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Phoenix's Growing Art Scene

Warm temperatures and swaying palms have always meant poolside leisure, but lately even locals have stopped teasing (What’s the difference between Phoenix and yogurt?Yogurt has culture), and recognize that the city is growing into its contemporary art scene.

Hotels (9)

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    Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch

    The feeling here is not exactly remote desert oasis, but you will find lush, sprawling grounds and a peaceful lake that offers relaxing gondola rid

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    Maricopa Manor

    Jeff Vadheim—the chatty, affable proprietor of this guesthouse—will tell you everything you need to know (and then some) about the history of the o

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    The Clarendon Hotel

    Sleek attitude defines this completely refurbished downtown hotel that, until recently, was better known to the authorities than to paying guests.

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    Hotel Valley Ho

    In 2004, Westroc Hotels & Resorts saved this old motor inn from the wrecking ball, and today the vibe is Rat Pack for the 21st century. The owners

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    Royal Palms Resort & Spa

    Located just a stone’s throw from the base of iconic Camelback Mountain, Royal Palms was originally built in the 1920s as the winter home for a New

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    Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

    If you’re looking for hustle and bustle, go elsewhere: this Four Seasons outpost is tucked up against some of the remotest desert in town. Opened i

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    JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa

    At this classic Phoenix inn, low-slung, cream-colored casitas and banks of rooms twist along 125 acres and provide north-facing views of Camelback

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    Hermosa Inn

    Well-heeled travelers have heard of the Royal Palms, but this inn—a smaller, equally charming spot—is just under the radar. Fred and Jennifer Unger

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    Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa

    Phoenix’s grande dame was built in the 1920’s by disciples of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the place feels like someone transplanted it from, say, Pasad

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Restaurants (11)

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    Tradiciones

    At this popular Mexican eatery, an expansive banquet hall adjoins an equally cavernous dining room. Vibrantly colored sails hang high above to abso

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    Mucho Gusto

    Phoenix has many Mexican restaurants, but this one gets extra points for ambience, creativity, and affordability. It’s a neighborhood hangout, but

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    La Grande Orange Pizzeria

    They used to make and sell the pizza at La Grande Orange out of a little market, but the pies became so popular that they opened a full-size restau

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    Cowboy Ciao

    Chef Peter Kasperski gets credit not only for overseeing excellent cooking, but also for having a sense of humor. He’s the mastermind behind severa

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    Delux

    This chic yet informal burger joint (the design is heavy on stainless steel and glass) serves salads (the beet variety is particularly tasty) and s

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    Fate

    It’s all about the sauces at this Asian-fusion spot run by chef Johnny Chu. Locals want him to bottle it, but so far here is the only place to tast

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    Green New American Vegetarian

    This café may have a casual, crunchy-granola feel, but the owners are serious about vegan food. You won’t find bland piles of sprouts here. Instead

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    Lo-Lo's Chicken and Waffles

    For a city with such a small African-American population (just over 5 percent, according to the latest census), Phoenix boasts some surprisingly go

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    Palatte

    From the menus on vintage metal clipboards to the cash register—which says, “You’re Pretty”—attention to detail is paramount at this sweet breakfas

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    Los Dos Molinos

    Take heed: the motto for this Phoenix standard is “Some like it hot.” From the green and red salsas served with homemade tortilla chips to every di

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    Vincent on Camelback

    Chef Vincent Guerithault was trained in French haute cuisine, but since 1986 he’s been blending his classic experience with influences from Mexico

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Activities (25)

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    South Mountain Park

    This 16,000-acre expanse may be the largest municipal park in the country, but you won’t find any softball fields or grassy concert venues here. Th

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    Piestewa Peak

    The City of Phoenix estimates that this summit’s trail is one of the most heavily used in the country; it draws an estimated 4,000 to 10,000 hikers

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    Pinnacle Peak

    Far-sighted preservationists saved this hill from becoming little more than a grand backyard of one of the mega-mansions that surround the North Sc

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    Camelback Mountain

    This red-hued beauty is an attractively rugged cliff perfect for hard-core hikers. Its Echo Canyon trail, which starts at 5700 North Echo Canyon Pa

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    The Roosevelt Tavern

    Matt Pool spent years fighting the city in order to open this watering hole. In Phoenix it’s all but impossible to operate a business within a hist

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    Modified Arts

    This tiny music club doubles as a by-appointment-only art gallery and showcases some terrific talent to see and hear. Indie-rock bands used to bypa

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    Chez Nous

    All walks of life used to converge in the after-dark over stiff martinis at Phoenix’s most beloved dive bar. This trashy little spot finally fell p

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    Japanese Friendship Garden

    Volunteers maintain this intimate, peaceful haven that features a 12-foot waterfall, dozens of plants and trees (including Indian laurel fig, purpl

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    Scottsdale Stadium

    During spring training, metro Phoenix is all about baseball, with several small ballparks offering action; but the best little one is this home awa

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    Casino Arizona

    You know what they say about casinos—once you’re inside, day and night blend and time stops. Same goes for the ones that ring metro Phoenix, so cho

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    Desert Botanical Garden

    Here you can hike deep into the desert without leaving a paved path or proximity to a cold drink. This 50-acre refuge has undergone a transformatio

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    Heard Museum

    Even if it didn’t house one of the world’s premiere collections of Native American art, you’d want to hang out in this space. The Spanish Colonial-

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    SMoCA Nights

    In an effort to lure non-museum types, this trendsetting institution began sponsoring SMoCA Nights a few years back. Typically including a fashion

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    Third Friday Art Walks

    The focus of the local arts scene is First Friday, an art walk that took off in 2003 and continues to flourish; it draws thousands of people of all

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    Bentley Projects

    Here lies the coolest spot in town when it comes to art and architecture. (It’s also the sister location to Bentley Gallery, which is part of Scott

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Similar Trips (2)

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  • Green Travel in Phoenix

    Carefree, Phoenix

    After a night at your environmentally-consicous hotel and a sustainably grown restaurant meal, take a geologist-led walking tour to check out 12-million-year-old rock formations.

  • Exploring the Turks and Caicos

    Providenciales

    A British crown colony located southeast of the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos (or TCI) comprise some 40 islands and cays, only eight of them inhabited. Travelers come for superb diving (on the worl

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