AT#647 - Travel to Phoenix, Arizona
The bags back on the road. There and read it's go real good pass board. Hamma traveler pursued six hundred forty seven today. The amateur traveler talks about art, museums and western culture, hikes petroglyphs and Naro cactus. As we go to Phoenix, Arizona. The metre traveler, I'm your host, Chris Christensen. Let's talk about Phoenix. I'd like to welcome back to the show Cindy Carlson from exploration vacation dot net. Who has come to talk to us about Phoenix cine? Welcome to the show. I Chris thanks for having me or welcome back to the show said he was here about one hundred episodes ago. I was surprised it was that long ago talking about northern Vietnam. And if you haven't heard that episode I like that episode, obviously because otherwise she would be back. So Cindy, we're talking about a much more domestic destination this time in what's your connection with Phoenix? My now there's been down there about thirty years now. And so I've been going down there pre regularly since about nineteen ninety five bending sometimes just a few days and sometimes spending even a couple of weeks down there exploring the area. Excellent. So she is a snowbird in the language of the area. Yes. My parents are snowbirds I'd snowbird if I could convince my husband to spend more time down there but likes books. Gets a tad warm in the summer for me and Phoenix. And just so we know we usually don't talk about whether for a while. But one of the reasons a lot of people come down in the wintertime, lovely lovely weather summertime. They'll get one hundred days in a row that will go of one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. So that just baby something you think about we have a friend who moved to Phoenix because the summer's here in San Jose that only got two ninety were not hot enough for her. So if you like hot weather, that's definitely good time to go lot more people there in the winter. And there's a lot to do. Actually, I haven't been there in the summer, but there's a lot to do in the summer inside. And there's actually water in rivers and floats and things I have a lot of friends that live there year round. And they actually say summers aren't always that bad. Right. Well, it depends. Again, what you like. And I do know that the friends who go out hiking tend to do it early in the morning in the summertime or or later in the evening usually early in the morning when it's the coolest time of day, but what kind of itinerary do. Recommend for us for Phoenix. So I tried to put together, and I tend to worry that's really aimed at first time. Visitors to Phoenix it gives them an idea of what Phoenix is about where it came from what the landscapes like and what the people who've lived their past and present are like and it's geared. It's five days because five days seems to be to me a good amount of time to get a real feeling for Phoenix. It's still leaves you enough time that if you want to spend time golfing or laying by the pool or you wanna make a trip up to Grand Canyon, which I know you've covered on one a year. Previous shows you can add that on then it's a week's vacation and still do all the stuff that I'm recommending will you we won't took quite as much about site trips. But there are a number different things if you had north or south either down to Tucson, we've done it episode on that or up to flagstaff area up to Grand Canyon or even up to the north east corner of the state, we've got different shows about northern Phoenix. So we won't be talking about them now. But what should we do in Phoenix? Well, actually, let me back up a bit here. I should start with. Why should we go to Phoenix of all the places we should go to sell? I think Phoenix gets the bad rap as as a snowboard destination. Oh, it's just where the retirees go because warm it's hot in the summer. Why would you ever go to Phoenix? And Phoenix, particularly in the last fifteen years twenty years, maybe now has really become a arts and culture hub. It's got a a thriving lively downtown great art scene. It has spectacular scenery all around the city with the snoring desert there. It's become a real interesting place to go. There's something there. I think for everyone, and it's really a worthwhile destination. There's a lot to see in Phoenix that you probably won't see and other places. The only part of that that I would show is that that has happened over the last ten or fifteen years because I've been going there at longer than that. And I think it's getting better known for that over the last ten fifteen years, I think that's been there for. A while in terms of the arts and culture. I think part of it is as light rail's come in. It's maybe it's more that it's expanded places like downtown Mesa that used to be really dead are now little art tub's. Okay. And so maybe that's it because it's been building. It's I've always liked Phoenix. But I think it's really become something that a lot of people don't expect excellent. And we're should we start? So I'm gonna suggest that people start by learning about the Sonoran desert by actually going out to the desert botanical garden, which is in northeast. It's a beautiful place as botanical garden it, of course, has landscaped areas and non native plants, but it also has large areas of native plants. It's a great place to soak in the beauty of the desert and to learn about the desert, so that when you go hiking on your own, you know, that even those those Challah cactuses might look really friendly fuzzy that to get near them. So it gives you both that introduction to the desert as well as beautiful place to wander. You can easily spend a few hours or half day there. They have a fabulous cafes. What's a nice place to spend some time