Top of Piestewa Peak (a.k.a. Squaw Peak)

While You’re in Phoenix…

Staying at the Arizona Biltmore is an ideal jumping point for taking in the sites and tastes of Phoenix. Here are some additional places you may want to check while you’re there:

Piestewa Peak Hike (formerly Squaw Peak)

This is a short 1.2 miles to the top hike, but not for the faint of heart.  The morning my group went up we saw two serious injuries due to overly ambitious hikers mis-stepping on the rugged, rocky path.  If you’re in good shape and steady on your feet – the panoramic views of Phoenix at the top make the 1,200 foot gain worth every step and the trail is short enough that it won’t eat up your entire day. The Arizona Biltmore has a trail leader that takes groups up and arrangements can be made through the concierge or the hotel’s recreational center.

NoRTH Fattoria Italiana

NoRTH Fattoria ItalianaWhen I hear trattoria my inner skeptic takes over and I assume more of the same old mushy pasta and soggy pizzas so many Italian-themed places offer.  This is not what I experienced at NoRTH – which has a creative mix of stock favorites and unique bites. The building used to be a car wash and has been renovated to sleek indoor and outdoor dining with lots of glass that gives an open feeling, yet the ambiance is casual.

Any of the charcuterie and cheese choices is the way to start your meal and I would suggest getting a mix of entrees and sharing family style. Entrees are in the range of $14 – $31 and make sure to check out their specials.

Door at Taliesan West

Taliesan West

A must-see is the winter home of the famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesan West. An elite architectural school still exists on this property, as does an artistic feast for the eyes.

You don’t have to have an art or architectural background to appreciate the simplicity of form combined with the thoughtful and unique details of the buildings and grounds. The only way to see the property is by guided tour, which is worth the fee as the guides give you an in-depth view of the rich history and detail of this American landmark. They offer several different types of tours ranging from 1 – 4 hours and start at $16 per person (they do have senior and military discounts).

One of many sculptures at Taliesan West

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