Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanksgiving in Phoenix 2014

Home Sweet Home

Frequently my holiday posts describe a visit to some other warm or scenic destination. This year, however, we are opting to enjoy our holiday in our home here in the Valley of the Sun!

So here is a holiday blog for those lucky enough to be visiting Phoenix over Thanksgiving 2014!


November is arguably the loveliest month of the year to visit Phoenix. Believe it or not, there are leaves falling (from all the big deciduous trees that fill North Central Phoenix.) And our nights are getting cold"isn" (this year the evening low for Thanksgiving will likely plunge to a bone chilling 55° F.) And, it gets dark early now, car headlights start popping on around 5:30 pm.

So what is there to do?

Well here are just a few ideas from Roadboy. My focus is Phoenix. I'm not into the snooty Scottsdale scene. Roadboy prefers "real".

1. A Visit to the Desert Botanical Garden (or as we call it the DBG)
This is the perfect time of the year to visit the garden. Click here to visit the DBG website. 


The Desert Botanical Garden

The garden's holiday festival, Los Noches de las Luminarias begins Nov 28. It typically sells out, so go online to reserve tickets well in advance for that.  

2. The MIM!
Arizona's Musical Instrument Museum is a treasure. This is a high-tech and very wonderful  addition to Arizona's cultural scene. The MIM displays musical instruments from around the world and with your GPS headset you hear most instruments being played as you walk near them! The MIM recently opened its Beyond the Beat: Drums of the World.  Click here to visit the MIM's website.

3. EAT!
A proliferation of spectacular new restaurants have joined my list of tried and true favorites. For scenery (and old Arizona charm) the best spot hands down is a lunch or romantic sunset dinner on the patio at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. Will you be staying downtown? The wonderful District American Kitchen and Wine Bar at the Sheraton is offering a special Thanksgiving dinner. Adventurous? For amazing Mexican it is the Barrio Cafe or the new upstart Cafe Otro. For down home Mexican I love El Bravo in Sunnyslope. For meet market Postino's wine bar on Central or Hanny's downtown should work. For wood fired yumminess it's Timo's in Sunnyslope. For neighborliness try Windsor. Want Chicken and waffles, its Lolo's. For N'awlin's it is Little Cleo's. How about a chicken fried turkey dinner? TexAz has got you covered. Or there's Maizies or Federal Pizza or brunch at the Lux Coffeehouse. How about some wonderful southern cooking? Then head to the Southern Rail at The Newton. And there is always a sandwich with house made mozzarella at Chris Bianco's Pane Bianco.

4. Culture!
The Phoenix Art Museum is a true gem. After two major expansions by the husband and wife team of Tod Williams / Billie Tsien it has wonderful space to display an extensive permanent collection as well as mount special expositions.

The Entry Courtyard of the Phoenix Art Museum

Click here to visit the Phoenix Art Museum website.

5. Get Smart!
Antoine Predock's stark concrete Arizona Science Center is a perfect place to go with kids (of all ages). It has great interactive displays and a cool planetarium. Alas it will be closed on Thanksgiving.
Click here to visit the Arizona Science Center website.

6. For the Jocks
For the "get out and do it' set November is the perfect time to go mountain or road biking in Phoenix. Sip a Latte while getting fitted for a excellent rental bike at the Trailhead Cafe / Bike Shop at 16th Street and Glendale. From there you can pedal away on the nearby AZ canal or go single track at the North Phoenix Mountain Preserve. Visit the Trailhead's website here. For the "sit and watch" set the Suns play Denver and Orlando at the US Airways Center however the Cardinals will not play a home game (Kansas City) at Peter Eisenman's University of Phoenix Stadium until December 7th.

7. Shop!
All the museums above have great gift shops. But there are also great little boutiques like Frances near Camelback and Central. Another block west on Camelback is the new Newton with its Changing Hands bookstore and the new restaurant by Becketts Table (Southern Rail). For Black Friday there is The Biltmore Fashion Park - a perfectly sized outdoor mall featuring one-of-a-kind shops at its UNION "alternative" mall. It also features great restaurants plus an Apple Store, Saks, and a cute little 1960's vintage Macy's thrown in for good measure. On friday nights there are free movies on the lawn! All of the parking facing Camelback is strictly valet. The free parking is located in the big garage behind the mall. Visit the Biltmore Fashion Park website here.

8. Ogle!
Walk the Grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Resort. The only Frank Lloyd Wright inspired hotel left standing in the world. Since it opened every sitting president has checked in at the Biltmore. Marilyn Monroe opined that The Biltmore's Catalina Pool was her favorite......

9. The Heard
In the tradition of saving the best for last, I recommend the Heard Museum. In my opinion the Heard ties with the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (near Tucson) as my favorite museums in Arizona. The Heard is the premier showcase of Native American art and culture. It has grown from "a little museum in a little western town" to what it is today - peerless. For Thanksgiving the Heard presents its special holiday ornament marketplace November Nov 28-30.

10. Glendale Glitters
OK it isn't in Phoenix, but this will be the 20th year for the wonderful Glendale Glitters light show, so I'm gonna pimp it. It celebrate its "Spectacular" weekend November Nov 28-30.

Come for Thanksgiving. Enjoy our weather, our culture and everything Arizona does well!

Roadboy's Travel © 2014

No comments: