Oh the Places You Will Go: Phoenix (Summer Edition)

I have no clue why people want to visit Arizona in the summer. All I want to do is leave. But, my college roommate, Amy, has visited a few times in the summer, including this last weekend! She lives in the San Fernando Valley, which is just about as hot and dry as Arizona anyway (just about).

She started planning her trip and I told her no, that I was going to be the tour guide. Now that I think of it, I kind of wonder what she had in mind. Oh well.

Instead of showing her what I normally do on a summer weekend (currently: binge watch The Killing), I wanted to make the best of it and take her to favorite places of mine. So, if you’re planning on visiting Arizona, here, from a native is a list of suggested activities:

On Friday, I picked Amy up right after work and we went to the best pizza place in town. No, not Pizzeria Bianco. Pizzeria Bianco is delicious and it’s a cute, little restaurant in a fun neighborhood. Oprah and Jimmy Fallon love it. Heck, it’s even worth the usual hours-long wait. But, locals know the better wood-fired pizza option is nearby Cibo. It’s even more delicious and even cuter.

I don’t spend much time in downtown Phoenix, but I do really like it when I’m there, so our next stop was my favorite bar, Copper Blues. It’s big inside and out, but gets packed and it’s just a fun vibe with a live cover band playing behind the bar.

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Completely unplanned, we then stopped by two additional bars in Old Town Scottsdale on our way home – Amy would have gladly told you the next day that even just one extra bar was a bad idea. We went to two of my favorites for low-key fun and strong, cheap drinks – Giligin’s and The Lodge.

I wasn’t totally wastey pants, I did stop at a point and also drink a lot of water, and miraculously the next day, I made it out the door for an 8:15 spin class to sweat out the night before. It wasn’t pretty, but I was happy I fit it in.

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On Saturday, since it’s best to be around a cool pool on a hot summer day, we went to Talking Stick’s pool party with a few of my girlfriends. We got there early enough to get chairs to relax in for the better part of the day – going back and forth to the pool to cool down. I wasn’t interested in drinking, but the servers there are fantastic with endless buckets of bottled water – gotta stay hydrated!

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A day in the sun wears you out, so we stayed in for the night to make enchiladas and watch some romcoms we picked up from Redbox. Walk of Shame and That Awkward Moment do NOT get a best of Arizona award, but they were entertaining and when I dozed off a bit, I didn’t miss much of the plot!

The next day we checked out North Scottsdale’s new OHSO Distillery for their brunch – $10 for a meal and a BIG mimosa or beer. That hit the spot for sure! Then we went to Topgolf, for what was my third weekend in a row! The first weekend I went for my BIL’s birthday and I was awful, the next for my own birthday (oh yeah, I turned 30!) and I wasn’t terrible, then on Sunday I actually won the first game! Also this time we were finally up on the third floor and it was so much fun!

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Then we hopped over to the Tavern Grille for a few pitchers and some girl talk before doing dinner at Oregano’s.

Somehow I rallied that night since it was her last night in town and my idea the whole time to go see an 80s cover band at Wasted Grain, which apparently was having its grand opening party last weekend. I’ve always wanted to go see them but they were more rock than pop so I only knew a handful of songs they played – oh and the singer made a rapey comment that totally turned me off of them, which is why I won’t even post their name, but that damper aside (plus the damper of having to go into work after just a busy weekend and long Sunday night), it was a really fun weekend!

Amy commented how fun Arizona is since there’s actually things to do and this weekend was a nice reminder that, yes, Arizona can be fun if you suck it up and deal with the heat – and do a lot of eating and drinking!

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