My wife and I stayed nearby the Old Town Scottsdale area as a start for a week and a half marathon of north and east Arizona. We picked this area for a few reasons. It was just four minutes from the Desert Botanical Gardens and provided a relatively direct track to The Apache Trail, a destination on our to do list. It also had direct roads taking us up to the Red Rock Country of Sedona and beyond without having to backtrack into Phoenix.
There was one more reason. My wife read about the nearby restaurants in the Old Town district and that there was Gelato to be had in the neighborhood in not one but a couple-a-three of places.
The Old Town section of Scottsdale is also considered the "Downtown" district. it's loaded with shops, restaurants, bars, and galleries upon galleries, blocks of them!! Abutting the streets of the Old Town is the Scottsdale Fashion Market Mall. Believe me, that was NOT the reason we stayed nearby. Checking out Arizona's largest malls did not suit me or for that fact my wife on such a trip.
Our Old Town Experience
As it turns out our Old Town Scottsdale experience was limited to excursions looking for dinner. While driving through the streets of Old Town, especially those designated for shopping, shopping, shopping we realized that so early in our Arizona journey would not be a good time to look for silver jewelry with turquoise. We did however look around for that gelato. Unfortunately we were a little too late with dinner to find one open.
For dinner we did adventure into Old Town looking specifically for Cowboy Ciao a western style restaurant that didn't do anything for us that warm evening. We walked in and walked out. It was much too noisy quite apposing the neighborhood outside with new structures, condos, parks and a clean quiet look.
There were a few restaurants open that evening with dining alfresco. That was more the mood we looked for and found a the Barrio Queen Restaurant serving what they say was "authentic" Mexican. We did have to agree that the food was excellent! It was the atmosphere however that charmed us. Our seating was on the sidewalk of the main street and both my wife and I enjoy seating outside with a good drink, and food and talk about the day's experiences while people watching. This seemed like an area where young people and those who are young at heart end their day. I liked that.
After dinner, about 9PM we were in search for gelato but found instead galleries upon galleries with assorted arts, jewelry and turquoise. Some of the blocks we adventured into had adobe style buildings almost warehouse-like with one continuos structure with a shop one after the other on the wide streets with head-in parking. Names with "Artifacts," "Jewelry," "Antiques," "Trading Post," "Indian Arts" and "Gallery, Gallery, Gallery." This was also block after block!! These structures may be old but they are looking spiffed up, neat, clean and somewhat updated.
We did happen upon a Four Bronze Horse Statue at a turn-a-bout. We did have to take a photo or two of it. It was quite a piece or art work.
I suppose that, if we had more time to dedicate to the Scottsdale area, (we were more on hunt for National Parks, Red Rocks scenic roads and Indian Country) we would have taken a walking tour of old town. One of our trusty guides, Frommer's or Fodor's or perhaps both, have dotted spots of interest that would have drawn us in Old Town like the Scottsdale Historical Museum in an old Adobe Mission. Some 1950s historic metal cutouts of that Cowboy with looped lasso and more along with, of course, gelato.
We enjoyed our short time in Old Town. It was clean and also seemed to be in a new generation not being an Old Town feeling but reinvented. The "vibes" were of that I was quite comfortable with for dining and just walkin' about. My wife , at another time, would have loved to do some shopping.
I can recommend giving "Old Town" a look.
Best Western Papago, Scottsdale Excellent and perfect for our needs in the Scottsdale area just ten minutes from the airport car-rental terminal.
Four minutes from the...
Desert Botanical Gardens, Scottsdale
and the hotel was less than a half hour from ...
The Apache Trail An excellent car travel road. Fun filled and beautiful! Bring your camera.
The Best Wesern was just five minutes from Old Town. If we had another night or two, we would have spent even more time there.
Arizona et al
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