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Guidebook for Scottsdale

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Guidebook for Scottsdale

Food Scene
They have an extensive Italian menu with pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches. Our favorite is the gnocchi with vodka sauce! This is a casual, order at the counter place that is perfect for lunch or takeout. The Chicken Parm sandwich is also wonderful.
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DeFalco's Italian Eatery, Grocery & Deli
2334 North Scottsdale Road
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They have an extensive Italian menu with pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches. Our favorite is the gnocchi with vodka sauce! This is a casual, order at the counter place that is perfect for lunch or takeout. The Chicken Parm sandwich is also wonderful.
480-990-9844 Located in Old Town Scottsdale. Simple, yummy Mexican food. Everything is homemade using Lupe's recipes. Lupe is from Mexico and Frank is from New Mexico. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas are all authentic and flavorful. You can eat inside or out in the patio.
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Frank & Lupe's Old Mexico
4121 North Marshall Way
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480-990-9844 Located in Old Town Scottsdale. Simple, yummy Mexican food. Everything is homemade using Lupe's recipes. Lupe is from Mexico and Frank is from New Mexico. Tacos, burritos, enchiladas are all authentic and flavorful. You can eat inside or out in the patio.
480-970-7682 This place is special. Voted one of the most romantic restaurants in the US. The patio is absolutely stunning. We ate here for our anniversary (outside) in December and it couldn't have been more perfect. Every bit of the food is simply amazing. You must make a reservation. The menu changes based on what is in season.
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Cafe Monarch
6939 East 1st Avenue
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480-970-7682 This place is special. Voted one of the most romantic restaurants in the US. The patio is absolutely stunning. We ate here for our anniversary (outside) in December and it couldn't have been more perfect. Every bit of the food is simply amazing. You must make a reservation. The menu changes based on what is in season.
(480) 994-1917 A neighborhood favorite and a great delivery option. Best to order by 9pm. Great thin crust pizza, calzones, wings. Don’t miss the fried ravioli. Try a calzone, they have a nice blend of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. The calzones are brushed with garlic butter and served with a side of hot marinara sauce. Important note: Despite the name, this is thin crust and not traditional Chicago Deep Dish. If you’re looking for that, have no fear, there’s a Lou Malnati’s 3 miles away and they deliver too - (602) 551-8990.
Little Chicago Pizza
1645 N Hayden Rd
(480) 994-1917 A neighborhood favorite and a great delivery option. Best to order by 9pm. Great thin crust pizza, calzones, wings. Don’t miss the fried ravioli. Try a calzone, they have a nice blend of ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. The calzones are brushed with garlic butter and served with a side of hot marinara sauce. Important note: Despite the name, this is thin crust and not traditional Chicago Deep Dish. If you’re looking for that, have no fear, there’s a Lou Malnati’s 3 miles away and they deliver too - (602) 551-8990.
480-947-2198 Menu: http://www.cafeinscottsdale.com/menu.html This only 0.6 miles from the house (on the NW corner of McDowell and Granite Reef), so it could be a perfect place to walk to breakfast if you are up for a little exercise on your way to eat. They serve all day breakfast!
Temptations Cafe
8322 E McDowell Rd
480-947-2198 Menu: http://www.cafeinscottsdale.com/menu.html This only 0.6 miles from the house (on the NW corner of McDowell and Granite Reef), so it could be a perfect place to walk to breakfast if you are up for a little exercise on your way to eat. They serve all day breakfast!
480-947-6042 Menu: http://www.maleesonmain.com/menu.html They deliver through Doordash and Postmates. We have eaten here several times and have always loved everything. Our favorites are the Mint Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Yellow Curry and Pad Thai.
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Malee's Thai Bistro
7131 East Main Street
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480-947-6042 Menu: http://www.maleesonmain.com/menu.html They deliver through Doordash and Postmates. We have eaten here several times and have always loved everything. Our favorites are the Mint Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Yellow Curry and Pad Thai.
480-9943524 Menu: http://hillstone.com/menus/bandera/Bandera%20Scottsdale%20Dinner.pdf Order the cornbread! American Rotisserie. We recommend reservations. They accommodate groups of 4-6, but not larger parties.