in the garden, and then wandered to the cafe will want to make sure that we're talking about the same place because the desert botanical garden that I know is not in north Phoenix. It's on almost in Scottsdale. So it would be east of Phoenix. It's right on the border of Scottsdale. And Phoenix you that's not north Phoenix east, east Phoenix. Okay. And that's another thing. I should mention that. I have geographic dyslexia when it comes to Unix. So keen on is because I miss a west when I really mean east it's over by Scottsdale, and it's beautiful. It's right at the foot of the mountains beautiful place to walk in wander. I happen to see it. The first time when there was a truly exhibit. So my experience there is quite different because there was all sorts of glass being shown at the same time. But what if a place especially for kids to recommend our kids love the butterfly exhibit, for instance, there as well as some of the other. And they've actually redone the gardens since you've been there since the league's of it. And there are still still Hulas and some other sculptures in the garden. They do special events visitors coming into Phoenix should check the schedule and see they sometimes do big fun parties out in the garden at night and different things can be hard to get tickets to those. But there are blast. If you can get them. Excellent. So because that's not necessarily a full day. If you want to do a little more that day, I would continue on towards the west to the Pueblo grandee museum, which it's a museum in an archaeological park, it's fairly small museum. But they do really nice job of talking about the hokum people who live in the Phoenix area more than thousand years ago. They actually were the original ones building canals in the salt. River valley canals bring all Phoenix's water in today. But that actually goes back to ancient culture that lived there more than a thousand years ago. It's a nice little museum the archaeological site itself, isn't terribly into. There's not a lot left. But the museum dozen nice job of introducing you to what this area was like in the people who live there a long time ago. The other alternative end out your first day would be if it's on a Thursday had over to Scottsdale and do evening art walk and have dinner down on the in the arts district in historic Scottsdale, which is a really fun place. And I'll talk about that a little more in the next day. We should say we haven't really even gone very far from the Phoenix harbor airport here for the first two stops does botanical gardens. The public grid museum are practically stone's throw from the airport. So we haven't ranged very far afield yet. This is all fairly easy to a stone. So for Phoenix anyway, which is a gigantic Norma's area. Geographically is a very large area. Geographically. That's right. I forget to actually put together two different options, depending on visitors interest level of interest in native cultures or cowboy culture, I've got two different options. One the one would. Be two more about the people who live in the southwest today. And that would be a trip to the heard museum in downtown Phoenix even closer to sky harbor airport. We haven't left really Phoenix at all for these. The today's the herd is both a cultural history and art museum about half the museum or more is devoted to exhibits on the peoples of the southwest with separate areas on each different culture, and both modern and historic pieces of art in basket tree in different daily aims of daily life. The other part of the museum includes an exhibit which for in my part of the country is something people don't know as much about as the Indian boarding school era. They've just redone the exhibit. I haven't seen the new one. But the old one was both fascinating and really heartbreaking. But really really interesting again mostly history. But combining modern perspectives and information as well. And presenting it in a way. It's very very acceptable like the exempts really geared for both adults and for children in the area. You're talking about here is an era where they want to pending on how you how you look at this. The one side would say they wanted to include the native Americans in American culture, and therefore they wanted to inculturated them. And the other side would say that they wanted them to lose their identity as native Americans and inculturated them. But it was definitely a very intentional move to bring them in to have the move away from their families to go to these boarding schools and two tournament white people would be the crude way of saying that. Yeah, it's a very complicated history. And it's a very painful history. And although it's mixed for some people that experience as much as it was it had some negative sides. It also brought good things to them others found it just devastating. And they try to deal with all that in a really meaningful, and I think respectful way at the herd. The herd has it's mostly native curator's in. So they do a really nice job at dealing with those complicated issues. The other thing the heard is is a arts museum contemporary or more historic pieces of art, usually all native arts. The most recent show featured Yupik masks from Alaska combined with works by Matisse because he had used some of these masses and Spiratou in his work, generally, though, the shows are focused on native arts native artists, those shows are always splendid really high high quality works. If you're at all interested in native art and the contemporary native art seeing the heard will have something spectacular. They have the finest collection. Definitely in the west and probably some of their collection is probably will to some of the pieces the collection at the national