to find the gems and to stand in line for the dressing rooms.

cruisin
05-15-2012, 10:44 PM
Old Town part of Scottsdale has wonderful art galleries. And incredible turquoise jewelry. Also, I second, the Frank Lloyd Wright, house Taliesin West. It's amazing!

Japanfan
05-16-2012, 07:20 AM
However, why didn't anyone tell me about Last Chance Bargain Shoes & Apparel? There exists in the world a discount arm of the Nordstrom RACK?!?!? Must go before I head off to the Grand Canyon.

:lol:

I'm sure it will be tough contest between the two for the highlight of your trip.

madm
05-16-2012, 07:35 PM
We did a big week-long loop trip with my 90-year-old father-in-law 2 years ago that was fabulous, starting and ending in LV because that gave us the cheapest deal on a car rental and flight. We stayed about 20 minutes southeast of LV in Boulder City at the El Rancho Boulder Motel and loved it (quiet and small)! It was close to Hoover Dam (which we toured), and the drive from there to Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon was about 4 hours. We splurged on a fabulous townhome at the Junipine Resort in Oak Creek Canyon, about 15 min windy canyon drive from Sedona. Very relaxing and luxurious. Next we drove to the Grand Canyon and stayed in the park at one of the motels on the south rim. Best thing there besides the scenery is the dining room at the El Tovar which is foodie heaven. There's a great Indian museum there too. Drove from there through Navajo lands to Zion, and stayed at another fabulous place called the Zion Mountain Ranch with cabins and a great restaurant. Zion is nice to see, but the best scenery was the next day when we drove 1.5 hours to Bryce Canyon and stayed in the park at Bryce Canyon Lodge (try to get a cabin rather than lodge room). Due to having an early flight home, we spent our last night in LV at the South Point Casino Hotel, which we HATED!!! The hotel is fine for young people who want to be in a casino with smoke-filled, noisy environment and half-mile trek to get to your room. But we prefer peace and quiet, and this was the opposite. I think every hotel in LV allows smoking everywhere and has gambling machines in the lobbies and hallways.

Remember that distances in the west are great, and it will take you longer than you think to drive between all of the national parks. Allow plenty of time and 2 days per park if you plan to really see them and not just do a "drive-by" kind of trip. Our purpose was sightseeing and photography, which may be different than yours. Arizona and Utah are filled with natural beauty, so you can't go wrong wherever you go. But not so much for Nevada which has a pretty bland desert landscape.

Anjelica
05-20-2012, 06:53 AM
I didnt read all of the replies so someone else probably recommended the pink jeep tour of Sedona, but in case it wasn't mentioned I want to encourage you to take it, its so much fun! We took the 'broken arrow' one, and it was amazing! They take you way out on trails among the red rocks that you would never drive to; its definitely worth the price you pay for it in my opinion. Sedona is a magical, beautiful place so spend as much time there as you can!!! Have fun!

Anjelica
05-20-2012, 07:01 AM
I live in Phoenix and if you are not aware, it is very, very HOT here right now!!!! Not sure when you are coming but this weekend is supposed to be back in the triple digits again; we have alot of dust, heat and scorpions this time of year here. There is really good shopping at several air conditioned malls, the Chandler Fashion Center has Nordstroms and all the fine stores, cus believe me you will not be wanting to spend the day outside in this heat. There is also the Arizona Science Center which has a planetarium and some other interesting stuff, that's in down town Phoenix. An amazing place to stay in Scottsdale is the Phoenician, one of the most incredible resorts in the world.