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Bandera Scottsdale
3821 North Scottsdale Road
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480-9943524 Menu: http://hillstone.com/menus/bandera/Bandera%20Scottsdale%20Dinner.pdf Order the cornbread! American Rotisserie. We recommend reservations. They accommodate groups of 4-6, but not larger parties.
Menu: http://www.sugarbowlscottsdale.com/Sugarbowl_menu.html Although they do serve some dinner items, we recommend going here for dessert. This is a 50 year old ice cream parlor where you will find delicious milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits. Try the Top Hat Sundae, a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream surrounded by a delicious cream puff the keeps the ice cream cool from the amazing homemade hot fudge poured on top!
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Sugar Bowl
4005 North Scottsdale Road
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Menu: http://www.sugarbowlscottsdale.com/Sugarbowl_menu.html Although they do serve some dinner items, we recommend going here for dessert. This is a 50 year old ice cream parlor where you will find delicious milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits. Try the Top Hat Sundae, a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream surrounded by a delicious cream puff the keeps the ice cream cool from the amazing homemade hot fudge poured on top!
480-941-7210 Lunch menu: https://www.littlethaiger.com/lunch-menu Dinner menu: https://www.littlethaiger.com/dinner-menu This is a perfect takeout spot as seating is limited. Everything is delicious.
Suh Noi - The Little Thaiger
7150 E Thomas Rd
480-941-7210 Lunch menu: https://www.littlethaiger.com/lunch-menu Dinner menu: https://www.littlethaiger.com/dinner-menu This is a perfect takeout spot as seating is limited. Everything is delicious.
480-398-4208 Menu: http://www.citizenpublichouse.com/food We have been here with a big group and the service was wonderful. Reservations highly recommended!
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Citizen Public House
7111 East 5th Avenue
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480-398-4208 Menu: http://www.citizenpublichouse.com/food We have been here with a big group and the service was wonderful. Reservations highly recommended!
480-751-2200 We have been here several times and the service and food are always wonderful. We especially love their weekend brunch that is served on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am - 3pm! When the weather is nice, try to sit out on the patio. They do accept reservations. Weekend brunch menu: https://www.foxrc.com/frcwp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ONI_MenuBrunch_10182017_WEB.pdf Dinner Menu: https://www.foxrc.com/frcwp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ONI_MenuDinner_10182017_WEB.pdf
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Olive & Ivy
7135 East Camelback Road
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480-751-2200 We have been here several times and the service and food are always wonderful. We especially love their weekend brunch that is served on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am - 3pm! When the weather is nice, try to sit out on the patio. They do accept reservations. Weekend brunch menu: https://www.foxrc.com/frcwp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ONI_MenuBrunch_10182017_WEB.pdf Dinner Menu: https://www.foxrc.com/frcwp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/ONI_MenuDinner_10182017_WEB.pdf
480-636-5005 Menu: https://www.themissionaz.com/menu-1/ Try the tableside guacamole and the tacos. The tacos are small, but very delicious. We highly recommend reservations.
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The Mission
3815 North Brown Avenue
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480-636-5005 Menu: https://www.themissionaz.com/menu-1/ Try the tableside guacamole and the tacos. The tacos are small, but very delicious. We highly recommend reservations.
(480) 941-4700 https://www.mastrosrestaurants.com/Locations/AZ/City-Hall-Scottsdale/ Our favorite steakhouse in Scottsdale. Impeccable service and a great formal atmosphere for a night out. Located near Scottsdale Fashion Square, expect to dress up and valet park. The steaks are perfectly prepared. We recommend the Bone-in Fillet. The sides come in a variety of options with large portions. Look out for the amazing Alaskan King Crab Black Truffle Gnocchi! The four of us spent last New Year’s Eve here and had a meal to remember. Reservations are a must. Enjoy.
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Mastro's City Hall
6991 East Camelback Road
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(480) 941-4700 https://www.mastrosrestaurants.com/Locations/AZ/City-Hall-Scottsdale/ Our favorite steakhouse in Scottsdale. Impeccable service and a great formal atmosphere for a night out. Located near Scottsdale Fashion Square, expect to dress up and valet park. The steaks are perfectly prepared. We recommend the Bone-in Fillet. The sides come in a variety of options with large portions. Look out for the amazing Alaskan King Crab Black Truffle Gnocchi! The four of us spent last New Year’s Eve here and had a meal to remember. Reservations are a must. Enjoy.
