Phoenix Bucket List

Phoenix Bucket List - 100 Things to Do Before You Die: the Cash Inn, West Wind Drive-In, and the Shangri-La

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See Ballet Arizona's Topia at the Desert Botanical Garden It ran two seasons in a row and there's no word as to whether Ballet Arizona will reprise Topia at the Desert Botanical Garden. But promise me that if Ib Andersen does bring it back, you will buy a ticket and go. Yes, it's held in a parking lot. And yes, it will be the most breathtaking setting in which you've ever seen ballet performed -- the sun will set behind the Papago Buttes, turning them red, as the dancers take the stage and make you forget that you never really liked hoity toity stuff like ballet. This is ballet as it is meant to be -- lyrical, intense, dare I say almost a spiritual experience performed on a stage double the typical length. It's gorgeous. The DBG, which has been rehabbed, manicured and trimmed more than a Housewife of (Fill in the Blank) is a lovely place to stroll with a cocktail in hand, and if Ballet Arizona would only re-launch Topia again while the Chihuly exhibit is still up, it would be a two-fer for any self-respecting bucket list, anywhere.

See also: Behind the Scenes: Ballet Arizona's Topia at Desert Botanical Garden

Party on the Roof of Phoenix Towers Mostly known as "the pink high-rise on Central," the 14-story Phoenix Towers is beyond swank, from its minimalist lobby to a roof with gorgeous city views. Built in 1957 by Del Webb's company, the entire thing is designed like a giant X, with giant, shaded balconies. The location is prime, fronting Central Avenue and nestling up against the Heard Museum. Get yourself a rooftop party invite and be sure to poke around a couple of the condos while you're at it.

Hike "A" Mountain in Tempe What's better than a paved mountain? Don't answer that. "A" Mountain is a perfect pre-brunch (or pre-beer) hike, steep enough to get you winded but only a scramble at the very end. Views are good all the way up, and this cross between a-mountain-and-a-molehill is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Tempe. Check out the namesake "A" when you get to the top.

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at