Things to do, where to eat | Fitness tips of the day
Are you an Eagles fan heading across the country in hopes of a big win Super Bowl Sunday, but failed to plan the rest of the trip?
We’ll help you out.
First things first, you’ll be greeted by t-shirt weather. Yes, in February.
You’ll see this emoji 🌵in real life (don’t touch it!). And you’ll want to try a Sonoran Dog, the state’s symbolic food, a la cheesesteak.
Whether it’s your first time in the Southwest or you’re just looking for ways to pass the time before Sunday’s showdown, consider this your unofficial itinerary in the Grand Canyon state. We’ll go over spots where you can take fire Instagram shots, bring your family, find familiarity in a strange place, and more.
Do it for the ‘gram
Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park
Tailor-made for your Instagram feed is the free Super Bowl Experience at Hance Park in downtown Phoenix. There’s a variety of snap-worth spots, including the mural selfie wall designed by Arizona artist Meg Stapp, super-sized LVII Roman numerals, and of course, the 44-foot LED saguaro. And no Insta story is complete without 10-second shaky videos of music performances. Provide your friends back home with performances from: Jimmy Eat World, Gin Blossoms, Lee Brice, Cooper Alan / Pillbox Patti, Major Lazer Soundsystem, and A R I Z O N A.
📍 67 W. Culver St., Phoenix, AZ 85003, 🌐 azsuperbowl.com/hancepark
Welcome to Phoenix mural
The city is hosting major events in the next few years including Super Bowl LVII, the 2024 NCAA Men’s Final Four, and the 2026 NCAA Women’s Final Four, and it selected Phoenix muralist Kayla Newman to create a 190-foot mural to welcome visitors. Her expansive piece highlights the state’s iconic sunsets, fauna (javelina, owls, and king snake), and desert landscapes. You can even get close to creepy crawlies, such as the scorpion, without danger with this piece.
📍 Adams Street, near the entrance of the Phoenix Convention Center, in downtown Phoenix, 🌐phoenix.gov
With a quick 0.3-mile trail in Papago Park, you can get beautiful views of downtown Phoenix, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, and a desert sunset through the natural hole. It’s a tourist-y spot, but if you’re new to hiking or don’t want to dedicate a day to the trails, this is a spot to get your feet wet. If you’re with kids, they will enjoy climbing all over the rocks. There are also bathrooms and covered rest areas.
📍 625 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, 🌐 alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/hole-in-the-rock-trail
The Garden mural
The Garden is a 150-foot mural by Phoenix artist Brian Boner and is the backdrop for a variety of life moments for locals, from graduation photos to engagement shots to hair transformations. Its birds in flight are one of the most recognizable parts of the city’s arts district, Roosevelt Row, where you can find several murals.
📍 214 E. Roosevelt St., 🌐 monorchid.com/roosevelt-row-murals
In case you’re missing Philly, you can find some of the same LOVE in Scottsdale.
📍 3806 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 🌐 scottsdalepublicart.org/work/love
Desert Botanical Garden
Another way to see the beauty of the desert without dedicating a day to hiking a mountain is to spend time at the Desert Botanical Garden. Special exhibits include the immersive Butterfly Pavillion and the Museum of the Moon installation. Visitors also have a dining option on the property in Gertrude’s, which prides itself on farm and pasture ingredients.
📍 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, AZ 85008, 🌐 dbg.org
Phoenix Art Museum
Though the art museum will be closed for Super Bowl festivities on Feb. 9 and 10, you can explore its halls the rest of the week. The museum features more than 20,000 pieces from American and Western American art to Latin art to fashion design and more. Its collection features the beloved fireflies infinity room by renowned artist Yayoi Kusama.
📍 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, 🌐 phxart.org
The Heard Museum’s main focus is to collaborate with American Indian artists and tribes, especially those from the Southwest. It’s recognized for its expansive collections presenting the advancement of American Indian art and culture.
📍 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, 🌐 heard.org
https://www.instagram.com/p/CnkGOnMp3Pn/ (to be embedded)
Cerreta Candy Co. tour
If you’re staying in Glendale, try a candy factory tour and candy sampling. This retro candy shop truly captures the eclectic and classic side of the Phoenix metro area.
📍 5345 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, AZ 85301, 🌐 cerreta.com/tour-activities
The Mystery Castle
Listed in the Arizona Historic Register, this is a site you do not want to miss. Long story short is that Boyce Gully came to Arizona without his family and fulfilled his daughter Mary Lou’s wish to live in a castle. He built her a stone mansion with 18 rooms, 13 fireplaces, and various nooks and crannies. Mary Lou lived in it until her death in 2010. It’s now open for visitors to experience its quirkiness and magic.
📍 800 E Mineral Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85042, 🌐 mymysterycastle.com
Philly in the Southwest
Philly’s Sports Grill
With four locations in the Valley, Eagles fans won’t have trouble feeling right at home with the safe haven of Philly’s Sports Grill. The bar will host an Arizona Takeover Party on Saturday at its Scottsdale Road location with giveaways, special guests, and live NBC Sports Philadelphia podcasting. No reservation is required.
