Scottsdale Journals

A great weekend in Scottsdale, Arizona

A February 2012 trip to Scottsdale by Kate Chopin

Quote: Traveling about the outliers of Scottsdale, including the must-visits and the probably-should-skips

Montezuma Castle National Monument

Attraction | "Take it for what it is"

Quote:
I visited this monument as a result of some much-hyped up reviews. And, honestly, I wish I hadn't driven out-of-the-way to check it out. Basically, if you're not much into walking and you'd like to see some cliff dwellings, this is probably a good, touristy option. You can gaze up at some holes in a rock face and if you read a few placards, you'll learn a bit about the cliff dwellings of the Sinaguan Indians. Here's a link with more information than you'll find at the local museum: http://www.sedonaverdevalley.org/campverde/wonderofmontezumacastle.html.My problem with the trip is that you're no longer able to climb around the dwellings. And, although this makes sense from a safety and ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 20, 2012

Montezuma Castle National Monument
2800 Montezuma Castle Hwy Off Highway Southeast Of Oak Creek
Camp Verde, Arizona 86322
(928) 567-3322

The Jerome Palace Haunted Hamburger

Restaurant | "Low-key fun dining with tremendous vistas"

Quote:
The food - I love the food at this place, but I love it in that kind of low-key bar way. Oh, and in case you're also a vegetarian, there are ample options other than hamburgers. What do you get? If you come here, you probably should order either a hamburger (see the name of the place) or a grilled portabella sandwich. Then, there is a HUGE fixin's bar with tomatoes and lettuce and pickles and everything else under the sun. There are also all the traditional bar type foods - fries and beer and various greasy items. But, I don't go here for the food. I go to this place, because, if you're visitng Jerome, the views are awesome. Ask for a window table upstairs. If you get the right ta...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 20, 2012

The Jerome Palace Haunted Hamburger
410 N Clark Street
Jerome, Arizona 86331
(928) 634-0554

Tonto Bar & Grill

Restaurant | "Great outdoor dining with terrific food"

Quote:
I love Tonto Bar and Grill for both the food and the atmosphere. First, the food - this is not, I repeat NOT, the type fo restaurant to come to if you want haute cuisine and white tablecloths. Instead, as the name implies, this is a bar and grill. But, it does the bar and grill just right; so right that everyone I take to this place leaves with rave reviews. Here's what you get - well-marinated fish and seafood, lightly cooked, delicious vegetables, and wonderful, creative appetizers. My favorites are the shrimp skewers and the scallops over a big salad. But, I've also tried seaweed salad (delicious), and taken friends who have enjoyed the soups and the meat dishes. Plus, they make ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 20, 2012

Tonto Bar & Grill
5736 East Rancho Manana Road
Cave Creek, Arizona 85331
(480) 488-0698

Changing Hands Bookstore

Attraction | "Great, big indie bookstore"

Quote:
Unlike the Poisoned Pen (which is a smaller bookstore specializing in mystery), this is a very large indie bookstore with a broad selection of used and new books. There is a wall of staff picks (all quite interesting), a great children's selection, and aisles and aisles of books and funky gifts. There is also a very large children's section with terrific books.Plus, adjacent to the bookstore, there is a big coffeeshop/cafe where you can sit and digest food and a recent purchase. Oh, and if you want to do some grocery shopping, the bookstore is also next to a Trader Joe's.The downside, for me, is that the bookstore is in a pseudo-strip mall. I suspect that the owner(s) neede...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 27, 2012

Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 South McClintock Drive
Tempe, Arizona
(480) 730-0205

Poisoned Pen Bookstore

Attraction | "Great, indie mystery bookstore"

Quote:
I am on a mission to keep good indie bookstores alive. And, so, this review is an attempt to take a small step toward that mission.This bookstore is a small one in Scottsdale that specializes in mystery and fiction books. The staff is knowledgeable, very much so. For example, two of the staff chatted with me extensively about their favorite mystery writers, as well as some top recommendations for local fiction and mystery writers. I've also indicated a website for the store, and it appears that there are pretty regular author events. There's also at least one chair in the bookstore if you want to sit and choose among a few books. And, you can stop by to get signed books....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 27, 2012

Poisoned Pen Bookstore
4014 North Goldwater Blvd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
(480) 947-2974

Cosanti Originals

Attraction | "Funky, fantastical, 30-minute tour"

Quote:
If you're traveling north of Scottsdale and you're interested in Alice-in-Wonderland artsy chimes and strange dome-like homes, this is a great road stop off. The place was started by artist Paolo Soleri, who apparently studied with Frank Lloyd Wright and was interested in designing art and architecture that fit the landscape. Here's a link with more information - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paolo_Soleri. Unlike a visit to Taliesin, which involves a highly-systematized payment and very regulated tour, the Cosanti tour is far more laidback. You arrive at his home (he actually still lives at the place), and for free (although a donation is requested), you can walk around and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 27, 2012

Cosanti Originals
6433 East Doubletree Ranch Road
Scottsdale, Arizona 85253
+1 480 948 6145; U.S

House of Tricks

Restaurant | "Great food, perfect, outdoor ambience"

Quote:
This was my second phenomenal meal at House of Tricks. Although the place sounds like a strip joint, this restaurant is anything but. There is amble outdoor seating, under shady trees (a must in Tempe), and the atmosphere would be perfect for a romantic meal or a chance to catch up with friends. But the atmosphere is only part of the pleasure. There is also the food. Delicious. Fresh salads with flavorful veggies, wonderful seared tuna or beef and ample straight-up vegetarian options. Sandwiches with fresh ingredients, and great flavor. Also, based on the restaurant's web site, the restaurant has won quite a few awards (http://www.houseoftricks.com/fine-cuisine-tempe-phoenix.php). ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 18, 2012

House of Tricks
114 East Seventh Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281
(480) 968-1114