What to do in Phoenix?

I’m heading out to Phoenix for a boys only long weekend. I actually lived in Phoenix for a summer a very very long time ago, but I was less than 21 and broke, so I didn’t get much of a chance to really check out the town.

I’m staying in Scottsdale. What is the oldest bar in Phoenix? What are the good dive bars? What’s a good happening bar that is not exclusionary (I will not survive any velvet rope scrutiny). Are there any interesting museums or bizarre cultural attractions? What are the unique cheap local eateries? What is the best non-chain hamburger, hot dog, and taco stand?

Thank you in advance.

Go hiking. Squaw’s peak and Papago Park are good day hikes.

Since everything in Phoenix is spread out, you’re going to be driving everywhere.

In that case, I’d head to Tempe and go to Mill Ave. Lots of clubs/bars/nightlife.

As far as Phoenix proper is concerned, I’m not aware of really anything good, they’re mostly like family-friendly chain places from what I remember.

Then again, it’s been 4 years since I been there, but before that, I use to go a lot.

Mill Avenue for young clubs, bars etc…etc…

Scottsdale for celebrity lounges like Martini Ranch, and Axis on Radius.

Oldest best Mexican restaurant: Los Dos Melinos (sp?) On Central and Baseline, you have to go right by it to go up to the top of South Mountain, which I recommend.

Go to the Heard Museum: Native American museum, very nice.

This time of year? Hide in an air conditioned basement.

Central and Baseline… isn’t that Poncho’s?

edit: It looks like it is… http://local.yahoo.com/details?id=20012316

Hee, hee. As a long-time Arizona resident, I can tell you there are almost NO basements here.

No basements in AZ, sorry. Maybe up in Payson, not down in the valley.

Oh and Los Dos Melinos is on 8646 S. Central Ave… just up the road from Ponchos. Unless they have moved in the past year.

Uh, yeah I know. I grew up there. 25 years. But there are some.

Right. That’s why my boyfriend’s house had one. I think “few” is the word you’re looking for. But I have to tell you, it was a hell of a lot cooler than anywhere else.

Out of curiosity what area of town did he live in? There are older parts where some may have a basement, but I’d say the house your BF lived in was not a cookie cutter, urban sprawl kinda house…If it was I’d be very interested to hear where it was.

We stayed at this resort with a water park when we were there. The water park is only for people at the resort and (I believe) their guests for an additional charge. http://www.pointesouthmtn.com/oasis.htm Still, if you haven’t finalized your arrangements you might want to take a look.

The reason I mention this is that unlike other water parks I’ve been to, this one has a bar. IIRC people were having those big fishbowl size tropical drinks brought right out to their towels and lounge chairs. Also, it is a nice waterpark. Not huge, but clean and in good condition, not cheesy or decrepit.

Word of advice - get there early and stake out some shade.

That’s curious. Why not? It’s not like you have a high water table or anything. So why not have a basement?

This from a blog I found online:

And this from a more factual group. It’s a good read, I found out a thing or two. I’m happy my wife and I kept out condo in Phoenix, I do love being out there in the winter months. But forget it in the summer.

Yes, there are almost no basements, underground cellars though:

Salt Cellar
550 N Hayden Rd

Excellent if pricey Bar and restaurant south of Scottsdale, Oysters Rockefeller served 10 feet underground! Good times…

I forgot about that one. Very nice indeed, especially when a coastal person moves or visits Phoenix, they want good seafood and that is about the best. If there is such a thing as seafood in the middle of the desert…:smiley:

It was actually Tucson, not Phoenix*, and it was in the northwest part of town, not quite in the foothills. The house was on a hill so it was a walk-out basement with about 1/3 the length of the house on one side exposed at the basement level, so the majority of the basement was completely underground. Man, I’m tellin ya… nothing insulates like dirt. My own house was such an oven (especially since we just had a swamp cooler most of the time). I’d guess their house was probably built in the 60s/70s? Just based on the style of it. And the shag carpeting.

*However, the townhouse complex I lived at for about 6 months in Phoenix, in the 35th ave/Glendale area if I recall correctly, had units with basements as well.

The answer I always heard was that it was too expensive to dig, since the ground was so hard. No idea if it’s true, though.

Check my link it summs it up…

I suggest that you check out Flicka’s Bar & Grill at 2003 N Scottsdale Rd (south of downtown Scottsdale on your way to Tempe). Probably perfect for a boys only weekend. Probably a small step above a dive bar, but certainly no velvet ropes. It’s a fun place the times I’ve been there.