We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Coming this weekend! No time for research

Ypsilanti, Michigan
Level Contributor
26 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Coming this weekend! No time for research

My DH and I are coming to Phoenix this Friday evening. It was a very short notice; we arrive at about 7 PM and we will be staying at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort, and we have a small SUV rental. On Friday evening, we will be just staying at the resort and dining there, as well. We have 2 full days (Sunday and Monday) to tour Phoenix and/or surrounding areas. We also have Tuesday until about 2 PM to tour. Saturday is taken up with a conference, and visiting some old friends, who will also be visitors to this city. Other than flying into Phoenix, and driving away from it to the Sedona area, we have never been there.

We love hiking, scenic drives, nature, and state/national parks. History is important to us and we like to learn about new cultures (to us). We would like to learn more about the desert, as we really haven't spent much time in one!

We hope to see the Heard Museum (thoughts?) and the Botanic Gardens. Possibly Wrigley Mansion (thoughts?). So, if we do these 3 places, can anyone suggest a great outdoor experience for some local hiking/nature/scenery? Thank you for any ideas on such short notice. Very excited about this short trip we were not expecting to go on!

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix, Puerto Penasco
Level Contributor
2,004 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

Heard Museum and Desert Botanical are excellent selections. I would also add the musical instrument museum to the mix. http://mim.org/

Plenty of mountain preserves in the area in every direction. You may also enjoy spending a few hours in Carefree/Cave Creek area.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

You will want to see Pueblo Grande ruins and museum to learn about the ancient culture. Phoenix has more hiking and climbing trails than anywhere else in America. You can take one of the more strenuous climbs such as the famous Camelback Mountain, or you can take easy, nearly flat hikes along one of our canals. I think the best is from the Arizona Biltmore Resort east toward the "nose" of Camelback. You will walk along a gently moving canal, between two golf courses and have Piestewa Peak no more than a mile to your left and the entire city will be spread out below you to the right. We also have the world class Phoenix Zoo with many very rare animals not in cages, but in their natural habitat., and it is just next to the Desert Botanical Gardens.There are also many very famous buildings here such as Grady Gammage Auditorium designed by Frank LLoyd Wright, on the campus of Arizona State University. If you want a truly magnificent view, you can drive to the top of South Mountain, the largest city park in the world. It is the highest elevation in the city and you can see forever from the top.Wrigley Mansion is basically a restaraunt. But it is just next door to the Biltmore which is an absolute must see, especially the grand foyer. Another Frank LLoyd Wright design. From there you can take your hike down the canal and when you return you can fill up at the very comfy Frank and Albert's cafe, either indoors or outdoors.

Arizona
Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
Level Contributor
4,662 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

The Desert Botanical Gardens is outdoors and would be a perfect introduction to our scenic desert for your weekend visit, do that in the morning and The Heard in the afternoon, that will satisfy your need for the historical. Definitely plan a day trip up to Sedona to see the red rocks, get there as early as you can, the morning light is the best of the day. The Wrigley is lovely and could be included in a visit to the AZ Biltmore if time permits and if architecture is a prime interest, if so also tour Frank L. Wright's Taliesin West in Scottsdale.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

There are far too many things to do in Phoenix and the general area to cut it in half to make a four hour round trip drive just to see one thing...something you have already seen. Concentrate on Phoenix. You won't regret it.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
Level Contributor
2,462 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

I checked the McDowell Mountain Preserve website as they offer various programs throughout the year - especially between now and May when the temperatures are so nice. They have a couple of nature hikes this weekend. mcdowellsonoran.org/event/index#sthash.501Ma… Not sure that will work if you will be going to the DBG.

Ypsilanti, Michigan
Level Contributor
26 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

We are not going to Sedona. We were there already and enjoyed our stay, but see no reason to go back, at this time. Too many other places to see! Maybe what I wrote was confusing, if so, sorry! We only plan on visiting Phoenix. All great suggestions, thank you very much. Will consider Biltmore, as we do enjoy architecture, also. The canal trail sounds so inviting. We will have some hard decisions to make. Thanks so much!

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

All the things with the exception of Sedona can be done in two leisurely days. And you will be able to see all the scenery, our mountains right in the city and beautiful homes as you drive between events.

If all of this is not enough for you, take a look at the following link. Also, what kind of food do you want while here, and do you like more formal places or quirky one of a kind local places?

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g31310-Activitie…

Edited: 24 October 2013, 23:47
Arizona
Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
Level Contributor
4,662 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

C2sea, no problem. I love the suggestion of the McDowell Preserve hike as well, the Preserve is a true gem, either that or the D B G. The canal is, a good place for walking, but not really a hike that showcases the desert to the extent the others do.

Rancho Cucamonga
Level Contributor
9,531 posts
167 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

Oh that's too bad. Had so much to share. Oh well. Have fun. Hopefully you have time to see what others posted. if not, please tell us how the trip went.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Coming this weekend! No time for research

As I said, the canal trails are nice and flat. Not slipping and sliding on loose rocks such as Piestewa and therefore no skinned knees or twisted ankles. If you haven't tried the canal hikes, and they are hikes because you can walk for a hundred miles if you like, the nice thing is that that they are built up above the houses so you can see for miles with all the foliage, mountains and sometimes bunny rabbits and roadrunners. Not all hikes require driving miles outside of town and it is quite nice to be able to have a nice meal or a gelato right after you are done with your hike.