Phoenix Travel Guide
We've been pretty vocal about our excitement for the season of live music, aka summer, and have dished on a number of opportunities to get into the spirit in the coming months. That, coupled with our upcoming trip to discover new realms at the Rainforest Music Festival in Kuching, it's time we pay homage to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, a place that sparked our appreciation of the world's musical offerings.
If you think the name - or the fact that it's a museum - makes it sound like a snooze, we've got an eye-opening wake up call for you: It is one of the most engaging displays of culture we've ever visited, and a must for any self-professed music lover.
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While Instagram photo series like #throwbackthursday and #windowseat are popular on a mainstream level, there are other, cooler hashtags advancing niche interests. An example of this is #kicksonaplane or, as we recently discovered from instagramming the Phoenix Airport photo above, #airportcarpet.
#AirportCarpet currently boasts 882 photos from Instagram users around the world. Take, for instance, the below snaps from Portland, OR (definitely the most popular airport carpet, by far), and Wellington, New Zealand.
In comparison, #casinocarpet only has 186 images, and #hotelcarpet has 478. Of course one could blame the popularity of airport carpets on the waiting room-like atmosphere of gate areas and the hours of boredom before a flight departure, but where's the fun in that?
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There's a secret waiting across from gate A20 at Phoenix Sky Harbor, and it might just be the cheapest airport beer in the entire United States. Opened just two months ago, Four Peaks Brewery will pour you a pint of any of its craft-brew drafts for $4.50!
This is not a mistake, a two-for-one special promotion or a discount because we smile pretty -- the receipt above reflects the every day price of two beers at Four Peaks Brewery in Sky Harbor. Seeing as we've paid not much less than that for a Coors Light at airports in the past (cough, JFK, cough), we were quite pleased as you can imagine (in all honesty, we were so pumped when we saw the tab for the first beer that we did the respectable thing and ordered another).
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You can hear the whipping of the bat through the air from the on-deck circle, the crunching of the cleats in the dirt. You can see the beards on their faces and hear the words from their mouths, whether it’s a player, coach, or umpire. Autographs are easy to come by, and “good” seats turn into “great” ones thanks to the small stadiums. If you’re a baseball fan, that’s pretty much all that needs to be said to convince you that Spring Training is a worthwhile jaunt.
If you’re a casual or less-than-serious fan, the atmosphere – relaxed and summer-esk and filled with beer drinking in the sun during the winter month of March – should do the trick. While baseball is certainly the main event, the entertainment goes well beyond the ball field.
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We’ve got a good feeling that many of you will find yourselves at the airport at some point during the holiday season. It may be on your way to visit friends and relatives, but we’re even more hopeful that you’re at the airport flying somewhere fun to avoid friends and relatives.
No matter how you end up at the airport you’re going to need a bite to eat while you’re wandering the terminals, so thankfully HMSHost and their food-from-your-phone technology is back with a new airport and new restaurants.
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Whether it's awesome sandwiches or the latest frozen food fad we're all over airport dining, so we just had to pass along a few updates about the new eats options that are coming to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport in the future. The best part of the new options is that it's just not Sbarro and Starbucks, as some local options are sneaking through the security line; however, no need to worry, as there will still be a Starbucks too.
Last week airport officials did their thing to grant approval to a bunch of new spots for the airport's Terminal 4, and everything should arrive both before and after the TSA checkpoint by sometime between now and 2013. There will be some Phoenix specific pizza from La Grande Orange, and Cowboy Ciao from over in Scottsdale will also be making an appearance in the airport. There will also be a few spots from Fox Restaurant Concepts including Sauce, Blanco's Tacos and Tequilia, and Modern Burger.
Arizona really isn’t known for their vast variety of roller coasters or theme parks, and that’s probably because it’s just too darn hot to even go outside during the summer. There’s a solution to this weather problem, and a group of investors is looking to build it, with a new kind of amusement park right in the desert that will keep visitors cool all day long.
Catalyst Land Holdings is planning an amusement park filled with snow. They want kids to be able to build snowmen, go sledding, and chuck snowballs at one another while temperatures soar well above 100 degrees outside, yes just like the one in Dubai (although without the skiing).
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We love visiting airports around the globe, but it’s rare that we truly feel appreciated and loved by the airports back. Well Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is looking to change that, as today is the airport’s second annual Customer Appreciation Day. That’s right—the airport is glad you are visiting the area or just passing through on your way to another destination.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like the airport has the authority to hand out free flights; however, they do have some stuff that might just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. Free candy and popcorn are just some of the freebies that airport personnel will be passing out within the terminals. The airport claims it’s America’s friendliest, so we’re sure there will be plenty of service with a smile.
Despite Arthur Frommer’s feelings about the Grand Canyon State, people seem to be ready to head out to Phoenix this fall. It is possible that his opinion might not have made it through to everyone yet, or it’s possible that nobody cares what Frommer thinks. Even though things are slow due to the economy, the Valley of the Sun appears to keep drawing the crowds into town.
According to the 2009 Travel Leaders Fall Travel Trends Survey—catchy name—the Phoenix and Scottsdale area sits just outside the top ten at number 11 among destinations booked throughout the rest of the year. People must want to avoid the cool crisp days of autumn at any cost. About 75 percent of those asked said that trips were down compared to last year overall, and about 60 percent said they had a good feeling about the strength of the fall travel season. Let's just hope the travel season isn't too strong, we're getting used to all the great deals.
Ever heard the urban legend about how peeling the top layer of a golf ball will cause it to explode? Us too! We expect a tour of Karsten Manufacturing, maker of Ping golf balls, to clear this mystery up for us.
Karsten Manufacturing founder Karsten Solheim got into golf as a young engineer when his coworkers at General Electric strong-armed him into joining their foursome; the putter he subsequently designed first made a big splash when a winner at a Phoenix PGA tournament used it. At Karsten in Phoenix, you can watch club heads being molded in a machine and later, real-life orders personalized for golfers around the world.
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Before we felt it right to make our way to one of the country’s best ice cream parlors, we had to backtrack for a moment and hit up one of the country’s best pizza places first. Located in a historic square along Phoenix’s downtown border, Pizzeria Bianco has been the pizza Mecca for crust aficionados across the country.
We knew that Bianco was a must-eat during our visit to Arizona, so we headed to the restaurant at 4:30 pm, as the place opens at 5:00, and only takes reservations for six or more. From what we’d read, we knew we’d have to wait, but we didn’t totally believe that our wait would be as long as it was. When we arrived, the line was already way down the block, and by the time we finally sat down and were rewarded with two delicious pies, it had become a five-hour journey.
This weekend is a great time to get away to Phoenix. Not only will you be able to escape the winter weather and enjoy sunny skies with highs in the mid 60s, but you’ll also get to attend the very romantic 2009 NBA All-Star Game with your sweetheart.
Things kick off Friday evening with the rookie and celebrity games. Saturday evening brings the fun stuff like the slam dunk contest, three point shootout, and the skills competition. Finally, on Sunday night, Jordin Sparks will get the evening started when she performs the National Anthem, before the league’s best look to battle it out at the US Airways Center. Originally, Chris Brown and Shaq were going to announce the starting lineups, but we’re thinking Shaq might be performing this one solo.