What to Do at the Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona

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What is there to do in boring Phoenix, Arizona anyway? Why not take a trip to the fabulous Phoenix Zoo? The zoo is open from 9am to 5pm. Admission rates are $25 for adults 14 years and older, and for children between the ages of 3-13, admission is $17. Alternately, you can become a zoo member. An individual plan begins at $69. A couples plan is $109. For a family, which includes 2 adults and 4 children, the fee is $179, and for family plus, which includes 3 adults and up to 6 children, the fee is $279.

One of the most fun things to do at the Phoenix Zoo is the Discovery Tour. This tour is a 75-minute tour guided through the zoo on an eco-shuttle. Price for this tour is $74 per person 14 and over, or $64 per child aged 3-13. If you’re a member of the zoo, the price is $49. Reservations for this tour must be made online at least 48 hours in advance. All guests must wear masks on this tour that properly cover your nose and mouth. The cart will stop in front of various exhibits for photo opportunities as you ride through the zoo and learn all about the animals.

If you want to support the zoo in a unique way, the Phoenix Zoo has compiled several Amazon Wish lists from which to buy various items for the keepers and the animals! Buy toys for the tigers, the elephants, or the primates, including equipment for the keepers. If you want to give something beyond a monetary gift, this is the way to go. All links to the wish lists can be found on the Phoenix Zoo’s website.

The zoo also has a periodical magazine! These magazines are released every two months digitally online. They feature articles on various animals, as well as tips for conservation and education about the habitats of the animals at the zoo. You’ll be able to learn all about upcoming events at the zoo and have an insider’s look at what’s to come.

During this time of Covid-19, the zoo has evolved to bring you Animal Zooms. Certain animals are available for live Zoom webinars for 15 minutes at a time. These animals will be with a keeper who can answer all your questions and share fun facts about the star of the show. Animal Zooms vary by date and time, so be sure you check out their schedules on the Phoenix Zoo website.

The zoo also has various online activities, both for at home and for school. These range from asking a zookeeper to online learning in a virtual field trip experience. Whether you decide to go online and experience the zoo at home or come to the zoo and visit all the amazing animals, you’ll be sure to have an excellent time getting to know the creatures of our beautiful planet.

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Five Best Airbnb’s in Phoenix, AZ

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Whether you are looking for some time away from work, a romantic weekend with your significant other, or just some quality downtime with the family, you can’t go wrong with an Airbnb.

Through the booking and use of an Airbnb, you can choose the environment of your choice, along with the city and location as well.  Choosing an Airbnb can prove to be an economical choice when looking to spend some getaway time. 

With this in mind, we have gathered five of the top-rated Airbnb’s in the Phoenix, AZ area.

Romantic Getaway Historic Casita

This suite boasts architectural design finishes and details, a copper barn door, custom birch casework, and a luxury brass shower with floor-to-ceiling hand-made penny tiles. Rest easy knowing the core focus of the home is sustainability.  This space is inspired by the vibrancy of Phoenix and the desert. It’s well-designed and luxurious.

Not suitable for children under 12.  No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Family Private Spacious Home

Check out this fully furnished and equipped home and ideally located in the east valley on the Tempe/Mesa border in a beautiful community with parks, lakes, and trails.  The house is close to restaurants and dining in a quiet and friendly neighborhood. You’ll love the spacious layout, comfy beds, and high ceilings. It is ideal for couples, solo adventurers, business travelers, and families (with kids). You can also access the two-car garage or use the private driveway.

No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Near a famous landmark Downtown Executive Retreat

Live above it all in Downtown Phoenix!! North Facing 10th Floor Executive condo with views of the entire valley. Large loft-style condo with sophisticated urban mid-century design with industrial finishes. Floor to ceiling windows in kitchen/living/den w/Million Dollar views all in a secure building with a rooftop pool! Amenities include a gorgeous pool & sun deck with BBQs, fitness room, club room & guarded entry with a doorman.

Not suitable for children under 12.  No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Luxury Modern Luxury Home

It’s time for your next Desert Getaway in this inviting 2300 Sqft modern home with a relaxing pool (option to heat) and a high-end grill.

