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Phoenix Itineraries

Planning a trip to Phoenix? Our experienced travel editors break down the town so you can make the most of your stay. Let these itineraries be your guide, whether you're here for a weekend or a whole week.
  • Day 1
  • 1 Introduce yourself to the flora of the Sonoran Desert at the Desert Botanical Garden.
  • 2 For lunch, dine on locally grown Mexican street food at Gallo Blanco Cafe & Bar.
  • 3 Learn about the history and culture of Southwestern American Indian tribes at Heard Museum.
  • 4 Try the “best pizza in America” at Pizzeria Bianco. (While you wait for a table, have a glass of red at Bar Bianco next door or walk to Hanny’s for a cocktail).
  • 5 Cap the evening with conversation and cool music at The Lost Leaf Bar & Gallery in Roosevelt Row.  
  • Day 2
  • 1 Have breakfast at Matt’s Big Breakfast.
  • 2 Stroll around the corner to the Downtown Phoenix Public Market. (If it’s Saturday, explore the outdoor farmer’s market).  
  • 3 Check out vintage boutiques in the Melrose District.  
  • 4 Shop for groovy fashions, music, toys and candy at the wall-to-wall quartet of Frances, Stinkweeds, Red Hot Robot and Smeeks.  
  • 5 Have an artful lunch in a gorgeous urban space: St. Francis. (Try the homemade breads).
  • 6 Keep the vintage-shopping and good-eating vibe going with a malt or sundae at MacAlpine’s Soda Fountain.  
  • 7 Spend the afternoon at Phoenix Art Museum. (Linger at the Western American Art collection and Fashion Design gallery, then chill in the sculpture garden.)
  • 8 For dinner, search out the Tuck Shop, a hidden-gem eatery in the historic Coronado neighborhood.  
  • 9 Sip cocktails beneath velvet-flocked wallpaper and English bulldog oil paintings at Durant’s.
  • Day 3
  • 1 Usher in the day by hiking the steep, 2.4-mile trail from Echo Canyon to the top of Camelback Mountain.
  • 2 Reward yourself with a plate of huevos rancheros at Over Easy.
  • 3 Splurge on a massage or Hammam bath at Joya Spa.  
  • 4 Settle into an outdoor couch at Sanctuary resort’s cliff-side Edge Bar and watch the sun set against the mountain you hiked in the morning.  
  • 5 Dine at Lon’s at the Hermosa, a rustically romantic restaurant located in the old guest ranch of cowboy artist Lon Megargee.
  • Day 4
  • 1 Start your day with a dose of modern art at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.
  • 2 Have lunch across the street from the museum at Los Olivos, a Mexican restaurant with a wacky entrance and unpretentious Mexican cuisine.  
  • 3 Visit Taliesin West, the former home of Frank Lloyd Wright and one of his greatest architectural creations.
  • 4 Have dinner at AZ/88. The crowd is stylish, the food affordable, and the building is a work of art.
  • 5 Dance the night away at Axis-Radius.
  • Day 5
  • 1 Head north to McDowell Mountain Regional Park for a morning of mountain biking. (Go on your own or book a guided trip with Arizona Outback Adventures.
  • 2 Picnic in the park or enjoy a foodie’s lunch at Herb Box in DC Ranch.  
  • 3 Enjoy a sunset drink on the patio of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.
  • 4 Tear into a dry-aged T-bone at Pinnacle Peak Patio Steakhouse. (Hint: Don’t wear a necktie unless you want it snipped and nailed to the wall.)
  • 5 Wrap up the night at Greasewood Flat, an outdoor bar with fire pits, country music and a surfeit of friendly cowboys and bikers. (Warning: It’s an expensive cab ride from here to anywhere.)
  • Day 6
  • 1 Horse or buggy? Take a horseback ride through Camp Creek Canyon (guided by Windwalker Expeditions) or see the desert from the driver’s seat of an Israeli assault vehicle (guided by Desert Wolf Tours). The latter tour includes instruction in shooting a semi-automatic firearm.
  • 2 Have lunch at Bryan’s Black Mountain Barbecue, a restaurant birthed when a resort chef decided to open a pulled-pork joint in the middle of nowhere.
  • 3 Head back to the city to shake off the dust. On the way, stop at the new Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix.  
  • 4 Have dinner at Rokerij, then retire to its cool basement bar for cocktails.
  • Day 7
  • 1 Drive to the top of South Mountain—or take a day hike within its rocky creases. (Fat Man’s Pass is a picturesque trail, and 360 Adventures offers a guided trip if you don’t want to go it alone.)
  • 2 Have lunch at a local legend: Carolina’s. Cheap Mexican food; good Mexican food.
  • 3 Visit the Children’s Museum of Phoenix or Arizona Science Center. (Or both. They’re downtown neighbors.)
  • 4 Ride the light rail to the Mill Avenue District in Tempe.
  • 5 Head back to Scottsdale for stylish sushi at Stingray.
  • 6 Go out big: people watch at Sunset Beach, the rooftop poolside bar at the W Scottsdale.

MAP OF 7 DAY ITINERARY

  • DAY 1
  • DAY 2
  • DAY 3
  • DAY 4
  • DAY 5
  • DAY 6
  • DAY 7
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