Best Late-Night Drive 2023 | Grand Avenue | Megalopolitan Life | Phoenix

At rush hour, Grand Avenue is often clogged with traffic, from its eastern end in downtown Phoenix all the way out into the far stretches of the city in the West Valley. But there's hardly anything more satisfying than driving this unending boulevard at night, once you're the only car on the road. A trip down Grand Avenue is a trip through all the strange worlds of Phoenix: through the city's sprawling warehouse districts, past towers of rusting shipping containers and austere churches, strip clubs and fading murals. Whimsical art and fairy lights strung from trees mark the bustling Grand Avenue arts hub closer to downtown. On an overpass, for a moment, the Phoenix skyline is visible.

There's no one defining area of Phoenix — all these nooks and crannies we call neighborhoods represent the city's robust multifacetedness. That said, Roosevelt Row (that's Roosevelt Street effectively from Seventh Avenue to Seventh Street) feels like the best-case example for a singular Phoenix experience. That breezy 1-mile jaunt will take you past a slew of art galleries, celebrated venues like The Nash, heaps of bars and restaurants (like Carly's Bistro) and gorgeous historic homes dating back to the 1920s (or earlier). Roosevelt Row is perhaps the best example of what happens when Phoenix's arts, food and nightlife scenes are perfectly united in the most accessible ways possible. Plus, this stroll, paired with the right winter or spring weather, is the best way to experience Phoenix's unique culture and heritage in a way that aligns with whatever your game plan may be that evening. It's a means to feel connected in a very real way and to see the heart of Phoenix that you couldn't get in a full drive across the city proper. So grab your best shoes — be they sneakers or high heels — and get to walking.

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