You’re centrally located and in one of the most popular neighborhoods in Phoenix. This home is the perfect place for family, corporate stays, and more. If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend with friends and family, this is the place for you.  This is a unique modern home in central Phoenix that has a beautiful backyard and a heated pool.

No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

Budget Charming Guest Suite

Welcome to this home conveniently situated near the heart of Downtown Phoenix. It was purchased three years ago, and the owner is continuing the process of refurbishing and putting the “final touches” on what is hoped will be a sanctuary, brimming with love and laughter. Please feel free to enjoy the outdoor backyard spaces.

Not suitable for children under 12.  No pets, parties, or smoking permitted.

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Five Awesome Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s 2021 in Phoenix

Valentine’s Day is coming up next month, but roses, chocolate, and Hallmark cards aren’t for everyone. If you’d rather round up your best gal pals and celebrate the joys of female friendship on Galentine’s Day, read on, because we’ve rounded up five fun ways to celebrate with your girls this year in Phoenix!

Kai Restaurant

If you and your gals want to be fancy, a classic way to spend the evening is dinner and drinks at a renowned restaurant. For one of the most accoladed restaurants in Phoenix, you’ll want to head to Kai Restaurant. It’s the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star restaurant in Arizona and was also a 2020 James Beard award nominee for outstanding hospitality. Located in Wild Horse Pass, it serves elite interpretations of traditional Native American food made from ingredients grown by the Gila River Indian Community. Eating here is a true luxury experience, so you and your friends will need to be prepared to pay higher-end prices.

My Mother’s Restaurant

If you’re looking for a more mom-and-pop type restaurant, you can’t get much more down-home than My Mother’s Restaurant. With its motto “A good place to be,” the restaurant specializes in serving up homestyle meals like pot roast, lasagna, and homemade pie. It’s truly the best place for comfort food.

Granada Park

If you’re trying to be safe due to COVID-19, an outdoor celebration is the way to go. And luckily, in Arizona, even in February a picnic is a fun way to connect with your gals. For the best location, have your gal pals meet you at Granada Park. This lovely urban green space features a lagoon and a sculpture. There are plenty of shady spots where you can lay down a picnic blanket and enjoy the view of Piestewa Peak, as well as picnic tables and grills to prepare your feast.

The Inner Dancer

If your friends aren’t content to just sit around and chat, you’re going to want an activity to get everyone moving. What about hosting a party at your place and then streaming a live belly-dancing class to give everyone something to do? You’ll all learn a new skill, have some fun, and make memories. The Inner Dancer is offering live-streamed belly dancing classes for beginners, and you can buy a 24-hour all-access pass to cover your party.

Sunshine Craft Co.

If you want something unique to do -and you have some gal pals who are into crafts- head to Sunshine Craft Co., a woman-owned craft room and DIY studio! While they’re not open for public crafting workshops during the pandemic, with a minimum of 7 people, you can book the studio for a private event. You can choose from a range of projects and they’ll provide the materials and the instruction. Or, if you prefer a virtual Galentine’s crafting night, they can also prep the kits for you and provide virtual instruction over Zoom.

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Best Local Virtual Workouts in Phoenix to Get the New Year Started Right

Does recent holiday overindulgence have you starting to think about kick-starting your workout routine for the new year? Whether you’re regretting how all those extra slices of pie have your pants fitting a little more snugly or just want to get healthier, making a commitment to working out is always a great New Year’s Resolution. 

It can be especially hard to stay motivated to getting fit during a pandemic when many gyms are either closed or don’t feel as safe as they used to. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of Phoenix-based gyms and trainers that are offering virtual workouts. Check them out so that you can be the best version of you in 2021! 

Best Free Virtual Workout

Karissa Nichole

Times are hard right now, with the pandemic taking a major toll on the economy. If you’re being budget-conscious, the good news is there are great free virtual workouts in Phoenix! Get started at local influencer Karissa Nichole’s Youtube channel. She has posted a few ab, upper body, and booty workouts, along with other lifestyle content.

