I Recommend This Guide Book!
Moon Handbooks have proved to be exceptional guidebooks on our travels. ARIZONA by Bill Weir was a wonderful research tool when planning our trip to the Grand Canyon and other parts of this state.
The publisher is Avalon Travel and the ISBN # is 1-56691-689-5. The price was $21.95, but I purchased it at Barnes and Noble and received a discount on it. It was worth the price, believe me!
bypassing phoenix (east)
East Route (for US 60 East, AZ 87 North, I-17 North): There are several ways to jump on this route, and you still unfortunately have to go through the East Valley suburbs of Phoenix to use it. But it's very worth it.
To start, either take AZ 77 to AZ 79 out of Tucson to Florence, or take the AZ 87 exit off I-10 near Picacho and follow to Coolidge and turn east on AZ 287. At this point, you can either turn north on Attaway Road and head over the Gila River to get to Hunt Highway, then head west to Ellsworth Road in Queen Creek (the Hunt Hwy/Ellsworth intersection was recently re-aligned and they just sort of merge into one another) or follow AZ 79 north from Florence to US 60 and head west to the Ellsworth Road exit. The latter is actually faster as there has been a residential boom along Hunt Highway recently and the traffic has gotten pretty bad.
Take Ellsworth Road north and it will head into the mountains and become Usery Pass Road. Turn right at the stop sign, and you're on Bush Highway. This will go over the Salt River at the the area used for tubing and swimming, pass several canyon overlooks, and continue to Saguaro Lake, which is very nice and popular for boating. The road then hooks north and intersects AZ 87. If you're going to Payson, you can turn north here. For I-17 north, turn left and head west a bit.
At the first light (Mohave Road), turn right. If you don't mind a well-graded gravel road through the indian reservation, keep going straight. Otherwise, follow Mohave Road and it will become Grande when you enter Fountain Hills. Turn right when it ends at Saguaro Blvd and then right again once that ends at Fountain Hills Blvd. This road will lead into the hills and a beautiful desert and eventually to the Rio Verde community.
You'll hit a stop sign after Rio Verde. The Verde River can be accessed by going straight. Otherwise, a left will take you back to I-17. Just follow it to North Scottsdale Road, turn right, then turn left after about 2 miles onto Carefree Highway (AZ 74).
The restaurant's motto is "Where you don't peso much!" This is true! You get inexpensive, delicious, hearty food along with a great selection of salsa's!
There are 3 of these little restaurant's, all in the West Valley. They're small and run by two brothers. The people who work here are wonderful and friendly.
The food...FABULOUS. They have a huge menu and all (yes, I said ALL) of it is delicious! A huge variety, from your authentic Mexican to your "americanized mexican". DON'T miss Caramba's!
I do NOT like Mexican food, but I eat here at LEAST once a week! Stuffed Quesadilla - Huge totilla stuffed with meat, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole.
Pollo Fundido - Chicken burrito with a queso fundido sauce over it.
Torpedo's - SImilar to flauta's, but with flour tortilla's, topped with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo.
One of the most romantic restaurants in Phoenix
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Mill Ave in Tempe is a small house that is actually one of the valley's best restaurants... House of Tricks.
Surprise your significant other by strolling up 7th street from Mill Ave into this beautiful neighborhood, practically on the ASU campus.
You can sit inside or outside, and if you can, sit outside. You will be eating in a beautiful garden. There is also an outside bar, which is a fun place to sit and meet people.
Make sure you have reservations before having dinner because the place fills up fast. They also serve lunch and they have excellent deserts. The Pan Seared Sea Bass is excellent.
Get out of the city
Most things worth visiting from Phoenix are not actually in Phoenix but are in Arizona (please look at my Arizona page for more hints and advice). We have just come back from a long weekend travelling round the state (we travelled just over 1,200 miles). We took in the following sites, Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe bend, Monument Valley, Four corners, Canyon de Chelly and the Petrtified forest. It certainly was alot of driving, unfortunately to appreciate the beauties of Arizona you need to do a lot of driving.
Please have a look at all my pages in Arizona to get tips and advice. Remember my Phoenix page is broken down into all the different cities in Phoenix too