480-970-1700 We have been here many times with groups of friends. It has a casual atmosphere and nice variety of menu items. Some of our favorites are the fondue & pretzel appetizer, nachos and 36-hour pork ribs. We recommend making reservations.
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Culinary Dropout
7135 East Camelback Road
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480-970-1700 We have been here many times with groups of friends. It has a casual atmosphere and nice variety of menu items. Some of our favorites are the fondue & pretzel appetizer, nachos and 36-hour pork ribs. We recommend making reservations.
480-289-6160 Menu: http://www.theherbbox.com/menu.html We love the Butternut Squash & Corn Enchiladas and the Short Ribs. We’ve had great service here and like the casual atmosphere.
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The Herb Box
7051 East Stetson Drive
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480-289-6160 Menu: http://www.theherbbox.com/menu.html We love the Butternut Squash & Corn Enchiladas and the Short Ribs. We’ve had great service here and like the casual atmosphere.
Parks & Nature
http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve (great website with all the trail information) The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a large, permanently protected, sustainable desert habitat offering some amazing hikes for the whole family. There is a very generous amount of different hikes, too, at various degrees of competency and fitness level. For example, the Gateway Loop is very rocky so remember to wear your hiking boots and bring poles! Alternatively, Browns Ranch is a lot easier and a chance to enjoy the desert scenery in greater depth as you won’t have to look down all the time! Or what about the Bell Pass, the Sunrise, or the Wingate? The list continues! There really is a trail for anyone who wa
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McDowell Mountain Regional Park
16300 McDowell Mountain Park Drive
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http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve (great website with all the trail information) The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a large, permanently protected, sustainable desert habitat offering some amazing hikes for the whole family. There is a very generous amount of different hikes, too, at various degrees of competency and fitness level. For example, the Gateway Loop is very rocky so remember to wear your hiking boots and bring poles! Alternatively, Browns Ranch is a lot easier and a chance to enjoy the desert scenery in greater depth as you won’t have to look down all the time! Or what about the Bell Pass, the Sunrise, or the Wingate? The list continues! There really is a trail for anyone who wa
Pinnacle Peak Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
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Pinnacle Peak Park
26802 North 102nd Way
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Pinnacle Peak Trail is a 4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Scottsdale, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
This is where you go to hike up one side on Camelback Mountain. We have hiked this and it is a challenge, but worth it if you are in good physical shape. Echo Canyon Trail Difficulty: Extreme Summit: 2,704 ft. Elevation: 1,200 ft. to summit Distance: 1.33 Miles to top Estimated Ascent: 55 minutes Estimated Descent: 45 minutes Location: N Echo Canyon Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ Parking: Parking lot Dogs: No
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Echo Canyon Recreation Area
4925 East McDonald Drive
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This is where you go to hike up one side on Camelback Mountain. We have hiked this and it is a challenge, but worth it if you are in good physical shape. Echo Canyon Trail Difficulty: Extreme Summit: 2,704 ft. Elevation: 1,200 ft. to summit Distance: 1.33 Miles to top Estimated Ascent: 55 minutes Estimated Descent: 45 minutes Location: N Echo Canyon Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ Parking: Parking lot Dogs: No
WE have hiked this side of Camelback and it a a challenge. This summits at the same location as the Echo Canyon Trail. Cholla Trail (the ‘easier’ one) Difficulty: Moderate - Extreme Summit: 2,704 ft. Distance: 1.5 Miles to top Elevation: 1,200 ft. to Summit Estimated Ascent: 60 minutes Estimated Descent: 45 minutes Location: 6131 E Cholla Ln, Phoenix, AZ 85253 Parking: Street parking Dogs: No
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Cholla Trailhead Camelback Mountain
6131 East Cholla Lane
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WE have hiked this side of Camelback and it a a challenge. This summits at the same location as the Echo Canyon Trail. Cholla Trail (the ‘easier’ one) Difficulty: Moderate - Extreme Summit: 2,704 ft. Distance: 1.5 Miles to top Elevation: 1,200 ft. to Summit Estimated Ascent: 60 minutes Estimated Descent: 45 minutes Location: 6131 E Cholla Ln, Phoenix, AZ 85253 Parking: Street parking Dogs: No
If the family enjoys mini-train rides, a lovely park with concessions, and model railroading, make sure you stop in at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Kids (and dads!) of every age will adore the huge 15 in. gauge railroad, Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive, a railroad museum and much, much more. There are hundreds of square feet of meticulously constructed dioramas with every gauge of model train running around, together with interactive buttons that allow you to activate various equipment, sound and light parts! The generously sized park has several play areas, a carousel and a gift shop to purchase snacks and souvenirs.