Best Paid Virtual Workout

Mountainside Fitness

Of course, if you can afford to pay for workouts, you’ll be helping to stimulate the economy and supporting the livelihoods of fitness instructors and gym owners. And a membership at Arizona gym Mountainside Fitness won’t go to waste even when you don’t feel comfortable going in person. They’ve created a virtual fitness portal as part of your gym membership which comes with on-demand classes, at-home personal training, weekly live classes, demos, and special classes for seniors.

Best Live Virtual Workout

Modern Yoga

One of the things many people miss about in-person exercise classes is the feeling of community and accountability that they foster! One local organization, based nearby in Scottsdale, offering live virtual classes is Modern Yoga. They stream a variety of yoga flows every single day, including yoga teacher training! And there’s plenty of different class times to pick from.

Best Recorded Virtual Workout

BODI

One consistent throughout this pandemic has been that nothing is consistent. So, if you’re not sure you can commit to working out at specific days and times, you’ll want pre-recorded classes that you can do at any time. Get your fix at woman-owned BODI, located in nearby Scottsdale. The gym has created an online library of workouts, with new videos added daily, that you can access for $40/month.

Best Unique Virtual Workout

The Phoenix Dance Academy

If you have kids, chances are they have a ton of pent-up energy these days. With school happening virtually and most regular activities cancelled, it’s hard for kids to stay active. You can help your kids have some fun, stay fit, and learn a new skill by enrolling them in dance classes. Phoenix Dance Academy needs your support, as they lost their studio space during the pandemic. They’re currently holding virtual classes for kids of all ages and levels. Options include ballet, tap, jazz, urban, and folk dance. Register here!

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Great Places to Buy Gifts Traveling to Phoenix

The holiday season is upon us! That means family time, cozy nights by the fire, baked goods…and scrambling to buy presents! But here’s an idea for you -save some time by grouping your holiday travel and holiday shopping!

If you’re traveling to Phoenix this holiday season, we’ve compiled a few local stores you absolutely must check out for your holiday gift needs. You’ll get to explore a new place, avoid the online shopping shipping wait, and best yet -by shopping small you’ll be supporting the local economy and small business owners!

Palabras Bilingual Bookstore

While you’re supporting small businesses, why not also support underserved communities? The Latinx community in Arizona has had a huge influence on the region’s culture so it’s important to give back by shopping at Latinx-owned businesses. You can do that and find books for everyone on your shopping list at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, Arizona’s only bilingual bookstore. If you know an hispanohablante or someone who is studying Spanish, they’ve got you covered. They also have plenty of English-language titles in all genres. Visit on December 5th for their holiday pop-up market in the rear parking lot.

The Heard Museum Gift Shop

Another underserved community that deserves your support is the Native community. The Heard Museum has been presenting and advancing “American Indian art, emphasizing its intersection with broader artistic and cultural themes” since 1929. And their massive gift shop (all 6,000 square feet!) is one of the ways they do that. Everything sold in the shop is hand-crafted by Native artists -both local and from across the country- and they have pieces in all price ranges.

Bunky Boutique

Woman-owned Bunky Boutique specializes in clothing and accessories for men, women, and children. Their stock includes essentials like face masks, and fun extras like pins and keychains. If you head into their shop, you’ll also find housewares, games, and bath & beauty items, or stocking stuffers like stickers and paper goods!

Frances

Woman-owned Frances (named for owner Georganne Bryant’s grandmother) is a boutique that’s dedicated to ethical practices and showcasing local, independent artists. Since opening in 2006, Frances has consistently been voted “Best Boutique” by Phoenix New Times. The selection of gift items you’ll find inside has been curated to express vintage charm and includes products like home goods, jewelry, paper products, novelty, and more.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Of course, if your hectic holiday has you rushing straight from the plane to a family gathering, you won’t have time to browse through the boutiques in downtown Phoenix. But did you know the Phoenix International Airport actually has a lot of boutiques and shops that carry works by local artists inside? Unfortunately, most of them are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, but you may still find some last-minute gifts at:

·        Arizona Highways in Terminal 3 is affiliated with Arizona Highways magazine, and has lots of state-themed gifts and books.

