McCann Travels: 3 Days in Phoenix, Arizona with Abbe Sublett, Designer
I’ve been supremely blessed to have my best friend Jill in my life for the past 20 years. I’m also supremely blessed that she decided to be a badass traveling ICU nurse, which means she moves around a lot, which means I get to visit her in a new city every time.
Over the past few years, our adventures have taken us to Chicago, Colombia, Savannah and Nashville, and for my latest visit, I headed to Phoenix. Along with our other friend Kat went out to visit and hang out for three days to celebrate Jill’s birthday. Here’s the breakdown of out trip:
Day One: I can’t believe my legs can hurt this bad.
Now, Camelback Mountain has two trails and difficulty levels: Cholla (the bunny slope) and Echo Canyon (the double black diamond). We weren’t really aware of this when we arrived, so guess which one we ended up on? Yep, Echo Canyon.
I’ll spare you the details about the next three hours it took for us to get up the 2,700-foot-high beast (I may have dropped quite a few f-bombs), but I will tell you that the experience and feeling up top was amazing. The views of Phoenix are absolutely incredible. We took in the views for about 20 minutes and, thankfully, the climb down was a lot more fun.
Be warned though, that Echo Canyon is not for the inexperienced hiker (like me), but it is an awesome experience. Don’t forget to bring a lot of water. The day we went was also overcast, which helped. I can’t imagine doing that trail in 90 degrees.
After cleaning the mountain dust off, we went out for our first night in Phoenix. Our delicious dinner at Moira, a sushi bar and kitchen, consisted of three different rolls, a bowl of noodles, two orders of edamame and plenty of sake between us. Conveniently located right across the street from Moira is Cobra Arcade Bar, an 80s- themed bar with over 40 vintage arcade games including classics like Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, Rampage, Super Mario Bros., Mortal Combat, and much, much more. Five-dollar tokens got us about seven different game sessions, which was worth it. Make sure to get in early though – the line at 11:00 PM was crazy long and they have a capacity limit (whomp whomp).
Day Two: who knew Arizona was this much fun?
The next morning brought the sun, so we decided to take a walk to a breakfast spot. There many cafes in downtown Phoenix and much to my breakfast-loving delight, we were able to catch some sun sitting outside at the amazing Fair Trade Café. I’m still trying to recreate the deliciousness of their Purple Haze smoothie.
After spending part of the day outdoors, we had the brilliant idea to go to Sky Zone, a giant indoor trampoline park (I mean, what’s better for your legs after a day of hiking a mountain?). Sky Zone isn’t a Phoenix-only thing, but anywhere you are, it’s a lot of fun.
After some (bomb) fish tacos from The Dressing Room and a nap, we were all ready to head out to Scottsdale to celebrate Jill’s birthday. Scottsdale has a ton of nightlife and is only a 15-minute drive from downtown Phoenix. The main strip in Scottsdale reminded me of mini Vegas with its huge variety of indoor/outdoor venues. Here are my top three:
Casa Amigos: A newer bar and restaurant in Scottsdale, with the added perk of a bowling alley upstairs!
Maya: This is a day/night club with a pool outside, but too cold to go into when we were there :(
Hi-Fi: The best part about is being able to dance dance dance!
Day Three: I can’t believe the food here is so good and that I have to leave tomorrow.
We decided to chill on our last day in town. After spending the morning sunning ourselves, we found a small Lunar New Year festival happening in Margaret T. Hance Park to while away our afternoon hours. And then it was dinner time. I did not have one bad meal the entire time I was in Phoenix. Our last - and my favorite - meal was at Beckett’s Table, which is all about comfort food, warm hospitality, shared tables and an open kitchen. Its homey vibes are made possible by an outdoor fire place, live music, amazing food and great deals on Sunday nights: half price bottles on all Arizona wines (go for the Viognier from Four Tails). Jill and I split the Noble Toast and for my main, the Shrimp, Sausage & Grits, which I can honestly say is the best meal I’ve had in the last six months. Beckett’s Table is a must!
Overall, I had an amazing time and wouldn’t do anything differently. It’s always great to get away and spend time with your best friends to remind you what’s most important in life. I’m already planning on going back soon. Hello, Grand Canyon!
*If you are interested in being featured, please reach out to Erin Turkel (Erin.Turkel@mccann.com).