Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Sun March 27 2016

Opinion Home | The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

  • Worldwide Scott | March 27, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    You Could Always Go To Phoenix, Arizona

    You Could Always Go To Phoenix, Arizona

    Photos by Worldwide Scott

    While the state of Arizona has been experiencing a tourism surge recently, it's still places like the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Monument Valley and Lake Powell that tend to dominate the daydreams of the would-be travelers I've met. And for good reason of course, because they're all one-of-a-kind and will all light up an Instagram feed. Funnily enough though, Phoenix, the capital and largest city in Arizona, has a tendency to get left out of the conversation more often than it should.

    But you could always still go there.

    Why? Well, Phoenix and its surrounding suburban satellites are home to all the best aspects of the American Southwest — in one place.

    Center of Old and New West

    Arizona had as much a role in keeping the Wild West unruly as anywhere else, and if you're heading this way, you're going to want to see some Old West swag. Around Phoenix, you can do this in several places.

    READ MORE: The 5 Best Hiking Trails in Sedona, Arizona

    Heritage Square downtown is where the city was founded in the 1800s, and is still home to some fascinating examples of Victorian buildings from this era. If you want to bring out your inner outlaw (and who doesn’t?), visit Cave Creek — an old gold mining town on the city's outskirts which is home to bars and restaurants that still get a little rambunctious — and Old Town Scottsdale, home to brick-and-balcony buildings and even a swinging-doors spot called the Rusty Spur Saloon which re-creates the famous taverns of yesteryear.

    The New West shines just as brightly in Phoenix with cutting-edge culinary delights — from taco trucks to bloody mary brunches, gourmet modern Mexican to International, chic shopping, luxury spa resorts, and a multiculturalism that defines 21st Century America.

    Nowhere does the Old West and New West come together as deliciously as it does at Pizzeria Bianco, which is located in the aforementioned Heritage Square, and produces pizza that has been rated among the best in America.

    Urban and Natural Heaven

    Phoenix's Desert Botanical Garden treats all who visit to the strikingly beautiful and resilient plants that call the desert home, and you can't glance across any horizon in Phoenix without seeing mountains. Scaling these hills is a favorite pastime among the locals, and whether you climb the famous Camelback Mountain or do some scrambling at the sprawling South Mountain Park and Reserve, all offer sweeping views of the valley below and a chance to feel a part of nature, without ever leaving the city limits.

    On the flip side of the coin, museums, art galleries, and other hallmarks of cosmopolitan cities are alive and well in Phoenix, with the Heard Museum, which is dedicated to Native American art, being a standout. The nightlife sizzles here too, especially in Scottsdale, where pretty people populate the patios and at swanky resorts like The Phoenician, where taking in a sunset with a drink in your hand is practically mandatory.

    READ MORE: 5 Canyons You Have To See To Believe

    The Weather

    Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the weather. The vale Phoenix sits in is called the “valley of the sun” for a reason, and while temperatures can get downright hot in the summer months, from October to April each year, it pretty much stays in the paradisiacal “80 and sunny” zone.

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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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