Phoenix, Scottsdale, Phoenix Art Museum discussed on The Amateur Traveler Podcast
Down the road to tortilla flat. Which is a either restored revived ghost town or a rebuilt completely rebuilt. Ghost town, the original tortilla, flat mostly burned down many many many years ago, they have a little restaurant out there. There's a teensy tiny museum. The restaurant is actually fairly good. It's really good. But it's very western themed, you know, saddles for barstools, and that sort of thing it's an interesting quirky place with decent food makes a really good stop fro either before or after your crews when you go there. It's about a half day trip to go out do the cruise. Have a meal, it tortilla flats and then drive back for the more adventurous, the fun part of the road starts after tortilla flat. Skip the cruise unless you want a really long day, but you could do both once you pass tortilla flat. You you get to a hill. And when you go down the hill the road turns dirt, it's basically the same unpaved road. It was in nineteen thirty six when it was last used as a the main highway between Apache junction, we'll between Phoenix and Payson and you are stepping back in time. It's one lane in some places. If you make it through fish creek through the steep descent, the twists the blind the one lane blind curbs and that area than the rest of the road is pretty drivable. Always check the weather before you go to make sure the road isn't in terrible shape or washed out from Raines was recently graded the last time we were out there. There are some guardrails there are a lot of guardrails because it's a historic road. The apparently can't do much to widen it or improve it. It, but that's part of the adventure. It's a stunning drive. It's a dusty drive. There are some some places to stop where you can admire. The senior admire the wealth lowers there's actually another lake further down Apache lake. There's a little resort marina down there. When you get to the end of the road. There's a big dam area which creates another lake Roosevelt lake which is a big recreation area. And once you get all the way to the end, and it's only about twenty five miles on the unpaved portion, but plan at least an hour or more to drive that part. You cannot drive it over about thirty miles an hour, most of it. And some of it is a lot slower than that. You don't need a high clearance vehicle most of the time, it's not a bad idea. But you can drive it most of the time in a sedan without any problem. But for the adventurous drivers, it's a gorgeous drive when you get to the end, you can stop and take a break at Roosevelt lake, and then you either can go back the way you came or. There's a state highway that runs through the it's the tunnel. National forests, it's a lovely area. Partly desert, partly forested and takes you back down south to down in globe and coming across globe and superior. There's another botanical garden down there that spectacular. If you want to do some more flowers if you're there and flower season, you can tell my thing is flour season. So flower season would be early spring starting in various by year. But usually starting late February, Pat, the poppies sometimes mid February. But March is really marching into early April is usually when the flowers and this year offensive your listeners are thinking about going. This should be a great year for flowers. They've had a lot of rain this winter at should be really really beautiful through most of it's already the starting to bloom even through all March should be really really nice and at the weather's beautiful March is the high season, and we'll get into that in a little bit. Because there's a reason why it's the high season if the high part of the high season actually the winter is the high season go ahead. You're you're talking about flowers though, that Dr gives you some spectacular flowers the hallway when you come down in when you get down. It's Boyce Thompson arboretum down in superior, which is again at far far southeastern edge of the the Phoenix metro area. It's really I would. Consider it part of the Phoenix metro area. But technically it actually is. It's a spectacular drive in that garden is spectacular to Seoul. That's the nice it'd be a full day at a someone wants to do something like that gets you out of town and let get you out into the desert, which is sort of nice. If you're in spending all of your time right in the Phoenix area. That's only five days. There's other things you could do I did not mention tally Essen, which is Frank Lloyd Wright's Greenwich that Yuka. Winter residents. It's a very interesting place to tour. I think it's an interesting place to tour if you're an architecture geek, which I happen to be I not sure that I would recommend it for anybody. Who's not a real fan of architecture? But if you are a, yeah, this is a very major site. In fact, it is on the list of possible UNESCO world heritage site as a multi site portion about Frank Lloyd Wright, oh, I didn't realize that. Yeah. No. I would agree that you need to be an architecture fan and partly because it's quite expensive to tour. It's not a budget tour, and you have to buy to to do it for architecture fans in general Phoenix is a great city because developed so much in the forties, and particularly the fifties and sixties, so it's unbidden century modern stuff everywhere, they do a mid century modern week in March. There's just lots and lots of interesting architecture from that period as well as some really interesting modern the lot of the civic buildings that were built. Twenty thirty years ago or more recently are just really spectacular both in Phoenix. And in Scottsdale in particular, the western spirit in Scottsdale is an architecture. Very interesting building with a lot of sustainability features interesting. Interesting features, there's a Pam the Phoenix. Art museum is a real interesting building. There's a lot of really interesting buildings. But for Frank Lloyd Wright fans, this is one of the big ones. The other thing. I didn't mention is