Herb 'N Legend
The original Herb N' Legend location (at 5950 West McDowell Road) is cool enough, but with the opening of a second location on Greenway Parkway this year, Herb N' Legend went all out. They hired renowned Valley muralist Lalo Cota to paint a noir-ish cityscape mural that wraps around the interior walls of the store; they built a walk-in humidor for cigars that resembles a 1920s speakeasy; they installed a massive tiled mosaic water fountain in the corner (complete with throwaway tiles from U.S. Senator John McCain's guest house, we hear); and they beefed up their inventory to include the most extensive collection of pipes, bongs, vaporizers, hookahs, and other accessories in the city. They even have a separate gallery/showroom for their most expensive, intricate blown-glass pieces (including a colorful octopus bong). Smokers and stoners could go anywhere for their paraphernalia, but those with discerning tastes and an appreciation for glass pipes as art go to Herb N Legend.
The Farm at South Mountain
Courtesy of The Farm
Tucked into a corner of The Farm at South Mountain sits the culmination of 37 years' worth of desert plant passion. Steve Martinez opened Succulentia on December 1, 2010. The greenhouse is stuffed with rare and hard-to-find cacti and succulents from Tucson, California, and Texas. Waxy leaf clusters, bonsai-esque plants, and spindly, spiny trees (ranging from $8 to over $1,000) line the tables in no particular order. Also on display is his own personal collection of award-winning plants. "You won't find these at Home Depot," says Martinez. Indeed.
Baker's Nursery and Gift Shop
As you drive through Arcadia, you can't help wondering how many trees and plants of the posh neighborhood started on the grounds of Baker Nursery. Established in 1968, the retro nursery keeps things tip-top with organized rows of lush vegetation just begging for a permanent home in your yard. Love and dedication is put into every flower, vine, and shrub by the knowledgeable staff. One trip to Baker's and you will never want to go back to the big-name home-and-garden center for your foliage needs again.
Relics
The guys at Relics do all the work for you, poor souls: They travel to Europe to personally select cool old stuff for their shop — and, by association, you. At Relics, they specialize in antique architectural and garden features — think hand-carved fountains, shabby-chic pottery, and architectural ironwork. If you are doing some landscaping, Relics is a great place to stop in to look for special items.
Pearson & Company
Love plants but have a black thumb? There is a business for that. Pearson & Company in Scottsdale leases you the plants, and its staff comes in to water and prune them, and, if they die on their watch, Pearson & Company will replace them. This is a perfect option for those who travel a lot. Or, if your Arizona home is one of many, and you would like a fresh hosta plant when you do the snowbird thing here.
There are countless skits on TV about getting friends to help you move across town. It really isn't funny, though, because friends shouldn't be swindled into moving for you. Hire some creative types who know how to be delicate with your fragile items, artwork, and precious goods. Unlike with your friends, if something is broken, Creative Moving and Packing carries insurance to cover it. So leave it to the professionals and invite your friends over for pizza and beer once everything is in place.
Clean Freak Car Wash
Keep your ride clean for a freaky low price at Clean Freak Carwash on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Van Buren. Get in and out in three minutes with its $5 car wash, or sign up for a monthly plan and get unlimited car washes. Pay $12 a month for a Nice 'n' Clean wash, which includes scented soaps, soft foam scrub, and spot-free rinse. Upgrade to the Freaky Clean wash for $16 and get a few extras, like a rim and tire scrub. Or, for $18, get the Obsessively Clean wash, including triple foam wash, Turtle Ice Wax, and paint protector. Clean Freak also offers free self-service vacuums.
FireSky Resort & Spa Hotel Review
Like many spas in the Valley, this Scottsdale spot offers a relaxing atmosphere and a tranquil feel, but we keep coming to Jurlique for the copper soaking tubs. Filled with salts, flower petals, and detox herbs, they'll let you soak your stress away. Jurlique grows its own herbs on site — that's only one of the ways this spa sets itself apart. With only six treatment rooms, it's not the largest spa in town — and we like that. It's big enough to accommodate a couples' massage room for custom aromatherapy massages, and that's just right by us.
Mackie's Parlour
The life of a tiny dog is rough: Jumping around trying to be cute and constantly having people pet and love you is exhausting! Pamper your hard-working pooch with a trip to Mackie's Parlour. The upscale pet boutique has a huge section of gorgeous collars and harnesses to make your prince or princess feel like a million bucks. Don't know what size to get your little one? Owners Vince and Tony are two of the friendliest people you will ever meet and will help you every step of the way — even if it means running around the store to show you every single harness in your pup's size. Like any good pet boutique, the shop offers high-quality dog food and treats, luxury dog beds, and a little bit of bling to help even the saddest pound puppy feel loved.
Wag N' Wash Healthy Pet Center
We originally dropped in to this family-owned and -operated pet supply store because we'd heard about the pair of orange tabbies who live there and like to be petted by customers. We love a good store cat, and so we popped by to say hello to Chong and Quincy — both of whom were fast asleep when we arrived, and wouldn't be roused no matter who was shopping. And shop we did — because we were so wowed by the array of healthy foods and treats and toys for Fluffy and Fido back home. Brothers Steve and Rich have created a unique place for pets and pet lovers alike to browse for animal-friendly stuff. The "Wash" in the title refers to pet grooming and bathing, and it's done in specially designed washtubs designed by a local metal artist. After dropping Spot off for a quick shampoo, stop by the Wag's all-natural pet biscuit bakery, where dog and cat treats are made with all-natural ingredients. Shelves nearby are stocked with the best organic and raw pet foods so that, whether he likes it or not, your pup can get healthy, starting today.Readers' Choice:

Best Of Phoenix®

Best Of