January 8th, 2019 12:00am
So, you’re planning your visit to Arizona and the list of things to do is virtually endless. There are literally thousands of options from adventures to museums, art galleries & unique shops, and restaurants & live shows. But where do you start – and which ones are really worth the time?
Well, in this new blog series we’ll showcase 4 of our favorite, and lesser known things to do in Arizona. We know you’re busy so we’ll just give you the basic details and where to find out more information.
The Scottsdale Art Walk is an easy-going open house for the Scottsdale Arts District located primarily along Main Street and Marshall Way in Downtown Scottsdale. As “America’s Original ArtWalk,” this weekly gathering takes place every Thursday evening (year-round, except Thanksgiving) between 7 pm and 9 pm. That’s when member galleries belonging to the Scottsdale Gallery Association (SGA) open their doors to the public and show off the work of the Southwest’s outstanding artists.
A 40-year tradition, the ArtWalk process is simple — proceed at your own pace, wander into galleries that capture your fancy, stroll around a delightful area punctuated by dramatic statues, bubbling fountains, tree-covered courtyards, famed restaurants and more. Horse-drawn carriage rides and trolley rides are often available from plentiful free parking areas nearby.
Located atop South Mountain this lookout provides sweeping views of the Valley of the Sun. Perched at 2,330 feet with north-facing views of the city, Dobbins Lookout is the highest accessible point in the park. A stone ramada at the top offers shady seating, and a small observation platform identifies various Phoenix landmarks visible from the panoramic view, including Camelback and more local mountain ranges.
The road to get to the lookout is windy and is often occupied by cyclists so exercise caution on your approach. The payoff is worth the drive though. We suggest you go just before sunset.
Speaking of South Mountain, this 16,000-acre mountain preserve is home to miles and miles of amazing hiking trails. While many of them are well marked, we still suggest you bring a map with you because the trails intersect in many locations and it’s easy to misplace yourself. We DO NOT suggest this hike in the summer, save for very early departures.
This hike takes you to spectacular views, and eventually into the heart of the mountain to some amazing rock features as well as a natural tunnel that’s been visited for hundreds of years. Not feeling up to navigating yourself? Try a guided hike instead.
Nestled on 140-acres this magical wonderland is sure to impress you. With over 4,480 species, including 379 rare or endangered, you could spend an entire afternoon walking the grounds. You’ll learn more about the flora in our desert (and others) in this afternoon than you thought possible. There’s also a library & gift shop so you can pick up a few gifts for the family. One of the best things of the gardens is that they not only have a fabulous restaurant on the premises but they also have events through out the year including concerts and culinary festivals. This place is worth the visit.