Is there something I shouldn't miss in Phoenix?

My middle son and his wife recently moved to Phoenix and I’m going to go visit them in a little over a week. We’re looking online for stuff to do while I’m out there. Geeky stuff is good. I think we already found a botanical garden to walk through. They’ve been valiently checking out restaurants.

This won’t be the last time that I visit, but is there something that I shouldn’t miss the first time.

If you’re going to the Desert Botanical Garden make sure you visit the Chihuly exhibit.

There’s a pizzeria that regularly tops the lists of best pizza restaurants in the nation. (Although I’ve never eaten there.)

The Musical Instrument Musuem (MIM). Technically, it’s in Scottsdale, but what a cool place!

It’s very good.
He now has a few locations, so you can actually get in without waiting 3 hours.

Old Town Scottsdale is fun to wander through and browse the galleries. If you go, make sure you stop at SMOCA.

A drive to the top of South Mountain is something I would recommend.

What kind of food do you like?

Every time I go to Phoenix (which is at least once a year), it is a requirement for me to stop there. It depends on what you like in a pizza, but if you like those wood-fired, brick oven Neapolitan styles, there are few, if any, places in the US that do it better than here.

Well, it’s two locations for the pizza, one downtown, and one at Town & Country mall. I’ve eaten at both, and they both seem equally good to me, but I prefer the downtown location for its setting. And since they’ve expanded their hours a few years ago (it used to only be open for dinner from 6 p.m. to something like 11 p.m.), it hasn’t been that difficult to get in, especially if you plan your timing for a late lunch. I’ve even been there when they had empty tables. This is quite different than the first time I went a few years ago when it literally was 3 hours from when we got there to when we got seated inside the restaurant.

If you like hot dogs, Ted’s (from Buffalo, NY) makes a great charcoal grilled dog. It’s simply one of my favorite hot dogs ever. It’s not necessarily a “don’t miss,” but if you’re in the area and like hot dogs, I’d strongly recommend a stop.

If you are interested in architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West is worth a look. It is in Scottsdale.

My Wife’s cousin owns a bar in Phoenix. It opens at 6 am. They have karaoke and goldfish races, but not on the same nights.

I adore the Phoenix Zoo. If you like zoos at all, this is one of the good ones. I live in San Diego, home of (arguably) one of the world’s best zoos…and I’ve made the trip to the Phoenix Zoo three times…and hanker to go back again. I won’t say it’s better than San Diego’s, but it does a lot of things very, very well, and some of its exhibits and displays actually are better.

Sounds like I’ll be suggesting a side trip to Scottsdale.

I can’t take anything that’s hot. The boy and girl can, though, so as long as there’s something mild on the menu, it’s a possibility.

I’ve got a diet bet going, so I can’t get too wild.

That’s the place! And that exhibit looks cool.

Pizza is covered.
I highly recommend Vincents for brunch on Sunday.
TheDuck and Decanteris a landmark, and they have live music on the weekends.
Timo has a very nice patio, and good food.
Los Dos Molinos has some of the best New Mexico style food around. Most dishes are fiery hot, but I think they have some “Gringo” fare you could eat.
If you get to Scottsdale, Chop Shop has a healthy and tasty menu.
We like True Foods and Season 52 at the Baltimore.
Oh - there’s an awesome little Cambodian place downtown - Sekong by Night.

Are you Hispanic, as your SDMB user-name seems to suggest?

If so, don’t miss this chance to have an involuntary audience with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, and maybe even get a guided tour and free hospitality at one of his world-famous resort jails!


ETA: Srsly. If you’re Hispanic, I would think you’d want to stay way far away from Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix.

Don’t be ridiculous.

Phoenix has one of the largest Hispanic populations in the country. Sherriff Joe gets his name in the paper every now and then by pulling some moronic stunt, but the likelihood of this affecting a visitor is, basically, zero.

Now, you might be implying that the OP should boycott Maricopa county because of Sheriff Joe, and that’s your right. But to imply that they would actually run into trouble with the authorities is simply absurd.

Sorry, not Hispanic. Got the Yllaria while playing with medieval recreationists. It’s recorded in England in the mid 13 hundreds. Someone in the group was complaining that there were too many people using names that started with A, so I started from the other end of the lists.

I knew Sheriff Joe was somewhere in Arizona, but the association with Phoenix hadn’t clicked. It is a thing to ponder upon. And possibly discuss while visiting, although they haven’t lived there long.

And I now have a list of good places to eat that’s longer than the number of days that I’ll be there. A more pleasant thing to ponder.

If you will be in town during the first Friday of the month, there’s a large street fairthat’s held at night. Mostly “alternative” art, food trucks, music, and lots of people watching. Lots of fun when the weather is nice (you know, like now!).

That’ll be my first full day there. Sounds like a good stroll to unkink the knees.

The Heard Museum is worth a visit.

The Hall of Flame Firefighting Museum is good.

So I guess the peanut butter and bacon hot dog in a Twinkie bun is off the menu, huh?