2004 Nationals - Things to do in Phoenix?

Thinking about flying out to Phoenix with my wife for the Nationals. She enjoys looking at the models on display and will suffer through an
afternoon of being used as a pack mule while I shop in the vendor's room -but- there needs to be some other non-modeling stuff for us to do while there. I've looked at the IPMS convention site and didn't see anything interesting - just the typical art museum, shopping, restaurants - the same stuff you can see and do in any major US city. A good example - neither my wife nor I have the even the slightest interest in seeing the Firefighter's museum (no disrespect meant to any of the firefighters out there). Anyway... can any Arizonans recommend things to do in the immediate area - preferably outdoorsy type stuff? We're from the east where everything is cold and flat and neither of us have been to Arizona or know much about it other than it's hot there. We'd like to see some of the beautiful southwestern scenery. Can anyone recommend any hiking or state parks nearby that will impress two easterners? Preferably no more than a one to two hour drive. Anything else that might be of interest?
Thanks in advance!
Bill
PS - Neither of us golf and definitely no military museums - she won't do models AND museums in the same trip - that's just asking too much.
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When I go to Phoenix I usually sit inside in the AC then drive to LA for a few days... Its pretty damn hot. ;-) Last I checked AZ had about a 28% tax on rental cars, most of it hidden.
Sedona and Grand Canyon are a bit of a drive but quite spectacular. The Diamondbacks have a restuarant overlooking their stadium which is cool. Haven't gone to Alice Cooper's place yet. There is a mountain overlooking the city that has a visitor's center which offers a spectacular sunset and soaring hawks. Harley Cluxton's shop restores and maintains F1 and endurance racers and used to give tours but the name escapes me at the moment... Grand something. There are some aircraft graveyards in the area.
Tom
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in article 2004021614000716807%bill@microsoftcom, Bill at snipped-for-privacy@microsoft.com wrote on 2/16/04 1:00 PM:

One thing for sure‹Phoenix in August is not cold. Nor too flat for that matter. If your rent-a-wreck has a good AC, there should be plenty of interesting things to see from a car.
Check out the Phoenix AZ website. I'm sure you can find it, or others, via Google.
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Due north of Scottsdale (ritzy Phoenix suburb) a hour's drive is a restaurant named Pinnacles Peaks, where you get the biggest barbeque mesquite flavored steak you have ever seen. Standard serving is a two pounder.
Don't wear a tie. The waitresses carry scissors in their holster belts and will cut it off and stick it on the ceiling.
Starve youself all day in preparation for this feast.
As you drive out, don't be fooled by other copycat "chuck wagon" joints you may see along the way. You want the real thing.
Of course, I was last there in 1971 (the pre-mad-cow days), so I am just guessing it is still open.
..../Vess Estes Park, Colorado