for fans of either western art in general, art, or native American Arthur's a museum down in Chandler called the Basha collection. And it was the private collection of Eddie Basha who runs the who. At one point ran the Basha grocery stores, and it's not curated the same way the say the heard or western spirit is but for someone who's interested in that sort of art, it's an amazing collection. He'll have he has in some cases, hundreds of pieces by the same artists. You can see like your. Development style through time. It's a large collection in unlike most things and Phoenix for most museums. It's totally free only when weekdays, but it's an interesting thing. Most people don't know about the last one I'd add that people should maybe think about is the superstition mountain museum, which is a little more informal than most of the other museums. I've mentioned it's at the base of the superstitions where the Apache trail starts they have some really cool mining memorabilia pieces while not huge equipment. They have some historic buildings and some historic looking buildings. So they've set up kind of like an old mining town. And it's very atmospheric in the location stunning. It's a beautiful beautiful location. The other thing that we haven't talked about is why March is so busy in Phoenix. And it's going to be one of the more expensive times to go and that spring training if you were a baseball fan, the number one reason that I have been a Phoenix over the last twenty years or so is to go down for spring training. We're half of the American baseball teams. Well, half of the American US and Canadian will end up in Phoenix and the other half in Florida, and you could go down and see half the teams play in general, and how cheap it is depends on where you go. If you go to Scottsdale stadium where the giants play you'll pay as much as you will for game that you see in San Francisco, but on the other hand, if you go out to Glendale or Peoria to one of the other stadiums where some of the mid western teams are playing you can sometimes see a game for really cheap a game and a hotdog and can be quite a fun experience to go and see a number of the different teams all in a short period of time. Which is why it is. So popular will be a little more expensive to go that time of year. But that is a big draw in Phoenix in spring training starts in February and then finished his March. Yeah. And. Really it's March. That's the the big thing. Because that's when they start playing more games the pitchers catchers reported mid-february. So that is something that we have been down for many times and is good fun. But again, a little more expensive get friends to stay with. That's a great time to go but lights are going to be a little more hotels going to be a little more hotels early challenge and rental cars. I don't know if you guys fly drive, but I have been there in March where there has not been a rental car available in Phoenix believe that. Yeah. I mean, it seems as ING, but it's it's true because of the spring training, and all there is a lot of marches probably Phoenix's month for the best weather the entire year. It is a great time to be there. Usually I have also been there during hailstorms in March so easily could weather then but not always and for hikers the snakes aren't out yet. Okay. Good to know. It's still too cold. It's warm enough for us. But not for the snakes, generally. Okay. That that is always something. Couple things other things for kids. There's a children's museum I have not been there. So I cannot recommend it necessarily. But there is a zoo that our kids enjoyed when they were younger in Phoenix that was quite fun some other things for kids to but again, I don't travel with kids either. So it's harder. But the zoo is the zoo is very nice. Yeah. US news World Report that put that in their fourth on the list, even above the Phoenix art museum, and some of the other places we've talked about they put it above the heard museum, which I know is fighting words for you. But. It's a zoo. It's a good soon though. I would recommend that more of the shoulder season or the winter in the summer that's going to be pretty warm. Yeah. I mean, that's generally true anything outdoors. You wanna do even the end may? But for sure June through even I've been in their late September. And it's still Ben really in the nineties hundred degrees. So early mornings or evenings. A really when you wanna be out. You wanna do stuff that's inside an air conditioned, every places are conditioned in Phoenix. It is a drier heat than you would find in the midwest east coast or the south like an oven. But it gets quite warm. So and there's you know, spas, golf courses and all sorts of other things that people go down to Phoenix for that. I'll let you look on your own anything else. We wanna tell people before we get to some of our wrap up questions, Cindy mentioned is that for looking for lodging in Phoenix that there's really some key places. If you wanted urban experience to stay downtown Phoenix downtown Scottsdale, or in one for more laidback urban experience in one of the historic districts and Phoenix they actually have a lot of historic districts, and there's a Fairmont of Airbnb is in them luxuries arts up north in Scottsdale or the desert escapes out on the eastern edge of the metro area. You can find some spectacular places out there. Great views, and you can hike right out your door, and I should say that if you're looking at a map of Phoenix almost everything we covered other than some of the parks that we went out and heighten were in the eastern part of that circle that I drew. Around Phoenix with highway one and highway ten almost everything we did was to the east of highway seventeen which runs north and south sort of in the center of Phoenix. We didn't talk about places like Sun City where a lot of the retirees are and some of that area. That's a little less. Interesting to me, unless you're really fond of astroturf lawns and things like that. We also didn't talk about Mesa and Tempe, which