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Inspired by Samantha Brown: Phoenix, Arizona

Road Trip

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Samantha Brown Media
Looking for the perfect combination of outdoor adventure, incredible culture and amazing resorts? Phoenix, Arizona, is the ideal destination for you! Discover the Sonoran Desert or indulge in spas and shopping—the choice is yours. This destination is big-city-meets-desert with so much to see.
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Desert Botanical Garden.
Day 1: Arrive in Phoenix
Check into your hotel and prepare to discover amazing Phoenix. Start your exploration of Phoenix at the Arizona Capitol Museum, in the Arizona Capitol building. The Capitol, built of tuff stone from Kirkland Junction and granite from the Salt River Mountains, opened in 1901 and served as the territorial capitol until statehood came in 1912; it then became the state capitol. Enjoy the Desert Botanical Garden, where Samantha took in the stunning beauty of wildflowers and blooming cacti as she walked the Sonoran Desert trails. Experience for yourself this attraction that covers more than 140 acres, 55 of which are developed, in Papago Park. Then hit up the popular Breadfruit & Rum Bar, which serves up carefully concocted rum cocktails and unique Jamaican dishes using fresh, organic ingredients.
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Samantha Brown Media
Day 2: Discover More in Paradise Valley and Scottsdale
Take the day to explore Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, a paradise tucked in the mountains. At Cosanti, learn the art of bronze pouring and bell making. This treasure attraction is the studio and workshop of architect-craftsman Paolo Soleri, who came to the area to study with Frank Lloyd Wright. Treat yourself to the classic dining of El Chorro. Serving the local area since 1937, this charming restaurant has a nice selection of steaks, lamb and fresh seafood. Outdoor seating is a pleasant option with mountain views and a warming fireplace for chilly nights. A trip isn’t complete without a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Taliesin West, which served as Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and architectural school.
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Day 3: Experience the Culture of Phoenix
As the most populated city in Arizona, Phoenix is filled with rich cultural experiences, old and new. Exploring the one-of-a-kind Musical Instrument Museum, Samantha gets a peek at the collection of over 7,000 instruments collected from around 200 countries and territories. Save your appetite for a stop at The Tamale Store. Grab a bite at this award-winning, family run restaurant, where the handmade tasty tamales draw lines around the block. Dive into colorful images at the Heard Museum, dedicated to native cultures and art. Among the exhibits in its 12 galleries are contemporary, ethnological and historical materials of Southwestern Native Americans; Native American basketry, jewelry and pottery; and Kachina dolls. Spark your interest in theater as Samantha did at the brilliant Black Theatre Troupe, whose productions shed light on the African American experience and culture.
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Samantha Brown Media
Day 4: Enjoy the Rustic Side of Phoenix
Enjoy the rustic side of Phoenix, complete with stunning landscapes, amazingly scenic desert trails and quaint farms. Discover South Mountain Park, which contains more than 16,000 acres of peaks, canyons and strange rock formations as well as native Arizona flora. The park also features Native American petroglyphs. There are some 50 miles of trails for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. Don’t miss Dobbins Lookout! Enjoy lunch with the ultimate farm-to-table restaurant experience at Farm Kitchen at The Farm at South Mountain, where the focus is on self-sustainability. While there, explore the modern farm and beautiful gardens—it’s become quite the agritourism destination.
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AAA Photo
Day 5: Say Goodbye to Phoenix
There is no way you should leave Phoenix without a proper goodbye at Snooze an A.M Eatery. Offering cool, retro décor they are known for their specialty pancakes with such choices as pineapple upside down or strawberry shortcake.