·        Discover Arizona in Terminal 3 has more state-themed gifts and souvenirs.

·        TripAdvisor in Terminal 4 has travel-related goods for the jet-setter on your shopping list.

·        Indigenous in Terminal 4 carries Southwest-centric gifts.

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Renting an Ebike in Phoenix, Arizona

Ebikes, also known as electric bikes, are gaining ground in popularity in Phoenix, Arizona. Ebikes are bicycles outfitted with an electric pedal-assist motor, making for effortless rides even on rough terrain. If you’re in town and looking for something fun and exciting to do, consider renting an ebike and going on an adventure.

The state of Arizona classifies ebikes as a normal bicycle, which means they are allowed to ride on the streets or any bike path. Driver’s licenses are not needed to ride them, nor do they need to be registered with the state. Arizona does have a helmet law for children under the age of 18, but most cyclists in the state prefer to wear helmets at all times, regardless of age.

Where might you rent one of these ebikes? Our first recommendation would be Pedego Scottsdale. This shop rents standard 36V ebikes for $49 per half a day (up to 4 hours) or $69 for a full day (4-8 hours). If you’re feeling truly adventurous, you can rent it for a full week up to $339 dollars.

They also rent a premium 48V ebike, available for $69 for a half day (up to 4 hours) or $99 for the full day (4-8 hours) or a weekly rental for $469.

Another shop to rent your ebike would be Phat Rides Electric Bikes of Scottsdale. Don’t let the amusing name fool you, this shop is serious when it comes to ebike rentals. Book your bike by phone or online. They have several models from which to choose, but are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Where might you ride your rented ebike? We have a couple of good suggestions. Murphy’s Bridle Path is the perfect path for the nature lover. This path winds through wooded areas and sandy earth, yet it is heavily trafficked by pedestrians, joggers, and bikers. But for an easy, yet beautiful trail, this is the path you want, clocking in at only 1.5 miles. It is one of the shadiest spots in the city, with the trail itself being lined with hundreds of trees.

We also suggest Papago Park, a glorious trail that winds through the Arizona desert next to the famed Hole-in-the-Rock formation. This trail is also a great trail for anyone who’d like an easy ride or who is a newbie to riding ebikes. If you want to get a real taste of the Southwestern desert, do not miss this bike path, where palm trees, rock formations, and calm water pools await.

Renting an ebike is easy and affordable in Phoenix. For the vacationer who wants to get out of the hotel room and into nature, this is the perfect choice for excitement and adventure. Come and rent an ebike today and experience for yourself the beautiful desert countryside of Arizona. You will not be disappointed!

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Outdoor activities near Phoenix AZ

Spending time doing outdoor activities can be both great for your mental and physical health, and taking care of yourself is more important than ever. Taking part in all kinds of adventurous outdoor activities is a standard affair in Pheonix, with the great weather and ample space allowing for an endless amount of outdoor fun. We have put together a short list below of some of the best outdoor activities near Phoenix AZ so you can get out and join in.

  1. SONORAN OUTDOOR ADVENTURES

Why not jump straight into the deep end of outdoor activities, with the states only guided bike tour through the valley of the sun. Brace yourself, you’ll be in for a tough ride at times, but you’ll also get to have an experience that few other people will have had. Fat bikes are used, and local trails are always kept to, so you can be sure that your biking will always be stable even if you are a beginner, and you’ll always be safe in the valley.

  1. DESERT WOLF TOURS

This place has previously been named as the best off-road experience in the world, but don’t just take their word for it, check them out and see if you have the adventure of a lifetime. These off-road tours allow you to explore the rocky desert in style in off-road vehicles, see some of the most spectacular views in the state, and even include a firearms adventure if you want.

  1. ARIZONA OUTDOOR FUN

There really are more outdoor adventures to be had near Phenix than most other places in the country. The great outdoors is truly appreciated here and there are so many options for activities and tours. One such tour is Arizona Outdoor Fun where you can ride in ATV and UTV’s on-road, off-road, or even through valleys and water creeks. Take a tour of some of the greatest outdoor areas near the city.