museum of the American Indian. They really do a nice job with their show. Depending on how long you heard you have a couple other options for the day. You are right downtown at the heard you're in an old historic neighborhood. You're just north of the Phoenix art museum. The phoenix. Art museum has a lovely collection. They are pretty much the standard big city museum. They have a lovely collection. But it's it's not Phoenix specific for the most part, the exception to that is their photo exhibit draws from the Zona state university collection. Unusually has some really interesting things in it. And they do spectacular spectacular special exhibits. So if you're an art person, you might just want to walk down the street and spend the rest of the day at Pam. I did forget to mention that at the heard have lunch before you leave the herd. They have a fabulous cafeteria than head onto whatever else. The Pam would be one of them the Phoenix art museum the option if you kind of had enough art for the day, or what little smaller museum is to get in. A car and head over to the smaller museum with the a state capitals the state capitalism. It's the old capitol building. They've preserved a few rooms in the building. But they have some really interesting exhibits in there. It's not very big. But they have a exhibit on the Zona the worship which was sunk in Pearl Harbor and some memorabilia from some of the survivors as well as this was news to me that all these ships have find China and silver and fancy settings like you get some Victorian dinner party, and they have all that on display there as well. They also have some very interesting displays on the beginnings of AirAsia as a state in the establishment of the of the state, including the fact that Arizona kind of played a dirty trick to get into the US as a state. They were required to change something in their provision for how they will how the handled their judges and didn't like with the federal government wanted them to. Do. So they went ahead and did it to become a state. And then as soon as they were state, they went and undid it and did it the way they want it to. Whole section on it. It's really quite interesting. So those are my day to option number one my action number two is to go back up. If you haven't been discussed to go to Scottsdale and do western spirit. I don't know. Have you been to western spirit in Scottsdale? Chris I do not know where you speak of with westerns. Still, but this is relatively new museum. It's maybe five years old at the most trying to capture the full extent of the the life and population changes in the west, and it has several components that it's a fine art museum more than a history museum. Although it does have historic pieces. One piece of the museum is a cowboy collection or western collection that has things like Spurs and saddles and all the things you'd expect in like a cowboy museum or an old west museum except most of the pieces were collected because of their artistic value more so than as artifacts of the old west that's a fun place for kids. But it's it's kind of cool for everybody because they have all this stuff. And you start looking at it. And you're like, wow, I never knew Spurs could be that interesting. But they can be part of museums fine. Art, mostly they've been expanding what they've been showing. They usually always have a big section by a prominent bronze artist who does away art in features native Americans, although he's not native American himself. They've added now a western movie poster collection that they acquired so there's usually some sort of western movie themed exhibit. They've also added a collection of Hopi classic historic and contemporary, but mostly historic Hopi pottery that they always have some of undisposed, and then they have some other traveling exhibits they've had western cartoons. They've had the towel Spain tres different things, but very much art based most of the first floor is very much art based except for the movie posters in the western cowboy things the second floor has to Perm semi permanent exhibits one of which saved Alaska. It's kind of. Exhausting. It's a fine. It's interesting. He's laughing. It's a fine art exhibit. That tells the story of the settlement of the west and meeting of the natives and the Anglos as they started settling the west, it's a big Zabit. And it's interesting, but more interesting is the other half, which has mostly has some fine art, but it mostly has more what we would consider artifacts and objects. So it has some artifacts and things from the Lewis and Clark exhibition. It has collection of spectacular chief's blankets. It has a bunch of Curtis. And they've changed this since I was there. The first time of Curtis original Curtis images of native Americans and showing all the different printing presses he used which was something. I had never seen the goal tones in some of that before. And so that was really interesting. It's got a fabulous mix of items and again, very large exhibit. So this is a museum that if you wanna see everything it will take most of the day to take a break here. And here from sponsor with all the recent news of online security breaches is hard not to worry about where your data goes making it online purchase or simply accessing your Email could put your private information at risk. I hope he knew the danger of connecting to the WI fi in the airport or in a local coffee shop. But did you just see AT and T has been selling your data and other companies have been as well your browser history? So that they can target you. 