Looking for a guide for things to do in Phoenix, but not just the top touristy go to spots, well, here’s your key to the city; a definitive guide to the best local spots, as told by local.
Whether it’s outdoor hiking trails, the coolest coffee shops, or the best brewery, this is where “we” hang out.
Piestewa Peak at 2,610 feet is the second highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, after Camelback Mountain, and the third highest in the city of Phoenix, Arizona. It is located in the Piestewa Peak Recreation Area within the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, near Piestewa Parkway (Arizona State Highway 51). Piestewa Peak is named in honor of Army Spc. Lori Ann Piestewa, the first known Native American woman to die in combat in the U.S. military, and the first female soldier to be killed in action in the 2003 Iraq War.
Piestewa Peak represents some of the best hiking Phoenix has to offer. The trail is steep but well-maintained and the summit provides you with views of the entire city. If you aren’t up for a summit hike, try the circumference trail, which treks through the numerous cacti and the occasional lizard, quail or roadrunner. But if you go on a weekend, get there early, because this park gets busy fast.
This cool hangout is not in the Arcadia neighborhood, but worth the drive. It’s an eclectic coffee shop with insanely delicious coffee and desserts. If “people watching” is your thing, you’ll get a good dose of a healthy mix of personalities here, from college students, laptop junkies, friends, folks on dates, etc. We like to go here for coffee after a date night and even dinner on occasions. The vanilla lattes and pretty much all the desserts are worth the few extra mile drive.
Papago Park has a lot going for it. Its proximity to the city, it’s free, offers plenty of parking, and has an extensive trail system. You can often time see individuals rappelling off the sides of a cliff.
There are spots that are fairly easy to get to where you can get a view of the entire city, watch the sunset and see the city lights. You are also close to the zoo and the botanical gardens, but the real draws are the beautiful rock formations. Its massive, otherworldly sandstone buttes set Papago Park apart.
O.H.S.O. is a great neighborhood place that backs up on the canal. Locals enjoy the biking the canal and the local fare, they offer a great selection of local beers and locally made sausages. The atmosphere is fun and pub-like and what’s even better is the bar is dog-friendly.
This local favorite was built in an old post office, known for its extensive wine list and bruschetta. Postino’s has a great patio and awesome happy hour specials. A tip that keeps locals coming back is every Monday and Tuesday after 8 p.m. you can get a bottle of wine and plank of bruschetta for $20. This place is great for dinner and drinks or just drinks and hanging out in the heart of the Arcadia neighborhood.
If you’re looking for the very best place to go for “Sunday Funday”, this is the place. The Vig has live bands on the patio during the day and plenty of activities to keep your attention, like a bocce court. The food is great and the price won’t hurt your bank account with half price wine bottles.
Monday’s from 6p-10p is $5 Burger night and of course every night they have a great happy hour. Another item of note is that the patio is open all year round.
I don’t often use the word fantastic, but this restaurant has fantastic food. Not only is it a good place for a special occasion, I’ve enjoyed birthday and New Year’s Eve meals here, but also everyday dining. Hint to visitors they make an amazing chocolate chip cookie!
This is one of my fav healthy places to grab food and drinks. They have a full assortment of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options available. They have great fresh juice and if you like veggies, you must order the crudités and the vegan pistachio sorbet.