  1. WESTERN DESTINATIONS CANYON CREEK RANCH

Within 130 acres of Cold Water Canyon, you’ll find Canyon Creek Ranch. A vast expanse of open land surrounded by more than 70,000 acres of National Monument Land. Being at the Ranch means you are in the perfect place to explore the mountains, the Agua Fria River, the extensive hills, and miles of the desert waiting to be explored.

  1. RAINBOW RYDERS HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE

You might want to sit this one out if you are scared of heights, but if you love being in the air, then this is one of the absolute best outdoor activities you can do near Pheonix. Soar through the sky in a hot air balloon and see the city and surrounding areas from a completely different viewpoint. The views are breath-taking, and this is an outdoor activity that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Before you get stuck thinking that Arizona is just one big desert, take part in a few of the outdoor activities near Pheonix and see how stunning this landscape truly is, you won’t be disappointed.

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Best Picnic Spots Near Phoenix AZ

When the sun comes out, it is time to get outside and spend some all-important quality time in the great outdoors, soaking up some sun and breathing in some fresh air. An excellent way to combine both these things in order to give yourself that type of break is with a picnic, and if you are near Phoenix, AZ then you are in luck. To make it easier for you to find that perfect place, we have compiled a list of the best picnic spots near Phoenix, AZ, so you know exactly where to go.

  1. ENCANTO PARK

Encanto Park is quite famous in the city for its man-made lagoon, in which people are welcome to fish. As well as the lagoon there are also two golf courses, a boathouse, a nature trail, and a swimming pool. As far as picnic areas go, this is certainly one of the most fun-filled ones. Of course, there are also plenty of picnic benches, although, with more than two hundred acres of land and lots of open spaces, there is more than enough room for you to picnic on the green lawns if there are no benches available. Encanto Park is wonderfully unique and it is easy to spend the whole day exploring everything it has to offer, and still come back time and again for more.

  1. GRANADA PARK

Granada Park is an excellent picnic spot for everyone, especially if you are bringing kids as the play areas and sports grounds mean that your kids can be entertained while you sit back and relax in the sun. The sports field here is multi-use, you can also play tennis, and sit by the lake if you fancy listening to the rippling water as you tuck into your lunch.

  1. PAPAGO PARK

Papago Park is actually noted as a Phoenix Point of Pride, and is full of history with one particular feature of the park (Hunt’s Tomb), being on the National Register of Historic Places. What better way to spend the day than with a picnic and a tour around some of the city’s wonderful history. This is so much more than a park and is definitely worth the visit. However, if you are only interested in a picnic then this is no problem as there are benches and grilling stations for everyone to use.

4.PIEDRAS GRANDES PICNIC GROUND

The beautiful scenery that surrounds Piedras Grandes Picnic Ground is one of the highlights of this place. It doesn’t matter which part of the ground you go to, you are greeted with stunning views in every direction. This is a truly impressive place to come for a picnic and a stroll, and there are few places in the city that provides as much tranquility as this ground does.

Spending time outside with friendly, family, or even alone is good for the soul, and with so many excellent places near the city, you don’t even have to travel far to get the much-needed break we all deserve to take from time to time.

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Celebrating LGBT Pride Month in Phoenix, AZ

In June 1969, the LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, NY, decided that they would no longer take the harassment of the NYPD. They defied the raids and began marching the streets to highlight the injustice and asked for their rights to be acknowledged. It started on a Friday with a small group, and ended on Monday morning with more than two thousand people marching through the streets; this is the weekend where the movement was born.

Now, more than fifty years later Pride Month is celebrated across the globe. You can join in the festivities, and offer support when celebrating LGBT Pride Month in Phoenix, AZ.

WHAT ARE PRIDE EVENTS?

Pride committees, volunteers, and organizers work throughout the year to arrange events within cities and towns across the country, and the world to not only remember the past of the pride movement but to also look to the future. Rallies, marches, parades, and festivities are organized throughout June, normally ending with a parade finale on the last weekend of the month. Pride Month has come to be a way for the LGBT community to celebrate achievements as well as building a support network and progression.