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I would say of the places that I have been in the area is the most cowboy town that the downtown Scottsdale has more cowboy art exhibits in stores and things like that and has more of that western heritage. I think they call themselves the most western town in the west. And it's a love downtown scout till it's an already town with this western heritage. And my grandfather actually was a cowboy so I have a fondness for the. Western heritage. We have his Spurs. He was on the last round up in Colorado when he was sixteen he busted broncs, adding. So I have some connection to this. Although I myself am not a couple I would say to if you're bringing kids along in being a western museum Alday seems like that might be the seventh layer of hell for you. You might. Instead if you wanna get in touch with the western heritage take them up to rawhide, which is a wonderfully touristy cheesy. Western recreation town in northern Scottsdale that is more of a kid friendly way to look at some of the western culture. And glad you added that I have not been to rawhide. I was looking at that the other day going I have to get up there. I took my kids there as as a kid. We join it. I mean, it's touristy it's cheesy. But it's great western spirit has some sections for kids and the western area part of it is Scott some good stuff. But both the heard and western spirit. Are pretty adult oriented museums. And glad you mentioned the old town Scottsdale because that would be my other recommendation as once you finish western spirit is actually right along that area where all the galleries and auction houses studios and things are and they've got that fixed up as a mall. You can go down you can walk into some window shopping. You can go in the galleries. There's a whole range of art. There's the western art. But now there's a lot non western themes done by western artists contemporary artists than there was a few even a few years ago. There's a lot of good restaurants there. No problem finding someplace to eat. Did you have one you would recommend? I was looking to see if there were any that I could recommend, but none are occurring to me. Cafe forte. Okay. Mr. right down on that end in. It's a lovely lovely spot. They do very beautiful dinners and nice lunches there. We've eaten there a couple times. It's not a budget place, but it's not super expensive either. And also for art lovers if you really into art and want something different. If you feeling a little overwhelmed by native and western art, the Scottsdale contemporary art, gallery is down at the end of the mall in that is completely different small small small museum only usually four maybe five exhibits on installations more often, but really interesting edgy stuff. So if you want a little change of pace, that's a good place to walk down to see what's happening. And as I mentioned Thursdays are there art night. Most of the year, they have galleries are open late. The museums. They're open late things are free. Most of the things are free, and you can walk around. And it's kind of an event it's a lot of fun to do something like that. Where to next day three. I think it's time to get out in the Sonoran desert a little farther. I'd recommend taking a hike. Phoenix is a great city for hiking or biking more just getting out in nature, you can hike right in the city of Phoenix. But as you go towards the edges of Phoenix, you have the mountain parks, which are spectacular. There's some some parks that we've that we've really really liked because they have nice mix of trails and fabulous scenery include the mountain parks right in town. And also thinking of the Phoenix mountains, preserve I'm thinking of all of those north so user mountain park Dowell park farther out is lost further out. Okay. The problem with the parks like doing the Camelback hike is that you're there with ten thousand other people so the Camelback so there are places to hike inside the city I've been in Phoenix mountain preserve which is an easy hike. And then there's. Camelback mountain, which is between Phoenix and Scottsdale, which is a much more strenuous hike, but a very popular hike, especially to go up there for sunrise is a very popular thing to do. But yeah, it is more popular while you can get around Phoenix proper Phoenix in Mesa Tempa without a car because of the light rail, you cannot get to Scottsdale on the light rail, but you can get to the others. Generally Phoenix is so much easier with a car, and if you have a car like I say north cave creek has that's a beautiful park. It's not too far out of the city. If you're staying up in Scottsdale, I generally stay on the east end of the city. I generally stay way out in Mesa the eastern end may so or in Apache junction and from their lost Dutchman state park is just stunningly beautiful Usery mountain state usury mountain recreation area, there's a number of trails out there that are tackler take you right up into the edge of the superstition mountains. So you have the desert and you have the mountains and went flowers are in bloom. It's just it's a gorgeous air. Area. Do you have a particular trail you recommend the to remember by name? Well, this chew suggestions one is just about any of the lower trails in Las Dutchman are fabulous beautiful. And then there's a trail if you wanna go all the way out to gold canyon, which is at that far edged the mountains at the Phoenix area. There's a trail out there called the hieroglyphics trail, which has it's a not too difficult though. I haven't been out there in a few years, but it's still open. It's not too difficult trail that leads out to a basin where there's sometimes waterfall. There's always usually a pool, and then there's petroglyphs on all the cliffside some of them you walk right past the first time, I was out there. We were looking for the petroglyphs in. We were looking so hard for them