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Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

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20 posts
91 reviews
Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

We have been to Phoenix multiple times but are looking for some perhaps out of the way/off the beaten path/unusual activities which we may not have done already. It does not have to be right in Phoenix, but at least within about a 30 mile or so distance from downtown.

For example, on one trip we discovered the very interesting Soleri Bell workshop in Scottsdale.

We have also visited the beautiful Desert Botanical Gardens, on one occasion seeing an exhibit of Chihuly glass placed throughout the garden.

Any suggestions along these lines by experienced travelers would be very much welcomed.

Thanks in advance.

14 replies to this topic
Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
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7,062 posts
11 reviews
1. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

Without knowing what you have already seen or what you like to do, it's hard to make accurate recommendations. That said, have you been to the Musical Instrument Museum? It's world class and well worth seeing!

For Native American items, the Heard Museum is excellent. There's also the Pueblo Grande Museum, where you can view actual ruins:

https:/…pueblo-grande

You could drive East to Tortilla Flat.

Hike and then watch sunset at South Mountain Park. Also near South Mountain is Mystery Castle. Tours start up again in October.

http://www.mymysterycastle.com/

I assume you have been to Cave Creek and Carefree? If not, that's an area well worth exploring for the day.

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
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2. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

If you're into architecture, definitely visit Taliesin West.

Fremont, California
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for San Francisco
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3. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

If you have not been to the Musical Instruments Museum, Penske Museum in Scottsdale, worth while going.

Neither of the things you mention are off the beaten track, so its harder to advise what to go see and do

In the meantime look at the things to do lists on trip advisor for Phoenix and Scottsdale

Have you been on the Desert Bellle?

Arizona
Destination Expert
for Scottsdale
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4,905 posts
39 reviews
4. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

Saguaro Lake with the Desert Belle boat tour, have a drink or a meal at the Lakeshore Diner.

Tortilla Flat out at Canyon Lake, also has a diner and boat tour, the Dolly Steamboat?

Nearby is Goldfield Town and Superstition Mtns, Lost Dutchman.

The drive out to either area is wonderful desertscape.

We recently enjoyed some wine tasting up in Cornville and Cottonwood.

Level Contributor
20 posts
91 reviews
5. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

Some excellent suggestions so far. I always look for commonalities. Tortilla Flat and the Musical Instrument Museum seem to be consistent recommendations.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
1,521 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

I'm with Mini - You say off the beaten path but the sights you mention are popular and well known and typically appear on many lists to the top things to see in the area. It is hard to discern what you are looking for.

So are the responses, with the exception of Mystery Castle. That is a quirky, off-beat site. Along those lines - Elvis Chapel or Torvea Castle, although the castle is more main stream.

Here are some of the not as well known things we have done with guests that have visited us:

Some of the smaller museums - Wells Fargo, Pioneer Living, Martin Auto or Hall of Flame. I like the Penske suggestion, although the museum itself is small being there always invites a walk thru luxury room to check out the Maserati, Bugatti, etc auto dealers that are right there.

If you've been to Tailsen already maybe the Wrigley Mansion.

Maybe a cooking class? there is a BBQ one we've taken at Phoenix BBQ and Grilling School and a couple from Classic Cooking in Scottsdale.

An art class at the Scottsdale Artist School - there are day classes/workshops that are more substantive than the popular, dime a dozen wine and paint nights you can find anywhere. There are also glass workshops in Phoenix. The Desert Botanical Garden also offers classes.

Any event by Cloth and Flame.

A show/concert - plenty of those but periodically there is Carnival of Illusion.

If you are traveling with friends - tour de tavern.

Arizona Food Tour (there are other vendors but this is the only I've tried)

Harleysville...
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for Fountain Hills
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7. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

I would suggest the Cosanti Foundation in Scottsdale on Doubletree Rd. This is where you can view the bronze casting process weekday mornings. The place itself is pretty interesting as the landscaping is made from the earth itself. They have a wonderful display of wind chimes, (of course we had to buy one), and its just the most fascinating, quirky place that is so often overlooked by many.

Arizona
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for Scottsdale
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4,905 posts
39 reviews
8. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

A couple more ...

The Farm at South Mountain is a charming group of restaurants set amongst a (pecan?) grove.

The Queen Creek Olive Mill is lovely and has tours, sampling, a cafe, and a most amazing selection of oils and vinegars.

Level Contributor
20 posts
91 reviews
9. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

Lots of great information and suggestions. I am looking for some of the not so well known things to do in the Phoenix area precisely because I have already done many of the classic ones. The Queen Creek Olive Mill sounds kind of interesting. We recently had a chance to visit, and sample, a Balsamic Vinegar farm in Modena Italy, and that turned out to be one of the unexpected pleasures of our time in Italy. I love it when things like that pleasantly surprise.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
1 post
73 reviews
10. Re: Looking for unusual things to do/see while in Phoenix ...

How about an Arabian horse farm?

I have not visited but just was looking for stuff for friends to visit.

http://www.loscedros.com/

Also if you are here in Feb, try

scottsdaleshow.com/shows-events/scottsdale-a…

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