THE PHOENIX PRIDE FESTIVAL

Featuring over 150 different entertainers and performances across 6 stages the Phoenix Pride Festival is a huge production. Over 300 different exhibitors attend with a range of food and dining, shops, boutiques, and local community crafts and creations. The festival’s main aim is to raise positive awareness and educate people on issues the LGBT community faces, and help people understand how to change the future. There are keynote speeches and headlines performances from the government, celebrities, and private corporations.

THE PRIDE PARADE

The Phoenix Pride Parade begins at 10.30 am and brings thousands of people together through the streets of Phoenix. The diverse LGBT community marches as one to celebrate the past, the present, and the future of the community. Thousands participate with decorated cars and vehicles, floats, marching bands, and thousands more who walk. With more than fifteen thousand spectators lining the street it is a fun-filled day where everyone is encouraged to express themselves openly and freely. All the money raised during the parade is then used for the Phoenix Pride, and the Pride Community Grants & Scholarships Programs.

MISS AND MISTER PHOENIX PRIDE PAGEANT

Another great show is the Miss and Mister Phoenix Pride Pageant, a community-sponsored event which is supported by local bars, entertainers and venues in and across the city. If crowned the winner you will become the face of pride for the duration of your reign, promoting events within the community, state, and country being a role model of raising awareness for the LGBT community.

As you can see celebrating LGBT Pride Month in Phoenix, AZ, is a great way to meet new people, educate yourself on the history and issues the community faces, and be part of the way forward. And with parties, festivals, parades and more on every corner, you can be sure you will have a ton of fun too.

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Where to Buy Souvenirs Near Phoenix AZ

If you are visiting some of the outstanding resorts, desert gardens, or luxurious golf courses in Phoenix, AZ then you will no doubt want to make sure that you stock up on souvenirs before you head home so you always have a reminder of a wonderful vacation. Therefore, to help you know where the best places are to buy souvenirs near Phoenix, we have compiled a list of the top stores for you!

Kactus Jock

Kactus Jock started in 1991 as a cart business, selling cactus or “Kactus” excelling in various sports represented on t-shirts. It has grown into a thriving gift and apparel shop in 2 locations in downtown Scottsdale. It specializes in selling souvenirs for tourists and locals alike with articles of clothing, sports gears, metalwork, and the usual items like glasses, replica number plates, pens, flags and so much more. Check them out at the address below and find out why this store has thrived even during the difficult times.

Address: 7121 E 5th Ave

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Incredibly Arizona Main

You will find Incredibly Arizona Main in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. It is always handy to know there is a souvenir shop inside the airport for those times that you left it too late to do a little shopping and are worried about going home empty-handed. Pick up all the gifts and souvenirs you could need from here.

Address: 3400 E Sky Harbor Blvd

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Sibley’s West The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop

Sibley’s West The Chandler and Arizona Gift Shop is so special it has even been featured on TV! The great thing about this place is that everything sold here is made by people from Arizona. All of the souvenirs and products are authentically Arizonian and handcrafted with care and love. This is a fantastic way to support the local community and those who spend hours on their craft to ensure that you have the best souvenirs possible to take home with you.

Address: 72 S San Marcos Pl

Chandler, AZ 85225

Sorona

This is a lovely little boutique also at the airport. There is a wonderful selection of gifts and trinkets to choose from, that are more unique than the usual things you can buy. If you have time, it is definitely worth having a peek inside before you board your plane, we are sure you will find something you love.

Address: 3800 E Sky Harbor Blvd

Terminal 4

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

Phoenix, AZ 85034

Scottsdale Southwest

Open every day, this store is in the heart of Scottsdale, and sells a little bit of everything. Whatever the occasion, or whatever you have in mind, you are sure to find it here. The prices are reasonable, and the staff are always friendly.

Address: 3937 North Brown Ave

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Don’t worry about wasting time trying to find the right shops, just head to any of the places above and pick up as many souvenirs as you can carry.

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