thinking they'd be hard to find that we actually walked by them. I turned around at some point and looked at my girlfriend in the petroglyphs like over her shoulder right there like where you could touch them. So that's. Tackler hike in. It's not a terribly hard hike. Please don't damage the petroglyphs and don't touch them while you're out there 'cause you could date that damages the the artwork, but that's a spectacular hike on that end like say, we've gone out cave creek in the north has really some wonderful, easy, easy hikes. Kemba Wimpy hiker these days. So. But I would spend the day just take your time and do one of the parks and enjoy the desert again if you're out there in the spring, the flowers in the desert are spectacular just spectacular. So that's my day. Three is Spencer timeout in for hiking around or in the mountain forests are in the desert area hiking around day four I'm going to suggest something that has nothing to do with Phoenix. Except that it's the only place you'll find this. And that is the musical instrument museum. Good. I was gonna get there. If you didn't. All right. And it's not the only place you'll find it. But we'll talk about the. Hoping to see the other one the spring. So the musical instrument museum, ignore the name. It's a music museum. There are instruments in the museum. So that is not an accurate. Isn't the totality of the museum? It's really about music and the people who make music as well as the instruments it's experiential in that you put on a set of headphones as you walk through the museum, and as you look at an exhibit. If you turn to watch a classic performance on video you'll hear all the sound over your headphones. If you go up and look at Bali's instruments as you look at the gamma Lon, you'll start to hear the Gammel on play in your headphones. If you're watching classic rock somewhere again, you'll hear the sometimes nation, but usually it's just the music. It's a fascinating easy to go through in the shows. They have their special exhibits include things like women's Rackers, costumes, or we went to one that was it was an art exhibit. I don't remember what they called it. But it was like dragons vines, and it was all the inlay guitars and musical instruments from around the world from the US. It was just an incredibly beautiful show. You've been there. Chris. Wouldn't you say that there's something there for absolutely everybody? I have not been there. My wife has been there to this one. I have been to the one that inspired it in Brussels. But I have not been to this one yet. Oh, will you need to get there? It's unbelievably fun. And it takes leave a lot of time. We left about three hours to do the museum. We took my mother there, and we figured she'd be bored in three hours, and she wasn't board, and we weren't bored in the museum was closing. And so we were very disappointed that we had left more time. That's the same thing. I heard from oh if it was a trip where I drove back from Phoenix, San Jose, California, which is home for me and my wife, flew back. So she had a little more time that to to go and explore in what with reservoirs thoroughly enjoyed it. Yeah. It is a very good reputation. But haven't personally been there. I'm gonna check out the one in Brussels spring. I hope so I can compare the two, but I was very very impressed and for lovers of more world music or more. Interesting things, you don't usually see in concerts. They have a beautiful beautiful studio concert space. They're and they do full range of form Ince's through the winter at least. And so if you can't into town, you can check out and see there might be something really unusual there that you are unlikely to hear somewhere else than it's a beautiful space to hear music in. Excellent. Well, you're out in kind of out in that end of of Scottsdale. I think it is it's way north in Scottsdale. So maybe it is cut netra kind of Scottsdale Phoenix somewhere over there. The trip me up because most things just say Phoenix in the address. And so you're not really sure there is a loop of highways that kind of to me defines the main part of town. And e this is one a one on the north and ten on the south, and this is the northeast corner of that loop. It's out ways compared to the other places we've talked about while you're there. It's further west steel for something again, a little different. But now only in probably Phoenix there's a place called the deer valley petroglyphs do valley petroglyphs, preserve. There are petroglyphs had mentioned on the hieroglyphics trail. There's actually petroglyphs you can see on the south mountain hike, but deer valley has a whole hillside a boulders with hundreds and hundreds of petroglyphs, they have a interpretive center that talks about the petroglyphs attacks about the area and settlement in the area. It's a really pleasant little site. And if you're like me, really bad at spotting petroglyphs, these are even if you can't find them. I don't know how you couldn't there right in front of you. But they have volunteers out there to help you see the petroglyphs will show you where they are in point them out. So if you wanna see petroglyphs this it's handicapped accessible, it's an easy place to see a little bit more about the history of the area and see these ancient petroglyphs, it's in some really interesting spot. And it's a good extra spot. Run to if you're out at the musical instrument museum because it's kind of in that corner of more inner urban area. So for my last day. I am proposing that you leave that civilized Phoenix area behind and head out into the superstition mountains superstitions are on the east. They kind of the east border of the Phoenix area. Beautiful rugged mountains. They don't look like there is rugged