Drive a Surface Road Until the City Stops and the Desert Begins
If you take Central Avenue all the way south, you'll eventually run out of city and straight into South Mountain Park, the largest municipal park in the United States and one of the largest urban parks in the world. If you start far enough north — say, at Camelback Road — you can watch suburban Phoenix turn into downtown's business district and then morph into what our town used to look like: sand and saguaro and the endless desert.

Eat a Sonoran Hot Dog at Nogales Hot Dog
Phoenix doesn't have an "official" food, and neither does the state of Arizona, which has struggled for years to come up with something better than the chimichanga. For an authentic local experience, try a Sonoran hot dog. Wrapped in bacon and available with an assortment of toppings (don't skimp on the jalapeños), Nogales Hot Dog is a delicious and reliable version of the decadent dog (lots of other hot dog stands in town come and go). Pair it with a Mexican Coke. (602-527-0208)

Shop on Seventh Avenue
If you're a fan of antique shops with a little thrifting thrown in, this one-mile stretch of road is pretty much all you need for a pleasant afternoon of acquisition. Starting at the southernmost end (Seventh Avenue and Indian School) of this unique retail trek, there's Zinnias, a premium antiques and collectibles mall (don't miss Antique Sugar, a separate store selling vintage clothing, at the front of the Zinnias building). From there, it's Flo's on 7th, perhaps the cleanest and best-organized thrift shop in town, then on to Qcumberz and Charlie's House and Retro Ranch (for mid-century stuff) and on up to Antiques on Camelback, stopping at any of another dozen antique and junk shops along the way. Finish off at White Dove, another super-clean thrift store, just north of Camelback, and then collapse into a post-shopping heap.

Drive a surface road until the city stops and the desert begins.
Drive a surface road until the city stops and the desert begins.
Drive through the Encanto/Palmcroft neighborhood.
Drive through the Encanto/Palmcroft neighborhood.
Spend a day at the spa at Camelback Inn.
Spend a day at the spa at Camelback Inn.
Take a driving tour of downtown Phoenix movie locations.
Take a driving tour of downtown Phoenix movie locations.
Pick peaches at Schnepf Farms.
Pick peaches at Schnepf Farms.
Eat Chris Bianco's mom's flourless chocolate cake.
Eat Chris Bianco's mom's flourless chocolate cake.
Eat a Sonoran hot dog at Nogales Dog.
Eat a Sonoran hot dog at Nogales Dog.
Have a cocktail in the Hyatt's Compass Room.
Have a cocktail in the Hyatt's Compass Room.
Shop on Seventh Avenue.
Shop on Seventh Avenue.

Pick Peaches at Schnepf Farms
Pack the sunscreen and take your Allegra — come May, it's peach-picking time. It's the perfect Mother's Day gift, smack dab in the middle of Schnepf Farms' multi-week festival. Take Mom with you or spare her the heat, pick peaches yourself, and bake her a pie. The farm, on the southeast tip of town, is friendly, dusty, and sweet. And you can even buy a pre-made pie. (www.schnepffarms.com)

Have a Cocktail in the Hyatt's Compass Room
Oh, sure. They have a reverse happy hour. But who cares if the Hyatt Regency's Compass Arizona Grill even serves drinks? You'll go there for the same reason we all have for more than 30 years: to slowly rotate and enjoy a 360-degree view of the Valley in our town's one and only revolving rooftop restaurant. You can eat dinner here — that's what the "Grill" in the Compass room's name is about — but no matter how good your lamb chop or garlic mash happens to be, you'll remember having stared down the skyline of our town and maybe witnessing one of those splendid sunsets we keep having. (www.phxhyatt.com)


