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Pizza / Phoenix / Food Travel / Food / → All Tags
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.
Ice Cream / Food Travel / Phoenix / Scottsdale / → All Tags
A couple weeks ago we found ourselves in the Valley of the Sun, looking to check out the best that the area has to offer. With temperatures during our stay already approaching 100 degrees, we were eager to find something tasty to help us cool down. Thankfully we learned about Sweet Republic Ice Cream in Scottsdale, but don't expect us to claim that we discovered it because it’s a huge hit on Yelp, with local foodies and Twitter; the place even just made Bon Appetit's list of ten best ice cream shops.
The ice cream parlor is located in a nothing-special strip mall about a 15-minute drive outside the hustle and bustle of Scottsdale’s shopping mecca. Everything here is made fresh daily and in small batches, so when it’s gone, it’s gone. We’re still a little miffed that we missed out on their Peanut Butter Chip. However, we did enjoy the delicious Brownie Swirl with a side of Cookie Monster. Both flavors were exactly what you’d expect and more, and had great flavor and texture—the dessert spoke for itself—and we quickly found out that this wasn’t your local scoop shop.
Gold-Mining / Gold Mines / Treasure Hunting / Adventure Travel / Pioneer Travel / Phoenix / Arizona Travel / → All Tags
It's a whole new type of laid-off travel; gold mining is back with a vengeance and oftentimes, the richest veins are closer than you think. All this week we'll be digging deep into the USA's dirt to uncover the best spots for sifting your way into a small fortune, or at least one month's rent. Any suggestions or questions? Let us know.
We've covered gold mining the old fashioned way, of panning beside a river, and even a more current version involving Hummers out of Las Vegas, but what about the future of prospecting?
If the streams all get picked over during this recession, we may see more and more helicopter tours departing to harder-to-reach areas, ever in search of a record find. For $4,000 per couple, you can hop such a chopper at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport for a 5-day vacation of flying over mesas and setting down for a little private claim diggingafter instruction on the best methods, of course.
There are longer and further trips available for the hardcore treasure hunters, but we'd think that 5 days working hard for the money (er, gold) in the hot Arizona sun should be plenty to satisfy your curiosity about heli-gold-digging. -
Got some time to waste around PHX? If you're traveling with your sneaks and looking for more than fast food or putzing around the 'net, consider an express hike in Tempe. Hayden Butte (a.k.a. "A" Mountain, for the Arizona State University logo that rests on it, pictured above), is just five miles from the airport and accessible via the Valley Metro's Red Line.
The bus ride will run you $1.25 each way, and access to the mountain is free. It's a steep but short hike (about 1/2 a mile one-way) that will plop you atop the peak with expansive views of the Valley of the Sun.
The top of the hike is also prime plane-spotting territory. It's enough to put a squishy spot on the heart of even the most hardened air traveler.