We asked our friend Chelsea Goodson to transport us to Phoenix for our monthly Travel Bug feature.
Hi! I’m Chelsea and I’ve been the blogger behind Tea Talk since June of 2009. I’m 26 years old and grew up in the heart of the desert in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’ve never visited Phoenix before, just imagine a busy city with tons of coffee shops, desert surroundings, and the most gorgeous sunsets you’ve ever seen. These three things are actually a few of the reasons why I love Phoenix so much.
Sometimes Phoenix gets a bad rap for being too hot and boring, but really you just have to know how to beat the heat and where to look for fun adventures. Phoenix is the sixth largest city in the U.S., so there’s got to be something amazing going on here! I’m really excited to share my hometown with ya’ll, and hope you enjoy seeing my town through my eyes.
902 N. 6th Street
The GROWop is a vintage, handmade, and artisan boutique in the heart of downtown Phoenix. It is known for having an eclectic collection of women’s and men’s clothing and accessories, along with a community garden in the front of the shop. GROWop loves helping out local artists, and throwing monthly garden parties to bring the community closer together. I’ve been going here for years, and couldn’t imagine Phoenix without this place.
308 N. 2nd Avenue
Crescent Ballroom is the area’s most popular indie music venue and bar. Every night of the week they have something going on here, whether a local DJ is playing, it’s trivia night, or an awesome band is ready to jam. They always have the best musical lineups, and bound to see some kind of local music celebrity hanging around – like Jim Adkins from Jimmy Eat World!
Civic Space Park
424 N. Central Avenue
Civic Space Park is an urban park in downtown Phoenix. The park is located across the street from Arizona State University’s downtown campus, and is a garden sanctuary in the middle of a concrete jungle. They have a coffee shop, lots of space for Saturday morning yoga, and often have movie nights and community parties. They also have an amazing hanging art piece from artist Janet Echelman that is meant to mimic the cycle of the monsoon storms that we get in and around the city.
1001 N. 3rd Avenue
Lola Coffee is my favorite coffee shop in all of Phoenix. I’ve been going here for years now, and the iced coffee and yummy baked goods are still as good as the first time I tried them. The atmosphere is always so chill, and it’s the perfect place for a study date.
Matt’s Big Breakfast
825 N 1st Street
Matt’s is a local favorite that serves the best breakfast in downtown. The wait to get in can be anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, so get there early and be sure to some order toast with their homemade jam – it’s the best.
Phoenix Public Market
721 N. Central Avenue
This hip restaurant, bar, and coffee shop sits along the light rail and is the perfect spot for an afternoon snack or a romantic dinner. If you’re into pastries, Market’s homemade pop tarts are out of this world.
Hotel San Carlos
202 N. Central Ave
Built in 1927, this historic hotel serves as a reminder of our city’s beginnings. This hotel has hosted many old Hollywood celebrities, like Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and Cary Grant, and today is home to a handful of ghosts – seriously! In the fall they offer ghost tours, and if you’re lucky enough you might have spooky encounter.
Hotel Valley Ho
6850 E. Main Street
Situated right on the outskirts of town, this mid-century modern hotel is famous for its amazing rooms, hip pool, and historic value. Built in 1956, the Valley Ho was the sister property to the now defunct Westward Ho in downtown Phoenix (forever one of my favorite buildings). The hotel instantly became known for its distinct design, a combination of modern and southwest style that had never previously been seen before. Today it’s just as swanky and gorgeous as ever, and is definitely a sight to see and stay at.