same
my
Firefighter's
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There is alot to do in Phx, and Az. The CAF Museum at Falcon Field in Mesa, and while there, for great Italian food, Anzios Landing, on the east side of the airport, plus there are lots of great places to eat. Up South Mountain at night to see the lights of Phx. Rawhide old west town in north Scottsdale. Pima Air Museum in Tucson, 90 min to the south. Titian Missle Museum in Green Vally out side of Tucson, the MASDAC storage yards outside of Tucson( tours thru Pima ), Sedona 90 min to the north of Phx, awsome red rocks. The Grand Canyon, Tombstone, Jerome, Prescott, all interesting places to visit. Matt Gunsch, A&P,IA,Private Pilot Riding member of the 2003 world champion drill team Arizona Precision Motorcycle Drill Team GWRRA,NRA,GOA
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BTW, Pinnacle Peak has gone far downhill in the last few years IMHO. There are some excellent restaurants in the area- El Paso Barbecue is very good (look in the phone book- a couple of locations, Gilbert and near Metrocenter) also if your budget can stand it, try Durant's on Central up near Camelback. Strange looking stucco building on the outside, steaks to die for on the inside.
For scenery, Sedona is just about priceless. Montezuma's Castle National Monument (on the way to Sedona) is very beautiful, as is it's detached unit, Montezuma's Well ( totally cool in my opinion). If you golf, Phoenix is golf heaven.
If you make it down to Tucson for the Pima Air Museum, try a side trip south to the Titan Silo Museum also. Cool eats in Tucson- try El Corral on River Road (I think) up near the Uof A experimental farm on Campbell.
Another place about an hour away is Prescott- this is the first capital and has a lot of history. Check out the statue of Sheriff Bucky O'Neill on the courthouse steps- he was killed with the Rough Riders in Cuba. If you do make it up to Prescott, don't miss Murphy's on Cortez north of the square or the Prescott Brewing Company just north of the courthouse. Murphy's in particular is a really excellent place to eat.
BTW- Lived in Prescott for a few years and have relatives in PHX. If you need to know anything, email me.
--
Jim Atkins
Twentynine Palms, CA USA
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Anything else that might be of interest? SKYDIVE ARIZONA in eloy AZ. Ph. 520-466-3753 www.skydiveaz.com Eloy is just south of phoenix. Go throw yourself and the wife from a plane, you'll see some of that southwest beauty from 13.500 feet you can jump from a DC-3, skyvan, super king air, beech-18, turbo porter or one of 3 twin otters....just shut up & jump !
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Have you contacted the Conv & Visitors Bureau there (search on the web), chamber of commerce or a tourist bureau? Contact the hotel you're staying at and ask them. Be assured unless you are used to extreme heat you do not want to be outside much. Phx in August is ungodly hot, 110Ί+ and the LOW if you're lucky will not go below 90Ί. The Diamondbacks are playing a 4 game home stand then, 2 games Florida, 2 Atlanta.
Bill wrote:

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I couldn't imagine being in Phoenix and not venturing down to Tombstone, but then you may not be as interested in Western history as I am. I'm sure there are lots of 'touristy' things there but I'd want to see the stuff off the beaten path.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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bill, find an afternoon for tucson. great storage area on the way, too. and you know about pima county air museum?
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Actually, Tombstone is kind of a Tourist Trap with a capital T. Bisbee, a few miles south, has beautifully preserved buildings in Brewery Gulch, good eats, and mine tours. If the wife likes antiques, that's a really cool place.
--
Jim Atkins
Twentynine Palms, CA USA
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All you "AIR" heads forgot Davis-Monthan AFB (Tucson) where all the oldies are stored. They have tours etc. Paradise for an airplane lover.
Bill Banaszak wrote:

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Bill,
As far as hiking goes, Sedona has a lot of really good hiking trails to suit all levels of hiker. Sedona is only about a 1 hour drive north of Phoenix. On the way north, there is the Pioneer Living History Museum, which gives some idea of old west life. At least I think it's still there. I haven't been there for many years.
I can't really recommend hiking around the Phoenix area in the summer, although there are some very good hikes in the area.
The Mogollon Rim, which is a little over an hour east of Phoenix, is another nice area with some nice views from the top of the rim. There are a couple of easily accessible lakes which get crowded on the weekends in the summer.
Also, if you like zoos, the Phoenix Zoo is an excellent one.
Come on out to Phoenix. You'll find something to do:)
Keenan
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If you've never been to Sedona, you should do that. Spectacular scenery! And if you have enough time, go on up to Williams and take the highway north out of town (sorry, I forget the number) up to Valle, where the Planes of Fame museum has their Arizona facility. Lots of great planes to see.
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If you go to Tucson, don't miss the Desert Museum. It's really well done and fun to tour. Also, Frank Lloyd Wright's western domicile, Tallyessen (sp?) West is at the very north end of Scotsdale. Dunno if it's still open to the public, but if so, it's worth a couple of hours. Pip Moss I used to feel cheap 'cause I had no signature.
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If you are into repelling, (down cliffs, may have spelt it wrong) I just found out that my brother has a friend who runs a club and does this as pretty much a hobby. He charges less for 4 hours than most places charge for 1 hour. I don't have the website for it, but I can get it from my brother if anyone here is interested. russ
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