📍 Three Tempe locations, one Phoenix location, 🌐 phillyssportsgrill.com
At Rockbar Inc. in Scottsdale, Arizona’s Eagles West fan club is putting on a Super Bowl watch party (with doors opening at 9 a.m.) in anticipation of Philly’s takeover. You’ll find a gameday squad in the days leading up to the big game at this bar.
📍 4245 N Craftsman Ct, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, 🌐 rockbarscottsdale.com
Philadelphia Sandwich Company
If you’re homesick and looking for late-night eats, look no further. Philadelphia Sandwich Company boasts its Philadelphia sandwiches and scratch-made bread. They were quick to open their arms to traveling Philadelphians when they commented on a Facebook post about an Arizona manager who didn’t want to serve Eagles fans.
📍 7318 E Stetson Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, 🌐 philadelphiasandwich.com
Best of Philly
This family-owned cheesesteak restaurant has been slinging Philly cheesesteaks and other fast food delicacies since the ‘90s. The counter-serve nook serves as the perfect spot to fuel up when you’re bouncing between itinerary items.
📍 2818 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, 🌐 philadelphiasandwich.com
These cheesesteak enthusiasts are loud and proud about how happy they are to be providing the Glendale area with a taste of Philly. Phila-Deli’s got a special football Sunday menu to keep you well-fed without skipping a beat on the Philly flavor.
📍 20219 N 59th Ave Suite A3, Glendale, AZ 85308, 🌐 philadeliaz.com
If your sweetheart is accompanying you, the least you could do is take them out for a romantic dinner or brunch. Bacanora is an all-windows dining spot offering the best views of quirky Grand Avenue. It was named to Esquire’s 40 Best New Restaurants in America in 2021, and it’s no surprise as Sonoran-born chef Rene Andrade’s grill-commanded, tailored menu spotlights Sonora flavors.
📍 1301 Grand Ave Unit 1, Phoenix, AZ 85007, 🌐 bacanoraphx.com
The Fry Bread House
The Fry Bread House is a James Beard-winning popular lunchtime spot that introduces locals and tourists alike to traditional Tohono O’odham food. The all-Native American staff serves up comfort food in the form of fry bread, which is light and fluffy. Their signature fry bread tacos showcase the cloud-like bread in a savory fashion (options like beef, birria, and refried beans), and the same bread comes in a sweet dessert form (options like honey, powdered sugar, and chocolate).
📍 4545 N 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85013, 🌐 frybreadhouseaz.com
If Phoenix were to have a dish as symbolic as the cheesesteak, it’d have to be the Sonoran hot dog. El Caprichoso serves up hot dogs charred to perfection with classic toppings: beans, salty cheese, and a squiggle of mayo. The food stand’s dogs are best enjoyed at one of their picnic tables so you can take in the views of the Phoenix streets. Tip: Order up a Mexican-bottled Coke or agua fresca to wash it all down.
📍 2826 N 35th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85009, and 9444 N 19th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85021 🌐elcaprichosohotdogs.com
This vegan joint is located in Phoenix’s historic Coronado neighborhood, which gives you the option of a nice after-meal stroll. Patrons can try plant-based versions of classics such as chilaquiles, California burritos, and you-know-who’s crunchwrap. The eatery also has a case of housemade pastries (hello, vegan poptarts) and a full bar with locally sourced beer, wine, and cocktails.
📍 2245 N 12th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006, 🌐 thecoronadophx.com
James Beard award winner Chris Bianco became one of the driving forces of the artisanal pizza movemen. The location on Adams Street is quite intimate, as is his short menu of just six pizzas, so be prepared to wait a little as guests cycle out of the 42 seats. There is no take-out or delivery, so plan accordingly.
📍 623 E. Adams St., Phoenix, and 4743 N. 20th St., Phoenix, AZ 🌐 pizzeriabianco.com
Quick disclaimer! Many out-of-towners underestimate the heat and their own heat tolerance. Stay hydrated and pack extra water, check the weather and dress appropriately, and know your fitness level. And remember to respect your environment and leave no trace.
Camelback is one of Phoenix’s most popular hiking trails. While it clocks in at just 2.5 miles, it is extremely difficult. Hikers must navigate exposed rock and strenuous climbing. On the climb up you’ll be exposed to various native species and when you make it to the top, you’ll get gorgeous metropolitan views. The trailhead has restrooms, benches, and water.
📍 4925 E McDonald Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85018 🌐 visitphoenix.com/sonoran-desert/parks/camelback-mountain
Dobbins Lookout at South Mountain
Dobbins Lookout is a versatile trail as you can hike the moderate trail up to the lookout, or drive to the top. From the lookout, you’ll get expansive views of Phoenix and surrounding cities, Camelback and Superstition Mountains, and Piestewa Peak. The historic structure was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression in an effort to turn the location into a public recreation area.
📍 North Summit Road South Mountain Park, Phoenix, AZ 85042 🌐 outdoorproject.com/united-states/arizona/dobbins-lookout
Piestewa Peak clocks in at 2.1 miles, but is rated as challenging as it’s the second-highest point in the Phoenix mountains after Camelback. You’ll run into crowds, but the climb is worth it for the view of the Sonoran desert and a workout on vacation.
📍 7200 N. Piestewa Peak Dr., 🌐 alltrails.com/trail/us/arizona/piestewa-peak-summit-trail-300