The complete list: □ 
Visit James Turrell’s Knight Rise at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
□ 
Eat fried chicken at Mrs. White’s Golden Rule Café
□ 
See a Nearly Naked Theater performance
□ 
Tour Cerreta’s chocolate factory
□ 
See a New Wave band perform at 
a reservation casino
□ 
Attend the farmers market at Downtown Phoenix Public Market on a Saturday
□ 
Drive through the I-10 tunnel 
at night
□ 
Go fishing on the canal on 
Stanford Drive
□ 
Bone up on local history in 
the Arizona Room at Burton 
Barr Library
□ 
Have a cocktail in the Hyatt’s Compass Room
□ 
Step inside Tovrea Castle
□ 
Shop at SAS Fabrics by the Pound
□ 
Visit the monkeys at the 
Phoenix Zoo
□ 
Take Grand Avenue from Seventh Avenue all the way to Wickenburg
□ 
Watch Fife Symington make crème brûlée
□ 
Eat hot food and drink cold margaritas at Los Dos Molinos
□ 
Go to the Deer Dance in Guadalupe
□ 
Go to a Phoenix Suns game
□ 
See a show at Crescent Ballroom
□ 
Spend a day at the spa at the Camelback Inn
□ 
Camp out at the annual VNSA 
book sale
□ 
Eat penuche nut ice cream at 
Mary Coyle’s
□ 
Ogle a Vietnamese Catholic church
□ 
Hear a diva sing outdoors at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts □ 
Take the Winnie Ruth Judd tour
□ 
Watch the bats take off at 40th Street and Camelback
□ 
Hang out in the lobby at the Arizona Biltmore
□ 
Drive through the Encanto/Palmcroft neighborhood
□ 
People-watch at Metrocenter
□ 
Catch a wave at Big Surf
□ 
Eat mole at Barrio Café and tour the Calle 16 murals
□ 
See a show at Gammage Auditorium
□ 
See a spring training game
□ 
Harvest prickly pear fruit
□ 
Spend the morning at Lux Central
□ 
Spend the night at Arcosanti
□ 
Hike Camelback Mountain
□ 
Eat Chris Bianco’s mom’s flourless chocolate cake
□ 
Shop at Last Chance
□ 
Give yourself a walking tour of the Orpheum Theatre
□ 
See something arty at FilmBar
□ 
Ride the light rail
□ 
Ride the rides at Encanto Kiddieland
□ 
Talk to Beatrice Moore
□ 
Ice skate at CityScape
□ 
Drive out to Boyce Thompson Arboretum and look for 
Ladmo’s tree
□ 
Take a walk down Architecture Row
□ 
See an art exhibit at Phoenix College’s Eric Fischl Gallery
□ 
Go watch giant planes fly overhead
□ 
Sneak into a hotel pool
□ 
Drive by Lee and Patricia Sepanek’s holiday light display
□ 
Go to a reading at Changing Hands Bookstore
□ 
Stick your head Inside the Westward Ho
□ 
Get some late-night food at FnB
□ 
Go to the Parada del Sol parade
□ 
Attend a Detour Company Theatre performance
□ 
Eat a Sonoran hot dog at Nogales Hot Dog
□ 
Check out Windows to the West by Louise Nevelson in Scottsdale
□ 
Drive to the top of South Mountain and park
□ 
Go to Bikini Lounge with a 20b-something
□ 
Have a dining adventure at Posh
□ 
Listen to a street musician in the Biltmore Tunnel
□ 
Walk through the Exhibitions Rooms at the Arizona State Fairgrounds
□ 
Visit the Musical Instrument Museum
□ 
Attend Jeff Kennedy’s holiday cabaret
□ 
Visit L. Ron Hubbard’s House
□ 
Visit Phoenix Art Museum on Free Wednesdays
□ 
Ride Bike Trail 100 on Tatum Trailhead
□ 
Spend a night at the Hotel 
San Carlos
□ 
Wander around Cosanti
□ 
Go out on a First Friday
□ 
See a ’70s-era band perform at Celebrity Theatre
□ 
Pick peaches at Schnepf Farms
□ 
Shop at Crafeteria
□ 
Visit the Heard Museum
□ 
Eat sticky buns at El Chorro
□ 
Go to Lisa Sette Gallery, walk around Old Town Scottsdale
□ 
Eat at Kai
□ 
See the penguins at Wildlife 
World Zoo
□ 
Check out the Japanese Friendship Garden
□ 
Attend Art Detour
□ 
Take a driving tour of downtown Phoenix movie locations
□ 
Tour the Rosson House
□ 
Shop on Seventh Avenue
□ 
Visit Taliesin West
□ 
Attend the Annual Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Community Center
□ 
Have afternoon tea at the 
Ritz-Carlton
□ 
See Blaise Lantana perform
□ 
Drive a surface road until the city stops and the desert begins
□ 
Eat fry bread
□ 
Party on the roof of 
Phoenix Towers
□ 
Hike “A” Mountain in Tempe
□ 
Line fance at Cash Inn Country
□ 
See Ballet Arizona’s TOPIA at the Desert Botanical Garden
□ 
Eat at Chrysa Robertson’s 
Rancho Pinot
□ 
See a movie at the West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In
□ 
Drink a martini and eat a steak 
at Durant’s
□ 
Take a walk on a canal
□ 
Buy yourself a pair of vintage cowboy boots
□ 
Take it all off at the Shangri-La Ranch
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