as they actually are. There's a roadway into the superstitions a historic roadway called the Apache trail. It's if you go out to Lou lost Dutchman and some of the mountain parks out that direction you go right on the patchy trailer up to it for a while on the Apache trail, the first half of the trail is a paved road. It's very scenic. But it's in pretty good condition. It's an easy drive. Anyone can drive it. A good half day trip would be to take the trail out to canyon lake and take a cruise on the steamboat Dolly, which will take you down into. Along canyon lake into its back early backwaters, but the little offshoots canyon lake is a reservoir. It's Switzer flooded. Canyon has steep cliffs, lots of desert scenery, you might even see some to Bighorn sheep some wildlife while you're out is just a really pleasant little cruise either before after the Dalai, you should continue 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 for either before or after your cruise when you go there. It's about a half day trip to go out do the cruise. Have a meal, it tortilla flats and dry 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. 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 than the twist 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, 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 nother 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 in. 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 the 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 can tell my thing is flour season. So flower season would be early spring starting in varies 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 should be really really beautiful through most of it's already the starting to bloom even through all March should be really really nice the weather spoonful 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. Didn't consider it part of the Phoenix metro area. But technically it actually is. It says spectacular drive in that garden is spectacular to Seoul. That's 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 grew dimension 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 'cause 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, Kobe, art or native American art is a museum down in Chandler called the Basha collection. And it was a 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 there. Development and style through time. It's a large collection in unlike most things in 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 building. So they've set up kind of like an old mining town. And it's very atmospheric in the location stunning some 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's spring training. If you were a baseball fan, the number one reason that I have been Phoenix over the last twenty years or so is to go down for spring training. 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 a 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, you know, 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 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 is good fun. But again, a little more expensive you 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. 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 of the entire year. It is a great time to usually I have also been there during hailstorms in March. So usually could weather then but not always and for hikers the snakes aren't out yet. Okay. Good snow. It's still too cold. It's warm enough for us. But not for the snakes, generally. Okay. That is always something to know. Couple of 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 trouble 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 sue 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 to do even the end may? But for sure June through even I've been in there in late September. And it's still Ben really in the nineties hundred juries 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 if 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 in them luxuries ORT s- 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 hiked in 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, where here's ONA 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, and while lot of it's aimed at college students. Not all of it is. And it's become a real interesting urban placed the kind of hang out and eat do things and be out. 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. Do you wanna 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's standing in. What are you looking at this is cheating? But I think the prettiest place in Phoenix 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 you can have the best of everything. Excellent. One thing that makes you laugh 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 Soweto. 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 a sore cactus won't even get an arm a limit till it's like a 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 to grow in the area. 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. 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 sun 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. Sydney. Thanks so much for coming on amateur traveler and sharing with us your lover, 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 in 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 traveler, 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 podcast. I've been a regular listener ever since. Last fall, my wife, and I moved from Pennsylvania to Brussels for an ex Pat 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 regular listener of that show as well with that. We'll bring an end to this episode of amateur traveller if you have any 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? Jam building.