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McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park
7301 East Indian Bend Road
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If the family enjoys mini-train rides, a lovely park with concessions, and model railroading, make sure you stop in at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Kids (and dads!) of every age will adore the huge 15 in. gauge railroad, Magma Arizona Railroad locomotive, a railroad museum and much, much more. There are hundreds of square feet of meticulously constructed dioramas with every gauge of model train running around, together with interactive buttons that allow you to activate various equipment, sound and light parts! The generously sized park has several play areas, a carousel and a gift shop to purchase snacks and souvenirs.
This fascinating garden is one of Scottsdale’s hidden secret desert oases. Packed with cacti, desert trees and colorful succulents, plenty of shady areas to walk within and interesting trails to climb, this is a lovely spot for the adults to chill, as well as super for kids to burn off some energy! The Xeiscape Garden’s message can be found within its over scaled and rusty steel water vessel; a symbol of abundance in an arid climate. Designed by landscape architect Christine Ten Eyck and inscribed with the reminder “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives”, the message was eagerly embraced by homeowners and encouraged by conservationists and city water utilities.
Scottsdale Xeriscape Garden
8111 E McDonald Dr
This fascinating garden is one of Scottsdale’s hidden secret desert oases. Packed with cacti, desert trees and colorful succulents, plenty of shady areas to walk within and interesting trails to climb, this is a lovely spot for the adults to chill, as well as super for kids to burn off some energy! The Xeiscape Garden’s message can be found within its over scaled and rusty steel water vessel; a symbol of abundance in an arid climate. Designed by landscape architect Christine Ten Eyck and inscribed with the reminder “The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives”, the message was eagerly embraced by homeowners and encouraged by conservationists and city water utilities.
Entertainment & Activities
If you’re looking for a casual family place for a fun day out, head for Butterfly Wonderland. Its remarkable state of the art facility is home to an incredible glass atrium that provides the perfect tropical rainforest habitat for thousands of butterflies from all over the world that fly around freely. There is an educational “Flight of the Butterflies” 3D movie to see, and of particular interest to the kids, I’m sure, an interactive insect exhibits. There is also a café serving tasty refreshments as well as a gift shop. And don’t forget to bring the zoom camera!
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Butterfly Wonderland
9500 East Vía de Ventura
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If you’re looking for a casual family place for a fun day out, head for Butterfly Wonderland. Its remarkable state of the art facility is home to an incredible glass atrium that provides the perfect tropical rainforest habitat for thousands of butterflies from all over the world that fly around freely. There is an educational “Flight of the Butterflies” 3D movie to see, and of particular interest to the kids, I’m sure, an interactive insect exhibits. There is also a café serving tasty refreshments as well as a gift shop. And don’t forget to bring the zoom camera!
Shopping
We hope you try out some of the restaurants we’ve listed that are in Old Town, but even if you aren’t there for eating, take the family for a leisurely stroll through historic Old Town to get a real taste of Scottsdale. The area is conveniently situated downtown, within an easily walkable neighborhood filled to the brim with award winning restaurants, fine art galleries, souvenir outlets, jewelry shops and unusual stores. As you walk past the Little Red Schoolhouse, Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop and Rusty Spur Saloon, you’ll easily feel transported back in time. There are some nice cafes around too, if you just want to sit for a while and watch the world go by.
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Old Town Scottsdale
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We hope you try out some of the restaurants we’ve listed that are in Old Town, but even if you aren’t there for eating, take the family for a leisurely stroll through historic Old Town to get a real taste of Scottsdale. The area is conveniently situated downtown, within an easily walkable neighborhood filled to the brim with award winning restaurants, fine art galleries, souvenir outlets, jewelry shops and unusual stores. As you walk past the Little Red Schoolhouse, Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop and Rusty Spur Saloon, you’ll easily feel transported back in time. There are some nice cafes around too, if you just want to sit for a while and watch the world go by.