you say is where you stay. Is there anything we want to say about those areas? Why did you stay in the farther eastern part of Mesa or north on the mountains? But downtown Mesa is really starting to have a rebirth in his becoming an interesting arts area. They've done a lot of landscaping they've put in a beautiful art center. They have some historic buildings. They lost a lot of them. But they have some there's a historic neighborhood. So it's it's becoming a really attractive place to stay and are more little more urban stay, but not being in Phoenix. It's let cheaper than downtown Phoenix Scottsdale Tempe. I have not stayed in Tempe. But we've gone down there on the light rail we've stopped there few times to eat and check it out. And that is of course, we're on a state university is located that's probably the liveliest place in the Phoenix metro area right now, there's all sorts of bars and restaurants in while lot of it's aimed at college students. Not all of it is and it's become a real interesting urban place, the kind of hang out and eat and do things and be. Outside and they've got some great parks. And so again, that's more urban areas, especially for younger people. There's a lot more nightlife. It's I have been in restaurants in Phoenix and Mesa recently that eight thirty you're eating dinner in their starting to put the tables on the chairs on the tables and close up for the night. So. If you want to be a little later, Scottsdale or Tempe is probably your best place to go and look for a little bit of nightlife. Excellent. All right. You're standing in the prettiest spot in Phoenix where he standing in. What are you looking at this is cheating? But I think the prettiest place in Phoenix is any place where I can see Sura cactus silhouetted against the setting sun. Just my favorite thing. Can you a lot of places that is a lot of places? Can you think of one place in particular? I'm very partial to lost Dutch mistake part because you can see the swirl mountains on one side swore months, the superstition mountains on one side, and you can see Phoenix off in the distance. And so you can have the best of everything. Excellent. One thing that makes you love and say only in Phoenix. It's the phones it's getting better. There are water features everywhere in Phoenix, just everywhere. And they recycle all the water. I understand that. It's reused water. And they reuse it for five times even before it gets in the fountains. But. It still seems just crazy to see all these cactuses growing alongside these beautiful ponds around the greenfields, and golf courses and lawns. It's just. It's crazy. Excellent. And if you had to summarize Phoenix in three words, what three words would use vibrant, artsy and Suru. Excellent. Well, we did we did talking about the cactus is so much the one thing that may surprise you. If you're not from the area is how old these cactuses are because I think oral cactus won't even get an arm a limit till it's like one hundred years old if I recall correctly. So if you see something up there that's got two three four arms as a cactus. It is hundreds of years old so beat, you know, be careful with them be gentle with them. But they are very interesting adapt Haitians of plants that grow in the area. Yeah. And they're only found in the Sonoran desert. So they're only found in the central southern Arizona into Mexico and in in Phoenix, UC them planted on the roadsides all over the place and just everywhere, but they're cool. They're so cool city if we wanted to send people to the best post on Phoenix on at exploration vacation dot net. What post would we send them to? I have a separate landing. Page for exploring Phoenix in the valley of the son that has just some summaries, and that has links to a few other stories and things a lot of the places of talked about I haven't actually written about because it's I'm down there so often I don't get things written up. Our guest again, it's been Cindy Carlson from exploration vacation dot net. Simi thanks so much for coming on amateur traveler and sharing with us your love of Phoenix. Thanks, Chris is really fun. It's always fun to talk to you. Couple of new things on the amateur traveler blog one is I finally got around to writing up some of the amateur travel trips in blog format. So if you're interested in reading about Morocco Cambodia or India, you can check those out at the top page of amateur traveler, also we just got back from Portland, and there's a couple articles about things to do in Portland and winter and best Portland food trucks and carts. So check those out amateur traveler dot com. If you're looking for California content on the amateur trough, or you're gonna have to go instead to California travel media dot com, all that content. Got moved to a new California website that I'm going to be putting some work into. I heard from Kyle this weekend. Kyle said I just wanted to send you a quick note of appreciation. I came across the amateur traveler podcast years ago via your tech in travel minute features on Tom merits daily tech news show putt cast a been a regular listener ever since. Last fall, my wife, and I moved from Pennsylvania to Brussels for an expat assignment, I've been combing through the amateur traveler archives since then and binging the European episodes to help decide where we should travel on our new home continent, you've created such an invaluable resource with rich catalogue of travel experience. Please do keep up the good work regards Kyle and thanks so much. It was great to get your Email. And also people don't know what he's talking about four nail over two years. I've been doing once a week just a quick tech in travel tip for the daily tech news show, which is my daily tech new show of choice. I'm a regular listener of that show as well with that will bring an end to this episode of amateur traveler giving questions Senate Email to hosted amateur traveler dot com or better yet. Leave a comment on this episode at amateur traveler dot com, and thanks so much for listening. See? Champ.