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Planning family trip

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Northern Virginia
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71 posts
5 reviews
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Planning family trip

We are planning our first desert trip with two kids under 10. We have narrowed our rental house search to one in Mesa and one in the Kierland area of Scottsdale. Looking for advice on which area is better- we like shopping, restaurants, mini golf and other family geared sightseeing. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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for Phoenix, Scottsdale
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1. Re: Planning family trip

With your various interests, the Kierland rental might be the better one. Shopping, restaurants and Cracker Jax Family Fun and Sports Park are all nearby. The kids might also enjoy McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park just a few miles south on Scottsdale Road. Just to the west is the Musical Instrument Museum, which gets great reviews for all ages. And you don't want to miss the Phoenix Zoo, which is southwest. You also might enjoy a drive north on Scottsdle Road to Cave Creek. The Buffalo Chip Saloon has live bull riding on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Phoenix
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2. Re: Planning family trip

Depending on where in Mesa the condo is, it might not be the best in terms of shopping/family entertainment. Scottsdale would be my recommendation for shopping and definitely restaurants.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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3. Re: Planning family trip

Choose Scottsdale.

Arizona
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for Scottsdale
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4. Re: Planning family trip

definitely Kierland...what time of year are you coming?

Wickenburg, Arizona
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for Wickenburg
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5. Re: Planning family trip

Haven't stayed at the Kierland, but I'd definitely choose Scottsdale over Mesa in your case.

Phoenix, Arizona
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6. Re: Planning family trip

Scottsdale is a good place to be, the Kierland area is a great central location to get around the valley. There are lots of shops and restaurants and the night life is hopping. It is a nice safe area that can offer a lot to do.

Northern Virginia
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71 posts
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7. Re: Planning family trip

Thanks for the advice... We are coming in march and my kids have two weeks off. I ended up choosing both-a condo at sunscape in old town for the first week and the house in mesa for the second week. We don't mind a 20-30 min drive for some dinners and the house in mesa has such a great pool and desert view that we couldn't resist.

Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: Planning family trip

For what it's worth, I think you are getting advise from adults through the eyes of adults. While Kierland has much to recommend it, it is not nearly as kid oriented as the Mesa/Chandler area. I don't think she going to be as much interested in dragging two less than ten year olds around endless high end boutique shops, nor in fine dining and hopping night life than she is in getting a full day's activities oriented to kids before she gets them to bed early. Other than the retirement communities, I can't think of any condo complex out there that doesn't have a gated and locked pool and full playground area. Also, you would be hard pressed to find a restaurant out there that doesn't have a full kid's menu. There are reasonable family oriented restaurants all over out there.Getting around on the less crowded and quieter streets is easier than north Scottsdale, and once you are on the 60 it is just as easy to get anywhere in the valley. If Junior forgets his swimming trunks at home, there are easyin/easy out reasonably priced malls to take care of all those kinds of needs before going to the water park..It would be a quick drive to Rawhide to see a wild west shoot out before going into the old timey saloon for a cowboy burger. You can also go (perfect time of the year) to spend a day hiking and having a pic-nic at South Mountain Park (second most visitd site in AZ.) Maybe even stop at the famous, spooky Mystery Castle. All in all, I believe the east valley, Mesa/Chandler area is a much better venue for the kind of vacation you will want and need.

Northern Virginia
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71 posts
5 reviews
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9. Re: Planning family trip

You hit the nail on the head... we will definitely hit Kierland Commons once or twice for a nice meal, but we also want a good every day mall for shopping. We are Americans currently living in Canada and we will be really happy just being near a Target :) It doesn't seem like anything is really that far away.. The types of restaurants we are looking foward to eating at are Mimis, Red Robin, Pei Wei and PF Changs, Cheesecake Factory, etc. The good American chains that we miss, that appear, by google maps, to be all over the greater Phoenix area.

Thanks for the tips on the park and spooky castle!

Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: Planning family trip

I think your two week vacation split up in both locations will be wonderful. March is a great time of year to be here. I realize Kierland isn't the most ideal for kids, but I find it to be a good central point to great restaurants etc. all over the valley. I too do not mind a 30-40 min. drive to a restaurant or entertainment. I too would be excited to go to a Target. I think you will enjoy your decisions.