This luxury shopping center is home to the best names in the business! From Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to Gucci and Louis Vuitton, this upscale shopping mall is approximately 2 million square feet of opulent retail opportunities. The mall is actually Arizona’s largest and among the top 30 largest malls in the country. So get your comfortable walking shoes on! You will also find helpful and courteous staff on hand throughout the shopping center. Though the shops are high-end you might also be lucky enough to pick up a few bargains at some anchor stores such as Macys!
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Scottsdale Fashion Square
7014 East Camelback Road
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This luxury shopping center is home to the best names in the business! From Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus to Gucci and Louis Vuitton, this upscale shopping mall is approximately 2 million square feet of opulent retail opportunities. The mall is actually Arizona’s largest and among the top 30 largest malls in the country. So get your comfortable walking shoes on! You will also find helpful and courteous staff on hand throughout the shopping center. Though the shops are high-end you might also be lucky enough to pick up a few bargains at some anchor stores such as Macys!
Arts & Culture
This fascinating museum, situated in Scottsdale Old Town, covers information about all 19 western states, from Texas to the Dakotas (including Hawaii and Alaska) and is, basically, 35,000 sq. ft. of captivating facts, painting and artifacts for everyone. The museum regularly features changing exhibitions, gallery tours and activities that bring to exciting life its Western heritage. The museum’s helpful staff are happy to answer questions, and there is also a gift shop selling high quality merchandise.
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Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
3830 N Marshall Way
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This fascinating museum, situated in Scottsdale Old Town, covers information about all 19 western states, from Texas to the Dakotas (including Hawaii and Alaska) and is, basically, 35,000 sq. ft. of captivating facts, painting and artifacts for everyone. The museum regularly features changing exhibitions, gallery tours and activities that bring to exciting life its Western heritage. The museum’s helpful staff are happy to answer questions, and there is also a gift shop selling high quality merchandise.
A perfect visit for all car aficionados of the family. Situated within the Penske Automotive Group car dealerships (nestled between Bentley, BMW and Jaguar car dealers) sits Mr Penske’s 9,000 sq ft, two story museum which is open to the public (and free of charge), showcasing an astonishing collection of cars and trophies, as well as some fascinating racing memorabilia. In fact, many of the actual racing cars that have produced signature wins for Penske Racing over the years are on display, enabling the museum-goers to learn about the history of each of these amazing machines. As you enter the museum you will be greeted by the Miller Lite Dodge stock car that Rusty Wallace raced to his 37th
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Penske Racing Museum
7125 E Chauncey Ln
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A perfect visit for all car aficionados of the family. Situated within the Penske Automotive Group car dealerships (nestled between Bentley, BMW and Jaguar car dealers) sits Mr Penske’s 9,000 sq ft, two story museum which is open to the public (and free of charge), showcasing an astonishing collection of cars and trophies, as well as some fascinating racing memorabilia. In fact, many of the actual racing cars that have produced signature wins for Penske Racing over the years are on display, enabling the museum-goers to learn about the history of each of these amazing machines. As you enter the museum you will be greeted by the Miller Lite Dodge stock car that Rusty Wallace raced to his 37th
This is Frank Lloyd Wright’s world famous home and architectural laboratory. Built in 1937 by the famous architect himself, it is now a National Historic Landmark. Constructed from the actual sand and stone of the surrounding Sonoran desert that sit at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, it really is a magnificent attraction for those interested in architecture, fans of Frank Lloyd Wright himself, or just as an engaging and relevant experience for the family. You have the choice of taking the 90 minute tour conducted by well trained, knowledgeable guides, or by making your own way through the house. The gift shop is well worth a visit too, with generously stocked artistic gifts.
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Taliesin West
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This is Frank Lloyd Wright’s world famous home and architectural laboratory. Built in 1937 by the famous architect himself, it is now a National Historic Landmark. Constructed from the actual sand and stone of the surrounding Sonoran desert that sit at the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, it really is a magnificent attraction for those interested in architecture, fans of Frank Lloyd Wright himself, or just as an engaging and relevant experience for the family. You have the choice of taking the 90 minute tour conducted by well trained, knowledgeable guides, or by making your own way through the house. The gift shop is well worth a visit too, with generously stocked artistic gifts.