Thursday, March 13, 2014

Megan About Town: My New ‘Hood

Something very exciting happened in my life. I became a homeowner! The best part of it is that I am returning to a Scottsdale zip code. If you had told me five years ago that I would be buying a house in Scottsdale, I would have laughed in your face. But I have fallen in love with the city over the last few years, and it’s mainly because I learned how to live like a tourist.

So many Scottsdale residents forget that they LIVE in a place where people VACATION. People from all over the world come here to explore the Sonoran Desert, enjoy the weather (But seriously, it’s February and it’s 80 degrees outside. C’mon.), stay at incredible resorts, relax in fancy spas, and eat and drink in the best restaurants and watering holes. Plus, I hear there’s this sport that’s pretty popular here…I think it’s called golf?

I’m going to kill two birds with one stone: familiarize myself with my new ‘hood and show you some South Scottsdale spots.


  • Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry is a Scottsdale staple (they’ve been around since ’51), but you may notice something fresh about them – they just completed a remodel and rebranding. Before the remodel, a CVB staff member wrote all about his experience here. The new, brightly colored store is easy to notice as you drive into south Scottsdale. Sphinx is undeniably different, and who doesn’t want to check out something unique? When you stop by, try out a date milkshake. Of course, if you can’t make it to the store, you can always order gifts online!

  • I have to point out Skysong, because you will no doubt ask yourself “What is that?” when you drive by. Skysong is Arizona State University’s Innovation Center. It’s 1.2 million square foot mixed-use project featuring commercial office space, Arizona State University’s incubator and new SkySong Apartments. It is home to both startups and Fortune 500 companies, and just about everything in between. Skysong just added Food Truck Thursday and I’ve heard rumors that they are planning retail and restaurant concepts…We’ll see.

Off to Papago! Everything in Papago is right at the city line between Scottsdale and Phoenix, so we tend to share custody of Desert Botanical Garden and the Phoenix Zoo. Considering both are only about two miles from my house, let’s just put them in the south Scottsdale category for the sake of this blog.

  • Desert Botanical Garden is just gorgeous. If you think that Scottsdale, or Arizona for that matter, is just dirt and tumbleweeds, this place will prove you wrong. The Garden has more than 50,000 accessioned plants throughout its trails. Whether you eat at Gertrude’s, see the “Chihuly in the Garden” exhibit or attend an event, Desert Botanical Garden is a great place to spend a weekend morning (or a day off!).

  • Just down the street from the Garden, the Phoenix Zoo is ready to be explored. It doesn’t matter how old you are, the Zoo is always a fun place to visit. Get up-close and personal with the Bornean orangutans at the Orang-Hutan: “People of the Forest” exhibit, or say hello to the world’s largest lizard at Land of the Dragons. There are interactive exhibits as well: Giraffe Encounter, Monkey Village and Stingray Bay. One of my favorite times to visit the Zoo is during the holidays for Zoolights, so if you’re around during that time, put it on your list.

Everyone needs a go-to bar. And I’m lucky enough to have two in my backyard.

  • Located in an unsuspecting strip mall, Papago Brewing Co. and British Open Pub are a few local spots that offer a fun change to a downtown Scottsdale watering hole. Papago Brewing offers a daily rotating 30-tap bar and full menu. This is the place to go for the local microbrews, and what’s more, you’ll never see the same lineup twice, so there’s always a new beer to try out. British Open Pub is the kind of place that has regulars. If you blink, you’ll miss it, but try not to because you’ll want to try their authentic English food…Bangers and Mash, fish and chips. This is also the place to watch English Premier League football. Because who doesn’t want to watch English Premier League football?

  • Here’s the spot you head to after one too many brews at the pubs. Echo Coffee. Echo is more than just a coffee shop though. They encourage you to stay, hang out, read, work, whatever. The Wi-Fi is free and the seats are comfortable, so sit back and kick it with a Chai or a Latte. Or, if you want to head into downtown Scottsdale, grab a to-go cup and hop back on 68th street.

There are countless other places to check out in South Scottsdale, but these suggestions will keep you entertained, fed and caffeinated. What else is there in life?

Tweet at me @megankdoyle.

from Official Travel Site for Scottsdale, Arizona |


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